The Barack Obama faithful are enthusiastically lining up behind their man even as a healthy heap of Democrats and moderates are either going elsewhere or sitting on the fence. It’s early yet, but polls already show Obama making few inroads against a gaff-prone, non-committal, out of touch boob of a pandermeister. That is not a good thing, early or not.
Not that they’d listen – they don’t listen to anyone – but I’d counsel Republicans along the same lines as the Democrats when they came to power…keep the fist pumps, terrorist or otherwise, to a minimum. Refrain from the siren call to rub it in, lest you be treated to the swirly next election cycle.
Voters partially returned you to power, but don’t mistake that for an overarching mandate. Their opinion of ALL politicians is only slightly higher than that beagle that shit on their new shoes and they’ll tire of you just as quickly if you can’t turn things around within a few months. That’s highly unlikely and some polls already indicate voters believe there will be as little progress under the Griping Old Pootieheads as there has been under the Demojellies. I fear they are right.
Many voters went Republican not so much because they thought Reps were good, but because they don’t like El Jefe and wanted to send a signal. As goes the President so goes Congress in midterm elections.
Walking on Water to Drowning In Water
No doubt, the O-Man has squandered a tremendous amount of political capital in his two years. CHANGE meant continuing or expanding far too many policies he railed against from the last administration. As for HOPE, he left too much of his base and moderates hoping he would get better – while he didn’t. Had he seized the power of his huge win, he could’ve gotten much more done and he and Congressional Dems would stand a better chance of delivering the Hope and Change they touted. Instead, he let the power of NO run his agenda.
But, it’s not like this hasn’t happened before.
Bush the Lesser squeaked into the White House in an election decided by some moronic guy named Chad who couldn’t operate a punch card without putting an eye out. Dub’s first few months were lackluster at best, but then he got the best political gift a pol could ask for – a scruffy hermit with a penchant for bad home movies dispatched some nuts to cause massive mischief on the Hudson.
He, rightfully at the time, climbed up on a pile of rubble, loudspeaker in hand, and railed against the evil trying to defeat America. People rallied around him as they haven’t done since WWII. In a week he went from just another run-of-the mill stumble bum to someone with more political capital than Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina could ever buy… combined.
Imagine What All That Capital Could Buy
With that amazing power, he could’ve done so many things to help this country. For example, and there were many others, he could’ve used it as a bloody pulpit to preach the dangers of foreign oil dependence. Instead, he encouraged domestic and foreign oil companies to poke more holes in the country than ever before at the expense of enforcing any regulation, no matter how trivial. Today we find ourselves not only more dependent, but watching oilagarchs rob the country blind.
He was still riding high at the beginning of term two, although the first rumblings against the most useless and poorly managed war in history were getting louder. By the time Katrina made his uselessness truly evident, the rumble became a shout and he went down in hot flames of embarrassment.
Everyone else’s embarrassment, not his. And all that political capital he crowed about? He apparently banked with Washington Mutual.
Clinton managed to get a few things done in term one, but pissed it away lying about the world’s most expensive BJ. An entire four years wasted, an incredible historical blot on him, and the final death of whatever shred of bipartisanship and civility was left in Washington.
Bush the Elder fared no better. He squandered the terrific political abundance delivered by Gulf War I by encouraging people to watch his lips as they said, “No new taxes”. He then called every new tax a fee until it got to be such a charade he asked people to stop staring at his lips. Voters repaid him by saying, “Watch our lips. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”
He did manage to stay out of jail over that whole Iran/Contra thing though. No small feat that.
Failure is one of the few things that is truly bipartisan. Whether, like Obama, you negotiate like a fear-crazed 90-year old lady buying a used car at Mad Man Dapper Dan’s Used Car Emporium or are so incompetent you choke on a pretzel, whether you can’t keep your Johnson out of your intern’s mouth or puke in the Japanese Prime Minister’s lap, there are a million ways to fail. Failure is cumulative. Failure is contagious. In short, failure fails.
Unfortunately, I’d say odds are far more than even that we’re well on the way to another failure.
And, it will no doubt be one huge MoFo.
- Deepak Bhargava: The Empire Strikes Back: Explaining the Republican Wave (huffingtonpost.com)
- Reporters to Obama: Hey, how’s that Slurpee tasting today? (hotair.com)
- Darrell Delamaide’s Political Capital: Time for tea party to balance the budget (marketwatch.com)
- Analysis: Voters to President Obama: ‘Slow down’ (sfgate.com)
- Phil Trounstine: California Voters Turn Back the Angry Red Tide (huffingtonpost.com)
- Tea Party express comes off the rails in Nevada (independent.co.uk)
- Richard (RJ) Eskow: A President’s Choice: Resist Wall Street’s “Shock Doctrine” Or Keep Listening to The Usual Suspects (huffingtonpost.com)
- After the GOP deluge, what next for the economy? (salon.com)
- ‘A rare but clear and unobstructed view of what that party stands for’ (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Spare a Thought for Our Rivals: (brothersjuddblog.com)
- Packaging Politics With Personality (blogs.forbes.com)
- Mixed messages dilute Obama’s brand (politico.com)
The Odds of a Terrorist Attack: 1-in-16,553,385 Departures. In other words, it ain’t very damn likely.
I recently read a commenter who accused the Obamoids of ineptitude by asking why Amazon can track millions of books while Obama can’t track a batshite crazy Jihadist who got caught in-flammable delicto. Fair enough question, though the book metaphor sucks.
Amazon rocks inventory control because they record all books in, check all books out, and the books aren’t silently running tither and yon around the warehouse while they do it.
Even the best intelligence can’t ferret out every lunatic Larry and when it does, the sheer volume of intelligence puts Amazon’s task at the sub-nanobyte level of complexity. Ultimately, it still takes humans to evaluate intelligence and make decisions on where it goes on the to-do list. We have finite manpower, but limitless information. This information overload is partly why the Patriot Act makes the problem worse, not better. Rather than collecting even more, we should be collecting less and concentrating on the most meaningful tidbits.
Swiss Cheese Terror Defense
That’s not to say the status quo is OK nor that the administration and Congress have done a sterling job. However, there are legitimate reasons why our terror defense is as holey as Swiss cheese, some of which have little to do with politics.
Our War of Error president got his weenie stuck in the roller immediately after 9/11 when he and The Black Widow of State™ got briefings on a Qaeda plot the month before it took place. It would’ve been great had they acted on it, but given that the briefing wasn’t particularly detailed or as important as other events on the agenda, it’s understandable. Just because you’re an oafish goober doesn’t mean your mistakes aren’t explainable.
It would’ve been nice if he’d taken responsibility for it happening on his watch, but accountability never was one of his strong suits. But that whole “bring it on” thing really was monumentally stupid.
To their credit, Obama and Janet Napolitano first admitted to a “systemic breakdown”, but then backtracked to “the system worked“. It’s too early to say if their responses are good or bad in hindsight. But, tying air traffic in knots with contradictory procedural changes doesn’t bode well. Furthermore, explaining afterward that the confusion was all part of the plan looks Bushonian at first blush.
Both administrations were saddled with the monstrous Department of Homeland Insecurity. One of the few Bush decisions I ever agreed with was his initial reluctance to shove half the federal government into a single department while assuming it would work better. Remember, the difficulty of any enterprise is exponential to the number of people involved in it and DHS is the perfect example.
Reacting to a Bozo with his Pants on Fire
Bringing up the rear, as always, is Congress. Joe “Party of One” Lieberman was the brain trust behind the DHS debacle then. Now, his reaction to a bozo with his pants on fire is to attack Yemen! Bush Republicans resisted, and still resist, any attempt to investigate their own party’s possible ineptitudes so they can be corrected while Dems put a gazillion hearings on the agenda and then kowtowed to every ignored subpoena and request for information. Word to the wise, if you aren’t going to use your gavel, don’t cock your elbow
Creating a useful terrorist response doesn’t have a chance in hell, see Republican claims that the latest incident was either caused by unions or because there is no permanent TSA honcho while Jim DeWitless holds up the nomination and responds to Democrats fast tracking it by saying they’re in too much of a rush.
The Dems are no better. It’s not like they stood up to the Chump-in-Chief when he was mucking things up and why are they waiting until now to figure out that 5 months is too long to wait for an essential bureaucrat?
Get on the stick you dicks. And speaking of dicks, The Big Dick™ is still, well, dickish.
To paraphrase the politically astute opossum Pogo, “We have met the terrorists, and they is us.”
- A Nation Terrorize by Terroists (omnipotentpoobah.com)
- CNN: CIA Had Report on Farouk AbdulMutallab Before Failed Airplane Bombing (themoderatevoice.com)
- A Guide to the Blame Game Following Failed Terror Attack (blogs.wsj.com)
- What the Near-Tragedy in Detroit Revealed (danielpipes.org)
- Bored now (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Jacob Heilbrunn: Up in the Air: Obama’s Terrorism Failure (huffingtonpost.com)
- DeMint’s Waterloo? (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Richard Grenell: You’re Doing a Heck of a Job, Janet (huffingtonpost.com)
- Andy Borowitz: Homeland Security Considers Making People Fly Naked (huffingtonpost.com)