There is no such thing as an 'Obama Curse.'

Glenn Reynolds reprinted an email from a reader describing the alleged condition, a portion of which is reproduced below:

For the last couple of years, every time Obama backs either a particular sports team in a playoff, super bowl, world series, what have you, or a candidate running for office, the team or candidate endorsed by Obama immediately tanks. Doug Powers noted this phenomenon over a year ago, and there have been numerous other examples since then, most recently Obama’s NCAA picks.


I’m sorry, but I have to take exception to this. ‘Curse’ is a fairly technical term that implies a supernatural, outside influence that is acting in a hostile if not malignant manner against a particular target, in a way that causes that target to consistently under-perform at best and consistently fail utterly at worst.  This implies that the victim of the curse can at least be slightly absolved of the consequences of his or her actions; while suffering a curse is not automatically proof of innocence of virtue (folk culture is full of victims of curses who richly deserved them), being the target of one suggests a certain inevitability to things turning out badly.  That argues in its turn that a victim is ultimately not responsible.

And that’s where this all breaks down, of course. President Barack Obama is not a victim of a curse: he’s simply incapable of making informed decisions on his own.  And why should he be?  His life since he enrolled in Columbia has been a gentle progression down a series of soft-edged rooms where nothing was demanded of him – and frankly, nothing was offered.  Five years ago Obama was an incredibly mediocre Senator.  Ten years ago Obama was a rubber-stamping state Senator. Fifteen years ago Obama was nobody in particular.


In light of that, why should people expect him to be good at anything now?  Including sports picks?

Moe Lane (crosspost)


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