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A Democrat for Azazel

July 26, 2014

Source: http://xfinity.comcast.net/video/Fox-poll-52-disapprove-of-presidents-job-performance/312144963778/Comcast/Today_in_Video/?cid=hero_sf_TIV

This video is essentially a list of failings surveyed Americans blame Barack Obama for and an advertisement for watch Fox News later. I could analyze the faulty logic employed in the thought processes displayed in these conclusions and deride the blatant “believe us without actually looking at differing opinions.” For the purposes of expediency and my own blood pressure, I’ll keep it to one huge point the survey and this video ignore: Obama is not culpable for this list of all the bad things in the world. He’s being used as a scapegoat here.

I make no bones about strongly disliking Chief Executive Obama. I refuse to call him President because he is a worse duplicitous, anti-Constitutional liar than Richard Nixon—and that’s saying something—not to mention the fact I don’t think he was qualified for the post by virtue of his complete lack of political experience at the federal level when he ran for office. There is another reason, but it’s moot now, anyway.

Obama has pushed through several suspect or unlawful measures, and he has disregarded basic human rights in the United States and abroad. I need not get into his lackluster performance as the American representative to the world’s leaders, either, but I do not think it should extend to “do it because were ‘Merkans.” Obama allies with politicians and corporate leaders with no interest in the rights or will of the U. S. electorate. That definitively makes him a failure as any sort of leader for American citizens, if not outright treasonous to his inaugural oath.

All that said, there are many terrible things going on these surveyed Americans somehow expect Obama to solve by being in the Oval Office. This is a deeply flawed understanding of his post and the geopolitics of the world.

1. The Chief Executive is the enforcement head of the federal government. However much power he reaches for, he is (for the moment) still limited to the second article of the Constitution, however much he abridges it to serve his ends. The first constitutional article defines the power of the legislative branch, which controls… in a manner of speaking… how the budget is spent, and that is really where the power lays in American government. Believe me, it lies plenty there, too. Congress is an even greater failure in regards to the people’s will and welfare than the office of the President. No need to explain that, I hope. The President cannot be expected, fairly, to solve any pressing issues when there is no consistent cooperation in Congress. It doesn’t matter who has the Oval Office.

2. Even if the President could use such sweeping powers to resolve foreign issues allegedly making him incompetent (he is, but that’s not why), those powers, morally, should only involve matters of state directly or indirectly caused by pushing our interests in the world: most often without due respect for native cultures and governments. At this point any such influence wielded should be used for damage control with all the bollix we’ve done for the last 200 years. The moment we begin talking about how Obama’s not strong enough to elevate our “influence” in the world, we are using a code word for imperial behavior.

We have no right to influence the world in the way Americans seem to think we have a God-given right to. The term for that is Manifest Destiny, and it was as wrong in the 19th century as it is now. We should only ever seek to gain by trade and international diplomacy without exploiting others, or permitting them to abuse the weak. Too often the President uses sweeping power for abuse of the weak instead because it suits us.

3. When this video gets into the statistics of how a party loses seats in Congress when a President has such low approval figures, the talking heads are deliberately distracting the electorate from something much more critical. The discourse we should be having at that point is how badly Congress has reflected our wishes. Or, we should be talking about how the President has arbitrarily upset the labor market by increasing federal spending in a multitude of ways (not least of which is paying government contractors an even higher minimum wage than they had earlier in this recession). Or, we could discuss how Obama inconsistently enforces laws when he is charged with enforcing all of them whether or not he agrees with them.

Or we could assess the reality of the tragedy in the world and act like we care about people when our own bottom line is not at stake. Anything like that would be more pertinent and less asinine than who gains or loses seats in Congress when approval numbers are down. But such depth is difficult when we are sidetracked by new gadgets, incessant television incarnations of the same human dramas, irresponsible escapism through collective entertainment, and when we are compelled to focus more on basic subsistence. It’s no accident we don’t know much about the world in an economy where one income is too little for survival. We may not have time to assess anything more than our basic needs and the little bits of enjoyment we are allowed to have. It feeds the apathy, and that only helps power brokers wield increasing power with fewer people paying attention to what they do with it.

Food for thought. We can’t function as a republic without understanding the rules such a government entails, and if this video is any indication, for whatever reason, most Americans simply don’t.

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