Monday, December 27

Smart People can solve our problems easily? Wait...

One of my favorite reads is Ace of Spades. Ace made the major points below--I've edited a bit:
Candidates win votes only partly on ideology, and partly on simple competence. Ideology convinces some, but not a majority; to get to the majority, a perception of competence wins over voters who are neutral on the candidate's or party's ideology.

Liberals depend on a facade of competence more than conservatives do, mainly because the media sells this image for them. The media sells voters on the idea that what matters most is not ideas or ideology but just his general competence, intelligence and sound judgment.

The liberal media portrays liberal candidates as brilliant, even-tempered, sophisticated and "nuanced" of thought; all of these are non-ideological attributes which appeal to most voters, whatever one's politics. They scrupulously avoid mentioning the usual liberal platform of higher taxes, more spending, more government power and less freedom.

Meanwhile Republican candidates get the opposite treatment from the media. Every single Republican candidate is portrayed by the media as one or more of the following:

1. Stupid

2. Evil

3. Crazy, or

4. Out-of-touch

...and pretty much you can categorize every Republican office-seeker since Eisenhower (Out of touch) in this way. Nixon: Evil and Crazy; Reagan: Stupid and Crazy and possibly Evil; Bush I: Out of touch; Bush II: Stupid, Crazy, Out of Touch and Evil.

So 53% of U.S. voters went for Obama at least partly because the media had told them how super-duper smart he was. He would bring to the job not tired ideology but brilliant problem-solving abilities. He would just fix things that no conservative could--simply because he was just that good.

Two years after taking office it's apparent to anyone who's awake that Obama doesn't have a clue what he's doing. Far from being the Mr. Fix It, he's Mr. Screw-It-Up-Worse. The slurs the Left threw at Bush-- blundering, incompetent, idiot, chimp -- seem to apply to Obama.

Isn't it odd how simple America's problems were when Democrats were out of power, looking to take over. Democrats would just fix the economy. Snap! Fixed. Just cancel Bush's tax cuts for the rich and it would all be right as rain. We could just bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and convince the Iranians and North Koreans to give up the bomb; all we needed was a really smart guy to speak the right words to the leaders of those countries--words the Left claimed Bush was too stupid to know.

We could just get the oceans to stop rising, and just reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and just do this or that.

It was so easy for the 2006-2008 Democrats to explain how they'd work these wonders. All that was needed, they claimed, was to get those idiot Republicans out of office. These problems were easily solved if we just had Smart People (TM) running things. Replace the Backwards Idiots (TM) with the Smart People (TM) and it would all be smooth sailing.

Of course now we see that none of these problems has been solved--mostly because they are decidedly not simple to solve, and only a simpleton cold have claimed otherwise. So now Obama's loyal media supporters are telling us a different story: how difficult all these things are to change and fix.

It remains to be seen whether the public will be fooled again.


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