Cheryl Pappas


Archive for June, 2010

Obama: The Words and the Missing Actions

Friday, June 25th, 2010


Obama is “furious” about the oil spill.  How do I know?  He told Larry King he is “furious”.  I heard him say it.  It’s a word thing—and it’s making big news that he used such a word and revealed such a feeling.


It’s too bad that it’s all about the words with Obama, and not the actions.


Looking visually back on the last three presidents, from the entitled jaws of Clinton to the dumb, glazed emptiness of Bush’s head and eyes to the now-furious Obama, it is easier to find a worthwhile summer movie than a psychologically appropriate person to be our President.


We now have a speech-giving figure of a President, and he and his teleprompter are appearing everywhere. 24/7 yakking about what “The American People” want and need. Talk is cheaper and more abundant than ever.  From what I see, people have stopped listening and are just plain angry. (Ask Joe and Jane Schmo if their economy is improving).


Backing the empty Presidential words is a media establishment who are either screaming about such nonsense as Obama’s faux birth certificate or are desperate apologists for daddy, cautioning empathy for Obama and insisting that we, the disgruntled, ignorant public, are unaware that Obama is wisely playing a subtle political game in a perilous world. 


It’s exhausting to witness inaction interpreted and spun as adroit, as well as to watch Obama’s face bristle with outrage at some latest breaking news revealing another Presidential failure.  Too little, too late, and always too staged, as in his third trip Friday to the Gulf of Mexico since the April 20 oil spill disaster.


The reason comedians alone are left to deliver the real news is that they don’t hide behind an academic pretense that they have information and knowledge the rest of us lack.  This frees them to get to the obvious and naked truth in their political analysis.  It turns out that of course the world is complicated, but behind the wizard’s curtain is the staunchly played same-old game of greed and lies.


Hypocrisies haven’t missed a beat between administrations.  It is one thing to sternly lecture the Big Banks in a public address, and quite another to bail them out. 

Is the angry speech louder than the simple act of flooding the banks with fresh cash and bonuses?  If you’re busy texting “Oh My God’s” (OMG’s) about Sandra Bullock’s love life, yes. 


The audience has been systematically shut off and dumbed down to such a degree that talk shows are analyzing not the phony wizard, but instead, white trash “reality” celebrities and their Nazi tattoos.


Wake Up, You Sleepy Heads.

Enough with the sympathy for the beleaguered leader who, in fact, clawed every inch of the way up the flagpole, helped along with piles of big bank and Wall Street cash.


As President, Obama is accountable for either showing up—or not— in his actions for a better America, to make definitive choices on important issues, and to clearly lead.  Dropping a mention of an issue into a speech doesn’t count.  A nod is not an embrace is not an action, if you know what I mean.


Obama’s War in Afghanistan remains hushed and underplayed theatrically, notwithstanding the news of American casualties. Even when he takes a decisive action—in this case, perhaps because it is such a wretched choice– he refuses to be seen aligned with it.


This unwillingness to stand for something and act on it comprehensively, in full voice, is confusing to a synthetically overstretched and disturbed public.  The response has produced a louder American rage and a new spin on civil unrest: the utter entitlement of incivility.  


If Obama lacks the true heart to care for the American people, if he requires a teleprompter for caring, then he must hire not just speech writers, but brilliant minds who can shadow-lead, a la Dick Cheney, only this time for the positive.  Yes, I know there are those who will say Rahm Emanuel, et al, already have this gig.  If that is the case, take a lesson from the Dick Cheney power playbook and hire a fiercer, and truer, progressive cast, one more likely to lead us up from the extreme pits of distresses we face.


So far, in Obama’s White House, we are trapped in a theatre of indication. 

We cannot continue laying the blame on either the House or Presidential fatigue for Obama’s inability to be a quality President.


We, too, are tired.


Narcissism is exhausting. 

General McChrystal: Cuckoo or Enraged Communicator?

Friday, June 25th, 2010



General Stanley McChrystal has submitted his resignation over his statements in a Rolling Stone magazine interview.


The news of the very fresh and famous Rolling Stone Interview with  McChrystal, is blowing out with such speed that the missing piece–the actual content of the interview– is going, like totally, AWOL.  No one is listening to what the General said in the interview!


What a study in spin and public relations.  The actual interview, featuring McChrystal’s complaints about Obama and Obama’s aids and their incompetence regarding the Afghan War, apparently has no relevance to commentators, other than sparking and re-sparking debate over McChrystal’s losing his job.  Should he be allowed to remain or should Obama sack the rude employee?  There are polls being opened to public opinion, as if we are Romans in the arena of blood and guts and our participation somehow lets us all in on the juicy story.  But this is not a reality show.


Why isn’t the media paying attention to the actual points of exasperation that the General is speaking about?  Whether or not it was appropriate to air those points in a Rolling Stone interview, given his high profile military employment under Obama, is naturally a matter to question.

However, if the man is not simply a loose canon, a borderline personality, or a total nut, as I suspect he is not, in light of the President’s former stamp of approval, then let’s turn away from the salacious question of his punishment.  Who are we in this country if that alone interests us?  Do we dare look at the inside story that McChrystal may be telling about how the country is being militarily led?

I am a communications analyst, not a military expert.

There is no doubt that McChrystal knew he was speaking on the record in the Rolling Stone interview and no doubt that he wanted to complain very publicly. 


Here’s the question: If McChrystal is not crazy, if he did not simply have a cranky afternoon which led to leaking his professional dismay and disapproval with how Obama is handing the Afghan War, then he must be saying something worth hearing and knowing.


It is very possible that McChrystal deliberately granted the interview exactly as it appears.

Perhaps he had not been successful in prior attempts to communicate directly to Obama and others intimately involved in the war.  The only thing we know for sure is that he wanted to be heard.  And still, no one is listening.




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