Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Obama's Chess Game

Chess is an ancient strategy game that has been played for centuries by nobles and peasants alike. I have always loved Chess because of the ability to project its meanings and strategies upon so many other areas of our lives. I have never been good at it personally, due to my intellectual and cognitive impediments.
For the purpose of this post, I would like to look at the possible political nuances of the game. Chess is essentially political, as it represents various wings of opposing powers struggling to gain total control of the board. Here are my political interpretations of each piece.

The King: The weakest piece of the board, but also the most powerful. The King represents the player, and as such, has the power to control the other pieces in their efforts to protect him and capture other pieces. Politically, the King represents the concentrated central political authority, whether it is an actual king, prime minister, president, etc.

The Queen: The most versatile and, rationally, the most powerful piece on the board, this represents the King’s primary protector and aggressor. Depending on the political structure, this is the King’s warhorse. This is what Joab was to King David, or what Longstreet was to Robert E. Lee.

The Rook: Political Power, including legislative, judicial, and even propaganda machines. Any mechanism a ruling entity can use to control or suppress their subjects can be symbolized in the rook.

The Knight: The military might of a ruling entity.

The Bishop: The religious power of a ruling entity. Don’t be too quick to discount this possibility. The inclination to tyranny compounds exponentially when the ruling entity claims to speak on God’s behalf.

The Pawn: The ordinary people.

Everyone who has ever excelled at Chess has learned a few fundamental strategies. Chess is not a game of reaction. In fact, if a player can force his opponent into playing a merely reactive game, their victory is certain. A good player anticipates many moves ahead, and endeavors to set up a Chess board with pieces strategically placed and to make their opponent’s King indefensible. Good Chess strategies cannot be gauged by the mere quantifying of captured pieces. That is a key fact. Unlike Checkers, where the simple accumulation of captured pieces is the goal, in Chess, one must capture the right pieces at the right time, and in such a manner that doesn't jeopardize their own key pieces, while moving their own pieces into positions that jeopardizes your opponent’s king, which is a good segue into my next point, which is critical to good Chess tactics… and that is knowing which pieces to sacrifice, and when. If your own piece is impeding a setup to checkmate your opponent, you must sacrifice it.

Often, when you allow pieces to be sacrificed, especially powerful pieces, like rooks and queens, it gives the opponent a false sense of security, and more importantly, is a distraction from a potential setup to deal the lethal blow. The ancient Greeks called this forced susceptibility “Hubris”. Make your opponent think he is winning, causing them to relax their guard. All the while, you are setting up for the kill. Your opponent will be blinded by his hubris until you say the word “Checkmate”. Allowing pieces to be captured can provide adequate distraction from your real strategies.

Now, I would like to analyze Obama’s presidential administration, what some have called his “regime”, in light of a Chess match. Obama’s presumed opponent is, of course, Republicans. I don’t mean the genuine, small-government, conservatives, who believe in individual liberties and a traditional interpretation of the U. S. Constitution, instead of Loose Constructionism (a. k. a. Living Constitution). Republicans have done their best to sever this small wing of their party. In fact, if Republicans had thrown as much effort into defeating Obama’s regime as they have thrown into castigating and ostracizing the libertarian wing of the Party, Obama wouldn’t stand a chance.

Typical of a Chess match, some of Obama’s first moves after his initial election were pawn movements. He created a cult-like following of near religious devotion. In the minds of his proselytes, he can do no wrong. These movements are still happening, and Obama’s Republican opponent is doing little to neutralize this action.

President Obama’s first moves on the national stage involved the economy, and the passage of his healthcare plan. This could be equated to brilliant moves of his rooks. Countermoves by Republicans to capture or neutralize the rooks failed, and now the rooks of the economy and government run healthcare are ensconced in safe positions, ready to be deployed against Obama’s opponent at a moment’s notice. With institutions like the TSA hiring convicts to grope our children and grandmothers, with no real action being pursued to neutralize this threat to our individual liberties, the security of Obama’s rooks isn't really debatable. Only a scandal could jeopardize them. But read on.

Also, he escalated existing military deployments worldwide, while simultaneous promising de-escalation. Truly brilliant moves. Move your knights around into seemingly innocuous positions. The movements themselves distract, while other movements are more subtle, and more damaging.

During the whole of his presidency, it could be observed that one of his two knights represents a foreign military presence, while the other knight represents a burgeoning military presence on the home-front  targeting what has become known as “home-grown” terrorists. In fact, the use of the word “terrorist” has been redefined as anyone or anything that would stand, not necessarily against America, but against American government. Using the power of government, he has purchased billions of rounds of hollow-point ammo, presumably for use in live-fire training exercises.  It is difficult to understand why such high-quantities are needed for training, and why they need be hollow-points, when full metal jacket cartridges are significantly cheaper, and less lethal in the case of an accidental hit. And the use of hollow-point ammo is prohibited by the Geneva Convention in foreign military deployments, so hollow-point rounds must be used domestically.

Combine this with the added powers given by the 2012 passage of the NDAA, to the executive branch of government to target Americans for assassination, bypassing due-process and the Fourth Amendment, and the production and purchase of armored troop haulers (MRAP) by DHS, which is a domestic security force, and you will see that Obama is banking hard on his knights.

The question is, has Obama forgotten what every seasoned Chess player knows… that is your opponent’s pawns are your knights’ biggest threat. The next question is will Obama’s Republican opponent be smart enough to use pawns to neutralize Obama’s knights? Yes, Obama knows who the threat is, which is why he is going after guns. In regulating our Second Amendment rights, he is using rooks to capture pawns that would otherwise be a threat to his knights. And no, the Republican Party is playing defensive Chess, and therefore do not have the know-how to use pawns against Obama’s knights. Expect no Paul Reveres, Thomas Jeffersons, George Washingtons, or Thomas Paines among today’s Republican Party.

Lately, Obama has played even more brilliantly than ever before. His administration has caught the full force of various scandals. In the “Fast and Furious” scandal, the Federal Government was caught selling firearms to Mexican drug cartels, presumably to track them with tracking devices in the weapons themselves. This failed, as did their defense. But is he using these scandals to his benefit?

Unfortunately, Republicans failed to push their advantage, and now only a narrow esoteric group of political junkies even remember Fast and Furious.

And now, it is the Benghazi Controversy. In a nutshell, the U. S. Embassy (which is considered U. S. soil) in Benghazi underwent a terrorist attack, and received no military support from the United States military, in spite of repeated requests. For reference, imagine your local courthouse undergoing a siege by Islamic Jihadists, and the Federal Government doing nothing, in spite of numerous requests for military support. Both Obama and Hillary were in the spotlight in a bad way. This is all compounded by the fact that the IRS was recently caught targeting conservative groups for tax audits, and Department of Justice wiretapping the phones of AP reporters. Such a scandal should have been near Checkmate for Obama, as it was for Nixon. Unfortunately, the Republicans have no real advantage in the Benghazi scandal, as their pieces are all bark and no bite, and as most of their pawns probably couldn't locate Benghazi on a map.

So what does Obama do?

He has already proven to be a formidable Chess player. He sacrifices his queen, Hillary Clinton, and concedes the fact that these slip ups (if indeed they are slip ups) will compromise one of his rooks. Was this sacrifice planned? That is the question the Republicans should be asking. In politics, as in Chess, what’s taking place in the mainstream often is just a distraction from the real strategy. Maybe the sacrifice of Queen Hillary is a set up for a possible third term, which would be in keeping with his religion. With Hillary bidding on a Democratic run in 2016, she was simply an impediment to this end.

Meanwhile, the board has been set up perfectly in his favor. The only piece Obama hasn't played is his bishops. Being a Sunni Muslim, when Obama decides to play these pieces, it will be an interesting day for us Christians. Look at the United Kingdom, which has become almost completely secular, and the only measurable religious presence in the UK is Islam. The secularization of America is well underway, ahead of schedule in fact.

Meanwhile, the bishops of conservatives were the first pieces Obama was able to capture, with the cultural perception that Christians, and the Church, is obsolete, irrelevant, and intolerant (which isn’t too far removed from the truth). Every single day, the Church grows more and more impotent. They continue to gauge their effectiveness by how many buildings they have, and how big they are. They, like the Republicans, have quit dealing with individuals, and have come to deal with humanity as a collective whole. They have traded away the Great Commission given by Christ to make disciples, for the Great Commission given by society to create social change and accumulate “numbers”.

Indeed, the Republican bishops were toast before the game began. There was really no need to bother putting them on the board at all. The Christian Church in America is a gelding who still thinks it is a stallion. The salt has lost its savor.

So far, in either of Obama’s terms, Republicans have played a mere reactionary game. They have simply attempted to parry all of Obama’s moves. They have no offensive strategy to take the King or to isolate it from the pieces Obama has so strategically placed across the board. They have done little to take his pieces from him.

What is Obama’s endgame? Well, I have theories, but I won’t share them. I will let you take all this and form your own ideas as to how this Chess game will come to fruition in the next few months and years. I will say this. I think we still are in for a few surprises.

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