Most transparent presidential psyche ever

Ace has up a good essay about the press's Hitchcockian treatment of Barack Obama.  Hitchcock's thrillers employed a device he called the MacGuffin: "The thing that the hero has to get, but the audience doesn't care what it is."  He was a skilled enough storyteller not to waste any superfluous exposition on where the MacGuffin came from, how it worked, or what it might do it if got loose.  The audience just wanted to watch the hero be disappointed, hurt, and ultimately successful.  In Nick Lowe's formulation, the MacGuffin is one of the plot coupons the hero has to save up so he can send off to the Author for an ending.

The other day I was participating in an argument that went off in a familiar direction:  my interlocutor demanded to know with what I would offer to replace the splendor that is the PPACA if it were repealed.  My response, as usual, was that there are a number of practical proposals anyone can look up if (as seems unlikely) he's genuinely interested, such as high deductibles combined with HSA's and tax breaks or outright subsidies.  But the immediate point is that the law is proving so obviously and concretely harmful that simple repeal would constitute an improvement without any regard to a replacement.  His entire response was, "Oh, I see. So it's 'Screw you, Obama.'"  Yes, I don't care about health insurance.  I'm just the Villain who places obstacles between the Hero and his MacGuffin.

For too many of Obama's followers, the story is about him, not about his policy or his countrymen.  They think they're in a "Raiders of the Lost MacGuffin" caper, but it's really a science fiction disaster movie in the "You're Meddling with Forces You Don't Understand" line.

Ace carries his theme further with a report on the breathless interest in Obama's reading list and what it reveals about the state of his internal journey.


raven said...

Your description brings to mind the "Sorcerers Apprentice".
Unfortunately the unintended consequences are going to be a bit more dire than a flooded basement.
The parallels in careless narcissism around the 4:40 mark are hilarious.

Grim said...

With Clinton, the MacGuffin was "avoiding impeachment."

Kim said...

Well said, and true. After reading the Pig Bang Theory story, I see you are just full of fun news!