Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pomp and Circumcision

Trey Smith

Four years into his presidency, Barack Obama’s political formula should be obvious. He gives fabulous speeches teeming with popular liberal ideas, often refuses to take the actions necessary to realize those ideas and then banks on most voters, activists, reporters and pundits never bothering to notice – or care about – his sleight of hand.

Whether railing on financial crime and then refusing to prosecute Wall Street executives or berating health insurance companies and then passing a health care bill bailing out those same companies, Obama embodies a cynical ploy – one that relies on a celebrity-entranced electorate focusing more on TV-packaged rhetoric than on legislative reality.

Never was this formula more apparent than when the president discussed military conflicts during his second inaugural address. Declaring that “a decade of war is now ending,” he insisted that he “still believe(s) that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

The lines generated uncritical applause, much of it from anti-war liberals who protested against the Bush administration. Living up to Obama’s calculation, few seemed to notice that the words came from the same president who is manufacturing a state of “perpetual war.”

Obama, let’s remember, is the president who escalated the Afghanistan War and whose spokesman recently reiterated that U.S. troops are not necessarily leaving that country anytime soon. He is the president who has initiated undeclared wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. He is also the president who, according to data from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, has launched more than 20,000 air strikes — and those assaults show no sign of stopping.
~ from Actually, Obama Does Support “Perpetual War” by David Sirota ~
I used to listen to political speeches, but I don't see the point anymore. Obama, just like his most recent predecessors, says a lot of things that a rational person knows he has no intention of backing up with substantive actions. It's all for show -- a way to buck up the political base.

While the speeches themselves are nonstarters for me, the endless analysis by the political press is nauseating! Pundits, commentators and the so-called "experts" dissect every word, sentence and paragraph. They treat the words in these speeches as some sort of cosmic truths, only to forget these "truths" once the news cycle switches to a different topic.

As I grow older, words carry far less weight with me. A person can say or write anything they like, but what I look at are their actions. While it can be quite annoying when the actions don't match up with the words, I'm no longer surprised. It's the way the game is played and the game has been played this way all throughout the generations.

Why don't more people understand this? Why are the vast majority tricked again and again by meaningless rhetoric?

It is quite depressing.

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