Saturday, October 06, 2012

LOL: Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

I tried not to say anything about this, but a girl's only got so much self-control, especially if she's a teacher.  If you want a good laugh, do take a look at the desperate Democrats' loopy excuse-making as they try to explain away Obama's miserable performance during the first debate - a defeat so blatantly obvious that across the Pacific it turned into a Taiwanese satire and here at home the New Yorker has come up with a zinger of a cover (somewhere Clint Eastwood is smiling).  My personal favorite excuses are the utterly ludicrous accusations that Obama lost because he was suffering from altitude sickness in Denver or that he lost because Romney had a cheat sheet - which turned out to be just a hanky. (Oh, and there's now a crazy theory floating around that Obama meant to lose as part of some cunning strategy.  Seriously?  "I totally meant to do that!"  Yeah, right.)

Come on!  I teach a lot of students, and this entire scenario is all too familiar.

I have heard all kinds of desperate after-the-fact excuse-making when people haven't done their homework and proceed to crash and burn.  The refusal to do any hard work before or any sober self-assessment after leads inevitably to blaming increasingly silly third-party scapegoats (sometimes including me - it's my fault somehow that s/he faceplanted on the exam ... My reply of choice then is a smile and "That's right. I'm the Devil"). 

This excuse-spinning is usually worst when the kid has been coddled in the past and so has an overinflated sense of his or her own intelligence and skills because nobody's ever seriously challenged him/her or called this person out for BSing.  I have seen smart kids crash and burn because they think they're so smart that they don't need to come to class or do the work, and arrogance breeds laziness and nemesis like nothing else. (Do I see myself as an agent of hubris-busting nemesis?  Maybe I should make myself business cards that say so!)  Let me say, the only reasonable responses to ridiculous excuses are to laugh, shrug, or my personal favorite, look right back at the kid and say with withering calm, "You cannot seriously expect me to believe that."  This is always accompanied by "The grade stands." 

Anyway, I get the feeling that a bigger version of this has happened to Obama.  I think he's never really been challenged by a determined and sharp opponent (one who has done the homework), he's been surrounded for years now by a cocoon of sycophants, and - perilously - he may even actually believe his own hype - the hype endlessly churned out by a fawning lapdog media apparently populated largely by fantasists.

1 comment:

Steve D said...

This time, he's facing someone who actually wants to be president.