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Not the Joker, but maybe the Riddler?

In one of his rare candid moments in one of his books, Obama called himself “a blank slate”.

Incredulous followers refuse to believe. The latest serious effort to define Obama came from Anglachael who came with a clever name

The Un-Reagan

That’s because she was arguing with Paul Krugman who reminded us how Obama claimed the Reagan mantle during the election and was now implementing some of his agenda.

To this, Anglachael correctly observes Reagan was advancing  the political agenda of the Cnservatives while Obama

Simply put, it is a lack of a political purpose for wanting to be president. He doesn’t have any specific use for power so he doesn’t value it.

And I think that’s where the “postpartisanship” comes in. Obama may at times speak like a Democrat while, pretty much continuing the Bush agenda.

Un fact, Anglachael’s title reminds me of something Bill Schneider said on CNN at the beginning of the elections:

Clinton is running as the anti-Bush, while Obama is running as the un-Bush. Which will primary voters prefer?

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Considering his much Clinton got attacked to install Obama, this is a satisfying read:

His approach is like a weak version of the most unkind caricature of Big Dog, too afraid of offending the Serious People, too much wanting love and approval to be decisive, to make hard choices,to draw lines in the sand, etc.

But in the end, I disagree that Obama is aimless, much as politically it may appear to.

From the bailouts to the healthcare reform, from the wars to the decisions on interrogations and torture, a clear pattern emerges. Bush called it “compassionate conservatism”. Jr.jr might as well call it “Compassionate Bushism”

The political confusion reminds me of the time Bush tried to appoint Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court. She too was politically “a blank slate” and you’d think this would have been a plus for a judge. But it’s what she lacked (conservative views) and what she actually was (a corporate tool) that made her the target of – everyone.

Obama is the natural continuation of Bush – in the Harriet Myers direction – less party, more corporations.

His handout to the Wall Street without regulation is keeping the country poised for a double dip – while the more regulation happy Germany and France are out of the recession.

The Healthcare bill that is in the works will do for insurers what W’s social security privatization was to do for investors:

provide them a captive new market to the tune of millions . Because the new bill may lack any mandate for insurers but it will still have the mandate for people to purchase it. And that’s why no matter how confusing Obama’s moves seem to be – he does want a bill passed – and he’ll get it too.

Because the answer of the question in the headline is easy: follow the money. Almost one billion dollars went into his election (a jump from W’s 200,000 in his last). And the pretense of the “little donors” is the answer and the confusion.

We know donations under $200 were never disclosed to the FEC and B0bots can only take credit for a fraction of it.

The rest of them are emerging as the pay-offs are being doled out – Goldman Sachs and partners, insurers, pharma and others to come. The politics of it are simple. In Chicago they called them “pay as you go”. I see this so far as “payback”

As for the political agenda – there’s only one: “Love me! Re-elect me” oh, and accumulation of power in the executive.

For the sake of self-perpetuation.


Some of these thoughts about Chicago politics reinforce my conclusions

Chicago politics is not about ideology.  It is about, “Who Gets What, When, and How,” to quote the inimitable Harold D. Laswell, one of the outstanding political theorists of the last century.
The sine qua non of Chicago politics is power, getting it and keeping it.  Everything else is incidental.  Even corruption is a byproduct of power and is functional only if it enables you to stay in power.