Bush’s Third Term

We now here from Barack Obama that wars will be against symmetric enemies whose success or failure will depend on their military budget, and it is impossible to get an American steak in Japan.

In a way, these Obamisms make me happy. It may be better to have a wise leader over a foolish one, but I’ll take an incompetent idiot over a resourceful one any day.

Not that Barack H. Obama (or the man he resembles most in style, George W. Bush) is an idiot. Both BHO and GWB survived the dangerous world of American politics with a combination of short political careers (lest time for career ending blundres), unearned benefits (the affirmative action hire, the legacy pick). Both also enjoyed a political base more interested in ousting the other party than in presenting a coherent set of policy initiatives.

While there certainly was a time when the “best and brightest” went into politics (Richard M. Nixon and George H.W. Bush being prime examples), that day seems to be past. Politics is a poorly paid ghetto of the professional world, while global business increasingly lures those who want to change the world… and make money doing so. We are then left with the question: how should be choose politicians, if we know they are sub-par?

Clearly, we want to minimize the harm they can cause. If our leaders are going to be more foolish than in the past, we can at least guarantee they are odius and gaffe-prone enough to make it politically costly to engage in any new or original policy. Senator Obama fits this description closely, and without the political courage of his opponent, comes with the additional benefit of not being able to take a punch.

Is is that question of political courage which is the main stylstic difference between an Obama presidency and merely giving Bush a third term. As seen in the Iraq War, Bush would rather see his program through victory than enjoy broader political support. Obama’s done nothing to imply that degree of political bravery. Considering what we have seen of Senator Obama so far, that is a good thing.

Update: I had just finished this post when I read that Barack Obama voted for the farm bill. As G.M. Groff writes, “The farm bill is absolutely absurd and economically hurtful. I’m glad McCain voted against it, and disappointed that Obama voted for it.”

5 thoughts on “Bush’s Third Term”

  1. “While there certainly was a time when the “best and brightest” went into politics (Richard M. Nixon and George H.W. Bush being prime examples), that day seems to be past.” (-Dan tdaxp)

    This is very true. For the last two elections I can’t help looking at these people and thinking “is this truly the best we got?” The only people I’m more confounded by are the people who get all exited about these candidates?

    How can anyone get exited about a career politician? There’s nothing inspiring about Obama. Nothing? Even the characteristics that are supposed to be his strong points (oratory, intellect) I just don’t see? Obama is just plain boring. Its obvious that he’s only in politics because it helps prop up his low self-esteem.

    McCain is a little better as far as the person goes. He refused to leave the P.O.W. camp before his men and for this, I must respect the man. But again, like Obama he just plain boring and most importantly none of his ideas are truly that inspiring.

    In a way, maybe we shouldn’t complain? I have a feeling that exciting leaders only come out of exiting times. And it must be pointed out that the phrase “exiting times” is generally known as a curse in East Asia. IOW, what I’m getting at here is real leaders stand up during rough times such as revolutions or civil wars.

    But despite what some college “revolutionaries” might think, or their counterparts wearing the camouflage uniforms on the right; these times are not good times. So maybe boring aint so bad.

    Maybe we can afford to have such bad leadership because overall, the US is a pretty nice place to live, and we don’t really have all that much to complain about?

  2. We got a pre-view of the sort of incompetence we can expect in an Obama administration today. In spite of rigging the vote every way she could (a ‘debate’ that would be familiar in Red China [1], keeping the vote open even after all votes had come in etc), Pelosi still blew her chance [2] to get the Bush-Pelosi bail-out passed. [3]

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/09/29/the-national-peoples-congress-considers-the-bush-pelosi-plan.html
    [2] http://www.breitbart.tv/html/184803.html
    [3] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7641733.stm

  3. BTW, kudos to TDAXP on this theme which has now been picked up by bigger bloggers and the national media. Just remember, TDAXP was on it much sooner!

  4. Heh. I noted the third term reference in both Daily Kos [1] and Wall Street Journal [2].

    Zen [3] picks up the establishment candidate/President meme [4], btw.

    Good to be a memetic vector, I guess! :-)

    [1] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122878176562589761.html
    [2] http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/12/9/12952/4793/259/670955
    [3] http://zenpundit.com/?p=2953
    [4] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/07/16/barack-obama-the-candidate-of-the-establishment-on-the-surge-as-with-everything-else.html

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