Friday, December 19, 2008

Personal Aside: Stitching Together Contradictions Makes Obama Sound Reasonable but It’s an Intellectual Ponzi Scheme.

The very first time I interviewed Barack Obama on radio…shortly after he won his state senate seat…I noticed how adroitly he took questions from call-ins. He sounded so preeminently reasonable. Then I realized what he was doing…something he has carried through to this very day with his latest news conference as president-elect.

Not that he has been the first to ever think of it…but--. With me as now, he stitched together two contradictory views and linked them with a “but.” That’s why he sounds reasonable. Most other politicians when pressed come down on one side or the other—particularly George W. Bush. They do it frontally because they know that unlike campaigners in the mid-19th century, they can’t say one thing in Chicago and the opposite in Omaha.

Not Barack. He doesn’t say one thing in Chicago and the opposite in Omaha. He links diametrically opposed arguments together with the conjunction “but.” As on gun control. “Of course the 2nd amendment as part of the Constitution should be preserved,” he said, “but--.” But what? “The death toll on the streets can only be reduced by a combination of steps including responsible gun control.” What is “responsible gun control?” Well, he supported the Washington, D. C. gun confiscation law and later the Supreme Court decision outlawing it. The supine media, which has been an auxiliary to his strategy, never probes.

On abortion: “When life begins is a question that is above my pay grade.” Oh? But then, “I believe firmly in a woman’s right to choose.” Well, why are you stating your support of abortion when, in fact, by your own admission you don’t know when life begins? And further: “The goal should be to reduce the number of abortions.” Why…if you don’t know when life begins? So why are you in support of.. as a first order of business…signing into law the so-called Freedom of Choice Act that overrides any state restrictions on the process? And at the same time joining with Doug Kmiec to advocate a policy of fewer abortions via greater federal spending on social policies? When he proposed just this kind of thing on my show I deduced the point was to rouse pro-aborts to his side while at the same time calm pro-lifers that he really wanted a declining number of abortions.

In a very real sense, it’s like an intellectual Ponzi scheme—endorsing both sides with smooth rhetoric and moving on. Likewise in his eloquent concern to overcome the recession, he stresses stimulus spending and infrastructure. Now construction jobs pay on an average $22 an hour contrasted with the national average of $18 but everybody knows…or should know—certainly the media ought to realize—that infrastructure up-building doesn’t work well with a globally-based competitive service economy. Do you think that 25,000 workers losing their jobs in financial services on Wall Street last week will regain them as construction workers repairing the Interstate highway system? I think not. No mention whatsoever of tax cuts—because that is foreign to Obama’s thinking…or at least has been thus far.

But still he goes on…and whenever I see him on the tube I remember his first interview with me…stitching together impossibilities and moving on. I tell you it’s Ponzi only in the realm of ideas. Contradictions mean nothing to him. Once it was thought that he would move into power and steer the country hard-left. Not so, evidently. He is going to depend on the swooning media to reconcile his contradictions while he proceeds to make it up as he goes along. Small wonder the Left is angered. I’d be angered too if I had invested so much time and energy. What we have here appears to be a flim-flam man enabled by the adulatory media.

1 comment:

  1. There is a word, a common noun, that sums up the President-elect from his roots to his ears...and that word is...


    Give him three shells, a pea, and put him on any train in any city.