Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Red Over Red
(fm the BC thread "Unthinking the unthinkable")
(note the comment vanished from the BC thread, wretchard has been notified)
Some time, apparently months after he moved into the White House, Obama had the intricacies of America's nuclear policy explained to him and he reacted with horror saying it was insane. That story if true in itself proves that Obama is really like the clueless protagonist in Being There.
Others bend reality to accommodate the fact that he is there and treat his ignorance as evidence of some hidden depths. The depths are actually as shallow as Antietam creek. He simply floated into the office without an idea as to what it meant. This has for years been a plot device in Hollywood to use as an escape from reality. Theater people deal in archetypes, there are only a limited number of basic plots or characters. One of the staples is that in movies like The Prince and the Pauper
or Trading Places in which an unqualified amateur assumes the identity or position of someone with power, and does a better job.
The definitive treatment of the Hollywood fantasy was in Ivan Reitman's Dave.
Did any of these movies help mold young Barry Obama's view of the world? What made it effective as a theatrical device was the knowledge that it was an escape from reality. The thought that it could happen for real is not entertaining.
Since at least the Spanish American War very American President or serious candidate for the office, has spent years closely studying the important foreign policy and defense issues that would face the country and was familiar with the positions behind those doctrines. This was true for those who had greater experience in domestic policy and it was true for those from the Left as well as the Right. Even Eugene Debs knew what the policies were and could debate over the implications of changing those policies. That holds true for Jimmy Carter, or Bill Clinton, or even George McGovern, the former bombardier who specialized in agricultural policy while in the Senate. They may have been wrong but they had been reading about the subjects and would not have expressed shock when told what the United States strategic doctrine and programs were.
From Obama's conduct it appears that he had never actually sat down and read NSC 68, which was declassified 35 years ago. His conduct is worse than that of someone who follows the ideological prejudices of the editors of the wiki. He behaves more like someone who has not actually read even the wiki but has gotten by for years by cribbing others third hand accounts on the subject matter. He is never in a real debate where the format means he has to disk exposing himself to an honest debate that would reveal how shallow his grasp of the subject is.
The benefit of the British Parliamentary system is that the Prime Minister is forced to endure regular Question Time in public.
In that setting they are treated as a peer of the other MPs. Here in America the Executive can wrap themselves in the cloak of Head of State and hide on a podium. The Confederate Constitution had the innovative compromise idea of having Cabinet Officers present in Congress and available for regular questioning.
Once Obama went to the Republican retreat where he was presented by the MSM as having defended himself in debate over Health Care but the reality was far more controlled to protect him and the exposure of his errors was glossed over. Before the election he relied on racial blackmail to ensure that he was never pressed and he was allowed to pass by with platitudes and outright falsehoods, as he did when he debated McCain.
The United States is adrift, floating towards reefs both known and uncharted, without a competent hand on the tiller. The International Rules for Preventing Collision at Sea, the COLREGS, and the domestic nautical regulations specify that the signal to be hoisted on any vessel "not under command" that is not able to safely navigate either by sail or restricted in its ability to maneuver by its own power is two vertical black balls by day and two vertical red lights at night. The sailor's mnemonic is "Red over red, Captain is dead."
After years of cossetting if Obama ever faced real questioning would he crack under the pressure?
The Ship of State is heading into stormy seas without a competent Captain in Command.
To be blogged under the title "Red Over Red."