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Saturday, January 30, 2010


Rachel Maddow for president!

Or Hillary Clinton?

So it's reassuring to hear that no, he's actually been sucking the life essence out of every authentic movement he's been around—cynically co-opting their language while tossing aside their genuine concerns, in service to his own ambition—from the very beginning of his political career.

It is reassuring. I worried that once I assumed power I would become like Obama. I realize now I have nothing to worry about. Whew.

I just assumed that his abandonment of this core humanity was a recent development, necessitated by his single-minded pursuit of power.

Someone over at A Tiny Revolution made a comment a while back about power and the kind of people it attracts that struck me as being quite profound:

The problem is not so much that power corrupts, although undoubtedly it does, but that the kind of people who gravitate towards it, are, even before they have any, the ones we need to keep an eye on. I think Frank Herbert once said something to that effect, probably better than I just did.

Posted by: tiffa hancock at October 21, 2008 01:55 PM


'Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.' Frank Herbert - Chapterhouse Dune.

Coincidence of coincidences, I just finished the Dune series this morning. I doubt I will ever read anything more densely packed with wisdom about government and society than those books. They are full of quotes that almost shock me with their wisdom and insight into humanity. I think I consider Herbert a prophet now.

Posted by: tim at October 21, 2008 03:33 PM

Bottom line: beware of the narcissistic, sociopathic personality that voluntarily pursues the kind of power that the head of the American imperial state offers, with its mass-murdering, machinery of empire, war and death.

That's why (as I've said before) I couldn't care less about melanin count or genitalia where politics is concerned—because white or black, male or female, the people who will succeed in mainstream US politics are almost universally going to be the kind of power-drunk, self-rationalizing moral cripples who'll happily carry out the solemn and seemingly endless work of killing people and taking their stuff. The system has evolved to the point where it's all but impossible for anyone else even to approach the throne, much less assume it.

In a way we owe Obama a debt of thanks, because he's done a spectacular job of singlehandedly shattering the "if only we had a <blank> for president!" myth.

Arthur C Clarke was, of course, fully aware of this problem and solved it in Imperial Earth by having the president (or maybe it was even the entire Congress; I forget) be chosen by lot from the available pool of eligible voters, as juries are. I've long thought this was probably the best way to select a legislature; if it's good enough for a jury, why not lawmakers?

As noted, I think actively desiring to run for a political office should be an immediate disqualification for holding one.

Thanks for that quote John. It confirms my suspicion that these people start to create themselves early. There's a photo of Bill and Hillarity back in their 70's "campus radical" days floating around. The smug self-satisfaction we have come to know so well - even Bill's trademark grin - were right there to see.

Given the level of the dynamics, I figure these people get their start in nursery school.

"Grasping, soul dead imperial roach..."? Oh, that's priceless!

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