I haven’t yet decided if I can bear to watch these pointless theatricals — remember the old days, before twitter, when we used to live-blog it — but whether I do or not, these are a few things to keep in mind as the rhetoric goes on, and on, and on:
1) From early days it seemed pretty clear that Obama was more interested in being rather than doing. That might be great for a spiritual aesthetic, but it’s a bad fit for a president.
I suspect that what Obama wanted was to be the King, not the President. The King’s role is largely ceremonial. In time of national tragedy the King goes before the camera and says, “this is very sad.” If he can assign blame on a perceived enemy he does so, and then he steps aside and retires to his amusements while those actually in charge clean up the mess and determine how to prevent future messes. Everyone loves the King, defers to the King, rushes to do for the King, but the King -who tends to get bored and distracted by the dry business of actually governing- is responsible for very little, and most are just as glad of it.
3) From the start, Obama’s instincts have been to rule, rather than to lead. I’m pretty sure he actually hasn’t got a clue about what leadership means or involves. Leadership is hard work, and thanks to the doting press Obama’s fast ascension in politics seems to have stunted him in that area; he persists in a seeming belief that if he says something, the world will just fall in line.
For this year, recall past wisdom: “Executive privilege is subject to abuse”. Oh, pshaw. Not when the executive is of the right political persuasion!
So, the president is going to talk about “a year of action” which should probably scare you more than his past five years of relative inaction, or even the stuff that sounded so good, last year, like putting people to work, rebuilding cities. Oh, pshaw.
Anyway, I’m sure we ain’t seen nothing yet.
I may peek in, after all. It’s good for my diet.