Saturday, October 03, 2009

More on the Olympics Obamacle

It would be easy - very easy - to overstate the importance and impact of the Olympic Committee's rejection of Chicago's bid on the Obama Presidency. But it would be easy to understate it, as well, and I suspect that we'll see a lot of that in the next few days, a lot of "hey, it didn't have anything to do with him. It wasn't a rejection of him personally." And that is, I'm sure, largely true, and we shouldn't pretend otherwise.1 But there is some importance, some impact, and it warrants mention. As we read in the house organ of the Obama administration (otherwise known as the New York Times),
Although Chicago might have lost to Rio de Janeiro for reasons that had little to do with Mr. Obama, the fact that he made himself the face of its bid invariably meant that its defeat would be taken as a stinging rejection of its favorite provides fodder for critics who are already using it as a metaphor for a president who, in their view, focuses on the wrong priorities and overestimates his capacity to persuade the world to follow his lead.

And it emphasizes, yet again, the competence issue. Competence, as in he has not yet demonstrated a hint of having any regarding the responsibilities of the Presidency. How badly was this handled? Again, from that Pravda Times article,
A sense of stunned bewilderment suffused Air Force One and the White House. Only after the defeat did many advisers ask questions about the byzantine politics of the Olympic committee.

Time and time again we see a White House operating on the belief that its statements define reality. The old cliché is that "when the only tool you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Well, the only tool they've got is a talker, and everything they do seems based on their belief that Obama speaks the world into existence. They believe that, like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, his words are definitive, and in any conflict, it's reality that's wrong. He can stand up in front of Congress and claim that we can provide better health care for more people at lower cost while allowing people to keep their current plans, and they expect people believe it will work because he said so. Worse, they apparently even expect it to work, because he said so.

The stimulus bill was to make everything better, because he said so. People pointed out that there was actually nothing in the stimulus bill that would provide anything remotely resembling economic stimulus, and the response from the Obama people was "we won, he said so, shut up." However silly his proposals, he and his supporters believe that him standing up and giving a speech is all that's necessary to accomplish all of his goals.

The sooner that he, and all of his people, are disabused of this notion, the more likely he is to actually accomplish something.2

1 - On the other hand, let's not pretend that he wouldn't have taken as much credit as possible if Chicago had won...

2 - It won't be anything good, of course.

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