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December 27, 2010

Obama Destined For Scrapheap of History?

A footnote, this writer says. Or maybe a cautionary tale, at most.

Obama's fall is all the more spectacular because of the way he sold himself. I don't mean the messianic part, but that's a huge part of it.

I mean this: Candidates and parties sell themselves partly on ideology and party on simple competency. Ideology convinces some, but not a majority; to get to the majority, a pitch of competency grabs those who aren't sold on ideology but aren't dead-set against the candidate's ideology.

Liberals run harder on this message of competency than conservatives do, partly because the media sells this for them so ably, but also because they need to make up more votes this way. Maybe 40% of the country is conservative, and so a conservative candidate has to convince just 10% more to get his 50%; but only about 20-25% of the country is liberal, so a liberal candidate has to sell a lot more people on the idea that it's not his ideas, his ideology, that really matters, but just his general competency. His intelligence, mostly, and judgment.

The liberal media sells liberal candidates as brilliant and even-tempered and "sophisticated" and "nuanced" of thought; all of these are non-ideological attributes which appeal to most, whatever one's politics. And they need to do this, as only about 25% of the country can be persuaded to come along on the basic liberal message of higher taxes, more spending, more government power to dictate the affairs of men, and less freedom.

Meanwhile, Republican candidates get the opposite treatment from the media. I've noted before that every single Republican candidate is claimed by the media to be:

1. Stupid

2. Evil

3. Crazy

4. Out-of-touch

...and pretty much you can categorize every Republican office-seeker since Eisenhower (Out of touch) in this way. Nixon: Evil and Crazy; Reagan: Stupid and Crazy and possibly Evil; Bush I: Out of touch; Bush II: Stupid, Crazy, Out of Touch and Evil.

Just as the liberal media needs to pad a liberal candidate's vote-share by selling them on the non-ideological virtues of their candidates, so too do they need to deduct as many possible voters from a conservatives by selling them on the non-ideological negatives of those candidates.

So the public bought into Obama, to the tune of 53%, not on his ideology, mostly, but on just how super-duper smart he was. He would bring to the job not ideological positions, but general problem-solving tools. Without having to force the public to choose this ideology or that, he would just fix things, not because he believed in a specific theory of politics but because he was just that good.

Two years into his hopefully four year term, it's apparent to anyone who's not a fucking idiot that Obama doesn't have a fucking clue what the fuck he's doing. Far from being the Mr. Fix It, he's Mr. Fuck It Up Worse. All the calumnies thrown at Bush-- blundering incompetent idiot retard chimp -- apply fully to Obama. As they used to joke about Bush -- Obama is the idiot who broke the world.

It's amusing to me how simple America's problems were when Democrats were out of power, looking to take over. We would just fix the economy. Snap! Fixed. Just cancel Bush's tax cuts for the rich and it would all be right as rain. We could just bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and convince the Iranians and North Koreans it was in their interest to give up the bomb; all we needed was a smart guy to speak the right words to these countries that Bush was too stupid to know.

We could just get the oceans to stop rising, and just reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and just do this and just do that.

It was all so very easy for the 2006-2008 Democrats to explain how they'd work these wonders. All they needed, they told the public, was to get the idiot Republicans out of office. These problems were all easily solved; we just needed Smart People (TM) running things. Replace the Backwards Idiots (TM) with the Smart People (TM) and it would all be smooth sailing.

And it wasn't about ideology so much as competency.

Well we see now that none of these problems (and fake problems, like global warming) were simple to solve, and only a simpleton cold have claimed otherwise, but now Obama and his still-loyal media defenders are telling us, retroactively, how difficult all these things are to change and fix.

But I don't think the public is fooled. They were told that simply switching the supposedly dumb people out for the smart people would fix things. It didn't, and exposed the supposedly smart people as dumber than those they called dumb. Obama's luminescent incompetence is going to make it hard for Democrats to run on non-ideological competency as a platform for a generation.


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posted by Ace at 05:47 PM

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