You remember Polaroid? The first "instant" camera? You took a picture, waved it in the wind for a minute or two and saw a developed image of whatever picture you just snapped. These were the days when an LCD screen on the back of your camera (or phone) wasn't even a credible dream. Oh, and phones were still plugged into a landline...with a cord.
So, how does that fit with our President Selfie? Today, I was going over the long list of Obama's "accomplishments", and what most of them had in common. You will forgive me if I don't include such things as "Obamacare" as an accomplishment. Sure, he accomplished lying to 300 million people about keeping their plans and doctor, and accomplished the cancellation of millions of insurance policies, causing the
victims, er, recipients
of his policies to have to purchase more expensive plans, with larger
deductibles, with coverage that many of them neither needed nor wanted.
But, consider his handling of the Keystone XL pipeline extension (covered here): Obama dithered and pandered to special interest groups for six years so far, yet, at one point, hauled himself out to a segment of the pipeline that did not require permission from his State Dept. and...had his picture taken there. Problem solved!
In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, he poses in the Oval Office with his head bowed. For Nelson Mandela's funeral, he took a selfie. He celebrated the birthday of Rosa Parks with a picture of...himself on the bus she rode. When pioneering astronaut Neil Armstrong passed away, Obama commemorated his life with a picture of...himself, looking up at the moon.
The Polaroid camera filled the niche of instant gratification. You took a picture, you immediately saw how it looked. Businesses quickly adopted it, because it often saved them the expense of going back a retaking a picture that didn't quite fit their needs. Insurance companies used them to document car wrecks. (Man! How fitting is that??)
So, aside from documenting our national train wreck on a daily basis, how does the Polaroid legacy fit with "The One"? One, it didn't last. Not only was the technology overtaken with a far superior product (Sorry, Polaroid!), but when was the last time you actually saw a Polaroid picture? I think I have one squirreled away in a file cabinet, which hasn't suffered the ravages of age. (The photo, not the file cabinet. The file cabinet looks like it was kicked by a mule, dragged behind a stagecoach and used as a rampart, over which to observe a rocket's red glare!)
The main drawback to the Polaroid was, there was no negative. You couldn't store the negatives away and reprint them at a later date, because there were no negatives. You want a photo that Ansel Adams took of Yosemite? What kind of stock would you like it printed on? You want a Matthew Brady print of the Civil War? 8 x 10 or wallet size??
The parallels are twofold. One is the figurative 'lack of negatives', because the Legacy Mainstream Media didn't do their job as watchdog and played lapdog. The criticism of this guy who should have been vetted by in 2008 both of his character and his qualification was absent, and replaced with fake Styrofoam columns and rhetoric about driving back the ocean's rise. During his six year reign to date, the criticisms have been both tepid and shallow, if at all. Had the press been the unbiased bastion of a free press that they claim to be, Obama would have never seen the inside of the Oval Office, except perhaps, on a White House tour.
The other is that, other than the debt, which is harmful, and a growing bureaucracy to sustain the Federal Leviathan, Obama has left no positive legacy. No "Obama Doctrine" other than appeasement and retreat. No "Louisiana Purchase" other than spending, perhaps an equivalent amount on his vacations, golf outings and celebrity soirees at the White House.
For all of the attempted lofty, and somewhat stilted rhetoric of his speeches, lots and lots of speeches, there is no "there" there. Obama is the ultimate empty suit. On top of that, he has alienated our allies, encouraged our enemies and the single saving virtue of his economy is the economic growth of oil productions on state and private lands, while his policies resulted in a 6% reduction of production on federal land and he seeks to restrict drilling even more.
History will not be kind to the "first black president". His retreat from Iraq created the vacuum exploited by ISIS. We are in the process of sending troops to try to stop the advance of territory we had previously secured, at a cost of human blood and treasure. His imaginary "lines in the sand", which he had not the spine or will to back up, his blustery threats of Russian "isolation" have not deterred Putin in the slightest.
Obama stomping his tiny foot to demand the return of Snowden from Russia, the return of our drone from Iran have suffered the same lack of results. Only the return of Bowe Berdahl differs in that there is a greater negative effect with the release of five Taliban terrorists.
Master trader (I said trader!) swapped one deserter for five seasoned terrorists, proposed a deal with Cuba without appropriate concessions from a military dictatorship known for torture and human rights abuses, entered into negotiations with Iran by removing sanctions before obtaining so much as a single concession from their nuclear program except a promise to talk...sometime...with a deadline...which we extended...twice.
The Obama administration has entered into bad financial deals with Solyndra, which was known to be skating towards bankruptcy, interfered with the GM bankruptcy, illegally passing over the bond holders in favor of rewarding the unions, a solid Democrat voting base. They spent millions (billions?) on the Obamacare website which was late, unreliable and riddled with security holes for anyone who ventures there.
For Obama personally, the legacy will be rich. Six figure speaking fees, invitations to sit on corporate boards and golf. Lots of golf. For his friends that he has funneled money to over two term will fare well as well.
The rest of us? Well, we had the instant gratification of having elected the first black president, who waved in the breeze, depending on which way the wind was blowing, didn't last for very long and was soon relegated to the dusty shelf of fads that seemed good at the time*, but had no long term value.
*See also "Pet Rock President"