Monday, July 06, 2009

My Theory, By Anne Elk

Wow. Right after my lengthy posts on liberal envisioning, Barack Obama's paper on nuclear disarmament, written when he was a senior at Columbia, comes to light and is commented on in the NYT.

Note his phrasing about "military-industrial interests" and " twisted logic." It compares favorably to Hillary Clinton's Wellesley valedictory in 1968 for vacuity, cliche, and touching oneself for pleasure.

I especially like the part where he says that he's "not naive" because he knows that his bigger-half-of-the-wishbone fantasy "will not be achieved quickly."

Next up, Obama's plan for everyone to win Powerball and buy a Holodeck.

I don't want to lean too far in the other direction, here. Most people who voted for Obama did not support him just because he has the right vision. They all remember a dozen pot-addled hippies from their youth who shared that dream, but couldn't be trusted to remember which toothbrush was theirs. What Obama and all progressives offer is the promise that they know how to get there. They have good practical skills for making it come to pass. They don't just talk about nuclear disarmament - heck, anyone can do that - they have actual plans that will work.

What if that's not true? Consider the possibility that Obama's theory of how to reduce nuclear armaments is much like Anne Elk's theory about the brontosaurus. Or more likely, How To Rid The World Of All Known Diseases. What we'll do is, we'll give up some of ours. That will inspire other nations to give up some of theirs. If they're reluctant, we can sweeten the deal with some carrots and sticks. Then we'll give up a little more of ours, then they'll give up more of theirs. After a long time, they'll all be gone. It's foolproof, I tell you.

Does this seem harsh and unfair? Then tell me where Obama's plan differs substantially from my exaggeration. And oh, read that link about his senior paper first.


karrde said...

My theory is, if everyone agreed with me, we'd all get along better.

There's a difference between wanting this to happen, and having a plan for getting from here to there.

There's also a difference between hoping that the world would agree with you, and planning for the possibility that one member of the Nuclear Club might decide that they like keeping the upper hand.

Dubbahdee said...

I have somewhat more hope for Obama than you. That may make me an oddity within the scope of your readers. Nevertheless, you have, with your usual assiduity, placed the arrow squarely in the bullseye. He has plans. His success will hinge on whether he can actually make them happen.
I am not convinced that he can, but I am not convinced that he cannot. You have already decided that he can't and you have good reasons for that conclusion. I take a bit more of a wait and see. Mostly because I haven't been overly impressed by the results that arrived out of the other side in recent years either.
Here's a question: On the admittedly long shot possibility that he actually does pull off some of this stuff (significant nuclear disarmament, affordable national health insurance, balancing the budget while buying up corporations, etc etc) would he get any credit, or would we just see a bunch of dwarves sitting in a manure strewn stable, eating hay, and refusing to be "taken in" or to go out the door lest they be eaten by that LION? (narnia reference for those of you who haven't read it).

Assistant Village Idiot said...

My most realistic hope at this point is that he is interrupted enough sdo that he doesn't do much damage. My next-most is that something in the world changes enough so that his actions aren't that damaging even if he completes them.

As to what I would say if all this works, I am content to await that day before contemplating what I will say about it.