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Comfortably Numb


I missed the current President’s speech last Tuesday. Neo-neocon assigned some mandatory reading from the follow-on commentary. Here are my two highlights from the assigned column:

Let me get this straight: as oil gushes forth, we are to use this disaster as a teachable moment to go the wind and solar route. OK, but fairly or not, the message to the shrimpers and hotel owners of the Gulf is: “Your misery has some didactic value for the rest of us, since after your Gulf is destroyed, we will shut down your rigs to ensure permanent poverty follows your misery.”

Change has costs. Even if the long term promises a net gain, people in the short term suffer. Barry, manifesting a lefty trait, is blind to the costs he finds inconvenient.

The righties, I think, at least acknowledge there will be suffering under their policies. Well, the commentariat righties do. Politicians in major parties never recognize costs. They mask the toll of their visions by calling costs “investments”.

The second bit:

And the vague stuff about “we don’t know how precisely to get there” is like Patton telling the Third Army that they will reach Berlin some day but have no idea where the Rhine is or how precisely they will get across. In an odd, unhappy way, the president physically seemed to shrink behind the Oval Office desk. It almost looked as if a teenager were in the presidential seat trying to peep above the rim of the desk.

I love theorizing and philosophy as much as anybody. But life is lived in meatspace. Comparing Obama to Patton is both apt and cruel.

I’m afraid to watch the speech now. If it was as pathetic as everyone makes it sound, I might find some sympathy for the little boy behind a big man’s desk. And Patton would not permit sympathy when the battle is on.

It was Neo, or one of her commenters I think, who planted in my mind the idea of how the Obama Presidency will end. As the demands of reality close in on Barry’s sheltered and narcissistic mind, he will crack. One day an aide will enter the Oval Office and find the President of the United States under his desk in the fetal position, sucking his thumb.