The Sultan of Washington.
There’s a view in certain political circles that the common people are just cattle – as long as they’ve the illusion of having some say in whatever direction you wish to herd them, they’ll be docile and pliable. To some extent, that’s true. Problems arise when whoever is doing the herding starts taking their obedience for granted and their contempt for them becomes all too obvious. It’s where the pampered political elite lose touch with what Marx termed the Lumpenproletariat or proletarian rabble, and the fireworks begin.
When that disconnect happens, people start doing things like storming the Winter Palace, dumping shipments of tea overboard or attacking the Berlin wall with bulldozers borrowed from the nearest building site. You see, politics is about society and society itself is all about cooperating with a bigger organisation because there is a very real expectation of benefits to be had in return. Play the game, you get rewarded. Once that implicit contract is broken, you’ve got a revolution on your hands because people realise they’ve got nothing to lose and perhaps a traumatic event might just improve their lot.
The President of America has apparently set course into those dangerous waters.
He was elected on a wave of euphoria but is arguably the weakest and most ineffectual leader America has had since Jimmy Carter. Apart from the colour of his butt, which apparently in the mainstream media means he’s above criticism, the parallels are uncanny. The foreign policy is the sort of joke you’d expect from a leader who’s widely perceived abroad as a weak sister. Push him, he caves every time.
For example, Putin has gobbled up the Crimea and is fixing to do exactly the same with the rest of the Ukraine, but no worries, he has no further territorial ambitions after that. In response, the President’s glove puppet foreign secretary Kerry told Africa’s leaders they must discourage their starving poor from farming. I’m sure there’s a subtle rebuke to Vladimir there but somehow it escapes me.
Gospodin Putin, the Africans are starving, we must get out of the Ukraine! It doesn’t work for me but you never quite know with those Russians.
Domestically, the situation is worse. In the midst of the worst recession in living memory, he’s enacted rafts of legislation the effects of which are to strangle jobs for the common man. Detroit has shrunk to 20% of its former population, what law enforcement officers remain there caution against visiting unless it’s absolutely necessary. In response, El Prez is stepping up foreign aid while his own peons now have to buy compulsory insurance. They’re not too happy about that either, since suffering anything other than a sprained wrist will soon drain all your coverage when dealing with the most expensive heath care system on the planet. Even vampires are more reserved in their blood sucking.
On the plus side, he did sink 500 million dollars into Solyndra, though sink would appear to be the operative word on that investment. I wonder what half a billion dollars might have done for Motor City but I suppose the helpful spin on that particular disaster is the guys handling Solyndra’s bankruptcy are probably classified as having green jobs.
The only hope for the American working man is Thomas Jefferson’s foresight in deliberately drafting the constitution in such a way as to forever pit the power of the federal government against each state’s innate right to its own sovereignty. It’s their state blocking suffocating federal legislation which is now the only thing protecting jobs in mining communities in places like west Kentucky.
If you’re getting the impression he’s a disaster, don’t worry, Oprah says he’s a fine president, so that’s okay, innit?
His problem though is once you get outside Washington, Medialand and the stylish east and west coasts, most ordinary Americans are very disillusioned with him, to put it mildly. While nothing but Hoover villages blossom between those two coasts, he’s cruising through the end of his presidency on the golf course while wifey poo borrows airforce one for those little impulsive shopping trips to Paris. Shop till you drop Michelle, and let them eat cake in Detroit.
The finishing stretch of a two term presidency is always dangerous, if only because whatever policies are set in place don’t have to be lived with by the current incumbent thereafter. A capable president lines up a safe pair of hands to build on his accomplishments, a weak one casts around for something, anything, which though it might not be of any real use to the average American, he’ll be remembered for as a great humanitarian, and that’s precisely what Obama like Carter before him is doing.
It’s always the weak presidents who worry about their “legacy”.
After a lot of false starts, he appears to have settled upon the modest goal of being remembered as the saviour of the planet. You can’t fault him on the ambition front, though I’d have thought sorting out something a tiny wee bit smaller might be more in line with his proven capabilities. Perhaps unfucking the traffic mess on the west 610 loop in Houston. It’s truly dreadful. Anyway, he’s decided to cap America’s carbon emissions and tragically for once having decided to show some assertiveness, I rather think he’s about to be remembered for something altogether different.
Attempts to curb America’s carbon emissions have an interesting history, if you’re a connoisseur of Houdini like escapes from tight political situations. The essential problem with it is not passing the legislation, which would be simple, but rather appearing to be doing something while actually doing nothing, because everyone knows it’d be economic suicide. The trick is to fail in such a manner as to be able to lay the blame squarely on someone or something else, and get away out of there with your skirts clean.
The first attempt at a binding treaty was Kyoto. President Bush heavily influenced which representatives were sent to negotiate an accord. Unsurprisingly, he top loaded the whole delegation with rabid warmistas. They could be relied upon to agree to anything no matter how excessive, or its nuclear impact on American industry. What they scurried back to Washington with their tongues hanging out for approval was such a weapon of mass economic destruction, it narrowly failed the congressional ratification vote by the slender margin of 95 to 0. It’s not often you see such a bi-partisan vote on Capitol Hill. In point of fact, I can’t actually recall that ever happening before. Possibly on the 8th of December 1941.
The next attempt was to bypass Congressional approval by massively expanding the remit of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It was payback for those generous financial contributions towards his run at the presidency. The cunning plan was to staff it with warmista head honchos who’d crucify heavy industry on a cross of a million regulatory thorns sneaked in through the back door.
That foundered not least because the apparatchiks were a select bunch of arrogant idiots who presumed nobody would notice what they were doing. They appear to have just spent time communicating with green NGOs through illegal back channels, or pretending to be in the employ of the CIA, while swindling the organisation out of the odd million or two.
The bullet through the back of the head on that plan was the individual states enacting their own legislation to block the EPA’s directives. Yes, I know we’re into a whole new and unreal space here but thank God for Jefferson’s prescience. The subsequent legal hand bagging between the government and the state legislatures could be relied on to jam the whole issue up for years, and it has.
The latest initiative by Prez Obama is to agree something direct with the UN and browbeat other countries into signing up as well. Given that he can’t browbeat Putin out of the Crimea, I’m at a loss to understand how he’ll force countries like China or India to abandon their growth path into industrial giants. I can’t see Congress swallowing it either, if only for survival reasons. At the moment, the idea is obligingly being floated by a political lapdog masquerading as a serious newspaper in New York city. Perhaps it’s just a toe in the water, a tester to see if it can be snuck past Yamamoto’s sleeping giant without awakening him.
So there you have it America. You now have a Sultan who’s decided it’s easier to rule by diktat rather than go through that tiresome process of dealing with the elected representatives you’ve wasted your time voting for.
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