A.J. DiCintio
Obama's melting mask
By A.J. DiCintio
August 14, 2011

Common sense folks wouldn't have been so foolish to predict exactly when it would happen, but they have long known Reality would one day begin exploding the reeking hot air debt balloons politicians have puffed into being in Europe and America.

They have known, too, that the heat of the blast would cause economic meltdowns certain to bring years of pain as the inevitable process of deleveraging takes its remorseless course.

However, what is said to be true of clouds may also be true of economics; for the ravaging heat that has been blistering America's economy and its people since the of Explosion of '08 is finally melting the mask that hid the real Barack Obama.

In fact, the melting is so dramatic that even liberals are acknowledging the stark difference between masked and real Barack, a fact that is exemplified by Drew Westin's honest, though, at times, lacking, "What Happened to Obama" (NYT), a piece the Emory University professor of psychology concludes by offering five explanations for the president's failure to exhibit effective leadership.

So, with respect to why Obama has been an abysmal leader who hasn't communicated a truthful, effective "story" to the public about the nation's problems and their solutions, here are the professor's three most important suppositions, accompanied by some observations and conclusions his political prejudices likely caused him to avoid.

The list begins with Westin's first possibility:

"The most charitable explanation is that [Obama has] . . . succumbed to a view of electoral success to which many Democrats succumb — that 'centrist' voters like 'centrist' politicians. Unfortunately, reality is more complicated. Centrist voters prefer honest politicians who help them solve their problems."

Here Westin comes close to one of Obama's most important flaws but fails to grasp it and communicate it honestly to his audience because of an impulse to bestow undeserved charity upon a person in whom he had placed so much hope.

This emotional response causes the professor to use the euphemism "electoral success" when he ought to have lambasted the ostensibly brilliant, high-minded president for regularly behaving as a run-of-the-mill political hack who makes decisions not in the public interest but according to how well they enhance his chances for reelection.

The same emotion dooms Westin to superficiality when he laments Obama's expedient "centrism" by claiming the president's downward spiral began when, fearing public aversion to the word "trillion," he failed to fight for a significantly larger stimulus bill.

However, whether Obama spent $800 billion (as he did) or as much as $1.3 trillion (as many liberals proposed) is not the key issue; for he was destined to behave the same in both circumstances — that is, he would fail to develop and fight like hell for passage of a courageous, forward looking, innovative plan of his own and turn the entire project over to vote grubbing, pork starved Democratic hacks in the House and Senate.

In stunningly embarrassing contrast, a truly brave, transcendent president would have spent a near trillion on creative public-private partnerships that would have left the nation with a valuable legacy, for instance, a modern electrical transmission infrastructure and a flourishing natural gas industry that would finally end the nation's dependence on foreign oil and contribute mightily to the long term goal of clean, low cost, domestically produced energy.

The truth, then, is not that Obama is a failed "centrist" but this:

Masked Obama may talk a good show about the "fierce urgency" of living up to principles that lead to change we "can believe in," but Real Obama inevitably behaves as the scourge that is the political hack, a reality that explains, among other things, why the perverse legacy his stimulus bill has left the country is a grievous injury of $800 billion of rotten, stinking political pork made all the more revolting by the painful insult of a few short term jobs costing $250,000 each.

Now to Westin's next important hypothesis.

"A second possibility is that [Obama] is simply not up to the task [of being an effective president] by virtue of his lack of experience. . .Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted 'present' (instead of 'yea' or 'nay') 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues."

Well, if Diogenes could swing his lantern in daylight as he walks about America searching for an honest liberal, he would seek no more after coming upon Drew Westin — though without question he would scold the professor for his failure to be honest about the fact that a bewitcher can bewitch only with the consent of the intended bewitched.

Overall, however, the ancient cynic would heap praise on the prof for admitting that one of the consequences of allowing themselves to be entranced is that liberals had to blind themselves to the reality that candidate Obama was a man of no significant real world accomplishments and absolutely no administrative experience — making him, with respect to both shortcomings, certainly inferior to a successful mayor of any small American town . . . oh. . . Wasilla, Alaska, for example.

There will be more regarding the fact that the liberal mind meticulously created its own mask for Obama as we consider Westin's third possibility:

"A somewhat less charitable explanation is that we are a nation that is being held hostage . . . by a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election. Perhaps those of us who were so enthralled with the magnificent story he told in "Dreams From My Father" appended a chapter at the end that wasn't there — the chapter in which he resolves his identity and comes to know who he is and what he believes in."

Regarding this proposal, two points must be made at the outset.

First, Professor Westin deserves kudos for refusing to imitate the current vogue in liberal speech by writing, "we are a nation being terrorized by a president who. . . "

Second, and sad to say, the psychologist deserves criticism for engaging in the egregious sin of psychobabble when he postulates that Obama doesn't know "what he believes."

The simple truth is, of course, that Obama absolutely knows he is a liberal to the core, even, on many issues, a sixties radic-lib.

Moreover, the truth is also that due to what Westin himself calls a "character defect," Obama refuses to proclaim his beliefs resolutely and with pride. In fact, from the grandmother who raised him to the minister he claims shaped his religiosity, he has been perfectly willing, in order to keep his real beliefs hidden in furtherance of his political career, to shove people closest to him under the most expedient, dangerously speeding bus he can find.

Those points made, this piece can close on a positive note, praising Professor Westin's courage and honesty in admitting that because liberals became "enthralled" with Obama's "magnificent" story telling (despite the president's sick tales, such as the one about his ill mother's not having health insurance), they denied reality to fashion a mask that metamorphoses Obama into the politician of their fondest dreams.

The hope is that the professor will put his talents to work to shed some light on the mental processes that caused the nation's self-professed intellectual giants to behave with such astonishing irrationality.

As part of this invaluable public service, Professor Westin should further use his expertise to explain why liberals have failed to detect a touch (or more) of megalomania in the remarkably inexperienced lawyer/community organizer who traveled to Berlin to lecture the world even before he became the official Democratic nominee and as president flew to Cairo, where he and his followers would claim his mere words touched off a Jeffersonian "Arab Spring" in countries where substantial majorities define a democratic revolution as the imposition of sharia.

Finally, to make his study of the president's predilection for grand delusion complete, Professor Westin ought to analyze the significance of the thousands of times Obama has slipped into his signature far off stare, a pose that suggests a cosmic reverie in which the pride of the Chicago Machine communes with a power that resides deep in the heart of the universe or even somewhere separate from the space time in which we ordinary mortals find ourselves.

But whatever the professor decides about a posture that brings to mind the beginning and the end of Melville's Ahab doesn't really matter; for like a landslide that increases in mass and momentum as it rushes down a mountain, ever increasing numbers of the American people are perceiving the truth about an unmasked Barack Obama and drawing their own conclusions about him.

And that is a very good thing for the country.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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