Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Monday, 7 September 2009

Decline of the Obamanation

For some, orators who seek to create a cult of personality around themselves are a godsend. Many people out there are looking for the next secular messiah and latch on to whoever they can. Hence the enduring popularity of the foibles of the rich and stupid, even off the movie and television sets.
Hussein Obama has been no different. Emerging from nowhere, not even having completely a full term as senator he appeared on the national and international state with an incredible self-assuredness. Forget Hillary Clintons famous "Well I can't think of anyone who'd make a better president than me" declaration. Obama knew he was meant to be president and that confidence was infectious to his supporters. How else to explain how a man who may not have been born in the United States, who never worked in a real job in his life, who hung around with discontented radicals and was the congregant of a racist preacher could vault from nowhere to the Oval Office in almost no time at all? "We are the change we seek!" How many people ever stopped to ask "What the hell does that really mean?"
Unfortunately, Spock already noted what will be the ultimate cause of Obama's downfall: Having is not as pleasurable as wanting. Obama was energized when he wanted to be president and now he has to deal with the lack of excitement actually running the country entails. His supporters were excited when he was on the campaign trail but now that they're getting a chance to see what a dud he's turned out to be, other than pitiful syncophants who will defend him even if he orders the army to nuke Israel, they're starting to lose the faith.
Much to the glee/dismay of those still paying attention, his poll numbers have fallen faster than any president except Gerald Ford, and Ford could pin the blame on his pardening of Richard Nixon. Obama, on the other hand, has stumbled back and forth once he realized that just because he's the president doesn't mean he can wave his hand and make people do what he wants. Health care, the stimulus plan that worked like 5 year old Viagra, and his grovelling to the Muslim world while attacking Israel, all these idiocies have combined to bring his popularity ratings to within striking range of {gasp} Bush II's.
Now, the mark of any good demagogue is to notice that one isn't doing so well in the polls and that one's plans aren't foundering and to immediately blame someone, anyone else. Thus repeated statements about how the mess Bush II left him, the repeated accusations that Israel alone is responsible for all that is wrong in the Middle East and the smear tactics against his political opponents despite having campaigned on a platform of changing how politics would work. It's not his fault he's unpopular. If his enemies weren't in the way, he'd have 95% approval (and those 5% are all disgruntled old white folk so they don't count).
Thus his latest idea, beaming his face into every classroom in the U.S. on opening day. Of course it makes sense to him. Convinced beyond argument that he's the most amazing guy in the world, he cannot understand why eveyr school child wouldn't be inspired to see and hear him all at once. For others, it's a little more concerning, a possible prelude to the creation of a low-level cult of personality. As Mark Steyn notes:
The Omnipresent Leader has traditionally been a characteristic feature of Third World basket-case dumps: the conflation of the man and the state is explicit, and ubiquitous. In 2003, motoring around western Iraq a few weeks after the regime's fall, when the schoolhouses were hastily taking down the huge portraits of Saddam that had hung on every classroom wall, I visited an elementary-school principal with a huge stack of suddenly empty picture frames piled up on his desk, and nothing to put in them. The education system's standard first-grade reader featured a couple of kids called Hassan and Amal — a kind of Iraqi Dick and Jane — proudly holding up their portraits of the great man and explaining the benefits of an Iraqi education:
"O come, Hassan," says Amal. "Let us chant for the homeland and use our pens to write, 'Our beloved Saddam.'"
"I come, Amal," says Hassan. "I come in a hurry to chant, 'O, Saddam, our courageous president, we are all soldiers defending the borders for you, carrying weapons and marching to success.'"
Pathetic, right?
On Friday, Aug. 28, the principal of Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington, Utah — in the name of "education" — showed her young charges the "Obama Pledge" video released at the time of the inauguration, in which Ashton Kutcher and various other big-time celebrities, two or three of whom you might even recognize, "pledge to be a servant to our president and to all mankind because together we can, together we are, and together we will be the change that we seek."
Altogether now! Let us chant for mankind and use our pens to write, "O beloved Obama, our courageous president, we are all servants defending the hope for you and marching to change."
And, unlike Saddam's Iraq, we don't have the mitigating condition of being a one-man psycho state invented by the British Colonial Office after lunch on a wet afternoon in 1922.
Any self-respecting schoolkid, enjoined by his principal to be a "servant" to the head of state, would reply, "Get lost, creep." And, if they still taught history in American schools, he'd add, "Oh, and by the way, that question was settled in 1776."
To accompany President Obama's classroom speech this week, the White House and America's "educators" drafted some accompanying study materials. Children would be invited to write letters to themselves saying what they could do to "help the president."
My suggestion: "Not tell people what I really think about his lousy health care plan."
Well, after the unwelcome media attention, that exercise was hastily dropped.
For the rest of us, the president does not yet require a written test from grown-ups after his speeches, but it's surely only a matter of time. The New York Times managed to miss my point: Far from "accusing" the president of "trying to create a cult of personality," I spent much of my airtime on Rush's show last week "accusing" the president of doing an amazing job of finishing off his own cult of personality in record time. Obama's given 111 speeches, interviews and press conferences in which he's talked about health care, and the more he opens his mouth the more the American people recoil from his "reforms." Now he's giving a 112th — to a joint session of Congress — and this one, we're assured, will finally do the trick. That brand new Chevy may be rusting and up on bricks by the time he seals the deal but America's Auto Salesman-in-Chief will get you to sign in the end.
The president has made the mistake of believing his own publicity — or, at any rate, his own mainstream media coverage, which is pretty much the same thing. They told him he was the greatest orator since Socrates, but, alas, even Socrates would have difficulty playing six sets a night every Open Mike Night at the Soaring Rhetoric Lounge out on Route 127. Even Ashton Kutcher's charms would wane by the 112th speech.

The disconnect has grown. The more Obama feels the love for himself, the more he turns others off. And the more his poll numbers (inexplicably, as least to him) drop, the more he'll try to win others over, not always with the most upright of strategies.
The one benefit of this is for Israel. Amongst other things, Obama has decided he will be the president who ends the unending conflict in the MiddleEast, even if he has to place all the blame and pressure on the less-guilty side of the conflict. But as things fall apart for him at home he'll have less time and moral authority to meddle abroad. As Bush II discovered after Iraq went sour, if your own people no longer follow you, why should anyone else listen?


Anonymous said...

what happened to the authentic Judaism post?

Garnel Ironheart said...

I was suprised with the negative reaction to the post, to be honest. There were those who urged me to take it down and others who mistook my lack of outright condemnation for the guy to be tacit agreement with his position.

Gave A Get said...

I think it is a bit more simple than this.

The rule of leadership is to under promise and over deliver.

The President has promised so much it impossible for him to over deliver.

David said...

As an American (i.e., one whose current healthcare system is the subject of much debate and may hang in the balance), I'd be curious as to your experiences with/thoughts on the Canadian system and how it compares to what we've got here.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

Thanks for the question, David.

In a nutshell, there are strengths and weaknesses to both system.

In Canada, the main strength is universal coverage for medically necessary problems. Thus a person can have multiple chronic illnesses, repeated hospitalization, operations, and lots of pills and not be bankrupted by it.

The main weakness, however, is universal coverage because since everyone has access to the system, there are huge lineups everywhere except walk-in clinics that provide episodic care only.

The other downside is the cost. Universal health care is expensive. Up in Canada, health care is a provincial responsibility and for most provinces, health care costs take up 50% of the annual budget. The only reason we can afford this is because we let America defend us with your army so we only maintain a small, relatively cheap one. if we ever had to raise a real army, we wouldn't be able to afford both.

David said...

Thanks, Garnel. If it will ease your conscience, I'll send you a bill for your fair share of the taxes I pay to keep your little Canuck ass safe. Eh?

Garnel Ironheart said...

No thanks.

I just find it interesting that American-bashing is a favourite past time up here. Canadians love to bash the American health care system and toot about how amazing ours is but they never stop to realize that it's you guys who make it affordable in the first place.

I personally think the Swedish model, a main public system with a decent private system running parallel is the best one but up here public health care has taken on religious tones - mention you're in favourite of private health care gets you labelled as - gasp! - an American!

Bartley kulp said...

While Obama and Nancy Pelosi are trying to figure out how to provide illegal aliens with hip replacements (I am not being sarcastic here). Nobody is paying to a pending catastrophy.

The light at the end of the tunnel that they are toting is coming from a freight train heading in the opposite direction.

First of all there are structural issues that are not being addressed. There are not enough doctors in the United States and there is especially a dire shortage of geriatric specialists there. This is especially troublesome because the first baby boomers will be of retirement age in 2011.

The United States government already spends more from its GDP than Canada does with sparse results. That is because medicine is so damn expensive to practice there. The cause is not just the bad old medical insurance companies fault as some NGO's would lead people to believe.

Medicare which is the coverage provided by the federal government for senior citizens is the costliest, most ineffecient medical plan in the world. Over the next decade or so it will be completely overwelmed by a record number of seniors. This with a rapidly shrinking tax base as the largest generation retires in mass.

It is going to be to gruesome to watch.

David said...

"I just find it interesting that American-bashing is a favourite past time up here."

If a Canadian leftist bashes Americans on an ice floe somewhere up there, and nobody hears him, does he still make a high-pitched whiny noise?

Garnel Ironheart said...

Yes, because he always makes sure to listen to himself.