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May 05, 2011

A New Obama Unveiled

The rate of change in human culture continues to increase, fueled mostly by forces few seem fully aware of. Indeed, it’s questionable if any one human could even be aware of all the relevant forces, let alone devise a coherent model explaining their current integration. The culprit is change itself: not only do we live in a constantly changing universe, the more we learn about it, the less comprehensible it becomes. Not that we haven’t realized great technological success from Science- our most effective tool of inquiry to date- it’s just that Science under control of the contentious leadership represented by the current UN model is more likely to create new existential problems than to solve them.

Shifting to the more mundane arena of domestic politics, every newly elected American President with a desire to be remembered favorably by history (and they all do) faces an immediate problem: how to assure a second term. To put that into context, Barack Obama has had forty two individual predecessors since George Washington set a 2 term precedent that was hardened into a Constitutional Amendment after FDR. Only ten presidents since Washington were elected to a second term in the next election cycle and it is from that select group, plus a few exceptions, from our most honored presidents are selected. Even the exceptions: TR, Truman, and LBJ, all successor Presidents, won election on their own after serving a decedent’s term. Calvin Coolidge, the one exception to that profile is remembered mostly for his inactivity.

The bottom line is that the North American experiment in government launched by a few dissident British colonies on the eve of the Industrial Revolution has succeeded in ways that clearly weren't anticipated by those who signed our Revolutionary manifesto in 1776 or the delegates (including eight holdovers) who wrote a Constitution in Philadelphia eleven years later.

To update to the present, it now appears likely that Barack Obama, despite the enormous twin handicaps of being perceived as “black” and the disastrous fiscal and international legacy of eight Bush-Cheney years, has grabbed a lead in the 2012 White House sweepstakes that will be difficult to overcome. Just how he did that is perhaps the most important facet of his leadership, one which I must admit I had overlooked in my concern over his waffling on drug policy. I now understand that waffling as a normal reluctance to risk taking the lead on a marginal issue. Decisive punishment of Osama bin Laden for the crime of 9/11 was the more obvious choice and Obama has accomplished that with such dispatch and aplomb that his political enemies should be very worried.

It now remains to be seen if the latent impact of the Bush-Cheney disaster on the world's economy and weather patterns can be kept at bay through November 2012; to say nothing of how they will be dealt with in the intermediate future.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at May 5, 2011 05:29 PM