Wednesday 3 November 2010

No, we can't

This is a piece I wrote for a multi-author blog site earlier this year. I’m reviving it here, slightly adapted, in the light of the American mid-term elections.

The United States at the moment is a bit like a yacht drifting without a rudder, twisting this way and that in the wind. Casting an eye over American history one would have to go back a longish way to find a similar period where the country was so lacking in leadership, right back, in fact, to the time before the election of Abraham Lincoln and the outbreak of the Civil War.

In 2008 many greeted Barack Obama as a new Lincoln, the same grand words, the same lofty vision. In reality he has turned out to be more in the image of Franklin Pierce or James Buchanan. Yes, the fact that most of you probably now have to pop over to Wikipedia is a measure of how little trace they have left, a measure of their mediocrity! In generations to come other people, I suspect, will have to do the same for Obama.

I was never at any point seduced by Obama-mania, never seduced by those vacuous words and lofty promises. He’s a Democrat and I dislike the Democrats as much as I dislike the British Labour Party. I was convinced that his showmanship and lack of practical politics would eventually show him up for the shallow fraud that he is. But even I did not expect him to flounder so badly after such a short time. I thought demagoguery would at least carry him through to a second term. Now there has to be serious doubts over such a prospect. I absolutely hate to say this but Obama even makes the Wicked Witch of the State Department look good in contrast.

Quite simply Obama has absolutely no capacity at all for leadership. He is astonishingly weak, a real buck-passer in the one job where the buck cannot be passed. His dithering over troop reinforcements for Afghanistan handed the strategic initiative to the Taliban. His floundering, name-calling and scapegoating over the oil spill in the Gulf was not in the least edifying.

Look at his domestic programme, promise unfulfilled, failure ever present. The health care bill, his one triumph, a pyrrhic victory achieved by dividing the nation, just hangs around still waiting to be implemented after all this time. When it comes to dealing with the nation’s massive public debt he does not seem to have the first clue, other than to continue on a course that would shame the Greeks. Unemployment remains stubbornly high in spite of billions of dollars sucked into wasteful and inefficient local government initiatives.

On every front Obama is failing; on every front America has never looked weaker and less decisive. Not one of Obama’s foreign policy initiatives has come within a mile of success. His laughable appeal to the “Islamic republic of Iran” was effectively thrown back in his face, making him look extraordinarily naïve, a gesturing child on a dangerous world stage. He is turning out to be the worst friend that Israel ever had, though he has gained no advantage in the Arab world in consequence. Even his commander in Afghanistan could not hide his frustrations over presidential incompetence.

Now the brand is toxic. The Democrats are fearful that they may not just lose the House in the November mid-terms but the Senate too. Even if they do not the Republicans are likely to make sufficient advances to block any legislation they don’t like, a log-jammed legislature matching a log-jammed executive. Yes we can is set to become no we can’t.

Yes we can, that was Obama’s 2008 campaign leitmotiv. Perhaps he should have been mindful of other words; perhaps he should have been mindful that what is right and what is practicable are two different things. Who said that? It was President James Buchanan.


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  2. I was challenged on my mid-term predictions. Rather a pity I can't say 'look, I told you so.' :-))

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  4. Globalist poster boy replaces globalist conspirator; a no change change. The CFR mafia wins either way.

    The results of the mid-terms are now in. Traditional Republicans are no happier than Democrats at the arrival of new blood. We shall see if this results in deadlock or not.

  5. The elections went relatively well, we ousted many Democrats who are essentially communists.Next we need to oust Obama so we can get the country on track.The situation in America can still be corrected through the political process but I am not sure about Europe ?. You can emigrate to the US, we have room for a few more Brits.

  6. Very interesting analysis about Obama.

  7. Anastasia

    I have been having a short break and when I saw your Post I immediately wondered how many comments and/or reads you would get.

    You may or may not know that that I have Blogged extensively on Obama [of whom I am not a fan] and on America [of which I am] and I am disappointed with the mid-term results; some are still outstanding but that won’t change what I will say.

    I agree with your views but there is an important point that you must understand about modern American Politics. It defies all logic but that is America and I don’t see that changing in my lifetime.

    They have as many factions [all sorts of labels like right and left, conservative and liberal, you name it] like the UK but unlike the latter the two-party system has become so firmly entrenched in American Politics that all the labels have become just words with no meaning.

    Each Party starts out in any election with a virtual guarantee of 45% of the vote, even in landslide elections. The remaining 10% determines the winner or the size of the shift for that one election; next time they start the same thing all over.

    Enter Obama 2008. He had the added novelty of being African-American just at the right time and he used it so well. Americans are very quirky in politics; personally I think that Obama is no African-American [whatever that means] but that he is a full-blown African Politician [and please I am not referring to his birthplace wherever that might have been] and he has the innate vision of the African Politician. It appealed to the quirky 10% and to all those that can more or less be defined as “ole moneybags] and that made him the natural heir to the White House.

    Has that changed with mid-term? Regrettably the answer is NO [though it is choking me].

    You must run this Post in MyT and see. It’s mostly a new crowd there now with very few of the old-timers left but I don’t know that it will attract more than a few half-hearted comments from the die-hards. England, as America and many others are becoming more secluded in their own affairs.

    My prediction for 2012? Keep this.

    If the World Economies can curb the excesses that caused the worldwide mess in the first place America will also recover and Obama will become a Saint with a landslide win in 2012. If the economy does not recover [or if Obama manages to mess it up for good] he will be a one term President. That 10% [see above] will decide on that in November 2012; the two 45% groups will remain unchanged.

    You have an excellent Post though some won’t understand what you are saying because they only understand what they want to understand.

  8. A sleeping giant is waking up...

  9. Calvin, you live in interesting times. :-)

  10. Anthony, I've been so often that I might very well count as an honorary American!

  11. Harry, thanks. Nice to see you as always. I must repay the visit. :-)

  12. Thanks, Ike. Yes, I've read your Obama blogs and I know your views. I know that Americans are always looking for the next 'big idea', a weakness and a strength in their political culture. Big ideas are good but it takes big people to execute them. Obama is a little man; he always was. Big words can never change that.

    I did actually publish the original of this last August on My T. You are actually the second person recently who has suggested that I return there. Change or not I could never go back, not after the campaign of pornographic vileness that pursued me there at the end. It's not at all what I expected on a blog site run by one of the great British dailies.

  13. Canary Islander! I'm so glad to see that the 'puddy tat' has still not caught up with you.:-) Welcome to a cat free zone!

  14. Anastasia

    You misunderstood me about returning to MyT when I mentioned posting this on the Site.

    I left there months ago for the same reasons as you and will never grace them with another Post but I do peek in once every day or two in case there is something by any of the few people that is worthy of respect.

    I don’t go any further than the “front page” and may drop a comment once a week to someone that I like. I only thought that it would be interesting to see the reaction after the election events.

    Leave it then. I agree with you.

  15. Thanks, Ike. I don't even peak in. It's a pity, really, because most of the people there are really quite decent. I've made some good contacts, yourself included.

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  18. Ana, The bad thing about progressive liberals is this, no matter how hard you slap them down, they get up and keep on coming at you.

    The internal war between the "Tea Party" and the "establishment republicans" that is going on right now, will have to be settled soon if Obama is ever going to be brought under control.

  19. Cheech, like dragon's teeth! Yes, they have to settle down if they are to stand a chance in 2012.