Partisanship, Policies and Principles

Just when we come to understand that we have some really large challenges, the President has once again come to the rescue with a blindingly simple and universal solution. In another salvific and timely act, Doctor Obama has done a diagnostic assessment of our situation and simultaneously declared a potential and far-reaching remedy. When all was precariously close to being lost, another ray of hope shines upon us. Hallelujah let the good times roll.

Apparently, the sickness that is our current economic situation can be solved if we can just do a little operation on the organ he calls “partisanship.” If we just improve our diet with a few more peas, and have some non-invasive partisanship surgery, we can resume our normal schedule in the morning. However, standing in the way to our health and prosperity are those damnable Republicans who don’t seemingly understand the workings of this particular bodily function (many Republicans are bad with science, as you know), and refuse the operative cure. Partisanship, like gall bladders, can be safely removed with no negative side-effects. Or, so the current rhetoric out of The White House goes.

The idea that partisanship is the root cause of our problems in Washington is akin to saying that forks are the cause of obesity. “If you just put that fork down, you will slim down in no time!” This seems a simple enough construct. That is until we observe the food-lover picking up the adjacent spoon. And yet the partisanship theme is being re-cycled over and over again. Repeated enough times, it seems even the absurd becomes somehow believable.

This is political slight-of-hand at its best. The notion of setting the blame on something (partisanship) that is just as much an effect of the real problems as the currently high-rate of unemployment – and then linking that effect to your political enemies – is a brilliantly deceptive strategy. If only the economy grew from the insertion of deception, we would be operating at full sails.

The reason the economy is operating so poorly, the real cause, is directly a function of a set of flawed principles that drive a set of equally flawed policies – all of which have created massive headwinds for the economy. When an administration is publically committed to destroying the business environment, and then feigns surprise when it does not perform, it is difficult to imagine what is going on in their minds. Literally every industry (with some confusion around those with unions) in America is under some level of systemic attack, and yet the current administration wonders why “Little Johnny doesn’t seem to want to come out and play ball anymore.”

After Little Johnny was beaten with his own baseball bat the last ten times he came out to play, little wonder he is now inside playing video games (and likely eating potato chips paid for with Food Stamps that Agriculture Secretary Vilsack thinks create jobs). And yet the Obama administration believes the lumps all over Little Johnny’s body will be cured with that simple partisanship operation. Amazing.

It is one thing to disagree on the causes of any observable phenomenon. It is quite another to select a completely extraneous factor and then use it to confuse the audience and deflect criticism.

Partisanship is what you get when two highly divergent views of the world are forced to co-exist. We can only wish that “putting our fork down” would solve for our dilemma. But that’s right; President Obama would like to shut down all fast food places too. Maybe that will be part of his upcoming new jobs program.




About the Author

Mr. Nygaard is a Managing Director with Atticus Advisers, a marketing consulting firm in Atlanta, Georgia.


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