Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What Obama should be wearing

Instead of that fine suit and tie, maybe Obama should be wearing this oh shit chart on all sides of his body.   While I have argued in prior articles that Obama is using fear a little like W. did with Iraq's WMD program, this chart provides more evidence than Bush ever had, and provides the right context and framing to power him through partisan bickering. 

I'm sure there are plenty of other charts out there with different impact goals, and there are certainly points to be made about deficit spending being a long-term problem.  But leadership means picking the best path based on your experience (assessing the past) and beliefs (predicting the future), and then finding data points and frames that support your path, and convincing others that it's the best path for them, too. 

The even better news for Obama regarding the stimulus package and the bail-out fiasco is that there really is no other legitimate, alternative strategy being advocated.  The Republicans (and even angry, fed up citizens -- many of which I know personally) have not advanced a cohesive plan to counter the administration's plans.  Yes, there are spitballs loaded with compelling arguments, but until there is a full-fledged alternative strategy that can compete with a President with a popular mandate, Obama's game is the only real game in town. 

3 comments:

Thanks for sharing; disturbing statistics.

it does seem that obama could bring more data points and explanation into the discussion. it's been interesting to see that he's been recently framing the stimulus package as really being about 4 million (or 3.5 million) jobs.

why do you think he has not (or any democrat has not) really hit the point that stimulus=spending=jobs) thus rendering impotent the republican frame that this is just a spending bill and that that's bad (enforcing democrats = tax and spend frame.)

I think Democrats and progressives feel a real sense of what has been essentially made conventional wisdom: that they're an insurgent philosophy in a generally center-right/libertarian society.

The most liberal/progressive policies were integrated into our system when government was at its strongest, and the public was at its weakest (in terms of political strength and access to information).

Now that technology has created such a flattening of information access and given individual voices a lot more strength in the national discourse, we have been steadily been leaning more and more "right" (or, more accurately, economically libertarian and socially moderate).

This is both a perception and a reality, but it's the perception that stops Dems/Progs/Libs from overtly making statements that anything involving government advocacy and growth could ever be "good."

At their best, they couch it as a "necessary evil." Because anything more direct than that would bring back the mental model of the Soviet Union and big, dark, gray communism.

Just like Vietnam has become the mental model of Iraq, the Soviet Union is the mental model of modern socialism.

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