1 februari 2010

Zeven verhalen die Obama liever niet wil horen (Vincent De Roeck)

Barack Obama won de jongste presidentsverkiezingen omdat hij een betere verhaaltjesverteller was dan zijn Republikeinse tegenstanders. Dat is tenminste het oordeel van het befaamde Washington-weekblad "The Politico". Inhoud en principes hadden nog nooit zo'n kleine rol gespeeld in of zo weinig impact gehad op de uitkomst van de race dan in november 2008. Obama's programma, als hij dat al had natuurlijk, hing met haken en ogen aan elkaar, en ook in dat van John McCain waren visie of consistentie ver te zoeken. "The Politico" stelt dat het imago van Obama's presidentsschap even snel bezoedeld zou kunnen worden dan zijn ster in de campagne gerezen is. De waarheid kwam er in de campagne niet aan te pas en dat vertaalt zich vandaag ook in een hele resem dubieuze en minder dubieuze aanvallen naar het adres van de president. Ook in de anti-Obamabeweging is de waarheid dus maar van secundair belang. "The Politico" stelde een lijst op van zeven "verhalen" die Obama's tanende ster helemaal zouden kunnen uitdoven, moesten ze nog verder momentum winnen. Een overzicht.

1. "Obama denkt dat hij met Monopoly-geld speelt"
Economists and business leaders from across the ideological spectrum were urging the new president on last winter when he signed onto more than a trillion in stimulus spending and bank and auto bailouts during his first weeks in office. Many, though far from all, of these same people now agree that these actions helped avert an even worse financial catastrophe. (...) Polls show alarm among these voters about undisciplined big government and runaway spending. The likely passage of a health care reform package criticized as weak on cost-control will compound the problem.
2. "Obama is te veel Leonard Nimoy uit Star Trek"
People used to make fun of Bill Clinton’s misty-eyed, raspy-voiced claims that, “I feel your pain.” (...) The reality, however, is that Clinton’s dozen years as governor before becoming president really did leave him with a vivid sense of the concrete human dimensions of policy. (...) Obama, a legislator and law professor, is fluent in describing the nuances of problems. But his intellectuality has contributed to a growing critique that decisions are detached from rock-bottom principles.
3. "Obama past te vaak de Chicago-manier van werken toe"
This is a storyline that’s likely taken root more firmly in Washington than around the country. The rap is that his West Wing is dominated by brass-knuckled pols. (...) The problem is that many voters took Obama seriously in 2008 when he talked about wanting to create a more reasoned, non-partisan style of governance in Washington. (...) The examples of Chicago-style politics include their delight in public battles with Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (...) He also gave favorable terms to the pharmaceutical lobby in exchange for their backing his health care plans. (...) The lesson that many Washington insiders have drawn is that Obama wants to buy off the people he can and bowl over those he can’t. If that perception spreads beyond Washington this will scuff Obama’s brand as a new style of political leader.
4. "Obama is zwak en dwingt nergens respect af"
If you are going to be known as a fighter, you might as well reap the benefits. But some of the same insider circles that are starting to view Obama as a bully are also starting to whisper that he’s a patsy. (...) It began when Obama several times laid down lines and then let people cross them with seeming impunity. Last summer he told Democrats they better not go home for recess until a critical health care vote but they blew him off. He told the Israeli government he wanted a freeze in settlements but no one took him seriously.
5. "Obama beschouwt de Verenigde Staten van Amerika als een gelijkwaardig land op de VN-ledenlijst tussen Albanië en Zimbabwe"
Both parties have embraced the idea that the U.S. should be a singular force in the world. It would hence be hugely unwelcome for Obama if the perception took root that he is comfortable with a relative decline in U.S. influence or position in the world. (...) The reviews of Obama’s recent Asia trip were harsh. His peculiar bow to the emperor of Japan was symbolic. But his lots-of-velvet, not-much-iron approach to China had substantive implications. (...) He seems more interested in being President of the World than President of the United States, a critique that was heard more after his Nobel Prize and when he was in Copenhagen for a U.N. summit on curbing greenhouse gases.
6. "Nancy Pelosi is de échte president van de VS"
No figure in Barack Obama’s Washington, including Obama, has had more success in advancing his will than the speaker of the House, despite public approval ratings that hover in the range of Dick Cheney’s. With a mix of tough party discipline and shrewd vote-counting, she passed a version of the stimulus bill largely written by congressional Democrats, passed climate legislation, and passed her chamber’s version of health care reform. She and anti-war liberals in her caucus are clearly affecting the White House’s Afghanistan calculations. (...) It is clear that Obama has allowed the speaker to become more nearly an equal, and far from a subordinate, than many of his predecessors of both parties would have thought wise.
7. "Obama is verliefd op de man in zijn eigen spiegel"
No one becomes president without a fair share of what the French call amour propre, but Obama has more than his share of self-regard. It is a common theme of Washington buzz that Obama is over-exposed. (...) White House aides say making Obama widely available is the right strategy for communicating with Americans in an era of highly fragmented media. But, as the novelty of a new president wears off, the Obama cult of personality risks coming off as mere vanity unless it is harnessed to tangible achievements.


At 1/2/10 11:41, Blogger Vincent De Roeck said...


Een mooie analyse trouwens van Obama's "State of the Union" door The Freeman-redacteur Sheldon Richman.

At 1/2/10 11:50, Blogger Vincent De Roeck said...


Of dit van de immer leesbare Mark Steyn op NRO.com.

At 1/2/10 13:44, Blogger Nicolas Raemdonck said...

Ook interessant:http://nicolasraemdonck.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/het-moment-van-de-state-of-the-union/

At 2/2/10 12:55, Anonymous Anoniem said...

"undisciplined big government and runaway spending."

Now the US federal government is engaged in a jobs program, seeking to reduce the unemployment of 10%. Government chiefs are boasting that the trillions thrown at the financial firms, the car companies, and stimulus projects prevented a bigger collapse and are pulling the economy back up.

Well, if government borrows and creates a few trillion dollars and injects it into the economy, it is going to have some effect. But it is like being pumped up with stimulus drugs. Later, the drugs damage one’s health. The price of this stimulus will be a much higher federal debt and high inflation.

It was not necessary to bail out the financial sector, and spending money just to create jobs mostly shifts jobs around and caters to special interests. Folks are crying out, where is my stimulus? Banks, Fannie and Freddie, insurance firms, are taking government money, giving their chiefs big bonus payments, and using the stimulus money to pay for lobbies to get even more.

I had said that if government seeks to increase demand and rescue folks from debt, unemployment, and business failure, it could have given every person several thousand dollars in cash. That would have quickly restored the economy according to the goods that people wanted. Firms would have responded to market demands, not selective governmental favoritism. And the money would not have increased the federal debt. Now we have a greatly expanded money supply and also a bigger debt.

The economy will rise again, only to burn and crash once more. Few are learning the right lessons from the Great Recession. They are focusing on the financial firms and not on the land values they were speculating on. Only when we tap the ground rent for public revenue, and so push land prices down to almost zero, will the real estate and business cycle be extinguished. Then we will have an economic Isaiah 2:4: they will beat their land speculation swords into productive plows, and nations shall not suffer depressions any more.

At 3/2/10 12:19, Blogger Vincent De Roeck said...


Obama is er in geslaagd om 16 keer te liegen in een speech van amper 7 minuten...

At 4/2/10 11:48, Blogger antivenin said...

Illinois, Obama's political home turf, is infamous for its crooked politicians. Three of the last 7 governors ended up in jail, the latest one, Rod Blagojevich, is facing charges of corruption now. And now Illinois Democrats have nominated Alex Giannoulias to run for the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. Look at this advert from the GOP Senatorial Campaign Committee. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/02/at_last_gop_plays_hardball.html

The Chicago Way is alive and well and has transplanted itself to Washington big time with Obama...


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