Gutless same-old

The president, just the other day, in his Q & A with both Republicans and Democrats, said something which I’ve thought about now these past few hours. More or less he said he’s going to be bold. And do something new and improved. “Just doing the same old thing is not going to work” – his salient point was that to do the same as we always did means that we’ll experience whatever horrors we had under George Bush, and he of course, unwittingly and unknowingly it seems, inherited. Well, then, yes, sir, that’s true. And what then did the president do? He simply did the same thing – only more of it – that Bush did. And, too, what Clinton, the other Bush, Reagan, Carter, and on back to McKinley, did. What was it that they did? They all increased the size of government, they all engaged in deficit spending. They all continued pretty much every single existing agency and at the least created one or two more. And if the way it was all organized was bad, as Obama implied. And the deficit spending was bad, as he stated. And irrational ways of conducting the public purse were pursued, as he did proclaim. Then, how is not changing any of it – except to increase the funding for all of it – possibly going to get us out of the mess that Obama so rightly says we are in?

If $500,000,000,000 in deficits were bad, OK, how is $1,500,000,000,000 good? He explaineth not, but leads us into temptation, so long as it is not in Vegas.

If the 20 to 26 major cabinet and presidential departments were not put together efficiently how then is merely giving them more money good? Worse, he’s giving them more authority. After all, everytime government gets more authority the people have less. That’s what the Tenth Amendment is about. Why not a simple number of cabinet posts? Well, it depends on how you count them, oddly enough, to get the list of majors, for some might quibble that some are minor, or not in the cabinet, like the CIA and the FBI, which sure play cabinet agencies on TV. Perhaps they even stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and are now ready to face the world with their newly authorized powers and funds.

I recall that during the primaries, back when Obama was running, one of his henchmen came to my door. He wanted me to vote for hope and change. I asked him “Which one of the 26 federal level cabinet agencies will Obama be eliminating?”

He looked at me, in sort of stuttered shock, before answering, haltingly, “um, well, um, none of them.”

“Ah, yes, well then, he’s not for hope and change at all. He’s for more of the same. Good bye.”

And what do we see in the “new” budget. Not only more of the same, but a lot more of the same. But if the, say, Commerce Department was screwy before, merely giving it more money is not going to help it. If the Agriculture Department was ill-run, well, giving it, too, more money is not going to do anything, except, perhaps, no, but almost definitely, be more expensively ill-run. That is neither hope nor change. That is doing the same thing: screwing up.

Now, if Obama had come and spent his first year in office going line by line through the budget he might well have altered things. But he did not. He only tried to create new behemoth agencies, more taxes, more rules, more regulations. And if the problem is the number, reach and variety of such things we have right now, then keeping it all cannot be any better than what Bush did.

Obama went for the legacy program, and not for the management dissection and dismantling we need. Why? Simple enough, really – the man never managed anything in his life. He had no idea as to the details you have to examine for a wholesale reordering of the public weal. Instead he, as a community organizer, had a vision. He is the type who walks into a wrecked neighborhood and can already see the architect’s rendering of the happy new landscapes and refurbished buildings, and pretty ferns and flowers spread among the trees that don’t exist in reality. But he is clueless, as is clear now, to know how to buy the right number of bolts and screws, and the right size paving stones, and arranging the delivery of the million bricks, and ordering the right double sash windows from the various venders that purvey to the renovation trade. He had no idea that bulldozers, and sheetrock and the men to install it, and flooring and the guys to lay it, and so on, and on, and on, onward still, exhaustively on, must be marshalled and corralled and sent forth to do the details known as work, with materials supplied by still others who worked, and in a not always smoothly running way.

Dreamers are many, and they dream big here in America. Obama dreamed of a great legacy. He was already reading the history books about how he transformed America to his vision, for he envisioned even the books to be written of his greatness. Well, frankly sir, we don’t think your job is to have a vision of what our lives should be. And more and more are coming to the conclusion that the vision is none to good anyway. But still, you, Mr President, are a manager. But few presidents want to manage. Oddly, Reagan did. He got out pen and paper and tried to get rid of programs, tried to alter the way things were organized. He tried restructuring. Alas, his co-managers, they being Congress, and the cabinet secretaries themselves, were mostly dreamers. So Reagan did not do what he tried.

Indeed, it’s not just Obama, or Clinton, or Bush, either. Our public servants high and low have almost all become dreamers, with dreamy eyed plans to make the world perfect by spitting out words. But because they are almost all lawyers they don’t really know how to manage stuff. Words they are good at, of that there is no doubt, mostly. Though of late they are failing, for the words don’t match the reality. Like the faded lady in a decrepit house thinking she is still the finest in the land and at all the soirees she holds in the grandest mansion in the town, for she says so. These guys and gals of politics today are all sort of like Norma Desmond — “But I was a star.” Yes, yes, you were. WERE – but no more. Now you are to manage, for that is what is needed. But they know not how. They know words, and so speak. The president speaks of creating jobs unceasingly. He is to even interrupt the national swigging fest of Saintly victory this coming Sunday. Mixing politics with sports, to his detriment, with words, to a pretty, but fading too, wordsmith. But no one ever ate a word, nor lived in a phrase, nor walked over a river on a sentence. Nor did anyone ever build a paragraph that might produce something useful, or saleable. Not one article ever got us from here to there, and no gauzy policy paper ever made sure the heart and lungs were put back right after the surgery. Words dream, hand do. These people have no hands, no visible anyway, for they are deep in the pockets of those who do so that the wispy minded might dream.

So he fails. With words alone, unmatched by deeds, he fails. Too bad Mr. O, you could have been a contender. But fear not, you are in league with all the rest now on the public stage – word-spewers and dream weavers, and vision thatchers, doing nothing more than proclaiming their vision of America as if they had any clue as to how to make a widget or the factory that makes it, or the mining & preparing the raw materials that widget craves to become something useful, that then must be shipped and applied to some output in the real world. Instead they are dreamers who think they have the way, lighted by their brilliance.

In just the previous post I talked about Mary Landrieu’s words of defense for her dream, and her feistiness of words for her vision of what she’ll do for us, her people, so quaintly proclaimed. Today, this morning, most of what I quoted last night from the web is on the front page. But added too is the sentiment she makes that it “takes guts” to be a public servant. Well, I guess it does. I would imagine some fortitude is needed to endlessly make claim to other people’s money so that you might effect your vision, your charitable ideals, your weaved dreams of tender threads thatched into the weak basket you want us to put all our eggs in, and for you to carry.

I think guts is a good word for looking into the abyss of deficits and go boldly jumping over the Obamian Precipice without either water wings, parachute or submarine. There you go, Ms. Landrieu, into the wild blue yonder, and you have no plane, only the wings of Icarus and the hope that the sun is not too hot this day. There you are, gutful, as you scurry for favors from the guts of others, to help your people instead of just pushing for us to just keep our own darn money. That would mean we need neither your guts, vision or service, which perhaps is the dilemma. For you maybe feel unwanted.

It is guts, indeed, to say, in the face of near unanimous opposition, in one form or the other, for one reason or the other, from strange bedfellows left, right and middle, to the thousands of pages of unread and ever morphing health care pretend reform, that you want this for us – who want it not. What guts indeed. Well, let’s hope you have the guts to make it on your own. Earning and spending your own money. Fighting off the rapacious Mongol Khan like attacks on the private means, purse, wealth and piggy banks of little kids if you could get your hands on them. Let’s hope not any successor to your thirty years will be like you. Of keeping things muddling along exactly as they were, or steadily worse, as the day you entered office with your dreams coupled with a lack of ability, perhaps even a lack of desire, to actually effect the changes we need in this country, . Indeed, you cannot even accede to the idea that dismantling it is all that is left to do. Instead, you slither back to the pit of crookedness and try again with new words. Mush and piffle, ma’am, good luck, but really, you and the rest, you’ve all got to go dream somewhere else, that you do no harm.


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