Obama: Pawn or Mastermind?

Obama's detractors seem to believe he is either an incompetent pawn in over his head as president or an evil mastermind directing an international conspiracy to subvert America.

The fact is that Barack Hussein Obama II was an Illinois state senator of little notice or importance who managed to win election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, where he remained undistinguished.  Obama has benefited from staged rhetorical skills dependent on the availability of a teleprompter and the perception that he embodied the culmination of left-wing values in an electable package.  As his presidency has progressed, his lack of experience and basic knowledge of the political process have been on full display for all to see.

Against this backdrop, it's hard to imagine that Obama is an evil genius in league with George Soros to destroy America.  In this scenario, an international cabal of progressive radicals financed by Soros has managed to fool America into electing Obama president, whereupon Obama works behind the scenes to institute the radical progressive agenda under the veneer of a centrist Democrat.

Soros also figures prominently in the incompetent pawn scenario as the evil puppeteer pulling Obama's strings to accomplish Soros's nefarious plans.  Here, Obama is an amateur politician who has bought into the radical progressive agenda as a path to power without developing the skills needed to successfully govern, who takes his orders from the likes of Soros in an attempt to look intellectual and presidential.

Reality, as is so often the case, lies somewhere in the middle.  Obama was raised around radical progressives and truly believes in their agenda, but as a narcissist, he believes even more in his own infallible abilities.  His narcissism makes thin-skinned, unable to handle criticism, unable to admit mistakes, and unwilling to compromise or even admit the existence of a different point of view unless it serves his purposes to do so.  Is there an international cabal of progressive radicals with the ability to control the world?  This is probably as likely as an international cabal of conservatives bent on a vast right-wing conspiracy to control the world -- which means not likely.

George Soros is a businessman of questionable ethics financing political movements off which he has figured out a way to profit.  He uses the progressive causes he finances to further his capitalistic quest.  While radical leftist groups denounce capitalism, they use Soros's money to further their cause.  Each is using the other.

Is Soros pulling Obama's strings?  Probably not, but Soros most likely is pushing his agenda through intermediaries to influence American policy in a way that makes profits for his interests.  Lobbying for a cause is nothing new, and it's up to the one being lobbied to decide the worth of the position being advanced.

When faced by circumstances beyond our control and events beyond our commonsense comprehension, we like to explain what seems illogical by imagining a conspiratorial group with a nefarious master plan.  The truth is that people have motives and interests that do not align with ours.  We fail to grasp this fact and project our interests, in the belief that they are the only ones that matter, onto everyone.  The simple explanation usually turns out to be the correct one.

For example, it is difficult to accept that a nobody wishing to become a somebody assassinated President Kennedy, but it is far easier to imagine a complex conspiracy as the explanation to a situation involving complex emotions.

At the end of the day, President Obama is a politician ill-prepared for the office he holds and desperately seeking help from whoever he feels has an answer to his political problems.  He is in a bed of his own making, able to reach out to only like-minded progressives just as clueless on matters of economics and who really believe that a massive dose of their agenda will succeed where it has never succeeded before.  Obama was shrewd enough to capitalize on a confluence of events to get elected president, but he is unable to admit that he doesn't know what to do now that he has the job.

Prior to the midterm elections, Obama enjoyed solid support among his base and managed to unite them to pass progressive legislation in the face of united opposition from Republicans.  His base eroded by a disastrous midterm election, Obama now faces questions from progressives whom he has alienated in order to secure a second term. Never mind the fact that the capitulation on his no-tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy pledge masks a massive stimulus package chock-full of progressive goodies.

Having no experience in the politics of triangulation, Obama naturally reaches out to Bill Clinton, the man who wrote the book on political triangulation, to get his tax deal past his own party.  However, in a show of political inexperience, Obama allowed Clinton an opportunity to look effective while managing to look equally ineffective on the same stage.  This latest public relations failure, combined with Obama's penchant for pickup basketball, his frequent vacationing, and his expensive tastes, makes the president look both ineffective and uninterested in governing.

Down in Texas, they'd say Obama is all hat and no cattle.  The simple explanation is that Obama is an empty suit without the experience to handle the presidency.  He has been useful to the left in enacting its agenda, but his incompetence now threatens that utility.

Tom Roberson is an independent conservative blogging at www.tomroberson.wordpress.com and doing his small part to save his country.  He'd love to hear from you.