September 28, 2011
Obama: Everything But the Kitchen Synch
Barack H. Obama has always been the master of zigzag:
- He sits for twenty years in the pews of the Trinity United Church of Christ; then during his first presidential campaign, he throws Rev. Jeremiah Wright under the bus, weeping like the Walrus and Carpenter that "this is not the Jeremiah Wright that I knew."
- As senator, he denounces the Iraq War as the wrong war; as president, he continues fighting it.
- As senator, he declares the Afghanistan War is the right war, the one we should be waging; as president, he can't wait to announce a date for withdrawal into ignominious defeat.
- Two days after inauguration, he announces with fanfare that he will shutter the Guantanamo Bay detention camp within one year; two and a half years later, it remains open and in full operation with no plans for a shutdown.
- As senator, he scoffed at the idea of raising taxes in the midst of a recession; as president, and during a recession that may well already be double-dip, he has already rammed through the biggest tax increase in history and is trying to top it with another one.
I'm not talking about grandiose plans that went awry, like ObamaCare, his environmentalist schemes, and the colossal failure of his stimulus package; by zigzag, I mean the art of being the Weathercock in Chief: major goal reversals on cue, in the wink of an eye. Obama is more than Clintonian; his presidency verges on multiple policy disorder.
And for a while he got away with it; folks cheered his "post-partisan" and "post-racial" presidency, giving him sky-high approval ratings.
But something has happened in the last year; somehow, Obama has gotten "out of phase" with the rest of the world. He zags everyone else is zigging...
- After acknowledging many of the failures of the stimulus package, this month he zigs, announcing Bride of Tax and Stimulus; but even ultra liberal Senate Democrats (like Chuck Schumer, D-NY, 95%) zag, denouncing the plan as crazed and working to derail it.
- He zags to inject American forces into the Libyan War, hoping to tap into patriotic Americans' tendency to rally behind the president great martial causes (the Civil War, World War II, the Libya kafuffle); but at that very moment, conservatives zig to denounce the engagement for lacking congressional approval and for Obama's decision to try to "lead from behind," while the Left likewise zigs to denounce the engagement due to a general rejection of and revulsion for any more wars in that region of the world.
- In a swerving effort to shore up support on his left, he zigs again, demanding a "kill and eat the rich" tax policy; but his leftist constituency zags, hitting the ceiling over his right turns on Israel and Cuba.
- Losing the Left, hence desperate to grab a chunk of the Right, particularly in Florida (which he won in 2008 but looks increasingly likely to lose next year), he zags, promising an immediate veto of the fiat PLO state. Then today, he announces as part of the same "Barack the Strongman" zag that he won't lift the embargo on Cuba until "we see positive movement" in that country. (Both are flipflops). But instead of zagging to embrace Obama's newfound conservatism, his Republican audience zigs, still screaming bloody blue murder about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell!
It's not that he's "snakebit," as some put it; he has fallen out of synch with the electorate, so that every turn he makes puts him 180° off course compared to the rest of the country, left and right. At this point, the percent of people who believe President B.O. is doing a good job and who actually look forward to reelecting him (as opposed to holding their noses and voting against the GOP) can probably be numbered on a single hand... of a three-toed sloth.
And it's only going to get worse. Like a beginner in flight school, he overcorrects and re-overcorrects, oscillating back and forth with increasing amplitude. There is only one finale to this out-of-control lobster quadrille, and it looks very like the 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, a.k.a. "Gallopin' Gertie," when a steady wind set the bridge twisting at its resonant frequency in an almost surreal structural failure:
Keep in mind the money-shot of the bridge rockin' and rollin', as we converge on November 6th, 2012. I expect that image will more and more take on an eerie prescience.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 28, 2011, at the time of 9:32 PM
The following hissed in response by: tobias2006
I remember a documentary on this years ago. Before I hit play, I remembered the dog.
The following hissed in response by: seePea
umm, you might want to double check what caused the bridge to collapse. I know the text books from pre-1080 say 'resonance' but hopefully the present text books have it as 'aerodynamics'
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
I'm not a structural engineer, and I'm not going to try to resolve that difference. It's not relevant to the imagery of Obama's collapse, which is the point of the post.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at October 2, 2011 3:18 PM
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