Friday, January 27, 2012

As The State of the Union Speech Shows: The Problem with Obama Isn't Just Political or Ideological, It's Ignorance, Inexperience, Character, and Incompetence, Too,

By Barry Rubin

I’ve been waiting for someone to voice my reaction to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union message. But and since I haven’t seen anyone else do it—I’m not referring to the foreign policy aspects which I analyzed fully here but the whole speech—I’ll do it myself.
It was very scary.

Why? I am reminded of the famous scene in the "Caine Mutiny" in which the captain is testifying at the court-martial of officers who removed him from command during a storm on the basis of mental incompetence. Perhaps you remember the brilliant film performance by Humphrey Bogart. As he testifies about his fine job of command, the captain slowly breaks down into coherence. He pulls out of his pocket some little steel balls which he rolls endlessly in his hand. Click. Click. Click. The court martial officers look at each other and you can see in their faces what they are thinking: This man is bonkers.
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I don’t mean that Obama is crazy. What is so evident, however, is that he is so detached from reality.  Even assuming Obama's political goals,  how he goes about expressing and implementing them proves that point. The issues and the America Obama described in the speech have nothing to do with current issues and problems. The ridiculous bit with Warren Buffett’s secretary—income tax and capital gains tax are two different things—the talk about “fairness” and “teamwork,” simply don’t address what’s going on, things like costs of production being too high, investor's confidence shaken, and resources misapplied.

Obama’s major speech in Kansas, an echo of one given by Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, also indicates what’s wrong with this president. It’s as if he’s half in the past—populism against the big monopolistic corporations running roughshod over a feeble government and defenseless workers—and half in the future, pushing a green utopia.

Having a president—the most powerful single man in the world--who isn’t engaged with reality is very scary.
It’ not just about politics and ideology, there are three other factors....

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