Saturday, January 23, 2010

Of Apples and Oranges...

I'm pretty much tired of hearing someone explain President Obama's plunging poll numbers as "being normal", especially by comparing them to similar numbers posted by Bill Clinton at more or less the same point in his presidency.

Far from achieving it's intended purpose -- to try and weave the myth that Obama the man is not unpopular, his policies merely misunderstood, and to put these into some sort of "historical context" (how much context can you have after a single year?) -- the practice makes three fallacious assumptions:

1. That Clinton, ultimately, was a "successful" President. When President Clinton finally shuffles off this mortal coil, the only things he'll be remembered for are dropping trou in the Oval Office, the disgusting things he did with a cigar, and letting Osama Bin Laden skate seven times. If you believe that Bill Clinton was a success story you probably need some serious therapy. Bill Clinton is a rotten human being, a liar, possibly a criminal, and a con artist who managed to parlay his talent for bullshit into a career in politics. If I were Barack Obama, that's a comparison I'd want to avoid like herpes. Unfortunately, some people have already formed the same opinion of him without any help from people who make this argument.

2. That given two equally large, smelly and fly-infested piles of horseshit, people can be convinced to to see the merits in one over the other, to contrast and compare them, and then to form a more-favorable opinion or preference for one. This, incidentally, was the basic premise behind John Kerry's presidential campaign (that whole"nuance" thing that would have made Kerry a more responsible and practical leader), and it failed spectacularly then, too. It's a ridiculous argument; shit is shit, and while people may disagree or argue upon on the merits of a particular turd, they can all agree that it is not something they'd wish to find in their Cheerios.

3. This argument presupposes that while Barack Obama is personally popular, the nation is demoralized and needs a reason, even an asinine one, to continue to have (blind) faith in the Anointed One. I think the shine was off Obama's apple a few months after he took the oath of office. He seemed (still does) out of touch with the realities of the people, he outsourced all of his important policy initiatives, he's bowed and apologized to terrorists, he's gone against the popular will of the great mass of the American people (not just the will of the Hippie Left, who can safely be ignored, anyway). This argument is a tortured attempt to maintain no-longer-justified faith. It will fail, because Obama had finally been exposed for what he always was: unprepared to be President despite his obvious gifts, and overwhelmed by the task of weighing political considerations against just doing what is right.

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