In a much-previous life, I was both a candidate for, and an office-holder in, “public service”.
Let me tell you: The “candidate” part was –at least, in the context of the Obama Presidency– the most instructive. By far.
As soon as my election documents were filed with the Secretary of State, I was called by the Local Bugle. Literally– I was driving home from the meeting at the Elections Division , and the reporter –right then– wanted to know this-that-and-the-other. I was stunned on so many levels (how did this person find out so quickly I was on the ballot? How did they get my phone number??) — but, I was in for a season of stunners.
Soon, my mail-box was stuffed (again, literally) with every kind of come-on from firms claiming every corner of Election Advice: From legal firms that specialize in navigating the byzantine election laws, to marketing firms, to screen-print novelty shops, even to brochures for those little welded-wire stakes for yard-signs. Direct-mail firms assaulted me. Consultants that claimed the most up-to-the-second “Voter Vault” information somehow got my cell phone number.
All this for my puny, little election.
Soon, the thought of doing some actual good on behalf of my then-toddler children and fellow patriots was subsumed by making sure the local radio-spots were EXACTLY 30 seconds, including the disclaimer. I quickly found out that the “Rubber Chicken Circuit” was aptly named, and soon, the attendees at the Farm Bureau Meet-N-Greet started to look suspiciously like the attendees at the Chamber of Commerce Meet-N-Greet, and the Business Roundtable Meet-N-Greet…
Electioneering takes on a life of its own. The issues, the policy, and most certainly the world-view and philosophical underpinnings all become secondary considerations to sounding good, looking good, marketing efficacy and host of other performance-related crap. Do people like me? Do I sound like a raving lunatic? What will it be like when I win? What will it be like when I lose?
Again, this was for a relatively minor state office, now many years ago.
But, it gave me an insight: There is a yawning canyon between campaigning, and governing— and one has absolutely nothing to do with the other, beyond the obvious fact that the Candidate and the Office Holder are somehow inhabiting the same body. Like Sybil.
And worse: The more you are exposed to the grubby life of the Candidate, the more you get it on your clothes; the more it affects your ability to effectively, honestly communicate, or that even effective and honest communication might not be a particularly important goal.
Which brings us to the Candidate-In-Chief, Barack Obama. Clearly, he applies the only “skill-set” he’s acquired since rolling down the windows of the Choom Gang Monte Carlo, which mainly is: Campaign.
Mind you: This isn’t a problem unique to Barack Obama. It is a hardener set in the epoxy of the Democrat Party. There is no reality in the Democrat Party, only meaningless jargon dressed up as sophomoric earnestness– A man is caught red-handed shop-lifting $5 Swisher Sweets, winds up in a scuffle with the local constabulary, and sadly pays with his life, and yet somehow “justice” for the Democrats means depriving the entire community (black, white, red, polka-dot, whatever) of a stable, knowable, application of the law. Or, better yet: 85 percent of Americans are happy with their health-care, but we have to destroy this happy fact so that only 35 percent are happy with their health-care.
Nobody knows this better –or rather worse– than our Candidate-In-Chief.
BP have some problems with a deep-ocean oil-drilling rig? Hit the campaign trail! Some nut-job start shooting up a movie theater in Colorado? Hit the campaign trail! Boy Assad cross some make-believe “Red Line”? Hit the campaign trail! The Obamacare web-site a bit buggy? Hit the campaign trail! For every challenge met while attempting to navigate the most complex job in the world, Barack Obama can respond with the only arrow in his otherwise-empty quiver: Campaign.
But, some challenges are uniquely resistant to the weird, ethereal unreality of campaign-mode. Some require you to sit still, seek the advice of real, unequivocal experts, immerse yourself in knowledge, and apply sober judgments. Some challenges require wise, swift, decisive action. Some require the seeking of divine revelation after deep prayer and reflection. Some require the opposite of campaigning.
But, when your entire political philosophy is built on lies and deceit and distortion and graft –that is, the world of beguiling would-be Democrat voters–, your lenses for looking at the world are a bit befogged. You are isolated in your cramped little world where anyone that doesn’t comport is unknowable.
So, now President Obama is confronted with the ghouls and disgusting, foul head-hackers of ISIS (or ISIL or whatever the hell they want to call themselves) and he has laid bare the utter vacuousness of his entire political being, the zombie Candidate-In-Chief . He has no answers. And the worst part? He has no way of finding the answers. He is surrounded by nothing so much as other candidates, other hustlers, other customers-men. He is utterly alone in his crowd of like-minded fellow-travelers.
He can only campaign.
I will call him ISILated.