The President Is Trolling Me

I’ve been good. I haven’t done a “stupid and lazy” post for months.

Then the President had to go and say this:

A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe


That’s just not fair! While there seems to be a mad hunt on for the real killerswhoever told Obama that drilling was safe, how detached from reality do you have to be to believe that sinking a metal pole into the ground, a mile under water, in order to rupture it and suck out the liquid could possibly be even remotely safe? It’s a marvel of engineering that we don’t get spills all the time!

This is dumber than the insurance thing. How am I not supposed to respond to that?

OK, some people think he’s just lying, for political cover.
But how on earth can he think that makes him look good? Someone told me something completely impossible and I believed it, therefore I’m not responsible.

Well, maybe he doesn’t, maybe it’s even more cynical: If I say this, they’ll believe that I’m not responsible.

This is rule by experts, people.
Learn to love it.
(Click on the OISAL keyword to see other posts in this series.)

In Which I Admit I Was Wrong

I have been saying sardonically since November of 2008 that’s Obama would be the greatest President ever. Because he was so transparently an unreconstructed Marxist and because I knew that he would overreach, I figured this put him ahead of a squishy John McCain, who would move us down the road to socialism while the press decried it as conservatism, just as they did with Bush even when he was doing things that were “liberal”.

Unlike some, I’m not so cynical that I could actually vote for Obama on that basis, but I figured it would play out that way.
Worst-case scenario would be that someone on Obama’s team might actually understand economics and fixed the economy—which really isn’t that difficult if you’re not a true believer in communism. With a repaired economy, the administration would have a blank check as far as implementing social programs like health care reform and providing graft to all their buddies.
Fortunately, they’ve drunk their own Kool-Aid so they really don’t understand cause-and-effect. They actually believe a command-and-control economy can work.
Even more fortunately, the American people seem to have woken up to the dangers of overreaching government. I’ve been predicting an electoral bloodbath for November for the past year, but I think the actuality may exceed even my expectations. The goal should be to make health care reform so toxic that a veto proof majority will vote to repeal it—and given how bad it’s currently faring after only a few days, I don’t think that this is as wild notion as it might have seemed a few months ago.
So how am I admitting I was wrong? I think that the American people were waking up to the dangers of big government anyway. I think they would have fought McCain as well, just as we saw pork busters emerge under Bush.
In other words, I don’t think it was necessary to put the American people through the trauma of a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress destroying the economy in order to alert the them to the dangers the government poses. I think they would’ve gotten there anyway. And it will get a lot worse before it gets better.
I only hope that people will respond to the same degree that their freedoms have been trampled.

Lazier and Stupider Than I Thought

Trooper York advised me to drop the whole “Obama is stupid and lazy” meme, on the basis of the government’s ability to persecute its enemies—something he, as a New Yorker, is all too familiar with—and that was probably wise, given the way this administration seems to work.

But—man, oh, man—it’s like the guy is baiting me. Maybe the blog prof is wrong here, but I suspect not. Obama bought liability and then expected to have his car repaired. And what’s with disparaging a business satisfying the legal requirements? What else are they gonna do?
It’s that stuff that worries me. I know people get to be that age without even a basic grasp of—not even economics!—but the simple mechanics of how business works. I mean, insurance is a trickier product than a lemonade, but it’s still providing a service for a cost with enough left to make a profit.
Oh, yeah, and there’s the whole not-leading-the-whole-national-health-reform-process-until-it’s-gone-to-hell-only-to-submit-a-bill-nearly-identical-to-the-rejected-Senate-bill-only-more-expensive-and-then-having-a-summit-where-he’s-completely-unprepared-to-address-any-real-concerns-thing, too.
But I’m sort of inured to that level of stupidity and laziness by this point. You?
Now, if you were a civic-minded fellow (the sort that might run for President) wouldn’t your first inclination be to try to figure out why you weren’t covered? I mean, if you were supposed to be covered, and you weren’t, that sounds criminal, doesn’t it?
Remember, you’re not just civic-minded, but a community activist and future or current law student! Personally, I’m sort allergic to legal procedings and even I would’ve considered small claims court.

More On The Theory: Obama Is Stupid And Lazy

You know, I actually have a hard time writing that the President is stupid and lazy. I really do. Which isn’t, I suppose, very American. Washington used to get all kinds of crap and if Washington did—well, that sets the tone, doesn’t it? Americans are not worshipful toward the Commander-In-Chief.

I thought it was overdone during W’s reign: Even now, W’s trips to Crawford are regarded as signs of his laziness, even though he worked while there. (Republican time away from office is always an issue to partisans, which to me makes no sense: If you don’t like the guy, the more time he takes from office the better, right?)

And stupid? Fuhgeddaboudit. That’s axiomatic, right?

I think that all politicians tend toward stupidity. Groupthink is pretty much the enemy of intelligence. And the way politicians seem to get elected these days is to be the head groupthinker, and to march along to some fixed idea.

Laziness, though, I think is a rarer quality. Campaigning is hard. Most politicians—the current President excluded—have to campaign hard for decades to get anywhere. And usually they have to bust their asses to make a mark that gets them noticed. Again, current President excluded. He’s gone right to the lazy part that most politicians put off until they’ve secured their perpetual re-elections.

My question for you, blog readers, is this: Right now I’m tops for the phrase “Obama is stupid and lazy” in Google, if you quote it, and third if you don’t quote it (and the sites above me don’t actually talk about Obama). And I think it’s an interesting and fitting topic that could really take off, but after hearing it for eight years, it might also be tiring.

So, I leave it to you. Should I run with this?

Should I, for example, point out that in the wake of extreme unpopularity over health care, Obama’s handling for this was apparently to encourage people to fink on their neighbors—and then spam them? How stupid is that? “Everyone loves spam! Let’s send out unsolicited e-mails to people who hate us!”

Or that Obama has put his brand on this bill, HR 3200? “My plan” he calls it. The lazy part being he had nothing to do with writing it, hasn’t read it, doesn’t seem to know what’s in it, and has never bothered to formulate a principled theory on which nationalized health care might work in the USA, despite failing everywhere else in the world. (Maybe the French health care system isn’t a failure, but it seems to have dragged the entire rest of their country down.) The stupid part being that when this mofo goes down, it’s going to have his brand on it?

This constant self-contradictory pose? At first I thought this wasn’t either stupid or lazy, just desperate politicking from a guy whose previous stupidity and laziness has boxed him into a corner, but it goes back to not doing the leg work to handle people’s objections because in the past, you’ve been able to smile your way out of situations. It’s the laziness of a guy who knows how to do one thing, and will keep doing it no matter how stupid.

But again, I wouldn’t want to bore everyone. I don’t think I’d ever post more than one of these month—no matter how much ammo the guy throws at my feet. And I’ll try to be more creative than the Bush bashers were. (Although that would’ve been an interesting study: Examining the ways in which W really was stupid versus the hacky policy disagreements that make all Republican politicians stupid in the eyes of their enemies.)

And we can have an interesting discussion on whether something is stupid or not. Like, is it stupid to not prosecute the Black Panthers who were intimidating voters at the polls? I would say it is: I think it comes from a belief that America—I mean, the good part of America—agrees with the notion that only right-minded people should be allowed to vote.

My theory is that the votes gained—which he didn’t need anyway, hello Watergate-level-stupidity—are going to be substantially fewer than those lost. There are plenty of liberals who still hold non-statist, civil libertarian values who would vote against a candidate who ignores this on principle.

Well, you see what I mean? There’s just so much material. My goal would be to be as apolitical as possible: That is, BHO and his pals want socialized medicine (yeah, I know they’re denying that in various ways, but that’s because they can’t get it as long as it’s called socialized medicine) and while I disagree, this isn’t about political disagreements.

It’s about how BHO’s stupidity and laziness—characteristics which we all share from time-to-time—thwart his attempts to reach his political goals. Think of it as an extended “Fat Albert” episode, where we all learn a little lesson at the end.

But as I said, I’ll leave it to you guys.

Theory: Obama Is Stupid And Lazy

Now, don’t get your knickers in a twist. I don’t mean to suggest that the President does not have an average intellect. Possibly even an above-average, though seldom exercised, intellect. I’m not speaking of low IQs here, but of stupidity. (The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, who work with brain-injured kids are fond of pointing out that there’s no cure for stupidity.)

He might even be a genius, though I’ve really seen nothing from the man to suggest that he’s anything more than a competent parroter of other people’s words. I don’t believe for a second that he actually wrote those books; writers write pretty much all the time. But lack of achievement is no disqualifier of genius. This is neither here nor there.

Because even geniuses can be stupid about things.

Let me see if I can support this potentially controversial theory. See if you can follow my byzantine logic here.

First, I’m going to assume the position that Obama is, more or less, exactly what he seems. A sincere fellow traveler who is not feigning surprise when someone suggests that FDR’s wild spending and experimentation didn’t actually end the Great Depression.

Therefore, Obama genuinely believes that what he’s done and what he’s trying to do isn’t going to harm the economy, or at least isn’t going to harm the economy so badly that it won’t rebound against his party in 2010, and himself in 2012. (I don’t subscribe to the notion that he’s deliberately trying to harm the economy to force us into socialism, as Althouse describes Rush Limbaugh as saying, although I think Teddy Kennedy has expressed such sentiments.)

Let’s look at some predictions versus actuality, courtesy of Michael at Innocent Bystanders:
As any smart politician knows, when pitching a plan with such short-term predictions, you predict the worst-case scenario for if your plan doesn’t pass, and predict what you think will actually happen with or without your plan.

Get it? That way, if your plan does nothing but line your cronies’ pockets and feed the political machine, you’ll get credit for the better-than-worst case scenario. And, you know, we’re lucky when politicians only line their own pockets versus when they actually try to do something (like push sub-prime mortgage loans, help out banks or provide universal education and health care).

There’s no way that he expected to be standing here, mid-summer, with egg on his face.

But, okay, he’s a true believer. He thinks government spending–even just the unfocused, delayed throwing of money about–solves problems. That’s just ignorance.

But now he’s thrown money around. He’s “bailed out” various industries. He’s seen the effect. He’s continuing to push for economy-damaging plans, though, and arguing that they’ll actually improve the economy. (Some have argued, because things should be this way, liberals believe they must be this way.)

Now, there’s plenty of history to look at here. You can look at the effects of government spending, at the effects of tax cuts, at protectionism, at unions, and you can see what these things do. You can also see these things at work all over the world today.

This is where the stupid comes in. Because in order to take in all this information and use it, you have to be honest. Now, you almost never hear about honesty as a factor in intelligence, but it is. You hear the phrase “intellectual honesty” like there’s a difference, but honesty is honesty.

The left loved to attack W as stupid on these same grounds. But rather than talk about him, I think it’s more useful to look at Clinton. Clinton followed a similar trajectory, on a longer curve, but he was smart enough to take credit for conservative policies pushed through by his Republican Congress when they worked. He was smart enough to pronounce the era of big government being over.

Now, his motivations may have been entirely selfish. There’s no doubt that some modern Presidents seem to look at things in terms of lookin’ good for history versus doing what’s right. But I doubt very much that he was unaffected by the policies he saw working. (And, gosh, aren’t both Clintons awfully quiet on the health care issue?)

Perhaps Obama is just slow: It’s hard to give up cherished beliefs no matter how badly they fail in practice, and he’ll eventually be forced to confront reality–say, if the nation takes away his majority in 2010.

But my theory is that he’ll continue doing what he’s doing. No matter how much evidence piles up against his beliefs, he’ll stay the course.

That’s stupid.

The other half of my perhaps controversial theory is that he’s lazy. His idea of work appears to be going on TV to read a speech that someone else wrote. Charges of inexperience abounded in the last election, but even his defenders were at best able to defend him with descriptions of impressive sounding positions he had achieved, rather than things he had actually done.

Not that I don’t admire this. I work very hard at being lazy. But apparently being President is a lot of work. You have to study constantly. Protocols, histories, and all manner of things from massive industries to peculiar local customs. Any time you take off gets scrutinized–even if you’re not taking time off, but working remotely. (Well, okay, Obama’s not a Republican so he doesn’t have to worry about that.)

But I haven’t seen any indication that he’s done any of this homework. In fact, a great many of the gaffes we’ve seen–like running out and getting the British PM a bunch of DVDs he wouldn’t like and couldn’t use–just seem to come from not having bothered to study.

The more serious problems, like the business of pushing through laws no one has read, seem to come from relying on lawmakers’ competence and general good-hearted, fellow traveler status.

I mean, in order to ram through a bill like the unwritten health care laws, you have to have a whopping faith in some unnamed lawmaker to write a clear and cogent description of a hugely complex and detailed area of society. Or you have to just not care.

And that’s just stupid. And lazy.

But we should be grateful. A truly smart, hard-working socialist (or communist, why split hairs?) would have cut the payroll tax, slashed regulation, changed the mark-t0-market rules and “saved” the economy. (The government, of course, is the biggest suppressor of the economy, so it can “save” it by backing off.)

When the economy rebounded, our smart, hard-working politico would have pretty much free rein to set up whatever he wanted. Who would have the mojo to challenge him?

Kind of a chilling thought. But maybe it’s not always a bad thing that politics seeks destructive, short-term solutions.

UPDATE #1: Evidence in support of my theory provided on July 22nd, 2009. Obama has a press conference to bolster his health care plan in which he takes the opportunity to call the Cambridge Police stupid–after saying he didn’t know all the facts in the case. He had to have believed that this was going to boost his popularity. What’s more, since he arranged all the questions in advance, he had to have specifically picked this topic and worked out his answer in advance on the basis of believing that America shares the far left’s contempt for police and wanted to hear that from the President.

I mean, look, I have mixed feelings about the police. On the whole, I thnk they do a good job. But I also think they’re often more protective of each other than the job. But I don’t want to hear the President weigh in on this! It’s almost up there with the President going around to foreign countries to apologize for America’s actions. The President is supposed to be an America booster; it’s minimum spec for the job!