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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

 
Dreaming of macho superheroes who don't exist

by digby

Why is it that so many macho assholes think that all it takes to get to an agreement is some guy with a big swinging ... ego knocking some heads together until they do what he wants? Here's the latest example, via Susie at C&L:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday blamed President Barack Obama for "not bringing people together" during the government shutdown debate and said the president would be ultimately responsible for a funding stoppage.

"My approach would be, as the executive, is to call in the leaders of the Congress, the legislature, whatever you're dealing with, and say, 'We're not leaving this room until we fix this problem, because I'm the boss, I'm in charge," Christie said.

"When you're the executive, if you're waiting for leadership from the legislative branch of government, whether you're the governor, or whether you're the president or you're mayor, you are going to be waiting forever, forever because they're not built to lead and take risk."
I don't know what New Jersey's system of government is but somebody needs to remind Christie of his 7th grade civics lessons on the U.S. constitution before he launches his campaign. The president is not "the boss" of the congress and he isn't "in charge." And even if it were, I don't think even Christie would be able to throw his weight around in these sorts of negotiations as effectively as when he's intimidating his poor constituents.

But he's not the only one who maintains this fiction. Macho flyboy John McCain famously said this when he was running for president:
“One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, ‘Stop the bullshit,’” said Mr. McCain.
He apparently really believed this was what governing was all about:
The way I would fix Social Security is to sit down with Republicans and Democrats together at a table, voicing my opposition to tax increases, and sitting down and negotiating a fix to Social Security, which is the only way that Social Security is going to be fixed. That's my solution to the Social Security system.
And how about this idiotic international celebrity bozo, Piers Morgan, instructing the American people last night on what should be done:
MORGAN: ... Debbie Wasserman Schultz here, I come back to the main problem again. Is that, it doesn't appear to be a sensible grown up, ongoing dialog, between the two people who matter most, Speaker Beohner and President Obama. And I -- you know them both well. You know the President very well. What is wrong with the President that he can't just pick up a phone or and go see Speaker Boehnor, or get him to come and see him on a daily basis until they thrash out a deal. Isn't not the way any business gets done?

You two sound like you can talk to each other ... bang their heads together, get Speaker Boehner and President Obama in a room tonight. Get it done for the American people.
I guess somebody forgot to brief him on the fact that Boehner's caucus won't do what he wants them to do! He can't make a deal they don't want him to make unless he's willing to commit hara-kiri and pass a clean CR with Democratic votes. Does he think Obama will agree to defund Obamacare? What's he smoking?

This Hollywood version of American political leadership persists throughout our culture and it's either an ugly royalist version of government or one based on Tony Soprano. Either way, it's stupid. We may be screwed up but this is a democracy and these politicians are responding to their constituents. The problem is that some of them have crazy constituents with propaganda funded by crazy billionaires. That won't be solved by putting the leadership and the president in a room and "knocking some heads together" any more than McCain could solve the problems in the middle east by putting the Sunni and Sh'ia in a room and telling them to "stop the bullshit." This is a pathetic macho fantasy.

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