June 16, 2010
Barack Obama, Esq.
President Obama's crisis leadership is like that of trial lawyer. The Obama approach towards the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has the same storyline as television commercials which describe some sad and poignant medical problems which plague many Americans and which then offer hope...sort of. These sponsors do not offer any new cure or better treatment for heartrending diseases. Instead, they say: We can sue someone for you.
Lawyers, like community organizers, argue -- and Obama is both lawyer and community organizer. These professional advocates view the folks who really do things in life -- oilmen, farmers, drug manufacturers, retailers, and such -- as the cause of our problems. Lawsuits, agitation, regulation, and other sorts of constrictive and punitive actions are the solution proposed by people like Barack Obama, Esq. The Democratic Party is increasingly The Lawyers' Party. Not only are Barack and Michelle lawyers, but Harry and Nancy are too, as are many other Democrat leaders. Democrats, led by Barack, are approaching the oil spill as if an Esquire, an attorney representing a client.
British Petroleum, viewed through the prism of The Lawyers' Party, is a rogue corporation whose sin is putting profit above the public interest. But, of course, this is nonsense. BP is intensely concerned with how the public perceives it. BP spent hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising to convince the public that it cares about the environment. The heart of its ad campaign is that BP means "Beyond Petroleum." Aside from the loss of oil in the Gulf, aside from liability issues for BP, the corporation has just lost all the time and money invested in consumer goodwill as a "green" energy producer.
Obama is not picking particularly on BP, whose officers contributed heavily to Democrats. Corporate executives in general are viewed by Barack Obama, Esq. as mercenary plunderers of American society. Their ability to successfully organize private resources to make companies productive and profitable is just another trick of the rich exploiting the poor. This is silly; free competition punishes businesses which harbor motives other than efficiency. This reality seems to elude Obama and his pals.
But whatever the leader of the Lawyers' Party's illusions about the rough-and-tumble world of big business, he even less understands the work of those who heal us. Physicians, according to Barack Obama, Esq., perform unnecessary amputations or tonsillectomies just for the fee. The idea that many people enter the medical field motivated by a wish to heal, rather than to prosper, befuddles Obama -- though nearly every American has encountered, at different times in his life, the selfless doctor who acts in a profoundly uneconomic way to ease the suffering of the poor.
Just as he cannot view the free market as a self-correcting mechanism, Obama cannot see doctors as people, like public interest lawyers and such, who actively seek to do good in the world. Instead, Barack Obama, Esq. views all producers in our economy as avaricious, roaming vandals. Then he and his party can perform the only service which politicians, lawyers, and community organizers can provide: punitive taxation, draconian regulation, huge lawsuits, and screeching condemnations.
Most problems we face really do not require more laws, more lawsuits, and more taxes. The executives at BP, like your family doctor, understand how to actually do stuff, like extract and refine oil or diagnose and cure ailments. These producers make all the good things in life which we desire and consume. What about the harpies who assume bad motives in every unfortunate situation? What good do they really do for us?
Not much, really, at all. The constant frothing of moral indignation as the tonic for every difficulty we face becomes, over time, simply tired sloganeering by people who cannot do anything but blame others. The indiscriminate attack at every failure as if it was a moral failure or a systemic failure creates an atmosphere which corrodes real work. For every oil mess in the ocean, there are ten thousand successful extractions of oil, all of which are -- quite naturally -- unnoticed by us.
The free market, along with the decent motives of most people, naturally resolves the vast majority of our concerns. Life in America is overwhelmingly filled with quiet victories and the occasional defeat. A sense of proportion is essential, but that is just what Barack Obama, Esq. and his fellow ideologues of accusation lack. Their worldview is nicely explained by this maxim: "When someone sees every problem as a nail, then every solution is a bigger hammer."