Saturday, July 3, 2010

The strategy of cluelessness

Ray Hartwell explains the method of Obama's madness-

As with what many have called his inept handling of the Gulf oil spill, I think Obama is just fine with the deterioration of the situation on the border, for it may provide him exactly the opportunity you mention: a chance to enact sweeping "amnesty" legislation that will put a few million more Democratic votes in his pocket.

One thing bothers me about a lot of recent commentary, and that's the repeated assertion that Obama is incompetent. I don't think he is incompetent at all when it comes to the issues that matter to him and his inner circle. He is all about transforming the country and perpetuating the power of his administration and its ideological allies.

When one considers what he's done and is doing in that light, then it's not too hard to see how he and his allies may think that they are making steady progress and, more often than not, surmounting what they knew would be formidable public opposition.

They have nationalized two major auto manufacturers in near lawless fashion. They have shut down offshore oil drilling, and closed the Yucca Mountain nuclear fuel storage project, through orders found to be illegal by federal courts. Whatever the ultimate outcome, they've succeeded in killing two industries they don't like.

They have passed legislation that essentially nationalizes the health care industry, and rolled into that same package a takeover of the student loan business. Their billion or so in assorted "stimulus" spending has really been a pork barrel festival of unprecedented scope, doing a great deal to reward constituencies and create new fiefdoms, and little or nothing to create real jobs. The financial reform legislation promises to do more of the same as it consolidates their control over much of the financial industry.

------------ snip -------------snip ---------------

With respect to major legislation, they've come up with an approach that works very well for them, especially [with regardt] to avoiding actual disclosure and discussion of the particulars of their plans. They meet behind closed doors with allies and favored constituents, to craft massive bills (2000 pages here, 3000 there, 1500 in another case) that contain innumerable provisions that could not pass if exposed to the light of day. These bills are then voted through on an entirely partisan basis, and they are law before anyone has the ability to examine their contents carefully.

This approach is working, even though it is of course completely at odds with Obama's campaign rhetoric about reform and transparency. But he cares about what works, not about keeping his word. For this administration, deception of the public is an effective tool that will be used as often as necessary to achieve its goals. Because the mainstream media continue largely to be complicit in all of this, the administration's dishonesty is not exposed the way it should be. (Coming up on the anniversary of his charge that the President lies, Joe Wilson has a very high batting average.)

So I conclude that Obama and his administration are not incompetent at all. Critics and commentators who conclude they are do so by reference to conventional standards of competence. They do not evaluate what Obama is really about. And by the standards of what he seeks to achieve, one can make a case that he has made tremendous "progress" towards his goals.
 (emphasis mine)

Sounds plausible.

Read the whole thing.