If America is so rich and powerful, why doesn’t everything go our way?
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t. Part of the problem might be how the government is run compared to, say, the Space Program. I was very impressed with the two books by Halperin and Heilemann on the 2008 and 2012 elections. One takeaway from those books is that the folks who run for president, even the team that wins, are not these quintessential professionals, always in control and never surprised. In fact, a presidential race is more of a circus than a campaign and luck plays a role.
Extending what I learned about people trying to become the government to the government itself, it should not be surprising that the government itself is surprised by what happens sometimes, and that things really don’t go right (from our point of view). I remember back at screw-up after screw-up across every administration. Remember the Bay of Pigs or the Mayaguez incident?
On top of things not going right, there are those who do everything they can to make things look worse than they are and to make others angry and resentful about it (see Fox News Network).
This morning I was over at Birther Report from a link in comments here to a throw-away article by Adrien Nash quoting Apuzzo. After 10 innuendos in a row, I quit reading the article, but I did scroll through some comments and there were a lot of them, and they were angry—mostly about made-up things. One angry comment was about Obama taking away our guns. That’s not what I know anecdotally, so I thought I would verify my impression, and sure enough Smith & Wesson revenues last year were at record levels. Here’s the chart:
Gun sales are real, but the rhetoric about America hating Obama, while strident on the Internet, is not playing out in practice, with only a few dozen people showing up for a Internet-promoted protest when Obama spoke at the UC Irvine commencement yesterday.
While the Impeach Obama crowd have a lot of Internet presence, they don’t seem to be all that motivated in real life and it’s important to me when I read these “foaming at the mouth” articles to keep them in context. The challenge is to recognize a real signal in the background noise.