Delusion – see it in action
David Gergen provides us with a perfect example:
Obama’s second term is a total aberration. Resisted by obstructionists among Republicans and plagued by his own mistakes, the first 12 months after re-election were a bust. Why he and his team didn’t take more care in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act website will remain one of the great mysteries for historians.
But it has now become equally puzzling why he has not become more sure-footed in foreign affairs. He is one of the brightest men ever to occupy the office, and yet his learning curve has been among the flattest. Talking to players on the world stage — most of whom still want him to succeed — one finds them genuinely rattled, worried about a lack of national will and operational competence.
I have to tell you I laughed my rear end off reading the highlighted sentence. Did he not reread what he said there?
Now maybe its just me, but I would suggest that a sign of intelligence – being “bright” – is that you learn. You learn from history. You learn from your own mistakes. You learn from others. I.e. you don’t have a flat learning curve if you’re actually bright. Especially when you’ve had almost 6 years to figure it out. And make no mistake, Obama hasn’t figured it out yet. He’s not even close. And currently he’s on a global whine-a-thon, lamenting his fate, calling himself a “singles hitter”, blah, blah, blah.
Yet despite all of this Gergen and other Obama supporters can’t see past this incredible contradiction (which says a lot about how “bright” they are). They have deluded themselves into thinking that this fellow is just so bright that it must be the fault of others that he can’t seem to learn (those damned “obstructionists” for one). They cannot yet face the fact that Obama is a bust. He’s been a bust from day 1. Yet here we are, almost 6 years later, with supposed “bright” people making statements like Gergens’.
Why can’t they own up to the fact they were wrong – wrong about Obama’s capabilities, wrong about his competence, and, apparently wrong about his level of intelligence. After so many millions of gushing words about the man, that’s embarrassing. And it is a reflection on their intelligence as well. So instead they delude themselves and write sentences like Gergens’.
But even they, at least some of them, are beginning to understand the depth of the mistake they made, whether they’ll ever admit it or not:
America needs a strong, effective president year in, year out, to help propel us forward. Our success as a people has depended on our capacity to solve the problems of today so we can move on to tomorrow. The endless evasions and diversions are tying us in knots and draining our spirits.
The world needs strong, effective American leadership as well; for all our mistakes like Iraq, the U.S. is the one nation that still has the power to keep world order. But in the twinkle of an eye, we have gone from being indispensable to indisposed.
You have to chuckle about the need to include “Iraq” as a mistake. No mention of the legion of foreign policy mistakes and disasters of this administration. But Gergen, other than that, is quite correct. The problem now is the utter depths to which our foreign policy has plunged are so obvious even they must acknowledge it.
And it burns to have to do so, as you can tell. But the delusion that it really isn’t the man or his ideas that are at fault persists. It’s everyone else’s fault. Just ask them.