Thursday, June 24, 2010


The following is an interesting article written by Dr. Geoffrey P. Hunt.
Dr. Hunt is a social and cultural anthropologist. He has had nearly 30 years experience in planning, conducting, and managing research in the field of youth studies, and drug and alcohol research. Currently Dr. Hunt is a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Scientific Analysis and the Principal Investigator on three National Institutes of Health projects.


Barack Obama is on track to have the most spectacularly failed presidency since Woodrow Wilson. In the modern era, we've seen several failed presidencies—led by Jimmy Carter and LBJ. Failed presidents have one strong common trait—they are repudiated, in the vernacular, spat out. Of course, LBJ wisely took the exit ramp early, avoiding a shove into oncoming traffic by his own party. Richard Nixon indeed resigned in disgrace, yet his reputation as a statesman has been partially restored by his triumphant overture to China.

But, Barack Obama is failing. Failing big. Failing fast. And failing everywhere: foreign policy, domestic initiatives, and most importantly, in forging connections with the American people. The incomparable Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal put her finger on it: He is failing because he has no understanding of the American people, and may indeed loathe them. Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard says he is failing because he has lost control of his message, and is overexposed. Clarice Feldman of American Thinker produced a dispositive commentary showing that Obama is failing because fundamentally he is neither smart nor articulate; his intellectual dishonesty is conspicuous by its audacity and lack of shame.

But, there is something more seriously wrong: How could a new president riding in on a wave of unprecedented promise and goodwill have forfeited his tenure and become a lame duck in six months? His poll ratings are in free fall. In generic balloting, the Republicans have now seized a five point advantage. This truly is unbelievable. What's going on?

No narrative. Obama doesn't have a narrative. No, not a narrative about himself. He has a self-narrative, much of it fabricated, cleverly disguised or written by someone else. But this self-narrative is isolated and doesn't connect with us. He doesn't have an American narrative that draws upon the rest of us. All successful presidents have a narrative about the American character that intersects with their own where they display a command of history and reveal an authenticity at the core of their personality that resonates in a positive endearing way with the majority of Americans. We admire those presidents whose narratives not only touch our own, but who seem stronger, wiser, and smarter than we are. Presidents we admire are aspirational peers, even those whose politics don't align exactly with our own: Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Harry Truman, Ike, and Reagan.

But not this president. It's not so much that he's a phony, knows nothing about economics, and is historically illiterate and woefully small minded for the size of the task--all contributory of course. It's that he's not one of us. And whatever he is, his profile is fuzzy and devoid of content, like a cardboard cutout made from delaminated corrugated paper. Moreover, he doesn't command our respect and is unable to appeal to our own common sense. His notions of right and wrong are repugnant and how things work just don't add up. They are not existential. His descriptions of the world we live in don't make sense and don't correspond with our experience.

In the meantime, while we've been struggling to take a measurement of this man, he's dissed just about every one of us -- financiers, energy producers, banks, insurance executives, police officers, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, post office workers, and anybody else who has a non-green job.

Expect Obama to lament at his last press conference in 2012: "For those of you I offended, I apologize. For those of you who were not offended, you just didn't give me enough time; if only I'd had a second term, I could have offended you too."

Mercifully, the Founders at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 devised a useful remedy for such a desperate state--staggered terms for both houses of the legislature and the executive. An equally abominable Congress can get voted out next year. With a new Congress, there's always hope of legislative gridlock until we vote for president again two short years after that.

Yes, small presidents do fail, Barack Obama among them. The coyotes howl but the wagon train keeps rolling along.

___Geoffery Hunt

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money."

— Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both."

— James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

"The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates."

— Tacitus

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything he doesn't own."

— Black Ink

1 comment:

jigmeister said...

Ink, you need to start writing again. Here is something that have been bugging me today: I hear we are providing political foreign aid to Pakistan to rebuild their aging grid. Also we have 7 million unemployed who we are going to "extend" benefits to 99 weeks. I say take that money and start fixing our grid. I also saw a program on alternative energy where the largest problem is that the grid doesn't extend to those places where the sun shines all the time or where geothermal is accessible and so even if we want to build solar farms and geothermal plants, we can't get the energy to comsumers. I say use those unemployment rolls and offer them jobs to fix those problems. Phase those jobs out when the recession is over, but in the mean time put them to work and stop giving handouts to both Americans and other countries that we are trying to get to like us. What BS.