Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Most (Awful) Ever

The Obama administration set the bar high for itself.  Most transparent, most ethical: who knows what else was promised?

But now we have reality.  Government always promotes itself as the end of history.  But the reality is always a disappointment, because when you get down to it, government is only good at breaking things.  That is why radical Randolph Bourne told us that War is the health of the state, riffing on Hegel.  The trouble is that the left-wing war on self-organizing society is just another form of the old imperial project, brought up to date.

Reality is that President Obama is the Worst President Ever.  This is because of his permanent campaign.  Politics is division, and therefore is best left to election time.  If politicians elected to lead nations persevere in division they will find it impossible to lead the nation they want to lead.  Because it is divided.  Even Bill Clinton pretended to be the bipartisan leader while he savaged Republicans for attacking his bipartisan balanced budgets.

President Obama is the Most Racist President Ever.  Does the president grasp the utter disaster his racist sallies portend?  Anyone can make a career as a race-baiter.  It takes talent to bring the races together.

The Obama administration is the Most Corrupt Ever.  This is really an insult for administrations like the Harding administration that limited corruption to grand-scale peculation.  The Obama years were going to be transparent and honest and fair.  But in reality the example comes from the top to do whatever it takes to help Obama friends and hurt Obama enemies.  Obama-style corruption goes way beyond peculation to the ideological corruption of government.

The Obama administration is the Most Dishonest Ever.  The problem with scandals like the Benghazi affair, or with promises to close Guantanamo, or sell Obamacare as a way to reduce health care costs, is not that politicians are lying again.  Politicians always lie, because we the people demand that they lie.  We refuse to be told the truth.  The art of politics and government is to tell the fewest number of lies that will allow you to govern successfully.  The Obama folks seem to feel no restraint on their lies, probably because the lapdog media doesn't hold them to account.  The trouble with all the lying is the problem of the Boy that Cried Wolf.  Eventually the Obama folks are going to need us to trust it in some crisis.  But how do we know when to trust?

The Obama administration is the Most Economically Clueless Ever.  The Great Recession certainly was a big challenge.  As Reinhart and Rogoff tell us in This Time is Different, a big banking crisis takes years to heal.  But the Obamis refused to trim their sails to reality, and the result is pathetic growth and soaring debt.  Young people are usually the ones to suffer from a bad economy and this one is no exception.  Maybe that's good.  Maybe the youth will be hesitant next time The One We Have Been Waiting For presents himself.

The Obama administration is the Most Arrogant Ever.  Politics is an arrogant trade, for sure.  That's because successful politicians have always seemed to defy the odds: indeed they are lottery winners.  But the trouble with the Obamis is that the courtiers of the ruling class have encouraged arrogance, and that is not a good idea.  The press  of a bygone era liked to inflate itself by talking about comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.  They do this job splendidly when Republicans are in power, but not so well when Democrats are in power.  In the Obama years they have been hopeless, and this has encouraged the Obamis in their arrogance.  And this will lead to a major demoralization of the liberal project in the near future.

I could go on.  My point is that government is always a mess; government officials are always making one stupid mistake after another.  It's best for all of us if we keep our messianic instincts in check and avoid immortalizing the mortal.  It's just bad for politicians to think that they have a clear road ahead.

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