I feel as if I know the President. Like I have met him before.
Some years back I worked with a man who I will call Drew. Drew was the epitome of the Peter principle. Promoted to a level of gross incompetence, in this case a Vice President in a large international firm, Drew was in way over his head. Drew was tall and extroverted to the Nth degree giving him the illusion of command and competence. He spoke real fast and had command of litany of buzzwords that could make your head spin. I suppose this is part of what helped him make it to his position.
I remember when I first met him (he had recently been promoted) he wanted me to get something done for him quickly that had been ignored by him and his staff for some time. Drew was already in way over his head and he knew it and his tail was on the line and he needed me to help him save it. But rather that asking me to do help him out in a pinch and acknowledging the lateness of his request he decided to threaten me while dropping the fact that he was a vice president at least five times in a three minute conversation. When I told him I had my own problems he decided to go above my head. Unfortunately for Drew, the CFO of the company at that time was patient and listened to facts. He chastised Drew for his tardiness and threatening behavior and asked me to see what I could do to help.
That is the way it is with charismatic demagogues particularly when they are in way over their heads. They live in perpetual fear of being found out and they constantly feel the need to double down when they are already out of chips.
So it is with the President. I write this on the eve of the President’s speech to congress attempting to save his reputation and his troubled healthcare reform. The President, in over his head and too clever by half, tried to force this health care bill down our throats quickly and by using Congress as cover insulate himself from any criticism. That manifestly did not work. The public outcry against the liberal wishlist of ideas is like nothing that has been seen in this country in recent memory. But rather than reassess his approach and his plans, all indications are that the President intends to double down and force a vote – public option and all. If he does he may succeed in destroying his own party.
Back to Drew for a moment. His general incompetence at last made manifest, Drew was given notice that his contract would not be extended and they allowed him to work for a few months before showing him the door. But Drew, so fearful of admitting his own shortcomings spent those final months tirelessly trying to ruin the reputations of all with whom he was associated. Blaming anyone and everyone else for his own failures. Eventually, they asked Drew not to come to work anymore.
This is the way it works folks. Like the drowning man, the exposed charismatic demagogue will take all around him down with him rather than ever admit he cannot swim. The Democrats in Congress should be wary of trying to save this drowning man lest they be dragged to the bottom as well.