S/V Danneskjöld: Obama and the Petty Politics of Power

I want to comment on this sentence:

“Obama himself has no patience for the nitty-gritty of politics and governance, which means he’s both loath to build bipartisan relationships outside the White House and unlikely to directly manage a project, even one as important as Obamacare.”

I think that this sentence wholly encapsulates the idiom that if someone repeats a lie often enough, to them it becomes fundamental truth.

And perhaps I’m the only one who sees it this way, but from minute one of Obama’s campaign his theme was “I’m above politics” and “I’m not interested in petty little things.” When you have a perpetually Obama-fawning media outlet like the National Journal, or Ron Fournier trying desperately to analyze what’s going wrong – and I grant that they’re trying to be fair – they just simply cannot get to the truth.

Breaking down their belief in Obama to the point of recognizing what has been obvious for every single minute of his entire presidency and candidacy – that he is intimately and primarily interested in the petty politics of every move – is simply impossible without unwinding their entire faith-based image of the man.

That’s not to say that Obama is like a Clinton in terms of political focus. Clinton was skilled in driving politics to where he wanted to go, or in beating the wave so it seemed he was there the whole time. Obama is different. He has specific goals which he does hold above politics, but he is deep into the nitty-gritty of politics in his efforts at amassing the power he needs to ram his goals upon an unwilling populace.

Supporters like Fournier read the quoted sentence to mean that Obama is ‘above the fray’ and ‘better than’ politics. The truth is that Obama doesn’t care about bipartisan agreements because he intends to rule by decree. He doesn’t worry about political accommodation because he sees no reason to temper any of his beliefs. He lacks concern for managerial tasks because his primary goals have to do with destroying the foundations and structural supports of entire areas of the economy he would like to see remade into government projects, not creating successful government projects.

This ‘above the fray’ nonsense isn’t benign or admirable as Fournier would play it. It is a symptom of Obama’s scorch the earth policy towards his domestic enemies, and his ‘salt the lands’ strategy towards industries he wants to take over. Obamacare’s main goal isn’t insuring the poor, it is destroying the competitive health insurance industry. When Obamacare implodes – as it must – there won’t be anywhere to go back to. There won’t be any ‘way it was’ to return to. The market is too complex and too diversely regulated to simply be rolled back. (Insurance companies can barely roll back to policies cancelled a month ago). Obama’s goal is that, once the market has been destroyed, the public will turn to the government to take over entirely.

In sum, don’t believe this nonsense. Obama is elbows deep in the nitty-gritty of politics, he’s just not in it for the same purpose of Clinton (to come out on top, popularity wise). He’s in it for power, and that’s a whole different style of wielding an entirely different sword.



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