Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Empire's New Clothes

Yale professor David Bromwich talks about what he called in his latest TomDispatch article "the embarrassments of empire." He also discusses how President Obama's personality—measurably different from his predecessor's—affects how he responds to a crisis.

Play:
For cable:
For dial-up:
MP3 File

2 comments:

Gunther said...

The theme throughout of your description of Obama is deception.
So, Obama is a confidence man.
One definition of a con man is "a person who swindles another by means of a confidence trick".
If Obama's behavior to date had been promoted by him during the 2008 election (vs. the "hope/change" gimmick), would he have been elected?
If this has not been a terrific deceptive "swindle", then what is it?

Alianza para la Responsabilidad Ecológico said...

Yale Professor David Bromwich has provided a reasonably accurate psychological evaluation of our POTUS, and let's face it: Obama has turned out far wimpy-er than his supporters (including me) had hoped or believed.

(If Dennis Kucinich had won the Democratic Party's nomination and the Presidency, he would have performed like Popeye, not Wimpy.

I didn't support Dennis' campaign for the Presidency because I thought he was too short to win.

I now know that he's not -- he's taller than Obama.

America needs more leaders like Dennis Kucinich).

Back to Obama:

When you set a conflicting goal in each of your two eyes, you lose your focus.

Rather than understand the fundamental issues underlying each event, he prefers a posture that straddles the fence.

I became acutely aware of this typically Obama trait when Harvard Professor William Gates was lured outside so the authoritarian policeman that invaded his home (with neither his permission or a warrant) could arrest him for having become justifiably indignant and referred to the Constitutional Rights that all of us share.

Obama first demonstrated his inexperience by intervening inappropriately, then backing off and inviting them both to the White House for a beer, thus glossing over the very real issues of frequent and criminal police abuse, an issue that still requires attention today (witness the way that peaceful demonstrators were treated in Madison) and should have been dealt with then, by setting a much needed precedent.

But that personal failing is not the topic Bromwich discusses: He refers to how the presumptions of (and insistence on) Imperial Privilege rest on the immaturity and incompetence of those that currently occupy the thrones of power.