When I was a kid, my grandmother had an old three-legged stool. I used to sit atop the stool in the kitchen nook of our small island cabin, and gaze out through a tiny four-pane window onto the waters of Washington's rugged Puget Sound. One morning as my grandma cooked pancakes for the kids, my grandpa leaned to me and said softly, "You know son, as long as you are on that stool, you can look out there and become anything you imagine." I thought I was sitting on a magic stool.
My grandfather bless his soul, taught me to imagine, but it didn't take me long to realize human achievement isn't due to magic. Or is it? The frenetic pace inside the new Obama White House and the stunning speed with which decisions are made, juxtaposed with a quizzically invisible opposition, have me asking, "Does President Obama have his own magical three-legged stool?" The perplexing answer is that he has one, but it's not a real stool and it's not magic.
Whether it pertains to programs, strategies, or goals, all administrations rest their hopes and agendas on a design. When we allude to a proverbial three-legged stool in politics, we're merely using a common rhetorical phrase used to describe a three-pronged design. Here is the distinct design triad President Obama is using to forward his agenda -- the three supporting legs of his political stool.
Note, the intent here is not to focus on the administrations' programs or goals per se, rather it is to explain the three distinct ‘strategies' he's using to implement his programs and achieve those goals. Whether you voted for him or not, or whether you think his end goals are liberating or repressive, we can fight those battles another day. These are his strategies. See if you think they are honest and sincere.
The Politics of Distraction
Rahm Emanuel is proud to be known as the man who gave us the opportunistic aphorism, "Never let a good crisis go to waste". President Obama promised to be transparent, but there's no real need for him to do so. This presidency understands the 24- and 72-hour news cycles, and the distractions they engender. With all the available crises nowadays, if someone wanted to actually skateboard down the hallowed corridors of the White House, I doubt anyone would ever notice.
President Obama's staff immediately kicks into overdrive whenever average citizens are focused on calamity or sleaze. Whether it's dirt-clod-stupid idolatry gone creepy, as with Michael Jackson-a clinically troubled but magical musical genius, or whether it's a nonchalant, suicidal disregard for anything uncomfortable-like a double-nuclear threat of vaporization, the Obama team capitalizes on it. Maybe Newsweek was wrong when they said we're all Socialists now. The president and his staff are uniquely capitalistic, in that they capitalize on every news cycle, each world catastrophe, and all of our major corporate failures. While Americans loudly martyr foreign protestors and rave over maladjusted Perez-type irresponsible misfits, life-altering legislation moves quietly and steadily through Congress. Two voluminous legislative tomes, one called Stimulus and the other called Cap and Trade, have the distinct possibility of being the two most influential documents in American history, replacing even our endeared Constitution and Bill of Rights, and they haven't been read yet.
The Politics of Inundation
Initially, I never had a beef with ACORN, Alinsky, or even Ayers. They all began with sincere, if not noble, motives-to aid the poor and disadvantaged, to give the disenfranchised a say in our democratic process, to provide an opportunity for all to live the American Dream. Who wouldn't have helped Saul Alinsky fight oppressive landlords or help workers beaten back by a brutal union boss? Bill Ayers even began by working for the common man. Or who wouldn't have assisted ACORN in their drive to help the downtrodden get a piece of the American pie? I'm sure ninety-five percent of ACORN members today are decent good intentioned Americans, but they are run by corrupt politicians and old Chicago community organizers, and have been infiltrated by dishonest street hustlers and Black Panther thugs. It never changes-power corrupts, being a victim beats working, and a lack of gratitude is as innate as blood.
"United we stand, divided we fall", is the preeminent rallying cry of our republic. ACORN, Alinsky, and Ayers, for whatever reasons, chose a strategy based on the latter half of that patriotic pledge. A focus on division, rather than unity, became their modus operandi. During the last presidential election, ACORN also used a negative, divisive strategy. They sought to inundate the electoral system-to over-register voter rolls and massively overload the process to the point, where simple vote tallying would be mind-boggling and recounts virtually impossible. The results of an entire election would then be placed in the hands of one person-a judge. This is the Obama strategy. Unseen bills, un-vetted appointments, and questionable policy changes are lined up like planes on the O'Hare tarmac, flying off to ‘who-knows-where', with all of our lives in the balance. And this is happening at a confounding, un-scrutinized, breakneck speed.
There was a time when a ‘major bill' might be passed in a month. Now it seems, it's closer to a week. You can't keep track. Do you know what bill went through just today? Three days ago? How about a week ago? The answer is: You don't know, and I don't know, and we're not meant to know. I don't care if you're a conservative, a liberal, or a red-headed, androgynous salamander from Plato, you should be deeply insulted and thoroughly provoked.
The Hurry-Up Offense
Many citizens are going so far as to call Obama a Marxist. That might be a stretch considering Marxists don't ‘Bail Out' their citizenry, they take it over. A bailout is deemed helpful, and Marxists seldom help their lowly vassals. Besides, a bailout has a good reputation in America. Lee Iacocca and Chrysler were bailed out by our government in 1979 and everyone survived nicely. Maybe that was because Chrysler was allowed to pay the government back, reclaim its renewed operation, and return to business as usual. But that's not happening today. After a bailout, our government now resists repayment, they have reserved portions of said private enterprises unto themselves, and they require those private companies to operate according to narrow restrictive requirements. This begs the inevitable, "Is America getting bailed out, or are we being taken over? Which is it? Recall the expression, "it's best to err on the side of caution?" This phrase is vitally imbued when freedom itself could be at stake.
Almost daily, the president speaks with an urgency found only in sci-fi movies where the mother ship is about to barbecue the earth. Every request is a dire emergency and each situation is a doomsday scenario. It's always the dreaded apocalyptic endgame and immediate action is required. It's a classic page right out of pro football. It's the ‘Hurry-Up' offense-we need to score quick or life as we know it is over...Distract...Try and catch them without all their men on the field...Shorten the count...Run the play before they're organized...Initiate rapidly! The American public is being left completely out of the game, or at best, is constantly placed on the defense and is not being allowed to help develop any of the more important plays.
Mr. Allen lives as a freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest.