Monday, July 26, 2010

Progressive Perception VS Reality

There is a saying in politics - "Perception is reality". Well, for those of us who live in the real world, reality is reality and perception is perception. Only in the backwards world of politics would anyone even attempt to combine the two.

However, that doesn't stop political operatives whose main goal is "the win". You've no doubt noticed that all the major pieces of legislation that have been passed against our will were couched in the rhetorical garb of "a win for Obama" rather than what was necessary and beneficial for the country.

Take the massive health care bill.


Granted, we needed to update our healthcare system. But the best way was to deregulate it in order to remove the onerous costs of compliance, not add more of it. Although it's not hindsight anymore now than when it was argued at the time, we already had a system in place that operated efficiently, the private sector. All that was needed was to streamline it to allow the free market to be more competitive and we would have seen costs come down and coverage increase.

But I digress, which I'm getting good at lately.

Back to this idea of political perception In the absence of reality (which is showing all of us that the Obama administration is a gigantic failure), the perception must be maintained at all costs, which means denying reality to focus on the perception. Which helps to explain why Obama has sent a rescue team to the Gulf region.

A political rescue team.

Not to help the residents with put their lives back together. Not to assist with the mountain of paperwork, not to assess the ecological damage or clean oily birds. Not to scout out possible locations for the First Familys' next vacation. But to help repair the perception of damage this administration deserves due to its mishandling of the spill.

A political rescue team. Think about that for a minute.

From the Politico article:

The effort came about after the White House grew concerned over political damage from not having a permanent presence in the Gulf Coast states. Obama’s top advisers summoned a small group of young former campaign staffers working in the administration to the White House for a meeting, said a source with knowledge of the meeting. No one mentioned 2012 specifically, but it was clear the administration’s approach to the oil spill had the potential to hurt the president’s reelection campaign and that the issue required more hands-on attention.

Awwww. Perhaps if this administration had its' own oil spill disaster plan ready (which we now know wasn't even tested for readiness) and had moved quickly to begin the cleanup within a few days of the spill, that they would have been perceived as effective. Instead, there was little action in the early days and weeks of the spill, thus making it far more damaging to the surrounding area, which, coincidentally didn't support Obama in the election.

"The Obama campaign was brilliant at connecting with people emotionally, and what I’m seeing and feeling on the ground as I talk to people in Sarasota is that [it] is not happening,” said state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, a Democrat who organized for the campaign and introduced Obama at a rally in Sarasota two days before the election.

“So they have some catching up to do,” Fitzgerald added. “He can’t lose those votes."

If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about "progressives" and their priorities, nothing will. Political power is the priority, not effectively running the country. Hope and change are just words. What matters is peoples' lives and their livelihoods, which unfortunately are being ravaged by the spill and this administrations' seemingly purposeful mishandling of it.

So, is there a perception of incompetence? Political payback for states that didn't support Obama? Gross negligence? Punishment?

It's too bad. It didn't have to be this way. The Obama administration could have recognized the potential for damage on the day of the spill and acted immediately to minimize it. The response could have been swift and effective, demonstrating to the country that is was capable of leadership.

Then what would the perception have been?

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