Tuesday, December 15, 2009

President Spock

Yes, you're correct. The 'Spock / Obama' analogy is nothing new.

Salon.com used the imagery to crow about the imperturbable Obama with his vast intellect that would make amends for the hated boooshitler, heal the Earth, and insure the gub'mint would live long & grow exponentially.

The Associated Press interviewed none other than Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy to prove Obama's "Spock-like aura" with his supreme dedication to all the academic disciplines and to make sure Obama was portrayed as the Pro-Science anti-bush.

Now, Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator tries his hand, but with a twist - the Spock analogy is not a compliment, but a detriment. The Spock character maybe an excellent techie of machine-like precision, but is devoid of "emotional intelligence", a horrible judge of character, and an ineffectual leader of men:

"Over and over again, this Spock-like devotion to "logic" and the world of intellectual intelligence has resulted in tragedy for presidents. It was not, in fact, the practical Lyndon Johnson who devised the disaster that became Vietnam. It was the men he eventually called with a sneer "the Harvards" -- the men with the great intellectual reputations for whom Spockian logic was the lodestar -- who persuaded the common-sense LBJ to fight in Vietnam the way he did. It was the Robert McNamara's and McGeorge Bundy's (the latter a onetime Harvard dean) who were, like a Wilson or Hoover or Carter, so immersed in a world of intellectual logic that they were utterly unable to understand the lack of common sense behind what they were doing. Johnson, alas intimidated because of the elite view of his own education at Southwest Texas State Teachers College, uncharacteristically let himself be carried along. LBJ's friend and fellow Texan, House Speaker Sam Rayburn (who died before LBJ became president) uneasily observed to then Vice President Johnson that he would feel better if the intellectuals advising then-President Kennedy "had run for sheriff just once."

Yet periodically LBJ's Emotional Intelligence surfaced in foreign policy. Asked to depend on the Organization of American States during a crisis in the Dominican Republic, the earthy Johnson snapped in decidedly un-Spockian terms: "The OAS couldn't pour sh-- from a boot if the instructions were written on the heel."

Why is any of this relevant today?

Because in the person of Barack Obama, America is once again at the mercy of a President Spock. With every passing day Obama's Inner Spock reveals more of itself -- from the inability to understand the furious response to his 2,000-page health care "reforms" to the bizarre insistence on giving a civilian trial in New York City to one of the most infamous war criminals of the modern age to a "Cap and Trade" energy program almost guaranteed to cripple what's left of the American economy that the "stimulus" trillion dollar debt and health care reforms hasn't already destroyed. The "correctness" of these things exists only in a head where Intellectual IQ rules the day and Emotional Intelligence is not only lacking but almost entirely absent.

It is often said by the left that George W. Bush was "dumb." As they said it of Ronald Reagan and, in a still earlier day, of Dwight Eisenhower. What all three of these presidents had in common was a high Emotional Intelligence, an understanding of the way the world really works. They were not perfect -- there is no such thing as perfection in a president for the obvious reason that presidents are humans one and all. But they were the Captain Kirks, if you will, of their day.

These were men for whom the world of abstract theory, of running the world according to rules of academic logic, was both impractical if not dangerous. They understood the character of a Saddam Hussein or this or that Soviet Communist leader. They understood the realities of human nature, the frailties of men and women when entrusted with great power or simply the power of the Department of Motor Vehicles."

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