Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Read

November 13, 2008, 5:00 a.m.

Entering Casablanca
The hope-and-change candidate is now the president-elect of tempered hope and difficult change.

By Liam Julian

There is a famous scene in Casablanca in which Captain Louis Renault, searching for justification for ordering the immediate closure of Rick's Café Américain, discovers it in a memorable line: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" Of course, Captain Renault is not shocked at all, having long been a fixture at Rick's backroom roulette table.

What's old is new. We read in the New York Times that President-Elect Obama is now shocked, shocked to find that Americans are reacting so emotionally to his win. His aides, according to the Times, are "startled, if gratified, by the jubilation that greeted the news of Mr. Obama's victory" and are "looking to temper hopes that [Obama] would be able to solve the nation's problems or fully reverse Bush administration policies quickly and easily."

Well, now. That's odd.

Tough to recall other instances over the past two years when Obama tried so diligently to "temper hopes," (inflaming hopes was his thing, I thought) or to communicate to the thousands - sometimes hundreds of thousands - who attended his rallies the honest truth that politics is a daunting and unglamorous field in which bone-dry policy papers, not soppy tears, are the true beginnings of change.

Instead, Obama stuck to bits like this: "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." But today, his staff claims to be startled, startled that their man's preaching hit home.

National Public Radio ran Monday - yes, the Monday after Election Day - a segment about hope in which Youth Radio's Orlando Campbell examined the benefits and drawbacks of that particular emotion. Dr. David Spiegel, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, told Campbell that when "hope gets too far off the mark, it's more likely to hurt you than help you." He continued: Hope works "when the person who is promising you something is genuine about trying to deliver it."

It is unquestionable that Obama inspired millions, but on what is their inspiration based? Is their hope perhaps "too far off the mark"? Campbell, at the end of his report, said, "Barack Obama inspired me. . . . His promise sits like a weight on his shoulders."

This is a burden Obama apparently does not want, and that his staff is now hurriedly trying to shed. Because the president-elect, about as savvy a character as one could wish to ever meet, must know that the hope he has cultivated is largely baseless. Obama's words always seemed to some of us to be disingenuous - it has always seemed unlikely that the undeniably shrewd and practical candidate actually believed the wispy sentiments ("In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?") he offered. He must have known, all along, that he was deceiving the crowds of screaming, tearful admirers to whom he orated. He must have known that many of the words he spoke were, really, "just words."

I thought recently to flip back through Obama's memoir, Dreams from My Father, and this remarkable passage is what I found on the first page that fell open: "When classmates in college asked me just what it was that a community organizer did, I couldn't answer them directly. Instead, I'd pronounce on the need for change. Change in the White House. . . . Change in the Congress. . . . Change in the mood of the country, manic and self-absorbed."

Astounding, isn't it? He didn't know what to say then, so he just blurted out "change." One has sufficient reason to wonder whether Obama didn't employ this exact strategy, of evoking amorphous change in lieu of solid substance, throughout the past two years and thereby ascend to the highest office in the land.

In 1946, George Orwell wrote an essay apposite for his time and ours. "Politics and the English Language" it's called, and its subject is the depreciation of English - more specifically, how bad writing leads to poor thinking leading to more bad writing and, eventually, begets a society that cannot distinguish meaningful words from empty ones.

I was reminded frequently of Orwell's essay during the 2008 campaign, especially when our new president-elect would so silkily twist meanings, offer up contradictions (e.g., giving a speech in which he delineated varieties of racial grievance and also claimed to be moving beyond racial grievance), answer substantive questions with pabulum and finish it all with that bright smile, confident that few were on to his linguistic litheness.

Evidence exists that Obama does not believe, and never has believed, much of his talk; his campaign's latest backtracking on change is congruent with that. In a way, this is heartening, because a president who did subscribe to the fluffy worldview of Obama's campaign speeches would be dangerous. But it's alarming, too. We are right to wonder whether the president-elect, who columnist David Brooks once called the "Hope Pope," simply spun a pretty tale for Americans' eager ears, pocketed their votes, and will now meet their anticipation and eagerness with puzzlement: That is not what I meant at all.

Obama is selecting his staff and readying himself for the challenges he will meet when he assumes the presidency in January. These challenges will not recede before his rhetoric, and so Americans will soon see truthfully what type of president they've got.

But before Campaign 2008 recedes into history and is, as our modern way would have it, erased from our memories, it's worth reflecting on the words of the man who will now inhabit the White House, on how those words inspired so many, and on whether the person who spoke them meant them - and whether the words actually mean anything at all.

- Liam Julian is a Hoover Institution research fellow and managing editor at Policy Review.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
We can only hope the brainwashed masses that voted for O wake up in less time then it took Dubbyas cheerleaders.... but I'm not holding any hope they are any smarter.
Ran into one of the masses today at work. Something like 'this will cost you' and I said put on Obama's tab and she said Obama will fix everything. She then asked me if I was rich and I told her that the word Obama used is wealthy. I told her to some I am wealthy and to others I have no wealth. I asked her if she was wealthy and she told me rather emphaticly, "nope and that's what Obama is going to change" I had to leave the room and get back to work. :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,559 Posts
Losers must post anything and everything they can to bring down Obama. To them it is not the USA but the RUSA or nothing.
Obama will make his series of misjudgements. All Presidents have and will continue to do so. However, look around world-wide. We are in one helluva mess folks. Obama's first step was to gather some industirial and financial heavy hitters to review ths situation. That convinces me the man knows he has limited experience and is reaching out to the experts in the field that the crisis encompasses.
Non-regulation. according to the CEO's answering questions about why their companies failed, point to deregulation. It would be easy to point fingers at which party and which individuals within that party was the greatest fighters for deregulation. It would serve no purpose. There must be, if we learned from this fiasco, a set of regulations which do not strangle progress but does constrain the greed.:usa:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,308 Posts
I asked her if she was wealthy and she told me rather emphaticly, "nope and that's what Obama is going to change"


There's probably alot of folks of this mindset. They now think everything will be handed to them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,559 Posts
TDAU you mean like tax rebates, Medicare D prescription plans, or the gifts from the $700 B in tax dollars which the Republicans are going to use to "bail-out" the corporate world?
Remember when the Republicans said the world would end as we know it if the $700B bailout bill was not passed that day...or for sure not later than Friday....that wa s a month ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,308 Posts
TDAU you mean like tax rebates, Medicare D prescription plans, or the gifts from the $700 B in tax dollars which the Republicans are going to use to "bail-out" the corporate world?
Remember when the Republicans said the world would end as we know it if the $700B bailout bill was not passed that day...or for sure not later than Friday....that wa s a month ago.
No, I mean like not having to get off your ass and do a thing everything.YouTube - Obama Is Going To Pay For My Gas And Mortgage!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,559 Posts
No argument with the vote slo....my point was Paulson, Sec Treasury and co yelling panic and that congress had to act NOW or the free world as we know it would end....that was some time ago that he got the bucks....world still in orbit. Panic helped the stockmarket crash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,180 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The culprits

Economist Thomas Sowell takes to task the bailout - and Democrats Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

Earlier, someone asked me to name a reputable economist who opposes the $700 billion bailout.
From Sowell's column:​
Five years ago, Barney Frank vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and said "I do not see" any "possibility of serious financial losses to the treasury."
Moreover, he said that the federal government has "probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing."
Earlier this year, Senator Christopher Dodd praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" when other financial institutions were cutting back on mortgage loans. He too said that they "need to do more" to help subprime borrowers get better loans.​
Subprime borrowers are people we used to call "rejected." They are the last people you want to loan money to.
Naturally, President 28% approval and the 18% approval Congress pushed to lend money to those deadbeats.
If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were free market institutions they could not have gotten away with their risky financial practices because no one would have bought their securities without the implicit assumption that the politicians would bail them out.
I'm sorry that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed. That hurts a lot of banks and other shareholders. Enron shareholders can sympathize.​
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,559 Posts
No doubt that Frank and Dodd need investigating and if found guilty of malfeasance punished accordingly. It has been pointed out that the war chests of Frank and Dodd were enhanced by money from FM x2. If all of Congress were judged based on the legislature passed to "help" donors all would be found guilty. That's the way of politics.

If the CEO's of various corporations are to be believed they, to the man, blamed the failures of their businesses on lack of regulation. Is that not adequate reason for reasonable regulation to be applied to these industiries ?
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top