20 January 2009

Waiting for Obama to Arrive and Reveal Himself

Apart from ambition, there is no "there" there. There are as many Obamas as there are interlocutors. He is a hollow man, I concluded, a Third World anthropologist studying us with engaged curiosity but complete emotional detachment. In this respect he is unpredictable. _Spengler
Some people simply never truly arrive. They project an image to make others believe they are there, but each believer is merely seeing an illusion conjured up by his own mind.
From the day Obama was elected to 9:30am Tokyo time on Monday morning, the S&P 500 index has lost 17% of its value, after absorbing Obama's proposed cabinet and hearing the gist of his economic stimulus plan. That can't be blamed on Bush. It counts as the "Obama crash". With the unprecedented power of his office, Obama inherits a commensurately high level of accountability. Unless he offers something radically different, the boomerang of expectations could flatten him faster and more thoroughly than the swift ascent of his star. People in power get blamed; people with absolute power get blamed absolutely. As the economy continues to deteriorate, there will be no one left standing to blame but Obama.
Ah, but Spengler, anything and everything can and will be blamed on Bush. The habit for doing so is too deeply engrained within what passes for brains, in the skulls of American media. Still, the credibility of the media has been in even steeper freefall than the value of the real estate in California.
He will make resonant speeches, hold frequent press conferences, consult friend and foe alike, and tread water while America's economy and strategic position continue to deteriorate. His entourage of one-trick wizards, as I called them in a recent commentary, will pick over the broken American economy for trophies to put into private equity funds... Without casting aspersions on anyone involved, the opportunity for self-dealing in a multi-trillion-dollar bailout-cum-recapitalization of the financial system exceeds the grandest dreams of Third World kleptocrats.

At a certain point he will have to take a decisive stand on something. And then we will learn who Obama is, and what he wants
Decisive? Obama? My dear Spengler, you really must be thinking of someone else who goes by that name. The reason Obama is unpredictable, as you say, is because frankly there is no Obama. The person inside the shell who was supposed to have developed, never coalesced. America has elected a shell as its leader.

Perhaps the shell popularly known as Obama, believed that being elected president would provide enough external energy of affirmation to conjure a self -- like Pinocchio becoming a "real boy", the android Mr. Data becoming a human, or Sally Field becoming a "real actress" because "you really like me!" No such luck.

So America is left waiting for Obama. Will he ever arrive? I hope you brought enough sandwiches to share, and perhaps a little wine. Make yourself comfortable.


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Blogger Eshenberg said...

Followed by the stream to the waterfall and you want resist it.

Wednesday, 21 January, 2009  
Blogger yamahaeleven said...


This link gives some insight on something that should trouble everyone, and is a major reason for turmoil in the financial markets:


There are a couple of links within that blog that are worth looking into. To summarize, the Bush administration allowed the opaque taking of property, which is incredibly dangerous, just witness Zimbabwe:


The Obama administration may be able to fix this, but the damage is extreme, and the repair lengthy and expensive.

Wednesday, 21 January, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

I have been frustrated by several of the Bush administration's actions. But it is delusional -- to put it kindly -- to expect Obama to "fix" anything.

Rather a more rational expectation is for Obama to break everything that isn't already broken and to make the already broken things much worse.

If you prepare for the incredible mismanagement that is coming you may be in a position to recover quickly on the other side.

Wednesday, 21 January, 2009  
Blogger yamahaeleven said...

I agree, Obama is more likely to break things further, just like FDR did. I merely wanted to point out that Bush wasn't infallible, just as egregious as any politician, and history won't make him look any better than Obama.

I take some solace in the following graphs, although there is a recent uptick:


Wednesday, 21 January, 2009  
Blogger neil craig said...

My opinion of Obama went up when Biden made a joke about the Chief Justice suffering fromm memory loss, which suggests Biden thinks the height of hilarity is kicking cripples. His previous statement that the entire Serb population should be put in “Nazi style concentration camps” puts him on a moral though not practical par with Hitler. Obama touched him on the back in a “cool it" message & was clearly unamused. Later seeing those 2 together with the Clintons in the front pew at church made me realise he has the most class & is the least slimey of the 4.

On the other hand he chose them.

Thursday, 22 January, 2009  

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