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December 17, 2009


Oh no, not cynicism and distrust of the political system! The American political system that has done so much to earn our trust!

What Brendan calls Green Lantern-ism seems like the natural consequence of the cult of personality that was created around Barack Obama. (Don't hate on me, kids, it was Paul Krugman who first identified the phenomenon nearly two years ago. Pity he wasn't as gimlet eyed when he served as an advisor to Enron.)

And of course Obama's oft-commented on egocentrism, most recently on display in his otherwise excellent Nobel lecture ("That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions.", "my foreign policy"), feeds the beast.

Our reading for this week: Galatians 6:7.

"Oh no, not cynicism and distrust of the political system! The American political system that has done so much to earn our trust!"

Automatically distrusting something is as intelectually lazy as automatically trusting something.

They're both knee jerk reactions.

Brendan's assertion that failure to pass a particular health bill sows distrust of government seems to imply that government is supposed to re-structure 1/6 of the economy during a time of severe economic problems, two wars, imminent nuclearization of Iran, the global threat from Islamic extremists, and the issue of global warming (or the issue of AGW fakery), and accomplish this goal in less than a year. That seems a dubious proposition.

However, government is supposed to know what's in the laws they enact. They're supposed to have a budget close enough to balanced so as to protect the value of our currency. They're supposed to not waste the people's money. They're supposed to spend the people's money for the benefit of the public, not to reward or pay off their friends and supporters.

The failure of Congress and the President to fulfill these fundamental duties has done a great deal more to foster cynicism and distrust of government than Green Lanternism IMHO.

It would be great if a little bit of that energy that goes toward being angry at the president for not being a dictator went toward reforming the senate so that policy with the support of a majority of the people could be more easily passed

Rob, while the cult of Obama was certainly far more palpable than for other candidates, it's not unusual. I think that Green Lanternism is just part and parcel of being a president in the era of mass media, which really boosts the American expectation of the president as a democratically elected monarch.

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