Obama reflects on his big mistake.

14 Jul

Obama reflects on his biggest mistake as president
July 12, 2012

President Obama’s biggest mistake during his first term, he told CBS News in an exclusive interview, has been putting policy over storytelling.

Mr. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sat down Thursday with “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose in the White House Blue Room, where they discussed the failures and successes of his administration as he heads into another election, among other things.

“When I think about what we’ve done well and what we haven’t done well,” the president said, “the mistake of my first term – couple of years – was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”

Mr. Obama acknowledged the dissonance between others’ perception of his strength as an expert orator, and his own.

“It’s funny – when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?” he said. “And in my first two years, I think the notion was, ‘Well, he’s been juggling and managing a lot of stuff, but where’s the story that tells us where he’s going?’ And I think that was a legitimate criticism.”

Pressed by Rose about what he felt he needed to explain better to the American people, the president corrected that he wanted to do more “explaining, but also inspiring.”

“Because hope is still there,” Mrs. Obama added.|UNKNOWN&emvAD=360×615&nbcol=0|unknown

Why does it sound so wan and, well, hopeless, when Mrs. O says, “Because hope is still there”?  It sounds like what you tell Great-aunt Sukie as Great-uncle Jake lies there hooked up to the heart-lung-kidney machine.  “Don’t give up, Aunt Sukie.  Where there’s life, there’s hope, dear.”

Sure.  The problem, see, isn’t your policies.  It isn’t that you mandated we buy our health care from for-profit companies and didn’t set a limit on what they could charge us, or that you whitewashed the BP oil spill, let them off the hook and then allowed even more deep-water drilling in the Gulf and the Arctic while at the same time insisting that the Gulf seafood drenched in Corexit was safe to eat.  It isn’t that you didn’t go after the Bush administration.  It isn’t that you refuse to go after the big financial firms who are still raping the economy and stealing everyone’s homes, savings, and everything else of value across the globe.  It isn’t that you do go after the whistle blowers who might shed some light on what the fuck is going on in this nuthouse.  It isn’t that you keep bombing the hell out of countries with whom we are not at war, or demand that we spend even more money on weapons and military bases, or let the wealthy keep amassing improbable amounts of cash and assets while we give up jobs and lose more and more of the fragile, minute security offered by food stamp programs, unemployment benefits and the like.  It’s not that you stack your administration with Goldman, Sachs and Monsanto guys.  It’s not that you sign secret deals to give away our sovereignty and wreck what few ecological safeguards we have left, or that you keep letting the security agencies expand their spying on us and control over us.  It didn’t bother us when you invaded another country, killed Osama bin Laden without a trial, and dumped his body in the briny deep like you were some mafioso thug. Hell, we’re going to make a movie of it, which we will pay a couple hours’ worth of wages to watch.  No-one complained when you utterly ruined Libya and had its leader tortured and assassinated.  It isn’t even that you decided you could kill any of us you wanted or jail us indefinitely – without trials, hearings, judges or juries – for whatever reason you pulled out of your ass. Or for no reason at all.

It’s not the policies, which are just about perfect.  It’s that you didn’t spend enough time spinning the stories.

Gee, and being able to spin a good lie story is why the oligarchy picked you for the job.  But don’t fret, sir.  We have reached the requisite level of idiocy now where you can just tell the bald-faced truth without picturesque narrative attached. Notice how most of us these days seem to buy the shit that the wealthy create jobs?  You can tell us right out front that you are going after Iran for no legitimate reason whatsoever, and no-one cares.  Hardly a peep when you announced you were assassinating Americans just because you felt like it.  Congress doesn’t bother to restrain corporations from poisoning our food, water and air; we are swilling toxic sludge, eating it and breathing it, and yet the people are convinced that regulations are the bane of society.  You guys don’t have to spin the stories any more.  The beachhead has been softened and the country is ready for the final plundering.  Don’t lose sleep over the imagined need for fanciful, yet believable, story-lines.  We welcome the opportunity to be groped at the airports and bus terminals and have completely discarded our silly notions of civil rights  – you don’t even have to make up any imaginary terrorists any more.  So just take a page from your friend, Jamie Dimon.  Tell us you are going to take all our stuff and then take it.

We’ll let you.  We love that shit now.


Posted by on July 14, 2012 in corporatocracy, elections


2 responses to “Obama reflects on his big mistake.

  1. paxhonu

    July 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    “Because hope is still there.”

    Yes. Many a Democrat will listen to the Oratorical One campaigning on rhetorical lie after lie, and will then vote for him again in the wan hope that this time he might actually mean at least one word of it. The hope is still there.

    Surprised, I bet they are, Mr. and Mrs. Obama, that hope is still there. They must’ve thought that for sure they’d have killed that thing by now. (Been spraying poison down that anthill for years now, but the little hopey ones keep popping up.) They must’ve thought the lying one’s days as an orator were over. I mean, how long can you bark the carnival routine to the same audience and still find suckers coming up from the crowd like some pigtailed girl in a gabardine dress waving her last $5 at the big city pimp who’s just promised to use that money to get her discovered, to change her life. Heal me! “Wow”, says M., “the hope is still there. Can you believe that shit, honey? The hope is still there. Don’t change your tune just yet, you big stud, you, because hope is still there”.

    Even after the most awesome display of a post-inaugural turn to the sheer, incredibly non-empathetic, neoconservative, neoliberal, warhawk tool of the warmongering MIC, tool of republican bilderberg technocrats, tool of the MIC, tool of the 1%, tool of the corporatocracy, tool of the financial oligarchy, tool of the zero sum game, the some win/most lose capitalism machine that takes no measure beyond the monetary or the immediate: the hope is still there. The hope that this lying betraying piece of shit is somehow more than just a fake, more than just a con, more than just a grifter’s grifter. After all the lies and the engineering, all the taking of all from those who most need, and the giving of all to they that have all already. After all the irrefutable proof that this Great Betrayer of Democracy and the Democratic Party is nothing more than that; after all the irrefutable proof that he and his care not one whit whether you die from oil spills, fracking, nuclear waste, starvation, or broken heart; after the irrefutable proof of his brazen deception and genocidal pursuit of American Hegemony, American Corporatocracy, and American Financial Oligarchy imposed on a terrorized globe by the deepening institution of American Terror. Even so, the hope is still there.

    The hope is still there that for some reason it might matter to vote Democrat rather than Republican or Black, Blue, or Green, when truly it does not matter at all any more.

    We have no more Democracy here in the U.S. Maybe never did.

    The great accomplishment of Barack Obama has been to remove any last vestige of difference between the most brutal and uncaring of right wing money grubbers and what has proven to an uncritical base of so-called democrats and progressives willing to pivot and follow the Beautiful One away from the Peoples’ Work and into the bosom of the zero sum game of capitalism’s winner’s circle of the special elite. Nice 9 iron, Mr. Boehner. Thank you, Mr. President. You’re away, Rahm. Fuck off, Hillary, and stop cackling in my backswing. Suck my dick all of you, cackle cackle snort snort.

    Even beneath the shit mountain of lies from this Great Orator and Beautiful Deceiver: the hope is still there.


    • Teri

      July 15, 2012 at 8:10 am

      “Been spraying poison down that anthill for years now, but the little hopey ones keep popping up.”

      I love that, paxhonu! It’s exactly right for the situation, from the metaphor of ants to the attempts to poison the ants to the sneering at the ants by the POTUS and FLOTUS.




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