Obama’s Odd Magic Bus

Why is Obama on a bus tour in Iowa?

Can’t be to accomplish a visible political objective. His visit is completely unconnected with organized meme propagation. There is no rallying message — simple or otherwise. No surrogates reinforce key offensive points in trad media, blogs, cable, etc. It appears to be a random act of stunt choreography.

Obama first says America’s current mood is because we ‘hit a run of bad luck’. The ‘disappointing Arab Spring’ is the reason gas prices are high. Then the ‘Japanese tsunami’ hit supply chains around the world. Finally, ‘the Europeans’ screwed up their economies and that undercut the valiant U.S.

Oh cruel fate. If he wore a cardigan or ran into a killer rabbit he would be the Peanut Farmer. Recall no one ever denied the truth in Carter’s malaise diagnosis. It remains a landmark political catastrophe because it failed precisely as political theater. Presidents are judged as political actors. They embody the narrative of our times. “Stop the Evil Empire” for RWR. “Watch the NASDAQ” for Clinton. “Fear and Terror” for 43.

Obama tells us in August 2011 he’s just a victim. As are we.

Obama tries to sidestep Carterism by proclaiming nothing is wrong with America. Instead he says it’s our politics that are ‘broke’. As if the two are unrelated, disconnected. Or he uninvolved.

He says he is for country above party. But then asks Democrats to join him in fighting. For compromise.

The Truth Is That Obama Is The Weird One

What’s so striking? Obama’s *weird* detachment. He stands before us 3 years into his presidency as a third party blogger observing it all. He blames the Movement’s brinksmanship. He refuses to address how his failure to engage or defuse blatantly obvious Movement agendas 2009-2011 helped create today’s reality. His determination to remain above his own life renders his speech empty. (He also said it all almost verbatim in Michigan last week).

All he can offer are facts. For example, our deficit and debt are manageable. Certainly true. But we don’t elect presidents to recite facts. That’s for surrogates like Robert Reich et al. to say 4 times a day on MSNBC and for the re-tweeters. When a president utters a political fact it should be part of a call to arms. Or culmination of carefully prepared AgitProp. Akin to spiking in the end zone. Detonating TNT. Zing.

Obama’s Iowa visit is a backfire so far. Passive detachment and zero compelling narrative only magnify his still emerging Movement rivals. Say what one will about the Movement. It collectively spins larger than life narrative arcs – no matter how irrational they may seem to outsiders. They enroll and engage. Repeal Obamacare (Obama today in Iowa’s meme rebuttal? ‘I do care’). Slay the federal monster. Save America. Ideally suited for a hybrid demotic-oligarchical America. As noted earlier here, simple, compelling. Peace. Bread. Land. The Stab In The Back. Restore Rome. And so on.

What does Obama’s banner say? More importantly, where is it?

Non-Rightists have the *weird* invitation to join him on a bus trip to observe his own presidency. True, the post-Obama world is gestating even now. How is it that his approval ratings are as high as 39%?


  1. Sam Lowry says

    Comment :
    @Sam Lowry
    Mel usually delivers – Many good artists are psychopathic at some level.

    So true on both counts! James Woods also comes to mind. After reviewing Mel’s Wikipedia page, there are so many good flicks he has acted in or directed. Hard to remember that sometimes what with his recent run-ins with law enforcement and the court of public opinion.

    Oh, those mad ones, “who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles…” (Kerouac, more or less)

  2. Sam Lowry says

    DrLeoStrauss :
    @Sam Lowry
    Nicely played Sam. Now have got an itch to watch the movie again. It’s been a while.

    The Mad Max series is one of the better movie trilogies out there, with all 3 flicks being solid. It took a while to warm up to “Road Warrior” but there are times when I enjoy it more than “Beyond Thunderdome”. Although “Thunderdome” has the better quotes and, of course, Tina Turner. On a side note, a couple of Thanksgivings ago, one of the cable movie channels (AMC?) played the Max movies on a heavy rotation. At the time it seemed like odd holiday film fare, but today….

  3. DrLeoStrauss says

    @Tbilisi We can thank putative Democrat and Fox News Contributor Pat Caddell for introducing the concept of “Permanent Campaign” into the American political lexicon and mindset (he wrote a memo on that for Carter).

    GHWB actually alone really retained the clear distinction between electioneering and governing, with political operatives kept carefully separate from policy for the most part. Baker being a clear exception although not the only one. Of course, he was a one termer.

  4. Tbilisi says

    @sglover Indeed, and completely agree.

    I think part of the Obama’s success in 2008 was that he (alone?) comprehended that the ‘change’ the Murkin Peepil wanted was actually no change – i.e. the continuation of the unsustainable (all well documented here, e.g. Bubble Machine, et al). The big mistake of Obama – a two faced, self-obsessed, amoral SOB if there ever was one) was to never mobilize his character/lack thereof to reverse the bait-and-switch that got him elected.

    Good Doctor, you have a galaxy’s more experience in this than me, but isn’t a basic rule of politics something along the lines of that you can lie all you want in a campaign – and indeed the bigger the better if done well – but successful governing must be built on truth (perverted, twisted, and exaggerated fine, but doing otherwise means losing all credibility fast)?

  5. sglover says


    “President George W Bush caused America’s huge debt by running up the bills for two wars on credit”

    That might mean something if Hope’n’Change had said it three years ago. He’s just getting weird, now — after pussyfooting around it for so long, speaking up about the scorched earth Bush years sounds really off.

  6. Aldershot says


    “The post U.S. international order and capital havens have yet to be clearly defined. And the Liquid Class is determined to be ex-pat players in that world. ”

    A kind of reverse colonization of Australia.

  7. DrLeoStrauss says

    @Tbilisi +1 as the kidz say for the BBC. Nailed it. Re Comment and Obama in the Thunderdome – his only hope would be get Picard as an opponent.

  8. DrLeoStrauss says

    The Liquid Class long ago cashed in their shorts on America. What’s being haggled about now are brokerage and other fees. The most organized oligarchical faction fronted by Rove is showing signs of a quandary: what to do with astro-turf Golem?

    As one might expect, oligarchs are loathe to see the inevitable ungovernability leading to an oversoon authoritarian transition. The post U.S. international order and capital havens have yet to be clearly defined. And the Liquid Class is determined to be ex-pat players in that world.

    Hence the ritual of looking for yet another new candidate who can ‘govern’ — i.e. ease the patience out on slower morphine drip. Some here said that objectively Non-Rightists should support Romney.

    The organized elements of the Liquid Class may well determine that 4 more years of Obama is their strategic interest; they will get what they want (99%) with none of the responsibility. And then another bite at the apple for the final extraction.

    How that realization would manifest via our political kabuki theater is yet to be seen. But we caution readers to look out for the subjectively perverse collusion in the 2012 run-up. Seeing the field, one couldn’t blame them for using Obama as the ideal hospice care prop for long-written off patient.

  9. Comment says

    O’s bus tour seems somewhat derivative of the very successful Clinton-Gore bus trip re 91. We recall friends on Bush Sr’s reelect watch that trip with dismay because it was so successful.

    Saw Obama being questioned by a classic tea party type (indignant, filled with self pity and victimization, and insincere claims of being hurt by Biden’s rash words).

  10. Sam Lowry says

    Our liberal media at work!(?) Obama is certainly no Max Rockatansky. Or Lord Humungus (at least he promised us safe passage through the wasteland if we just walk away). Or Auntie Entity (who was willing to engage and dismantle her political rivals, even if in a somewhat duplicitous manner).

    I for one don’t regret relying on Wonkette and The Onion for news.

  11. rkka says

    Yeah! How could the American people possibly tolerate a healthcare system that does not bankrupt hundreds of thousands of them every year and which fails to enrich a vast unaccountable insurance industry!

  12. says

    I hope we never find out because what we have now will be child’s play compared to the second term when he would never have to run again.

    If he had played his cards right and been less of an idealogue, he could have had that second term and turned this country into the socialist hellhole of his dreams. But no, his narcissism got in the way of his quest. Thank God he’s not as smart as he thinks he is.

  13. sglover says

    The man keeps making me ask, Why the hell do you even **want** another term? What do want to do with it?

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