Monday, August 15, 2011 at 12:08PM
Drew Wolfe

I would like to comment on a recent NY Times op/ed piece by Drew Westen, a psychologist. The title was "What Happened To Obama?". It is a very long explanation and he concludes with the following:

"As a practicing psychologist with more than 25 years of experience, I will resist the temptation to diagnose at a distance, but as a scientist and strategic consultant I will venture some hypotheses."

His first hypotheses is as follows:

"The most charitable explanation is that he and his advisers have succumbed to a view of electoral success to which many Democrats succumb — that “centrist” voters like “centrist” politicians. Unfortunately, reality is more complicated. Centrist voters prefer honest politicians who help them solve their problems. A second possibility is that he is simply not up to the task by virtue of his lack of experience and a character defect that might not have been so debilitating at some other time in history. Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted "present" (instead of "yea" or "nay") 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues."

I think this is so true. We were so unhappy with the moron Bush that Obama's elegance blinded us to the fact that he really did not have the credentials to run the US. He shows this every time he backs away from what he believes in his fight with the Republicans.

The second hypothesis is:

"A somewhat less charitable explanation is that we are a nation that is being held hostage not just by an extremist Republican Party but also by a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election. Perhaps those of us who were so enthralled with the magnificent story he told in “Dreams From My Father” appended a chapter at the end that wasn’t there — the chapter in which he resolves his identity and comes to know who he is and what he believes in."

Amen Brother! In the last six months I have come to Westen's conclusion. Obama does not know what he stands for and is only motivated to reach his second term. Obama would have been assured of the second term if he stood tall and fought the Republicans tooth-and-nail on his health-care plan, the debt crisis, . . .

The third hypothesis is:

"Or perhaps, like so many politicians who come to Washington, he has already been consciously or unconsciously corrupted by a system that tests the souls even of people of tremendous integrity, by forcing them to dial for dollars — in the case of the modern presidency, for hundreds of millions of dollars. When he wants to be, the president is a brilliant and moving speaker, but his stories virtually always lack one element: the villain who caused the problem, who is always left out, described in impersonal terms, or described in passive voice, as if the cause of others’ misery has no agency and hence no culpability. Whether that reflects his aversion to conflict, an aversion to conflict with potential campaign donors that today cripples both parties’ ability to govern and threatens our democracy, or both, is unclear."

Not being a psychologist I would have never thought of this but it makes lots of sense. If he could only see that the Tea Party is a villain to most Americans. You have to fight villains and put them in their place. I do not think Obama has what it takes to eradicate this villain.

Westen's final hypothesis is:

"A final explanation is that he ran for president on two contradictory platforms: as a reformer who would clean up the system, and as a unity candidate who would transcend the lines of red and blue. He has pursued the one with which he is most comfortable given the constraints of his character, consistently choosing the message of bipartisanship over the message of confrontation."

My words could not even come close to Westen's explanation of this last hypothesis, but I agree totally with him and why I have selected this op/ed article. What did he say?

"But the arc of history does not bend toward justice through capitulation cast as compromise. It does not bend when 400 people control more of the wealth than 150 million of their fellow Americans. It does not bend when the average middle-class family has seen its income stagnate over the last 30 years while the richest 1 percent has seen its income rise astronomically. It does not bend when we cut the fixed incomes of our parents and grandparents so hedge fund managers can keep their 15 percent tax rates. It does not bend when only one side in negotiations between workers and their bosses is allowed representation. And it does not bend when, as political scientists have shown, it is not public opinion but the opinions of the wealthy that predict the votes of the Senate. The arc of history can bend only so far before it breaks."

So what should be done knowing the above. I recommend that he add a vice presidental canditate that does not have the above huge limitations. I would select Ms. Clinton as a running mate. I bet she would not put up with the Tea Party as we have seen Obama is willing to do.

Then Hillary will be in a great position to become the president in 2016, having the experience of being a first lady, senator, secretary of state, and vice president.



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