The Pot Calls Out the Kettle

President Obama defies convention in his talk of Mr Trump.

I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. I said so last week, and he keeps on proving it.

To be so open about it the president must, no-doubt, believe this ardently. He must feel also that he has earned the right and confidence of the American people. And certainly he would have a lot of people who would agree with him. Perhaps that is why he said it? But I am happy to give him the benefit of the doubt, and consider it the former—that he said it out of a pure zeal for what he believes to be so.

Not many of us know what it’s like to run a country, let alone the world superpower (most of us have trouble enough running our own household). And there’s that old caveat about statistics. Nevertheless, others have looked at President Obama’s tenure (and many still will):

U.S. Economic Indicators under President Obama

The Good
united-states-gdp
source: tradingeconomics.com

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The BAD

BN-DV798_income_G_20140725164636

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and The Unprepossessing

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Before 1980, greater increases in government debt were subsequently repaid. Since the 1980s that all changed, with ever-increasing debt (and perhaps no intention of ever paying off that debt) becoming the new norm.

history-of-us-taxes-

The only time in history that U.S. government debt has been higher was in 1946 (118% of GDP) to fund the war effort. The debt is currently equal to that of GDP: the U.S. government spends as much as the entire nation produces. In the mid 1900’s, annual government spending was just 3% of GDP. [Image: Metrocosm]

What of the social ramifications of the current president’s tenure? What of the street riots, police shootings, and general discontent? Not that we are blaming the president for these things, but they are part of the general malaise that seems to have gripped the U.S.

[Image: Metrocosm]

incarceration-rate-developed-countries

Presidencies are more than just economies, and superpower presidencies far more than domestic issues alone. Think back to before 2008, when there was very much a global status quo. That state of equipoise was delivered by a century of American global oversight—our pax Americana.

Admittedly, 2008 was the time the GFC hit the globe. Nonetheless, we have since seen a planetary shift in fundamental international relations, most notably in the Middle East, and we appear to be falling headlong into another Cold War.

More than anything else, this presidency will be marked by an unmatched keenness to maintain American hegemony while drawing down on the resources used to do so. It is the age of “managing” international relations by forcing other nations to do much of the heavy lifting. It is (and will be) seen in the South Pacific, in Eurasia, in South America, and it’s wake is the very vortex in the Middle East.

That is, and will be, Mr Obama’s legacy.

And with that legacy, is the president entitled to his opinion? Has the president won the overwhelming confidence of the American people to give that opinion? Does the president have the authority, with the runs on the board, to dote some grandfatherly gesture to his ‘progeny’ like so?

Fit?

As far as my eyes see, America (and the world) is not fit for a haircut. And much of that is because of what has occurred on the current president’s watch.

We are at a precarious time in human history, in absentia of leaders. All is not well.

References

Further Reading

The West leaves a Void in Syria

President Obama’s backing down on the Syrian “red line” has weakened him and emboldened not only Assad, but their recently outspoken allies Russia, Iran, and China. Add to this the UK — indeed it has been openly ridiculed by the Russians — and we have, the appearance of an impotent West.

Enter, stage East: President Putin, Iran, and the Roman Catholic Church!

In the guise of Christianity, rushing to help fill this void left by the West is the Roman Catholic church, led by Cardinal (call no man father) Bergoglio. Watch for the Vatican to now go a-whoring with the East.

This situation has left Israel feeling increasingly vulnerable, and isolated. There has been the suggestion for some time, but it is now clear, that we have the pre-text for a third global conflict.

When will the cavalcade arrive? Tuesday, 15th April 2014, of course.

The cavalcade is coming to town. Blood moon and all.

[Ed: One wonders just how much of a void the West plans to leave in Syria specifically and the entire Middle East more broadly, as they pivot to Asia?  They are certainly trying to reduce their exposure, but leaving entirely? Highly unlikely.]

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Featured Image

Down the Rabbit Hole – flickr

Concession Speeches

Concession speeches always impress me.

Romney attained the Republican nomination for President having satisified the Tea-Party fringe and extreme right. He subsequently steered to the centre to face-off against Obama and face head-on the voters. Expecting just this, Obama and the Democratic campaign quickly seized the initiative and began pressing the point by questioning Romney’s integrity and portarying him as schizoid (Moderate Mitt v Radical Romney). This made Romney look at best undecided and at worst untrusting.

The incumbent maintained composure in the face of a stubbornly faltering economy and amidst yet further headwinds. A late pre-election fall in unemployment should not be underestimated in its assistance to the President here. Nor too should the role of women.

Not surprisingly, President Obama is clearly a favourite among women. He has more ’emotional intelligence’ than most U.S. politicians, Republican or Democrat. But he was given the game-breaker late in the campaign by a woman. A strong woman, fearsome and tragic, who (perhaps inadvertently) gave her vote to Obama.

That woman was Sandy.

But for all the talk about who won and why, I was fascinated (as I always am) with the concession and victory speeches.

Not to detract from Obama. Not at all. But to my mind concession speeches are always the greatest. But why is that?

Is it simply because they (generally) come first?

Is it because of their candor – essentially devoid of ambition and so full of humility and realism?

Losing speeches have less rhetoric, they have less ‘spin’ than certainly any pre-election and also any victory speech — so un-austentatious that you wonder: if only the candidate could have spoken like that earlier.

But alas. That is impossible.

Concession speeches are great because the speaker has nothing to lose.