Monday, September 19, 2011

"Election-Time Awakening"

David Atkins had a post at Hullabaloo yesterday which was difficult to follow, most of his posts are, but which was about Obama’s latest campaign pronouncement proposing a tax on millionaires. We all know, including Obama, that the tax will never pass in Congress, and that it is purely made for the purpose of arousing Obama’s “base,” but David says that we should cheer wildly for it nonetheless.

But more importantly, Obama Administration critics and defenders need to realize that this shouldn't be about supporting or attacking the President. It should be about engendering a twitch response in our politicians that we'll support them for doing the right thing--even saying they'll do the right thing--and not support them when they don't.

If I’m following what he says there, the part emphasized by me, then he is suggesting that we should not require our politicians to actually do the right thing, but should be willing to support them for merely saying the right thing. How they actually govern, what actions they actually take while in office are not the deciding issue. As long as they keep the masses happy with all of the proper rhetoric we should continue to support them.

So when Obama says that he will close Guantanamo, will end that blot on our nation’s honor and integrity, it is utterly irrelevant that he did not actually do it. Apparently it doesn’t matter whether or not he actually intended to do it. He said he would do it, and having said so he deserves our support.

If Obama claimed that he would protect us from asteroids, presumably David would cheer wildly and urge Obama’s reelection because he urgently does not want this planet to be hit by an asteroid. The fact that such a promise would be utterly worthless would seemingly not bother him at all. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but…

The ineffable Glenn Greenwald has a different take on the issue, as one might well suspect, in an update to a post regarding the appointments to Obama’s financial advisory staff and his economic policies he responds to the rhetoric regarding the “Buffett Tax,”

As indicated, I at least appreciate the candor of those (such as the above-linked commentators) who acknowledge that this will not become reality and is not even designed to, but celebrate it because it will help Obama get re-elected by making the GOP (rather than him) look like the servants of Wall Street. It's the ones pretending that this eleventh-hour election-time awakening is reflective of some sort of substantive significance that are hard to bear.

Again, the emphasis in that excerpt is mine. "Celebrating" this kind of ploy for helping Obama to get reelected is hard for me though. I'd like to see him reelected, I think, but I am by no means fond of the use of this kind of dishonesty to do it.

1 comment:

bruce said...

you elect them based on rhetoric and promises and elect someone else based on how they act on those promises. Oh, and pay no attention to the other side being more evil than you... that still means you're evil. And maybe a liar as well.

Post a Comment