Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Paradoxes and Polemics

I've always assumed, wrongly as it turns out, that the myopia, mania, and mismanagement of Dangovt were fairly obvious to anyone with a Grade 10 education.

But it seems that for some faith-based observers, this regime is clouded in paradoxes -- so let's unravel some of them:

1) Why is it that DW gets all of the credit when something goes right -- even things completely beyond his control, like the price of oil -- but he gets none of the blame when something goes wrong?

2) If DW is as brilliant a manager and thinker as he is purported to be, why have several of his most important Departments -- especially Health and Education -- failed so miserably?

3) If DW is so smart and on top of everything, why do his defenders invariably insist that he could not have remembered critical events or have known about serious problems in provincial Departments?

4) If DW is such a brilliant negotiator and political leader, why have federal-provincial relations sunk to their lowest ebb ever?

5) If DW is such a brilliant negotiator and political leader, why is NL almost completely isolated among the provinces?

6) If DW is such a great deal-maker, why has he failed to sign a deal on Churchill Falls?

7) If DW is so good at the hard game of politics (delivering "elbows," as he likes to put it), why did he lose his showdown with Harper and get "shafted" and "sledgehammered"?

We all know the Wingnut answer: it's all someone else's fault. Everyone else is a complete idiot. The problem, as this regime drags on, is that such assertions beggar logic.

I guess the Wingnuts have never heard of Occam's Razor, which is surprising because DW says that he knows everything about principles. Occam's Razor is the principle that the simplest, most straightforward explanation of a particular phenomenon is usually the right explanation. The upshot is this: if you have to explain all your failings by insisting that everyone else is always wrong and everyone else is a complete idiot, sooner or later it's going to dawn on even the most dim-witted observer that a more plausible explanation is that the problem is you.

DW seems baffled by the principle of wielding power. He seems to believe that exercising power is solely about achieving maximum, immediate noise, spectacle, and immediate domination. He seems to be unaware that walking softly and carrying a big stick is far more effective than hopping around shouting all the time in a manic rage. He seems entirely unaware of the principles of Sun Tzu's Art of War, let alone the adage of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.

So let's try an analogy. Imagine that you're in charge of a regional office in a much larger corporation. Your boss is a jerk and you hate him, but you have to work with him nonetheless. You may despise the little creep, but you have to work with him to ensure that your regional office gets its fair share of funding and support. So what's the best way to achieve your goals?

You could throw a fit during a meeting, froth at the mouth, call him every name in the book, and launch a scorched-earth war against him. You could do this right away, before you have lined up sufficient support from the other regional offices, and while your boss is in a relatively strong position.

Alternately, you could smile when he jerks you around, bide your time, keep him in the dark, and maximize your short-term position while you pursue your long-term goal of removing him. You could wait for the right moment to act decisely when conditions are ripe for success.

I leave it to you to decide which tactic is the dumb one.

Take me to your leader update:

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