11% is a Result, Not a Paradox
I’ve been bemused over the last two weeks as a political junkie and pundit debate flared briefly in the pixels with my screen name attached to it: since President Obama has one of the greatest Congressional achievement records of any modern Executive, how can it be so many are so very unhappy? Stewards of the Democratic cause had the Obama paradox vividly demonstrated yesterday with an acid dart that truly hurt, Gallup polled the little people and a miniscule 11% have confidence in Congress.
Back up, eh? The issue above is generated upon a base of confusion or perplexity that resides in an incorrect application of the word itself, paradox, for it’s an easily and understandably confusing concept and phenomena. Most Americans would follow the pundit and junkie lead in defining the word, which is almost always plain contradiction. Obama is a great legislator, millions of tomatoes are furiously hurled at Congress, how can this be?
No. Contradiction is not paradox, which is the statement or presentation of two base truths that yield an opposed fact that in reality should not work, cannot work. There are many word games to display this, like nobody goes to that restaurant, it's too crowded, but in defining paradox I’m always taken by a few examples mused upon by Robert Oppenheimer, the atom is both stable and unstable, both positively and negatively charged.
Atoms are the basis of all matter as we understand it, yet they display diametrically opposed truths in the existence of their reality that cannot work. That’s paradox; contradiction is a result that is logically incongruous, as they say, results that are confusing or shouldn’t be there.
The base confusion for the “Obama paradox” resides in the bombastic, surprisingly arrogant claim of record “legislative accomplishment.” If one counts a long list of empty legislation that has been tortuously shot apart by an army of lobbyists and their general committee chairs, yielding nothing but more riches for the interests that control Congress anyway, then confusion one shall have. The Almighty Badass Legislation of DC Change, Health Care, was described as a “small start” by Kevin Drum while nyceve is still livid about it, but the little people see no change, or just tiny winks of it in the suffocating darkness. For the hundredth time, the stimulus bill worked for corporations and the Street but not the little people, no one is hiring and wages are falling. Welcome to 11%.
There’s another big problem here, the Obama Administration has a serious issue in not serving core Democratic constituency groups, while quite understandably making them very angry. It’s gotten so bad indefatigable Obama supportter Matt Yglesias has written it’s a problem, while earnest liberal Jane Hamsher says Obama despises core liberal groups, only that mindset could produce such an enraged group of constituents.
Example: the teachers unions don’t want standards after 8 years of horrible NCLB tests, they want resource attention like the Department of Defense gets. 100,000 teaching jobs are on the line this fall, we actually had the money to save them in Obama education legislation but the teachers could not get it, they just could not.
Hello? Standards with no teachers deliver the Cheney political paradigm of results: dick. The unions are rightfully livid, we have a Democratic President and Congress and they just chucked to the winds the livelihoods of 100,000 teachers!
100,000 votes in play this Fall, look at that number very carefully, 100,000 votes that should be totally automatic and now are completely potentially lost to us. If I lost my job as a teacher I could very easily stay at home, why vote for politicians who do nothing for you when your career was on the line?
By the way, the little people wanted those 100,000 teaching jobs too, parents expect teachers in schools to wield standards, who could have ever thought it? 11%, how you doon?
It’s baffling, base terrible politics repeated almost across the range of the Party. Excuse me, just what the fuck was so hard about giving teachers their jobs? Why couldn’t that be seen as an essential political act? I have no answer, much to my dismay. Neither do the unions after the Lincoln debacle, the Hispanics after nothing happened on immigration, the LGBT community after no change in DADT, the environmentalists after no energy legislation…
Capito? The Obama paradox isn’t one, it’s a false contradiction, confusion stemming from an endless braying of accomplishment that isn’t there, the little people and their constituent groups desperately needed help and change, they didn’t get it, and they’re very 11% angry about it.