Barack’s Detachment is Engagement

The detachment and pursing about Barack’s engagement is distracting! In the middle of a global economic crisis and fish going belly up as oil poured from the depths of the Gulf on a mini-camera that riveted all views, Barack forgot that the President wasn’t supposed to have time to contemplate his decisions. There were two live wars, and decisions to be made on cyberspace and outer space. No, he didn’t farm them out as Bush did. No, as he opened up the White House to America, setting records for visitors, as he faced scorn and insults, slights and lies, stereotypes and perceived shortcomings, he let go phone calls to people who think the President should fawn over them. Bad Barack!

Beyond his conduct, is there a place on his report card for achievements and merit? For stability and decorum? For dignity and helping his kids with their homework? For the obvious love for his wife? (For having Stevie Wonder at the White House!)

I guess he should have planned more sleep-overs. The narrow standard displayed here bottles American leadership the same as money. Heel, not excel. The drip by drip polite denigration, this tsk-tsking of minutiae, the asides of people who offer friendship and shackles, the subtle dissatisfaction, the cuts and claims of friends do remind me of something Sammy Davis, Jr. once said. As soon as you are on top, they start to tear you down.

~I  don’t think anyone writing here, including myself, has a clue about what makes President Obama respond the way he does. I believe he is truly one of a kind, someone who has lived in, found his way in, and most likely absorbed various aspects of different cultures. He is not like us, thankfully; he is brighter and broader and he appears to be more centered than most people I’ve seen in politics.
      His expressed values are what I find most attractive in him as a president and a candidate. Like Lyndon Johnson with his war on poverty, Obama seems to be saying that we should do certain things ( e.g., have universal access to health care) not because it’s politically popular (it isn’t, as the war on poverty wasn’t), but because it is the right thing to do. The niceties of so called polite society don’t matter that much in the long run. No one ever praised Johnson’s manners, but he accomplished truly great things.
     The Kennedys were masters at getting people to do the ‘polite’ work of politics. As early as 1952, anyone willing and available sat at a desk with a pile of Thank You notes to be addressed by hand and sent out to supporters of JFK’s first senate campaign in Massachusetts. Other Kennedys followed suit. Were Ted still around, he might send an aide to the White House to apprise the president’s staff of the perceived value of such an enterprise, but it shouldn’t be overrated. The rich want access, not thanks for their contributions, anyway.

~Reading this made me like and respect President Obama even more. So he doesn’t enjoy kissing up to rich people. Good for him!

~It is a tough job description – President, Leader, Policy wonk. politician – head in the clouds and feet in the mud. Don’t look for that to change. Money is simply power in liquid form.


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