Hey ho, I suppose even Obama needs to stretch things a bit


Promoted by Roxy - originally published 2008-11-16 15:23:12 -1000

There has been very little comment about Obama’s first Youtube address to the nation. It has varied from “future ones need some puppies and/or music to make them more appealing” to “Well, he isn't President yet” and all the way to the Free Republic comments that are desperately trying to continue to fight the election, the loss of which they still do not seem to fully comprehend any more than Sarah Palin does.

As the Clintonesque-DC/Chicago political machinery gradually takes shape during this transitional period, any judgements are seen as premature. Then, of course, there will be the “honeymoon” period after he assumes office. Finally, only after this, will his administration start to come under scrutiny and attack from the left and right as he satisfies neither from his left-centrist position.

At least, eventually, it will be back to politics as normal. Currently this is an awful time for us cynics. We have been disenfranchised. To express our cynicism about all politicians - yes, even Barak Obama - either gets us accused of being allied to the right or just being desperately unfair and unsupportive. It is a good time to go back and become active on the Chess sites again (and find some college freshmen, who thankfully are usually too stoned to bother to illegally use a computer to challenge your move five of a standard and thoroughly analysed chess opening).

My hope is that this unusually intelligent man will be unusually intelligent in the way that he talks to his nation. Whether he will be able to do so has to be seen.

Of course, the problem is not of his making. All those months campaigning have taught him that intelligence is a poor persuader in politics. It is not reciprocated back on either the left or right.

It was nice to see Free Republic at least acknowledge Obama’s gracious comment to Bush regarding the G-20 meeting in Washington this weekend (before slamming the remainder of his “socialist” statements).

He said:


"Today, the leaders of the G-20 countries -- a group that includes the world's largest economies -- are gathering in Washington to seek solutions to the ongoing turmoil in our financial markets. I'm glad President Bush has initiated this process - because our global economic crisis requires a coordinated global response."

I don’t suppose this means much to the GM assembly line worker wondering if he has a job next month, but it does create a nice warm feeling of reaching across the aisle.

Except it isn’t true. Bush didn’t initiate it. It arose out of the EU Heads-of-State emergency meeting, pressed by the ponderous Gordon Brown and eagerly seized on by the diminutive Sarkozy, who sees himself as leading a French charge towards a never-to-exist new world financial order.

Bush acquiesced. It gave him something to do that appears related to statesmanship. It probably seemed fine to him, as long as it didn’t involve any of the hard work of a truly meaningful meeting like, say, the Bretton Woods conference(recollection of which created those laughingly inappropriate posts around our blogs, as if people really thought it would have the same significance).

I certainly hope that Obama did not seriously think it would have any significance (I'm sure he didn't. He was just setting us up for him to be able to point out its failure to accomplish anything worthwhile, later if needs be.)

Still, referring to it as "initiated by Bush" was a deft piece of sleight-of-hand to enable Obama to make a pleasant political gesture - I suppose.

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