Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Image President

You can't be an image President unless you can control all the information sources. And even that is not possible. There are leakages. The best you can hope for in this age of the Internet is about 30 to 60 days. Long enough to win an election campaign. And thus we have a quote from an Old Joe. The whole quote. Because the usual excerpt doesn't do it justice.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

Joseph Goebbels
The trouble is that there are not enough leakages - yet - to cause trouble in a thirty or sixty day campaign. But a year in office? People begin to notice that the words don't match the reality. You know, people in contact with the real world rather than the reality based community in their heads.

And who would the reality based community be? People with unicorns and Obama in their heads.
There appear to be thousands of these paintings (made by mental patients, we think) of a naked Obama astride a unicorn, being rubbed down with oil by a unicorn, and doing things with unicorns that would be grossly inappropriate anywhere but deep within the bowels of Man’s Country in Andersonville.
The above was written by a male gay blogger. So you can just imagine what a joint Man's Country must be like. This search page has cataloged 152,000 images in the - Obama Unicorn - category. And let me tell you. The images are just as weird as described.

But reality seems to be settling in with some frequency (Kenneth is that you?) these days among the very people who who shielded him for long enough to win an election.

Let me start with Edward Luce of the Financial Times.
Whatever issue arises, whether it is a failed terrorist plot in Detroit, the healthcare bill, economic doldrums or the 30,000-troop surge to Afghanistan, the White House instinctively fields Mr Axelrod or Mr Gibbs on television to explain the administration’s position. “Every event is treated like a twist in an election campaign and no one except the inner circle can be trusted to defend the president,” says an exasperated outside adviser.
Mr. Luce goes on to point out in detail that just having a position is not helpful. You have to have a policy or a plan. And to start having policies and plans and taking action is not in Mr. Obama's repertoire. Can he change? Mr Luce gives this answer.
“There is an old joke,” says Mr Gergen. “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one. But the lightbulb must want to change. I don’t think President Obama wants to make any changes.”
OK why doesn't Obama want to change? Pretty simple. He won. Against impossible odds.
...close allies of the president attribute the problem to the campaign-like nucleus around Mr Obama in which all things are possible. “There is this sense after you have won such an amazing victory, when you have proved conventional wisdom wrong again and again, that you can simply do the same thing in government,” says one. “Of course, they are different skills. To be successful, presidents need to separate the stream of advice they get on policy from the stream of advice they get on politics. That still isn’t happening.”
Now I read my history. And I can tell you that the Government of a certain Austrian Corporal whose Reichsminister of Propaganda I quoted above had the same problem. His political and military intuition was astounding. And then reality set in. He had gained a large domain and found to his chagrin that it was ungovernable.

Steve Clemons at the formerly reliable Huffington Post piles on. Ann Gerhart of the Washington Post has some words to add. And even hacks like Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times are firing shots across Mr. Obama's bow.

It is not all rainbows and unicorns or rainbows and unicorns any more. Or even a Plastic Jesus of one version or another riding on the dashboards or rear view mirrors of some cars.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Anonymous said...

Since you're so fond of quoting Hitler's cronies, here's one that should resonate well with you, especially given your tireless enthusiasm for the wars in Iraq and Afganistan...

“Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” - Hermann Goering

Unknown said...

Good point, 99. I'm particularly fond of the 'It works the same in any country.'-part. That is too easily forgotten by those that see the truth so clearly.