Monday, February 23, 2009

Is Obama really America's new shrink?

Shrinkedwrapped discusses some issues he has with a Newsweek article about Obama entitled, "America's New Shrink:"
Talk (thought) and action are decoupled. We need to trust him as he tells us how to behave without offering us any chance to look within the details of the package we are supposed to embrace. Many people who are in trouble are eager to surrender their autonomy and be bailed out. For them, Obama may well be an adequate therapist. However, for the most productive members of society, people who did not succeed in life by surrendering their autonomy to others, such "therapy" is more than a little insulting.

If Obama is America's "new shrink," you would think he would know that.

Update: Neo-Neocon has more on the Newsweek article.


Blogger TMink said...

I can see the reason for the confusion, but I think it is more accurate to identify our current President as the Rescuer in Chief for those people who currently identify themselves as victims.

You know, the ones addicted to OPM.


3:27 PM, February 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama is a big nothing. He was elected not for what he had done, which was nothing, but because he made people "feel good." Well, that's a hell of a way to pick a President.

And now that's all he has to offer as Presiden: more of the same "good feelings." That's why his pulic appearances, like the recent ones in Indiana and Florida, seem like whistle stops in a campaign that was supposed to have been succesfully completed in November of last year.

The voters chose a guy with almost zero experience at the Federal level, with literally no executive experience, with no real accomplishments to show for his political years at the State level, with nothing to show for his supposed work as a "civil rights" lawyer (no big cases won, no important precedents set), with nothing to show for his much ballyhoed academic and schlolarly career (he never really was a "professor," and never wrote or published a single scholarly or acadmic book, or even an article, as Harvard Law Review Editor, or otherwise), nothing to show for the years, and hundreds of millions dollars, he spent, supposedly working to improve Chicago's public schools, and, according to his own testimony, very little to show for his over-hyped stint as a "community organizer." Obama, whatever his accomplishments as a college and law student, has not really applied himself since then to any one, full-time, challenging job.

As a politician, what he has mostly done is run for office, working his way up the ladder incredibly quickly, without ever actually achieving much in the office he held. He can win elections. He can write popular books about his life. He can give (if not necessarily write himself) speeches that people find to be eloquent and moving. Fundamentally, he is a talker. But he has never had to run anything: not a business, not an academic department, not an executive agency, and doesn't really know how. Nor, does it seem, that he is inclined to work hard, either in governing or learning how to.

He makes African Americans "feel good," because he is the first one (supposedly) to become President. He makes many white people feel good because he assuages their racial guilt without being too "threatening." He is handsome. Superficially, at least, he is charming. He is "cool" (in both the sense of being hip and in keeping calm--"no drama Obama"). He fits the "profile" (if you will), of the young, good-looking, articulate Black preacher/moral teacher, in the mold of Martin Luther King Junior. But none of that gets the job done if the job is governing.

Perhaps, when Obama cast the dice to run for President this last cycle (probably late in 2006 or early in 2007), he thought that, if elected, all he would have to do is "preside" (sort of on autopilot) as president. He would wind down President Bush's already unpopular war in Iraq, but otherwise, things would be going relatively well. He could, he thought, just kind of glide on by, as he did in the State and US Senates, at his law firm, at the U of Chicago, the Annenberg challenge, and so on. I doubt seriously that he thought he would have to confront the biggest economic crises since the Great Depression. Now he is in way over his head.

He's not an "idea guy." His campaign was all about "feel good" slogans that don't really translate into anything that you can pin down. He is not a "policy wonk" either. There is no program or policy with which he is strongly associated. Even his basic idealogy is kind of a mystery; he has voted (when he didn't vote "present" or duck the vote altogether) mostly liberal, but he made a lot of moderate and even conservative "noises" during the campaign. He is not a tough administrator (as he has never adminstered anything). He's not a hard worker. He doesn't even seem to be intellectually curious, as his gaffes about the march on Selma and the liberation of Auschwitz don't show the range of historical/political knowledge of a good Jeopardy! contestant. He doensn't even seem to crave power so much as he does fame, endless praise and adulation.

There just isn't any "there" there with Obama. All he can do is try to make you "feel good." He has, apparently, no other skills or abilities.

7:41 PM, February 23, 2009  
Blogger smitty1e said...

Not just no, but [expletive goes here] no.

7:58 PM, February 23, 2009  
Blogger Cappy said...

Does this mean Oprah has been fired?

5:17 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Bob Sorensen said...

Take a man with a huge ego and poor ethics, add a strong propaganda machiine, then add the fact that he believes his own press — yep, B. Hussein Obama is whatever people say he is. Just ask him.

6:02 AM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger dweeb said...

"If Obama is America's "new shrink," you would think he would know that."

Why? 99% of those actually hanging out a shingle in the mental health industry don't understand it.

11:48 AM, February 27, 2009  
Blogger Obernai said...

Actually, I think it is the opposite. Obama is America's new psychopathology. Unfortunately, like any good psychotropic, the medication won't have any effect for quite a while (Nov2010).

However, what the 'teaparty' crowd, and PJTV are doing can certainly be considered therapuetic as it gives me and others HOPE for eventual CHANGE!!!!

11:35 AM, March 03, 2009  
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