11 February 2009

President (Does NOT Go) Ballistic

Already friends of mine on the right have given up on the notion of Obama offering anything new or better. This from the same people who gave Bush 5+ years to prove his incompetence.

I have confidence in the man for the following reason. Studies of how well people do managing complex systems have shown that the people who make decisions and turn them into action without further adjustment - people shooting cannonballs rather than guided missiles - do poorly. It seems simple but the real point is that your angle of departure matters less than your ability to adapt to found conditions.

I was able to catch just a portion of Obama's meeting yesterday in Florida. This seems to me democracy in action. This performance was not ideal - ideally, groups of average citizens could weigh in on the policy decisions behind this massive stimulus package - but it was refreshing.

Obama didn't just advocate a bill - he explained it. And more than that, he took questions. This seems so basic, but compare this with Dick Cheney.

I think that it may well be true that Obama has made some real mistakes in his first few weeks in office. Possibly more than Bush made in his first year. But I'm also confident that Obama will outperform Bush for the simple reason that this demonstrated willingness to listen and respond to real people suggests to me that Obama is not just shooting cannonballs. He's willing and able to be responsive and not just admonishing. This seems to provide every reason for hope.

On a related note, Obama's fresh approach may change punditry. Instead of Bush talking to pundits about the average person, pundits who then tell us average people what we thought and feel about what he said, Obama seems to go straight to the average person. And we learn that these average people are much more interesting and varied than are the pundit's abstractions of them.


slouching mom said...

"And we learn that these average people are much more interesting and varied than are the pundit's abstractions of them."

Ahh. I love this.

Norman said...

Ron, my mind went back to your post when I read the quote below later in the day.

"Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

David said...

Ah Ron-O, we're not "giving up" and it's much too early to make judgments or draw conclusions. Are you functioning as a defender or an apologist or both?

Measuring Obama against Bush or Cheney is pointless; why not use FDR or Lincoln? Why do it at all? Obama is Obama and deserves time to achieve what he said he'd strive to do. The only comparison measurement necessary is that one; e.g., did government change or merely grow larger? Can they spend billions effectively? Is hope still alive? We'll give him time.

It's Obama who stands to learn from going to average people provided he's listening and talking to diverse people including those that didn't vote for him. That was Bush's problem; he mostly listened to people telling him what he wanted to hear.

I'd like to hear Obama's eventual abstractions to compare with the "pundits."

Anonymous said...

Giving up? Surely you jest. ;-)
If I'm giving up, it's because things seem so pathetic in D.C. at the moment. :sigh:
We'll survive, I'm sure.
As I read this post, I kept thinking...if the measure of Obama's success is GW Bush, well, damn! I mean, that's not how it works. We don't compare each new POTUS to the old one (history doesn't). Let's look beyond the last eight years.
Let's see him for what he is.

And as far as his interactions with average people?

Three words.

Joe the Plumber.

Joe was slaughtered by the Obama machine and the MSM, alike.

Hopefully Obama's finger will be on the pulse of average Americans, those who carry the REAL weight of the tax burden, and not those wanting a hand-out. Because at this point...it's the Joe the Plumber's of America that he's shown the least concern for.