I have written more than twenty posts since I started here. While I'm a firm believer in Satchel Paige logic that marking milestones can be dangerous, I thought it might be appropriate to tell you little bit more about myself. In the immortal words of Elwood Blues "My brother would like to become increasingly intimate…with you"
Now, I'm part of a group which has been pilloried at length by many during the last two years. Candidate and now President Obama rails on us and our outlook at almost every turn. We were bashed in the West Point speech. He even flayed us in his second Christmas Bomber speech from dreamy Hawaii. While we never get the top billing on the villain list that "extremists" (actually jihadists) or Republicans receive, we are always brought up for the usual sucker punch. I have no idea what's in the State of the Union speech except for the usual unpaid-for handouts and mandates, but I'm rather certain that our group will be brought up for the usual drubbing.
You see, I am a cynic and life under Obama is tough. Now, before you simply equate cynicism with simple greed, let me say we are concerned with "the self." When you think about it, our Greek school of philosophy predates that whole West Coast Zen Buddhist thing which runs along similar rails. Left coaster Mr. Star Wars George Lucas calls himself a cynical optimist. We try to help the world through ourselves.
Now, can a greedy slug be cynical? Sure, and it's easy to get the two confused. Take Bill Clinton — a man of immense appetites. The women, the food, (until heart surgery) White House furniture, all flowed toward the maw that was Bill. Even now remnants remain, such as the unending flow of cash from Saudi Arabia into the Clinton Foundation. Old greedy ways never die.
In the interests of bipartisanship, I would posit that Richard Nixon was a total cynic. It is hard to admit, because he hurt so many, but the truth stands. Nixon could take any adversity and spin it to his own advantage. Whether it was a personal adversity like the Chequers speech ,when Nixon was caught with hand in the political cookie jar, or the countrywide chaos of 1968. Nixon deftly spun any crisis his way. Of course, that eventually led to the idea that virtually any deed, legal or not, could be taken and consequences could be avoided. Say hello to Watergate, Mr. President.
Now we have a President, rising to power in the midst of a great crisis, who seems positively repulsed by cynics. Thou doth protest too much? We got an inkling of the budding cynic within when Obama opted out of campaign finance rules for his own benefit. He played by the rules until it was best not to. The dance followed the same steps with C-SPAN and health care. He was going to televise health care negotiations until it didn't serve his political interests. Too many people seem to oppose Obamacare and further exposure could get them riled up. Probably the most odious/Nixonian cynical move was putting troops in Afghanistan in 2010, but beginning to pull them out in 2011. The goal seems to have all troops out by the 2012 election. This way Obama creates a positive military issue to land him back in the White House. This truly Nixonian move makes you wish that when it comes to the troops, a different standard would apply, that personal power wouldn't always be the goal, especially with troops in the field. Is this a cynical use of the troops? Even a cynic can go too far.
Lately, the turn to the cynical side seems even more pronounced. On the eve of the Massachusetts Senate election, Obama declared war on the banks with hefty new taxes, even though the government had made a nice profit on TARP money loaned to said banks. The President said "Bankers don't need another vote in the United States Senate. They've got plenty" Perhaps most of the Senate has been bought by the banking industry. But that seems a rather cynical statement given the fact that the President himself is engaged in buying senate votes for Obamacare. Do I hear a Cornhusker Kickback or a Louisiana Purchase anyone?
Now, if Obama came out as a cynic, we could overlook some of the little stuff, like the truck. Obama seemed fixated on the truck that Scott Brown campaigned in as some patently false prop. Perhaps it was, but Brown did put over two hundred thousand miles on it and pointedly corrected the President not everyone could buy a truck. I guess in the Washington world of bailouts and kickbacks a new truck is such a small item. It's like a nice parting gift on a game show. Johnny O, what fabulous parting gift do we have for Barry?
After getting clocked by the Massachusetts Miracle win of Scott Brown, what did the President do? Why, he went chumming with regular folks in, of all places, Ohio. Ohio, that most pivotal of states where, had John Kerry received a mere hundred thousand votes more, we might be in the second term of the Kerry Administration. Now, it might appear cynical to flee to Ohio once your presidential career seems threatened. The president however, had a different take. He simply wanted to "escape" from Washington. I would suggest that given the fact that Mike Huckabee is now leading Barack Obama in the latest PPP poll, the Presidents' escape from Washington may not be all that long in coming. Or perhaps it's too cynical of me to suggest that end, especially without offering a parting gift, like a truck.