Saturday, June 19, 2010

The great disillusionment

As we see liberals starting to bemoan the response of the Obama administration to the oil spill and his weak speech, we're seeing more than a growing fatigue with Obama, we're witnessing liberals coming into contact with reality. Contrary to their ideology, a government run by well-intentioned and bright people can't really set us on the road to a better, more perfectable world. Rich Lowry writes of this growing realization of the limits of government solutions to every problem.
Obama cited the production of planes and tanks during World War II and the Apollo mission to the moon as evidence of government's awesome proficiency. But those were relatively straightforward feats in manufacturing and rocketry from 70 and 40 years ago, respectively.

If landing a man on the moon proves government can do practically anything, what does it prove that it can't get the right kind of boom to the right places and deploy it properly in the Gulf? What does it say that the Environmental Protection Agency couldn't get its story straight on what kind of dispersant BP could use on the oil? What does it show that it took weeks for the government to approve the building of protective sand berms by Louisiana?

That there are indeed challenges, in Obama's words, "too big and too difficult to meet." The largest spill in US history was going to be a chaotic mess regardless of who was president, because it was unprecedented, vast and complex.

The liberal chest-thumping about declaring "war," or even a "holy crusade," on the spill speaks to an impatience with the inevitable delays and inefficiencies of a government operating -- in league with a hated company -- in confusing circumstances. As The New York Times reports, "From the beginning, the effort has been bedeviled by a lack of preparation, organization, urgency and clear lines of authority among federal, state, and local officials, as well as BP."

Welcome to soggy reality. The great liberal disenchantment is the realization that it's beyond Obama's powers to turn back an oil spill, let along the tides. He's just a president, and not even a particularly good one.
It's not his fault that there is a massive, uncontainable oil spill in the Gulf. It's probably not even his fault that there have been so many false starts and incompetent moves made in the past two months. That is what happens when a massive government pivots to address an unprecedented crisis.

But Barack Obama had sold himself as being someone different. Someone who would fulfill the most optimistic and dreamy visions of the possibilities of a politician to heal our world. He was The One we'd been waiting for. He was going to be the new leader who would harvest all those bright people to make everything work much better than that nincompoop George W. Bush. And suddenly, we're seeing that he's just a mortal guy whose skill was giving a good speech that would feed people's idealistic dreams. But now he's in office and we need more than dreams to stop the spill. And the speech wasn't even good. Suddenly, they're sensing that Obama wasn't the transformative guy they'd believed him to be. And what is worse, government just isn't as competent and agile and able to do perform well all the responsibilities liberals keep heaping on it from managing car companies to health care to the environment to our waistlines.

If they can't put their faith in Obama and government action, what now do they have left?

9 comments:

pumping-irony said...

I notice that Brooks and the others who are now coming out of their Obama-coma keep saying "but he is really smart" or "they are really smart people." I wonder if that is just their way of making excuses for themselves... in other words, "I feel so dumb for jumping on this bozo's bandwagon but he SEEMED REALLY SMART! It's NOT MY FAULT I goofed up like this so please keep paying attention to me!" OK by me, I never paid any attention to them to begin with.

ic said...

Smart asses. They disdain people like Palin because she isn't an Ivy. By getting a degree from Harvard, a liberal idiot who can't utter a coherent thought without the teleprompter becomes the smartest elite on earth. Of course a conservative who has degrees from two Ivies remains an idiot.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Contrary to their ideology, a government run by well-intentioned and bright people can't really set us on the road to a better, more perfectable world.

i have to laugh

this is a great example of the "it can't be done" side of things that people are so fond of pointing out when telling stories of how we americans can set our minds to do great things, despite the naysayers

i'll take the optimistic view of our great country, thank you

i look forward to republicans running on this "we can't succeed" philosophy

geoford said...

Image how different the situation in the Gulf would be if Palin were president. She would demonstrate that you don't need a comic book superhero to make things work, just someone whose heart, mind and energies are in the right place.

Pat Patterson said...

What a leap in logic. From doubting the ability of politicians to impugning the determination of the American people as a whole. By that reasoning merely noting the obvious in the inability of toddlers to not pee and poop on themselves to assume that adults have the same problem. Unless TV hasn't shared something with us?

If Republicans run and win then it will be because they promise the American people to let them come up with the solutions. It is the Democrats who are running on the platform that the American people are incapable of taking care of themselves and must be guided and prodded to do the 'right' thing.

equitus said...

I don't share TV's warm and fuzzy feelings towards collectivism and statism, even cloaked in patriotism.

I blame an excessive knowledge of history for not seeing things his way.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Pat Patterson said...
What a leap in logic. From doubting the ability of politicians to impugning the determination of the American people as a whole.


you managed to "hear" the exact opposite of what i said. nice!

equitus said...
I don't share TV's warm and fuzzy feelings towards collectivism and statism


more hallucinations and strawmen. um, when did i ever say anything remotely like being in favor of collectivism and statism?

the little company that i started is selling product and resale licenses, by the way

Pat Patterson said...

Maybe you ought to read your own response more carefully. From a comment that expressly criticized the ability of the brightest to govern to your claim that somehow that is an indictment of the American people. Or are you arguing that the "...can't be done" refers to all of us rather than specifically the government.

Ronsonic said...

Sadly a lot of these poor naive liberals have always had unrealistic / impossible expectations of government power and effectiveness. The poor bastards honestly and sincerely believed that everything bad in the last several years was caused by George W Bush's incompetence and indifference. It's almost sad, like little kids learning that there's no Santa.