|October 13, 2009|
|Obama Celebrates Indecision|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|In an example of life imitating art, President Obama chose Ed Ruscha's 1983 word painting "I Think I'll" as one of the 45 pieces of artwork at the National Gallery of Art for display in the White House. One hopes "I Think I'll" will be hung in the Obamas' private living quarters. The work provides way too much grist for the president's critics. |
Ruscha's painting deals with indecision, which is right up Obama's alley. It features phrases "Maybe…No," "On Second Thought," "Maybe…Yes," "On Second Thought" and "Wait a Minute" and "Maybe I'll."
The work may be the inspiration for the president's retreat from promises such as closing Gitmo, a public option on healthcare, and tough climate change legislation. Obama's latest example of big-time indecision involves Afghanistan, or as the New York Times neatly put it today: Obama "undecided on buildup."
The U.S. is lucky that the president doesn't have to okay an approved playlist for White House functions. The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go" would certainly top that chart.
Obama seems to be searching for an elusive half-measure between the Army's request for 40,000 more soldiers and critics who want to redeploy in Afghanistan with an emphasis on special ops, intelligence and aerial firepower.
Cool Hand Barack was a tad testy yesterday when he said he wanted to "dispense with the straw man arguments that this is about either doubling down or leaving Afghanistan." The president has already lost political face with a fruitless search for a middle ground with the Republicans on healthcare. The Commander-in-Chief should start acting as one and forget the middle ground.
If Obama is willing to ignore the majority of Americans who oppose a long-term occupation of Afghanistan, he should send all the troops that the generals want. If not, he should cut the number of soldiers and redeploy.
The president can always ask Ruscha for his opinion. The artist received the "artistic excellence award" from the Americans for the Arts group at a NYC gala on Oct. 5.
This blogger bets Ruscha would graciously do another word painting for Obama with phrases like "Get Out, Now," "Withdraw Immediately," "Exit Fast" and "Fight the Bad Guys with Special Forces, Bombs and Drones."
(Image: National Gallery of Art)
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