Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Post No. 148a: Sometimes We Wonder Why He Went to Brazil


Prior to his departure to Brazil to commence his sabbatical, the Logistician generated this post on October 25, 2008, roughly two years ago. It outlined his concerns on the off chance that candidate Obama won the presidential election.

Looking back on it, we sometimes wonder whether he headed to Brazil for a reason other than getting some much needed rest and relaxation.

Check it out.


© 2008 and 2010, the Institute for Applied Common Sense

Earlier this evening, I had a conversation with a friend, Lawrence, about the prospect that Obama might actually pull this thing off. Lawrence, an Obama supporter, participated in a neighborhood campaign drive several weeks ago.

He turned and looked at me with a slight tinge of amazement, when I said that I hoped that Obama did not win this election.

You see, it’s not that I have anything of real substance against Obama. However, I just do not honestly think that America is ready for a black president. Plain and simple.

We’re not there yet.

Same goes for a woman president. Does that mean that I feel that the battle should not be fought? Of course not.

This has nothing to do with my personal views – just my thoughts watching the battle and the soldiers on both sides. Certain more optimistic or lofty-ideal commentators have spoken about how far our country has come, and the message which it will send to the world.

Let me provide an analogy which might better explain my concern.

There are many legal organizations, which advocate certain positions, and wait for years to pursue the appropriate “test case” to advance their positions. Timing is very important. The mood of the country, the facts of the case, the strength of the plaintiff, the financial resources available, and the judges on the bench, are all factors.

Such cases are not prosecuted carelessly, without considering the big picture / long term effects.

As much of an optimist as I portray myself, there are some practical issues about which I am very concerned.

First, I think that we are in for some very difficult economic times for several years to come.

Second, to the extent that any purported damage done by the current folks in power can be addressed, it will take a long time to perform any corrective action.

Third, this war thing is not going to be resolved as quickly and easily as we might argue, no matter which side is telling it.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, we don’t have the financial resources to do much of anything.

We all know, on a practical level, that when times are bad, fault and blame are placed on the executive in charge, and the party in control of Congress.

Imagine the discourse while Obama presides over all of these complications. I can tell you how soon the criticism of his policies is going to start.

I have a fear that should he win, within 2 years, the electorate will be calling for his head. And his opponents will undoubtedly demonize him and say, “I told you so.”


Economic hardship and pain have a way of quickly erasing all memory about the good times associated with the successful candidate’s election, and the good times that he anticipates down the road.

The patience of the electorate will get short. Real short.

And it is not just Obama about whom I am theoretically concerned. I would be just as concerned about the first woman to occupy the office. Or the first Hispanic.

Quite frankly, the first of any group, after years of conspicuous absence of similar individuals, should not be remembered for bad times. I’d almost have him lose this one and win the next one, when the economy is on the upswing. But then again, there may not be another time.

And so I told Lawrence, there is only so much that a president can do, and that the problems are global and deep rooted in nature. Lawrence looked at me and said, despite that, he wanted a president who inspired hope around the world. Is that a good enough reason to want to see Obama win?

You tell me.

P.S. In the end, Hillary may have been the victor.

© 2008, the Institute for Applied Common Sense

19 comments:

  1. Wow, you were right on target with your concerns. Except for the calling for Obamas head within two years, they did not waste much time and did so right away.

    I always thought that the US was not ready for Mr. Obama and was surprised that he did get elected. His election raised the hopes of a lot of people around the globe. That was short-lived as the demonization of him started immediately. People question his citizenship, think he's a Muslim and come up with slogans like "We need to take our country back, (from this black man)". Obama gets blamed for everything that happened within the last decades, even the wrongs of the other party. The reaction would have been the same if a Hispanic would have been elected. I do not think that the reaction would have been as bad though if Hillary would have been elected, after all she is white, has an English name, has US born parents).

    Quiet frankly I do think that even if the economy would have been on the upswing, the demonization of Mr. Obama would still have taken place as it is much easier to sell a bunch of lies to ignorant folks than tell the truth.

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  2. Thanks wsteffie:

    Interestingly, most intellectually honest and clear thinking Democrats with whom we come into personal contact will acknowledge (privately if not publicly) that little has been accomplished during the Obama administration, especially with respect to the economy, except perhaps a different tone.

    However, although some of our international counterparts might appreciate the difference in tone, the reality is, "It's the economy, stupid." Probably the only way he could be viewed favorably here is if the economy had effectively turned around during his first year in office, and was on the upswing now.

    Quite frankly, we don't know any one person, even in conjunction with their party in control of Congress, who could have pulled that off, although Obama implicitly, if not explicitly, suggested that in the long run, after a difficult period, things would get better for the middle class.

    He perhaps gave people too much hope, and raised their expectations too high. On the other hand, he probably would not have been elected if he hadn't.

    What continues to amaze us is the thought process of many of his critics. Earlier this week, a fairly sophisticated caller into a talk radio show said that there was one thing that Obama had done which was positive, and which he, the caller, appreciated - convincing the caller to leave the Democrat Party and become a registered Republican.

    He explained that his parents had been life long Democrats, and that he had been one up to this point.

    He then posed this question to the very sophisticated talk show host by expressing his fear, and asking the host to "...tell me it ain't so."

    The caller's concern was that Obama was intentionally driving the US economy into the ground, to create a financial crisis, to justify the President "calling off" (we assume that this means some form of martial law) the upcoming mid-term elections.

    The host correctly told the caller that he need not be concerned about that, but not because it would be illegal or in violation of the Constitution, but rather because all of those citizens, who carried flags around the 9/11 events recently, would gather their guns and pitchforks and go after the President. he suggested that the President was not quite that stupid.

    However, it does not stop there. The host then claimed that the only reason that Obama ran for president is because he hates the free enterprise system, and considers it to be the "enemy." He further noted that the President wanted the perverse pleasure of "sticking it to rich people," because he and his Marxist friends think that the rich take advantage of the poor.

    Once you open with that type of invective, it makes it difficult to continue a conversation along constructive lines.

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  3. Intellectually honest politicians are rare these days.:-) I agree with you, I do not think there is no one that could have turned around the economy. As a politician you have to offer the people some hope in order to get elected, that is the same everywhere. Imagine a completely honest politician saying that things will get worse before they get better. I doubt that would generate a lot of votes.
    OMG, that caller is hilarious, sounds like he would fit in well with the Tea Party. Thanks for the laughs. What I do find equally troubling are some people that feel the need to go conform, and do not dare criticize anything Obama does.

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  4. George Bush hadn't even taken the oath before the attacks started over his "competence." And they never let up except for a very brief period after 9/11/01. A very brief period. And it is still going on. Get over it. Obama's policies are behind his plummeting poll numbers.

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  5. Logistician,

    Never for one moment have I thought that “America isn’t ready for a black president” nor would I have calculated that society would be more equitably predisposed to that individual’s presidency had times been better.

    What I did think was we were not yet ready for a president about whom we knew little, either of his background or of his policies.

    I don’t know if he was or wasn’t born an American, but since implementing fascistic corporatist policies is not an accepted practice in America, I am forced to say that (like Bush) he certainly doesn’t behave as an American.

    And neither do I know whether he is or is not a Muslim, but I know that he panders to Muslims. For perspective, can you imagine President Truman bestowing his blessings upon the construction of a Shinto shrine in Pearl Harbor in 1950? But let’s go back a few years: Google “Raila Odinga” and “Kenya” and see what you learn about Obama’s role in the 2007 Kenyan election fiasco and the Muslim-led riots/murders which followed.

    One more thing: Americans do not allow their borders to remain unsecured -- as has every exec going back to the sixties.

    Sometimes hope and change are simply not enough. And sometimes there is simply not any hope of enough change . . .

    Jeff Dreibus

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  6. "great article here, thx for sharing"
    http://evocowire.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm wondering if Mr. Dreibus or any other reader can help me out here. I admit that I'm quiet ignorant, but I'm here to learn. I would like to know why some people are not sure about Obama's background and question his religion and citizenship? What is the reason and why not doubt everybody else that runs for president? I did not google "Raila Odinga" but know that he's Kenya's PM. Besides that, I also recall that he referred to himself as Obamas cousin and that was heavily scrutinized by people who do not seem to know any Kenyans. It's common among Kenyans to use the term "cousin" abroad when referring to someone from the same region. I'm wondering why his name was brought up? What difference would a cousin living abroad make? Just wondering as I recall that Bill Clinton's brother was a convict and that did not cause so much outrage.

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  8. wsteffie, I wonder about people that plead a bit of ignorance but then are unwilling to lift a finger to research what someone offers. After all, if you want to know why someone might not believe Obama is a native born American or why someone might believe he's a Muslim, why not follow a link that might enlighten you as to what they read that might mislead them so?

    You see, understanding why someone believes as they do requires that you "get inside his head", as we used to say. And the best way to do that now is to visit the sites on the internet that he visits.

    Since you are a thinking person who is "here to learn", why not make an effort to learn? A friend of mine used to say... "Learn is not a passive verb."

    Don't worry, you won't be brainwashed by looking at those sites. At least, I hope not.

    Personally, I think the Birthers and the "Obama's a Muslim" crowd are rather simple minded, a step below the 9-11_Truthers. You won't change their minds with facts. But they seem to be a nice diversion for those who don't want to acknowledge that Obama's popularity fall is tied directly to his policies. After all, rather than look at the facts, one can blame racism, ignorance, and wacky conspiracy theories.

    Oh, by the way, some made a similar "not native born" charge about McCain... since he was born in a military hospital in the Canal Zone.

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  9. Steffie,

    Raila Odinga was mentioned because Obama's support of Odinga in Kenya's presidential election speaks to his own character and values.

    Odinga is a Muslim who advocates (or at the very least tolerates) terrorism as a means of advancing himself. When he came in third in a three-man presidential race, rather than accept defeat gracefully he instead ginned-up his followers until they rioted. At one point, they burned a Christian church killing two dozen worshipers (for those who are unaware, Kenya is not a “Muslim country”, which is to say that it is not ruled by Sharia Law - at least not yet). To avoid further violence, the Kenyan government then “rewarded” Odinga with the position of prime minister – an office with actual power, created specifically for him as a consolation prize to quell his follower’s tantrum.

    I could give a rip about the blood kinship or absence thereof between Obama and Odinga. What concerns me is that the president of our nation could and did support such an individual as Odinga for high elected office and then did not decry his actions following Odinga’s loss.

    I originally suggested that readers of TVFMTW Google this piece of Obama’s history rather than taking it upon myself to spell it all out (as above) and then have them scoff in place of doing research.

    Curses, foiled again.

    Jeff Dreibus

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  10. Jeff,

    Thank you kindly for your explanation, sorry I took up your time.

    Steffie


    Douglas,

    Quiet frankly I would have loved to receive a link. It makes a big difference if you use a search term on google in the US or in Germany, you get different results! My mistake, I phrased the question wrong, should have asked for a link or a website name. Somehow I did get the impression that Jeff was referring to reputable websites that have evidence of Obamas support of Odinga.

    The limited information I do have (from the German and English press) about this is that, the whole thing was a hoax, based on fake memorandums, emails and photo shopped Pictures.

    I'm not worried about being brainwashed, with convincing information/facts I see the possibility of changing my opinions.

    Steffie

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  11. Steffie, here's a link that should have been available even from Germany...

    Odinga and Obama

    We do forget that some countries censor the internet searches. I guess you could say we are spoiled here in the US. As much as our government would like to control what we see and hear and where we can go on the internet, we remain relatively free.

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  12. Douglas,

    Thanks for posting the Telegraph link, but it displays the message message "Sorry, we cannot find the page you are looking for" when I follow it.

    Steffie,

    Please return to my previous post and re-read it carefully. My reluctance to recount the Obama-Odinga story was not a function of time consumption as you suggest. It was, rather, a function of the reader's perceived likeliness to question my credibility.

    Jeff

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  13. Jeff, the "fix" is to remove the "/" at the end of the link. I thought I had cleaned it before I posted. That's what I get for not testing the link first.

    This is what it should look like:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1574963/Im-Barack-Obamas-cousin-says-Raila-Odinga.html

    This clickable link should now work:

    Odinga


    ... and does.

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  14. Douglas,

    Thanks. The article seems to be somewhat factual, but a bit a bit "glossy" if you will.

    I am unsure of the time-frame, but presumably the article's author would have known of the twenty-four murders by Jan. 8, 2008. I find it odd that they were not mentioned, nor was the fact that Obama actually campaigned for Odinga in '07.

    Nor was the fact lifted out that Odinga emerged third in a three-man race. Imagine, if you will, how the charge of "vote fraud" by the second runner-up would be received in any western nation.

    Most significantly (at least to me), Barack Obama did not then and never has publicly decried the violence carried out by Odinga's followers.

    Jeff Dreibus

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  15. Jeff, I tried to provide a "vanilla" link rather than one with more speculation. I also wanted to provide a reputable link that wsteffie would recognize.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Douglas,

    Thank you. Under the circumstances, that was probably wise.

    I will observe, however, that news delivered with certain facts omitted so as not to offend/outrage its intended audience is in fact not actual news . . .

    Jeff

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  17. Thanks for the link Douglas. As of yet there is no internet censorship over here, but who knows what the future will bring.

    Let me just try and clarify something here: I did not search for "Raila Odinga" instead I entered "Obama's role in the 2007 Kenyan election" into google. That gave me (besides Wikipedia and Snopes) a lot of blog entries.

    Jeff,

    I'm still not convinced that Obama did campaign for Odinga, what I've read so far is more speculation than proof. I realize though that anything is possible. However, knowing that you believe that Obama campaigned for Odigna does not have me question your credibility in any way. I just have a different opinion and realize that I could be wrong.
    Steffie

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  18. Wow, you were right on target with your concerns. Except for the calling for Obamas head within two years, they did not waste much time and did so right away.

    I always thought that the US was not ready for Mr. Obama and was surprised that he did get elected. His election raised the hopes of a lot of people around the globe. That was short-lived as the demonization of him started immediately. People question his citizenship, think he's a Muslim and come up with slogans like "We need to take our country back, (from this black man)". Obama gets blamed for everything that happened within the last decades, even the wrongs of the other party. The reaction would have been the same if a Hispanic would have been elected. I do not think that the reaction would have been as bad though if Hillary would have been elected, after all she is white, has an English name, has US born parents).

    Quiet frankly I do think that even if the economy would have been on the upswing, the demonization of Mr. Obama would still have taken place as it is much easier to sell a bunch of lies to ignorant folks than tell the truth.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "great article here, thx for sharing"
    http://evocowire.com

    ReplyDelete

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