The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


As the mainstream media and left-leaning Washington pundits tell us repeatedly, our President is a hyper-intelligent, deliberative leader who understands nuance and acts in a manner that leads to solid decisions.

It’s surprising therefore, that the special election in Massachusetts hasn’t caused a bit more deliberation at the White House and forced just a tad less hubris.

Politico reports:
President Barack Obama plans a combative response if, as White House aides fear, Democrats lose Tuesday’s special Senate election in Massachusetts, close advisers say.

“This is not a moment that causes the president or anybody who works for him to express any doubt,” a senior administration official said. “It more reinforces the conviction to fight hard.”

You’d think that the guy who spent months studying strategy for Afghanistan might be just a bit more deliberative, regardless of the election outcome in MA. After all, one of the bluest states in the country, a state that gave Obama its electoral votes by a 26 percent majority, is now poised to either (a) elect Scott Brown—a heretofore unknown Republican who is campaigning directly against the President’s agenda, or (b) elect Martha Coakley by a slim margin when she possessed a 30 percentage point lead a few months ago.

One of the key factors in assessing intelligence is to assess one’s ability to discern patterns or trends from a variety of disparate data points. It’s pretty difficult to argue that regardless of the MA election outcome, there’s a fairly obvious trend that is developing. The public, with those in the Center leading the charge, is increasingly opposed to the legislation that the Obama administration has proposed or enacted.

And yet, members of the president’s inner circle are quoted as saying:
“The response will not be to do incremental things and try to salvage a few seats in the fall,” a presidential adviser said. “The best political route also happens to be the boldest rhetorical route, which is to go out and fight and let the chips fall where they may. We can say, ‘At least we fought for these things, and the Republicans said no.’”

Ahhh, the smartest guys in the room always seem to know best. After all, most of the MA electorate and the U.S. public in general isn’t part of the “educated class.” They’ll learn to love ineffective stimulus plans, auto bailouts, union special deals, and a deficit busting healthcare plan, it’ll just take ‘em some time, because, you know, they’re just a bit dumber than the Washington elite.

You’d think that a smart guy like President Obama would learn from the history of the 1990s by examining how Bill Clinton salvaged his presidency after early missteps. Clinton did it by moving to the center. I wonder if Obama is smart enough to follow.