Streetwise Professor

February 9, 2010

Why Do I Always Forget WH Press Secretary Gibbs’s First Name?

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 11:16 pm

I know that his name is “Robert,” but I always find myself calling him “Dick.”  I wonder why that is?

Actually, I don’t.  He is the most insufferable, appalling, obnoxious, dishonest, and thuggish press secretary in memory.  And stupid, too.  What is his mission in life?  To make Scott McClellan look good?  One would have thought that Mission Impossible, but Gibbs has succeeded beyond anything Tom Cruise could ever aspire to.

But Gibbs is just the most visible member of the Chicago Creepocracy that infests this Administration.  And I say that as a native Chicagoan.  The whole gang is repulsive.  I have known of Axelrod since the ’80s.  He was appalling then.  He is worse now.  And it goes downhill from there.

I remember with some fondness the Old School Chicago pols of the 70s and early 80s.  They were unseemly, to be sure.  But they had a roguish charm, a comedic element, a shot-and-a-beer down-to-earthiness that the current crowd lacks completely.  Gibbs, Emmanuel, Axelrod, Jarret, and the rest are haughty, arrogant, supercilious.  All the thuggishness, with none of the roguish charm. You could laugh reading Royko send up the Daley-era pols and flunkies. There are few things more comic than the Council Wars of the early-80s, or the circus that resulted in the selection of Alderman Sawyer to replace Harold Washington.  There is nothing funny about this bunch.

And one thing you could say about the old Chicago gang is that it stayed in Chicago.  The new Chicago gang is inflicting itself on the entire country.  Less humor.  Bigger stage.  Bad combination.

The show is getting very bad reviews.  Indeed, the coalescing conventional wisdom is that these jokers are responsible for Obama’s cliff dive.  (A competing explanation is that you idiotic people are to blame for not recognizing the wonderfulness that is the modern Washington political class.)

Surely, they have contributed.  But this explanation wreaks of the old story of the Czar being betrayed by his boyars and officials.  The Czar, of course, is faultless: it is his underlings that have failed him.

It’s an old explanation/rationalization/excuse, and almost always wrong.  It’s wrong in this case.  As usual, responsibility ultimately rests at the top–with Obama.  Whatever dysfunctions of the modern Chicago political culture Axelrod reflect, Obama reflects too.  They were all marinated in the same juices.  They all evolved in the same political swamp.  They share a mindset.  And an attitude.

Which means that getting new advisors will have absolutely no effect.  It’s not like Obama is a hostage of a cabal of Chicago schemers, and that liberating him from their clutches would restore sanity and class.  He’s a part of the cabal, not its prisoner.

Reader R makes the comparison between Obama’s Chicago gang and Russian politicians.  I think that there is a definite comparison between the new Chicago crowd and the Putin crowd (although Obama and Putin are quite different.  I hope.)  The combination of arrogance and thuggishness, and the utter disdain for any who dare oppose them, are shared defects.  Perhaps the common denominator is one-party political systems rife with criminality.  That’s Moscow, and that’s Chicago.  Our saving grace is that our system is more capable of change, and it is possible to throw the bums out, or to neuter them, without revolution.  Historically, revolution has been Russia’s only way out–or rather, out of one mess into another.  We have the opportunity to use Constitutional and peaceful political means to send Dick, I mean Robert, and the others back to the political cesspool from whence they came.

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