The Two-Cent Rule
Like most conservatives and the vast majority of thinking Americans (or is that redundant?), I often wonder what in the world is our president thinking? Can he really believe that anyone who doesn’t work for MSNBC actually takes his words seriously?
How many threats of “red lines” and “consequences” has he made, and then done absolutely nothing? How does he react when those being threatened respond by effectively saying to each other “Well, another day, another threat. Yawn!”?
This is especially true when he threatened (unspecified) consequences for the Russian not-quite-an-invasion of Ukraine -- and immediately thereafter dashes across town for a Happy Hour confab with other Democrats.
Could he actually not realize that his words are not being taken seriously? By anyone?
But this morning, while I was sipping my coffee, trying to wake up and desperately wishing that I could find a legal way to mainline caffeine, a memory poked its way up from a very long time ago which offered an alternative explanation for Obama’s odd behavior.
Way back in the early 1960s, while I was still in high school, I was a devotee of Mad magazine. Loved it, particularly after my math teacher called it “the most subversive magazine” that he’d ever seen. And this morning I recalled a cartoon that has stuck in my mind for the past fifty years.
The cartoon is a conversation between a man who is obviously a powerful corporate mogul and his poor secretary.
You put two cents too much postage on this letter! How can you be so dumb? Do I have to fire you?
Mr. Mogul, why are you so upset? You run a major corporation, you have thousands of employees, you sell products all over the world, and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why are you so upset over two cents?
Because two cents I understand!!
Could it be that Obama really doesn’t understand anything outside of what he spent his life doing? As a community organizer, his task was to make thundering speeches and never have any responsibility for actually following through on anything he said. Now that he is president, he actually has responsibilities. He has to follow through. He has to perform.
But each of those tasks is a lot bigger than the metaphorical “two cents”, yet he reacts only to issues that are at the two-cent level. Is it possible that Obama only understands two-cent issues, and is lost and way over-his-head when anything else occurs?
Looking back over the five years of his presidency, it would appear that the two-cent-rule is the only one that he consistently follows. If a problem is more significant than two cents, make a seemingly bold speech, and then promptly change the subject so that his two-cent oriented base forgets whatever domestic or foreign policy disaster he is avoiding.
Perhaps we should all send the man two pennies. If he gets enough, perhaps he can have someone at the Treasury count them and tell him to raise his sights from two cents to a couple of bucks.
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller, a two-tour Vietnam veteran and writes frequently about political idiocy, business and economic idiocy and American cultural idiocy. Jim also blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com/, and can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org