[Marxism] Reduced Shakespeare summary of Obama’s presidency
lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Nov 22 08:55:23 MST 2009
The New York Times, November 22, 2009
Visceral Has Its Value
By MAUREEN DOWD
If we could see a Reduced Shakespeare summary of Obama’s presidency so
far, it would read:
Dither, dither, speech. Foreign trip, bow, reassure. Seminar, summit.
Shoot a jump shot with the guys, throw out the first pitch in mom jeans.
Compromise, concede, close the deal. Dither, dither, water down, news
It’s time for the president to reinvent this formula and convey a more
Palin can be stupefyingly simplistic, but she seems dynamic. Obama is
impressively complex but he seems static.
She nurtures her grass roots while he neglects his.
He struggles to transcend identity politics while she wallows in them.
As he builds an emotional moat around himself, she exuberantly pushes
whatever she has, warts and all — the good looks, the tabloid-perfect
family, the Alaska quirkiness, the kids with the weird names.
Just like the disastrous and anti-intellectual W., this Visceral One
never doubts herself. The Cerebral One welcomes doubt.
On Afghanistan, Palin says, W-like, that the president should simply
give Gen. Stanley McChrystal a blank check. But Afghanistan is a
wrenching decision, and we do need the closest exit ramp. So the
president should get credit for standing back and studying the issue,
and for not rubber-stamping the generals’ predictable urge to surge. But
the way he has handled the perception part has allowed critics —
including generals — to cast him as indecisive.
McChrystal and Gen. David Petraeus should have been giving their best
advice to Obama — and airing their view against scaling down in
Afghanistan — in confidence. Instead, McChrystal pushed his opinion in a
speech in London, and Petraeus has discussed his feelings in private
sessions with reporters. This creates a “Seven Days in May” syndrome,
where the two generals are, in effect, lobbying against the president
and undercutting him as he’s trying to make a painfully complex,
This time, Obama should adopt Palin’s straight-from-the-gut approach,
call the generals into the Oval and tell them, “Your pie-holes you will
shut or rise higher you will not. Because, dang it, the president I am!”
Nicholas D. Kristof is off today.
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