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Free Liberal: Coordinating towards higher values

Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Obama: Incompetence or Redemption?

by Micah Tillman

Biden, Richardson, Geithner, Killefer, Daschle. As Obama continues to pick his disciples, the “Peter Ratio” (the ratio of those who embarrass themselves to those who don’t) grows.

“President” = “Executive Branch Manager.” We just lived through eight years of Bushian managerial incompetence. Now it looks like we’re in for another four. Or more.

(What was it we heard about McCain being a third Bush term?)

Victor Davis Hanson opines:

“We are quite literally after two weeks teetering on an Obama implosion. . . . I can't recall a similarly disastrous start in a half-century.”

He continues:

“At home, Obama is becoming laughable and laying the groundwork for the greatest conservative populist reaction since the Reagan Revolution.”

. . . Just as Bush’s laughableness laid the groundwork for the Obama Revolution.

As Daschle said, “this work . . . require[s] a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people.” Bush lost it. Obama was going to restore it.

And now he’s losing it.

At a time when Obama & Disciples want to take responsibility for fixing/running not only the nation’s security operations, but its financial ones as well, the laughableness “is,” as Hanson says, “quite serious.”

But, why worry? The world didn’t come to an end because of Bush’s incompetence, so we can survive Obama’s. Right?

We don’t need more doom and gloom, after all. The reason so many went for Obama was the same reason so many went for Carter. And the same reason so many went for Hanson.

After a long stint of Nixon/Bush/Angst, you need something lighter to lift your spirits. (I read an article once where one of the Hansons essentially said as much. [This may be the article here.] I don’t know why I was reading the article. I guess I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.)

But having a Carteresque smile and Hansonesque cheap hooks doesn’t get you competence.

Carter was followed by—or rather created—economic and international disaster.

Hanson was followed by the mainstreaming of emo, and by a whole slew of bands who hated their parents (contra Zac Hanson’s assertion that times had changed).

But people in my generation missed Carter, and (evidently) didn’t learn from the fall of Hanson.

One hit wonders don’t last (by definition), and it’s starting to look like Obama has had his one hit. The tour supporting his first single, “Hope and Change,” was a success. But his next project doesn’t seem to be going so well.

If we return to the metaphor of the “Peter Ratio,” however, there may still be hope. After all, St. Peter isn’t just remembered for his tendency to embarrass himself. He turned out just fine in the end.

And Christ—the least incompetent person ever—picked Peter on purpose. So maybe Obama’s picks don’t show him to be incompetent, but to be—like Christ—in the business of redemption.

So long as the world doesn’t actually end, redemption remains possible. And redemption is no laughing matter. It, just like presidential incompetence, “is quite serious.”

Micah Tillman is a lecturer in the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America.

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I wonder if Christ would judge whether he was "incompetent" or not. I always got the vibe he was in the world but not of it, way too busy communing with love ;-)

# posted at by Robert Capozzi

So who is going to be Obama's Judas? Anyone want to guess? I'm thinking Clinton, she's already talked bad about him and she still wants to be president, so she'll either take out everyone in her way (Obama, Biden, Pelosi and anyone else ahead of her in presidential succession). Or it could be Biden, he likes talking and making decisions...or it will be someone from the treasury department (Judas was usually the one who would carry the money bag for Jesus and his disciples).

# posted at by Chris K

Obama will be his OWN Judas. But, then, aren't we all?

# posted at by Robert Capozzi

Mr. Capozzi--

*grin* Given the traditional Protestant interpretation of Christ's mission, my use of the phrase "least incompetent" is fraught with potential irony.

After all, (cf. Mr. K's comment), Christ picked Judas on purpose.

Mr. K--

I'd say Clinton too. Though someone at Treasury would make sense, like you say (especially with Geithner's problems already!).

Honestly, though, I'm hoping for a fair fight b/w Democrats and Republicans. I like to see battles won on the strength of arguments and the issues, not because of infighting on one side or the other.

Are you talking about the Hanson who was a teen idle with his similarly home schooled brothers? As Stossel would say, give me a break! The current Republican Party is hardly going to be the source of any populist uprising. Their big tent is caving in and becoming a fundamentalist revival meeting. So far the energy shown in these quarters for a centrist uprising has been pretty anemic. Let's see what happens a year from now before we start coming to any conclusions.

# posted at by Michael Bindner

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