Another Knock On Sullivan… The Long Term View?

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In this defense of Obama, Andrew quotes Obama explaining his presidential philosophy:

Something that I have learned over the last couple of years is that I have to make decisions based on the long view. And I have to suppress my own desire for a short-term fix if Iā€™m going to be able to lead the country effectively over the long term… I will keep on making that case, and I think that to point ā€” to quote my vice president ā€” I believe that voters are going to stop comparing me to the Almighty and compare me to the alternative.

Andrew concludes “We’re lucky to have him”.

Hello… McFly!

Are you kidding.

Do you think that Obama is somehow unique in this regard? Do really you think that most other past Presidents did not think in the long term? (OK, maybe you can exclude Clinton) Every Presidential race is a contest to see who will win the opportunity to leave a legacy, to be looked at as a President held in high regard due to the changes or decisions he made while in office, to forever be remembered as a great leader of men. The invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq are nothing if not decisions based on long term projections and expectations, to create and foster democracies in the Middle East. By bettering the lives of those peoples in the region you stave off the impulse to become an extremist and become a terrorist! That sounds pretty long view to me. It’s one of the reasons you originally supported the Global War On Terror in the first place. You dropped your support once you realized the long term goals were not compatible with the developing reality on the ground.

The problem with exclusive long term thinking, is that much of the time, you never consider the consequences if you’re wrong, or if maybe some short term solutions wouldn’t actually help advance the long term goals. That’s called pragmatism. And sorry, despite your assertion to the contrary, he’s demonstrated that he doesn’t have it. Despite the short term inconvenience it might have created, he and Nancy Pelosi’s Congress never really tried to get Republicans substantially involved in the health care process. The result? They rebelled, and the final bill is a partisan piece of crap that is probably unconstitutional. Sure, Obama may be thinking long term, but, for two years, from appointing several officials who didn’t file their taxes correctly, to the appointment of a bazillion Czars, to “Beergate”, to the health care fiasco, to passing a trillion dollars worth of stimulus that, in real non-modeled terms, didn’t seem to do anything, to flailing on the Gitmo and detainee situation, to deriding the Supreme Court in his SOTU address, to the lame attempt to take credit for the BP spill fix and clean-up, to the decision to keep fighting DADT in court, he’s demonstrated noting but horrifically poor judgment in his long term thinking. And the results? He’s literally handed the House, and maybe the Senate back to the Republicans. He’s operating in an egotistic vacuum, devoid of any input from the real world outside it. And you can’t make good long term decisions from that place.

Oh, and BTW, it doesn’t show good judgment to use a quote from a Vice President to bolster your case that the majority of Americans think is a complete boob.

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