Judging solely by facebook “shares,” the most popular post I’ve done on pomocon was a recent one that compared Obamacare to a so-bad-it-cannot-be-revised undergraduate paper.
I felt especially duty-bound to mock our President because he used the marketing language of “Re-Branding” to explain how he would deal with the roll-out disaster.
Today, it’s a foreign policy talk by Republican Senator Marco Rubio that’s calling forth my sacred obedience to the Categorical Imperative to Mock Sentences So Bereft of Thought They Would Make Most Undergraduates Blush:
Asked where he falls between the isolationist views espoused by Rand Paul and the interventionist approach of John McCain, Rubio replied:
“I actually reject those two spectrums. That talk of hawks and doves is 20th century Cold War language that no longer applies. I believe in a strategic foreign policy. A strategic foreign policy has a toolbox that has at your disposal diplomacy, foreign aid, soft power, military power, all sorts of things.”
Rubio thus rejects, Obama-style, a false choice and comes out squarely in favor of “all sorts of things.”
That’s from Paul Mirengoff of Powerline, and I’d say he pretty much nails Rubio, although I would have also docked off points for the incorrect use of the word “spectrum.”
If that were the character of an entire student paper, I’d probably spinelessly give such spinelessness a B-minus. Even though it really deserves a D.
Now I haven’t followed Rubio’s career. Perhaps this is just an instance of catching him on a bad day.
But I’m sorry, even if this is the speaking-when-tired version of Rubio, it smells strongly of something more innate to his character. It smells of shallow and non-committal thinking disguised by a heavy reliance on buzz words. And contains more than a whiff of unmerited pride.
Or perhaps I am one of those too benighted, too stuck in Cold-War categories to understand, since shocking as it may be, I’ve never even heard about this new idea, this concept of strategic foreign policy.
Give me a break.
This man was for several years held forth as a possible Presidential candidate?
Most of this is Rubio’s own fault, but I think a good deal of blame should also be laid at the Republican establishment’s door, and at American academia’s. The man’s a graduate of the University of Miami Law School, after all. On that last note consider part of a Peggy Noonan column on the Obama White House:
From what I have seen the administration is full of young people who’ve seen the movie but not read the book. They act bright, they know the reference, they’re credentialed. But they’ve only seen the movie about, say, the Cuban missile crisis, and then they get into a foreign-policy question and they’re seeing movies in their heads. They haven’t read the histories, the texts, which carry more information, more texture, data and subtlety, and different points of view
It’s as if history isn’t real to them. They run around tweeting, all of them, even those in substantial positions. “Darfur government inadequate. Genocide unacceptable.”
For four years I have been told, by those who’ve worked in the administration and those who’ve visited it as volunteers or contractors, that the Obama White House isn’t organized. Meetings don’t begin on time, there’s no agenda, the list of those invited seems to expand and contract at somebody’s whim. There is a tendency to speak of how a problem will look and how its appearance should be handled, as opposed to what the problem is and should be done about it. People speak airily, without point. They scroll down, see a call that has to be returned, pop out and then in again.
And when you apply this to the ObamaCare debacle, suddenly it seems to make sense. The White House is so unformed and chaotic that they probably didn’t ignore the problem, they probably held a million meetings on it. People probably said things like, “We’re experiencing some technological challenges but we’re sure we’ll be up by October,” and other people said, “Yes, it’s important we launch strong,” and others said, “The Republicans will have a field day if we’re not.” And then everyone went to their next meeting. And no one did anything. And the president went off and made speeches.
Noonan’s main point is that precious few of these people had previous experience running anything real. She’s absolutely right about that. And her secondary point about organization is also well-taken.
But in passing she also reveals a terrible flaw of our higher education system, which should at least be producing plenty of “school-boys” and “school-girls” who have learned from real books to have a healthy respect for experience, and a humility about general ideas. But it isn’t.
So I’d say America, until you’re ready to get serious about re-doing your higher education system, not to mention the vetting systems of your political parties, the likes of Rubio and Obama show you what your new ruling class is going to increasingly be like.