This is a thoughtful piece about the meaninglessness of the Obama first term. It is a good example of the search for a narrative to explain the unfulfilled promise of the President.
The use of a narrative to summarize or simplify the complex is an innately human thing. Our brains are built to conceive and create the narrative way to manage all of the complexities that come our way. But, in the end, the narrative s a lousy way to learn anything. In fact, it only creates an illusion or a perception of reality, and a comfortable one at that.
But the narrative ill prepares us to gather insights to make the hard decisions we must occasional make to avert problems, or even disasters. Nicolas Taleb’s, “The Black Swan,” discusses the need to do avoid the convenience of the narrative, to do the difficult work of expecting the unexpected.
So while a compliant media continues to ignore the facts arrayed plainly in front of them, and as they continue to spin the narrative of President Barack Obama as an accomplished leader in difficult times, a natural extension of his brilliance on the campaign trail, they miss the obvious failings of a main not able to lead his country at all.
There is enough statistical information available to analyze the past 3 and half years and determine that the economy is off track despite the very best of intention to stimulate the private economy by heavy public sector deficit spending. There are also plenty of examples of taking a course exactly the opposite of Obama’s brand of reform policies.
But I think if simply left up to a distracted voting public come November 6th, the preponderance of evidence: the negative wealth effect; persistent unemployment and underemployment; weak housing sector and a government sector in need of reform, will bring change.
This change will come despite the best efforts to sell tidy narratives spun daily in campaigns and in the narrow minded media.
My very good friend describes the Washington Post as “that Liberal Rag” and so I could hardly express surprise to see “The Plum Line” contort/distort/spin some recent polls to suit Greg Sargent’s lazy journalism and his attempt at rationalizing for Team Obama.
It is to laugh to think that this former TPM hack believes his opinion carries any insight or anything other than echo chamber blather inside the beltway.
Obama’s paper thin experience and his campaign’s single note distraction machine and putrid class war tactics, disguised as a real campaign for an incumbent President, are hardly ideal for so called “Eastern Media Elite” apparatchiks to spin straw into gold.
Sargent and his ilk should not be boot licking but ass kicking. Tell your “Team Obama” to step up their game rather than try to humiliate yourself with “stand on your head” contortions about a real executive vs. the faux CEO of the Chicago based Administration he boosts every chance he gets.
Comparing candidate biographies is an awful approach for Democrat apologists. The Democratic party has lots of accomplished politicians with a multiplicity of skills and experience and they contribute greatly to the nation. But the combination of a thin skinned president with a thin resume bucked up by snot nosed “journolists“ plying their thin skills at a formerly great newspaper that is loosing money hand over fist is a recipe for self-humiliation.
Whether or not the President and his bewildered crew at the White House has a bad week or two or not, the presumptive GOP nominee is beginning to hit his stride. The Romney campaign may be cautious, but their candidate is slowly moving forward as it easily defends the inept attacks of Obama’s Chicago based Campaign Team.
I use the term inept since the crisp coordination of 2008 on Team Obama seems to have given way to poorly conceived attack themes against the private economy highlighting Romney’s career in Private Equity at Bain Capital.
This week and last, Obama surrogates, Democratic operatives and politicians alike, rushed out to distance themselves from the Obama campaign’s sophomoric attacks on Private Equity. Newark’s outstanding reform Mayor Cory Booker, Auto Bailout Czar Steve Rattner, former Congressman Harold Ford and Massachusetts Governor Patrick Deval all defended Private Equity and distanced themselves from the intellectual sloth of Campaign Obama-Biden.
Even the discordant statements of David Axelrod, Obama’s Campaign Chief Strategist, declaiming Booker as “wrong” kept the issue alive long enough the aforementioned Democrats time to step in and contradict him. The “noise” from the Democratic Party circular firing squad allowed Mitt Romney to continue to position himself firmly as the Candidate best suited to right the economy, as his improving favorables ratings demonstrate.
The overall incoherent Obama campaign, largely based on misdirection and distraction, has most Democrats realizing Obama’s chances of re-election at no better than 50-50.
Team Romney’s plodding approach to their campaign may be defensive but, more and more, the central theme of Mitt Romney as the “Reasonable Man” looking to restore economic stability seems fundamental sound, though hardly exciting.
If the Romney campaign continues its effective counter punching of Team Obama’s flaccid and shallow attacks through June, any early attempt by Campaign Obama and the DNC to define Romney will fail. Romney’s own message, focused as it is on the economy and the country’s need for ideas on job creation and growth, will allow independents to see Romney’s strength as an experienced executive and decisive decision maker.
The news of continued poor economic growth and the Euro’s demise will put the President’s economic policies under the microscope of public opinion. The painful reality of the current American status quo, joblessness, uncertain business climate and woeful consumer confidence, will give all of the Democratic party nowhere to hide.
GOP messaging around the tax and entitlement reforms in the Ryan budget plan vs. the incumbent President’s gimmicky financial mangement and insane deficits without a true budget in over 3 years, will help moderates and conservatives alike to easily decide on the problematical nature of the status quo and the Democratic Party’s arguments to preserve it.
Romney will be as well funded as he needs to be and will have an advantage through Super Pacs attacks on the Obama’s record, despite the Democrats real need to sprint away from it.
Later in June when the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the signature policy of Obama’s presidency, Obamacare, a pivot in either of the campaigns may occur. Whether a negative or positive ruling results, Obama’s Campaign is cornered and will spin furiously.
The affirmation of the unpopular Obamacare policiy will create a hue and cry from stakeholders and the public in general and motivate them to elect a President and a Congress dedicated to “deep sixing” the policy on the first day of the new Congress.
The defeat of Obamacare will open the door for reasonable and measured reforms of Health Care Insurance and the implementation of the policy planks of the GOP plans for entitlement on general, and Medicare and Medicaid in particular.
At the recent Supreme Court oral arguments for and against Obamacare, a woefully prepared and ineptly argued defense of the policy from the Administarion’s Solicitor General, the Administration’s arrogance permits no Plan B or alternatives to its legislation.
The Democratic Party bet the farm on health Care and as the electorate shellacked the party in 2010. It had better prepare for a round two shellacking in the near term.
This is my equivalent of an amended 10-Q filing, or at least at late 10-Q filing.
The Brand Romney survived the first quarter. Then, as we moved in to Q2, it won a trifecta of primaries on April 3, putting to rest discussion on how Mitt loses as wins or, despite winning or nearly winning a majority of delegates available in each of the primary contests he faced, how inadequate he is as an Presidential candidate.
Leaving for a moment the specious and intellectually bankrupt gaggle of media outlets, the “buzz” has turned to Mitt’s choice for VP.
Now how could this heretofore lightweight Republican presumptive nominee best the current President’s own choice for a running mate? I mean, how can , how dare anyone try to top the estimable and honorable former Senator from the Credit Card state and current Vice President, Joe Biden.
I am looking forward to the contortions by the political class, the East Coast sharpies with their superior command of condescension, to highlight the vacuity of the Republican VP choices compared to the current Vice President.
From selective moral outrage to copious research of dubious veracity, we shall learn of just how inadequate the prospective Republic ticket will compare to the current giants in office. After all, the President’s not very good week as a constitutional expert and the always ready to surprise gaffe man Vice President Biden, a dreamy team if I ever could think of one, have turned incumbency into ashes and need their base in the media to gin up every little bit of respectability they can.
Back to the 10-Q. Sales of Team Romney surpassed expectations, their Super Pac marketing division gave new meaning to decisive advertising to undermine the competition, the etch-a-sketch approach to policy served its purpose and the for free political endorsements proved persuasive when it counted.
Expenses ran higher than expected as the variable cost of Newt bashing was compounded by the righteous surge of Santorum. Nevertheless, these one time costs were more than adequately managed by new revenue sources and a strategic partnership with the newly functional RNC.
Despite what the competition promised in fund raising, it has fallen short of former incumbent President benchmarks [think G.W.Bush 2004] and can’t quite get the hang of soaking their former big donors while continue to show mediocre policy and political results.
In a very close finish to the very upside down GOP race, its time for GOTV.
Mitt Romney’s latest web video keeps the focus on the General Election:
Amazingly, Ann Coulter’s moved over to the middle to endorse Mitt Romney. Of all the pundits on the right, Ann Coulter was the biggest Anti-Romney surrogate. So her endorsement matters. I admire Ann as the funniest conservative commentator, who has an unusually good command of irony and her biting criticism always has something interesting to say. I also think she is the smartest pundit, bar none. In her business, perhaps in any business actually, a woman has to work twice as hard to get half as far. Ann’s seemingly over the top approach of skewering a secular progressive agenda leaves no room for compromise, and it works. But it is an act. If you don’t think so then you should read her comments after her mother passed. Can you tell I like Ann?
I decided to feature Mitt’s video as he has run a very good “Iowa” campaign by appearing not be too interested. I have first hand knowledge that he was very interested but worked to keep the expectations low. It worked. Most concede Mitt will do well as Evangelical Conservative do their best to split their vote, Ron Paul will do very well because, well, he has the most energized backers of all and Newt is flaming out.
I’ll admire the Iowa Caucus finish from a distance in a deep blue state but with some satisfaction that the Democrats will lose Iowa in the General. They’ll lose Virginia, Ohio and Florida too. They will just lose. Remember, you heard it here first.
We can talk all day along about the benefit of an agile approach to politics, life and, well, anything. But the problems, particularly the underlying “financials,” in the USA right now are so fundamental and just plain bad that the nimble policy or clever campaign will be a sideshow.
Mary Meeker’s approach is to call for a turnaround. The Beltway Types and Public Policy set may well cringe at this approach but aren’t they the same group of people that have been pulling the levers of the country, and politicians, for some time now?
Any way you care to slice it, the kind of leadership required at all levels is that of the turnaround artist with a near maniacal attention to implementing unconventional wisdom. How else will this change agent be able to sell the tough decisions required to renegotiate the social compact with Americans? The workout manager will need to be ruthless with firings in the public service, ending redundant programs and restructuring the USA to focus on its core mission.
The process will make the media giddy with the potential for conflict but like they need much of an excuse.