Gut Renovation

Jim Geraghty’s got an interesting piece up today at the Campaign Spot:

We find ourselves dealing with the frightening realization that with the Obama administration, there is no plan B.

There are a lot of unemployed folks out there. A lot more worried about their jobs, a lot more people wondering about how they’re going to pay their mortgages, their rent, their grocery bills. Last year, when people first started to really worry, they elected Barack Obama to the presidency.

[ . . . ]

Obama’s first crack at improving the economy was the stimulus, and we’ve lost three million more jobs since it passed. Now he’s announcing a “jobs summit” at the White House, and a “listening tour.” You’ve officially run out of good ideas when your plan to help people who can’t find jobs consists of listening to them tell you that they can’t find jobs.

If they had better ideas, the Obama administration would be trying those instead.

[ . . . ]

On Iran, the Iranians keep making clear that they don’t want to talk and make a deal. On Afghanistan, the administration clearly thought the initial increase in troops would be sufficient; we’ve been in a holding pattern for three months while they rethink a warning from the commander on the ground that the situation will be lost within one year. China is willing to offer photo-ops, but no real concessions.

Polls show the nation evenly divided or worse on the health care proposal, but the administration pushes forward.

[ . . . ]

On front after front, Obama’s proposals have slammed into the hard concrete of reality, and the response has been… keep doing the same thing and wait for things to get better.

Geraghty’s point is that Obama, elected to “improve” everything, has failed. That he continues to implement “failed” policies in hopes of better results is evidence of political cluelessness. What we see is what we get—and that’s not much.

The problem is that this interpretation assumes Obama is “failing”. Does Obama see the results of his policy initiatives the same way? It may have been reasonable for American voters to expect “improvement” to mean “more” jobs, an “unarmed” Iran, a “democratic” Afghanistan, a “cooperative” China and health care that is both “cheaper” and “better”. But what if an obliterated economy, a nuclear Iran, a chaotic Afghanistan, an uncooperative China and a collapse of our health care system are exactly what Obama intended?

We can’t forget first principles. Obama is a radical, surrounded by radicals, completely in tune with the fact that he’s got 2 years to leverage his Congressional majority into a gut renovation of America. At this stage, nearly a year into things, it’s impossible to understand these “failures” we see burgeoning all around us as anything other than what he intended all along. The joke’s on us for as long as we pretend this isn’t happening.

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