"11 Dimensional Chess" Goes Viral

I have been joking about how Obama defenders will tell us how his every move is President Obama playing 11 dimensional political chess that we can not possibly understand. Well, now "11 dimensional chess" hits the pages of the NYTimes Op Ed page, from Bob Herbert:

Mr. Obama is like a championship chess player, always several moves ahead of friend and foe alike.

All righty then. How did you like that Senate stimulus package Mr. Herbert?

Id personally like to see a more robust stimulus package, with increased infrastructure spending and fewer tax cuts.

Sooooo, how did that 11 dimensional chess work out? Next assignment for Herbert - explaining how Obama's following President Bush's lead on the "state secrets" privilege is just 11 dimensional chess that we can not possibly understand.

Speaking for me only

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    Obama works in mysterious ways. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 07:36:35 AM EST
    Herbert, like others, is subject to Obama deification.

    What am I missing? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 07:40:11 AM EST
    What struck me when I read this article was: What do these enablers see that I'm missing?  Where are the facts to back their claims? Herbert even admits that the bill isn't what he would have chosen, and yet he still contends that Obama is miles ahead of his opposition.

    Our only hope is that Obama is half as smart as they seem to think.

    You missed the fact (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by BernieO on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 07:42:53 AM EST
    that Obama deliberately waited to defend his program so that Republicans could dominate and frame the debate. I am still waiting to see how he plans to turn that against them, but I am sure he has some clever, magical move that will.

    I caught myself last night (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 07:43:04 AM EST
    wanting to play 11 dimensional chess on why he would want to use certain wingnut wording.  I'll still give him the benefit of the doubt there but I refuse to challenge myself to live in the 11th dimension just so I don't have deal with uncomfortable realities.

    Covering for Bush torture will always be three dimensional.  And it is as shameful as persons can get.  I realize Obama DOES have a mandate but this isn't a place he wants to go with it, except it seems that he does.

    Listening to the politicians speaking (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:27:29 AM EST
    after the press conference gave me the impression it is all pretty one-dimensional.  Boxer, Nelson, McConnell, et al.  Much wringing of hands.

    Valtin's recommended diary (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jes on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:32:39 AM EST
    attempts the likely spin in a comment in his diary:

    You caught the likely spin... this is only to pull a fast one on the CIA... get the Court to do it and say we did what we could, but really our argument was so lame, and we sent such a ridiculous low-life attorney to argue for us... Obama and Holder practically telegraphed their true, unstated feelings to the court... from now on when they say, "We invoke state secrets, so dismiss this case on the grounds of national security," we really mean "Hey, state secrets are not at issue, so please rule against us."

    The rest of you are just not with Obama's hip, new style.

    comment here

    It is also a really good diary that focuses on the institutional status quo and the CIA.

    A few dimensions short (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by lentinel on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:42:11 AM EST
    I don't think that Obama was "several moves ahead" of Helen Thomas. Who could be?

    Was that (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 01:09:53 PM EST
    11 dimensional chess when Obama was going to vote to confirm Roberts until his chief of staff told him to make a different move.

    Somehow I tend to believe that this whole 11 dimensional chess gambit is advanced by sycophants who are embarrassed by some of his positions.


    The Obama Catechism (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:33:31 AM EST
    The 11 Dimensional Chess argument reminds me of this argument present in some catechisms:

    Q. Can we understand the Holy Trinity?

    A. No, because it is a mystery.

    Q. What is a mystery?

    A. A mystery is a truth which we cannot understand.

    Sounds like Rumsfeld to me! (none / 0) (#29)
    by talesoftwokitties on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:54:51 AM EST

    Bob Herbert's (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:39:22 AM EST
    position seems to be that everything has been  exquisitely planned, leaving no room for synchronism.  Course corrections as well as external influences, ranging from hostile criticisms to the well-meaning 'dutch uncles', were superfluous to the grand plan.  As I read Herbert's column my mind when back to the dark old days of Rummy, when "stuff happens" was the non-explanation for events; now the non-explanation is faith in unseen and foreboding political powers--the wisdom of the eternal chess player.

    I am happy that we now have a president (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by DFLer on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 12:22:29 PM EST
    who can speak in complete sentences, even complete paragraphs; who is an intellectual and a thinker and all that.

    The thing that bothers me about this chess analogy virus is the attitude I read on a previously linked blog (Mydd?) that expressed it something like this:

    Mr. Obama plays 11-dimensional chess while we mere mortals can "only play checkers"

    That adoring 'tude just isn't a healthy one to have towards our leaders and politicians. Plus is smacks of groveling and synchophantism

    An intellectual is one who seeks (none / 0) (#34)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:20:09 PM EST
    truth -- and therefore reads/listens to many sides and reads history; I do not think this describes our President.  A very high IQ - no doubt.  One who seeks truth, and changes his opinion as he learns, not.

    I would have thought Bob Herbert to be (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:27:19 AM EST
    above a personality cult. Oh well.

    Ha. (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:27:52 AM EST
    He revealed his susceptibility (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:52:01 AM EST
    to the cult during the primaries in several columns. An extreme disappointment to me - used to hold him in the highest regard.

    I don't think it's (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:56:20 AM EST
    personality cultism.  

    Seems to me it's tribal...give Herbert an AA president and he leaves commentary behind and becomes a defender of our first black president who cannot be seen to have failings of any kind.


    Probably (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:58:43 AM EST
    but I think that's an immaterially different kind of cultism.

    Really? Why is it immaterial? (none / 0) (#19)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:22:52 AM EST
    Because it produces identically cultish columns (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:26:08 AM EST
    You're suggesting (none / 0) (#21)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:27:50 AM EST
    it's a distinction without a difference?

    Well, there's a difference (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:32:23 AM EST
    but not a big one.

    Hmmm. I fancy it's a big (none / 0) (#24)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:36:14 AM EST
    one if you're black.  Maybe that's the 'difference?'

    I'm with Andgarden (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:51:59 AM EST
    although I cut a lot of slack for what you're describing, there's a limit and Herbert goes way over it.  Roland Martin on CNN gets it about right, IMHO.  He clearly roots for Obama (and has from the beginning), but not blindly and definitely without these tedious and embarrassing fantasies about 11-dimensional chess to turn every misstep into pure genius.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:53:47 AM EST
    O.K. (none / 0) (#30)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 10:08:06 AM EST
    The reasons are different (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:52:29 AM EST
    but the incidents are the same.

    Why eleven? (none / 0) (#10)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:51:47 AM EST
    Somebody fill me in on what is special about an '11th' dimension...as opposed to a 7th or 9th, let's say?

    Perceptionwise, I am several dimensions short and I don't think more coffee will help.  Can anyone?

    String theory (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:57:47 AM EST
    Or more properly (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:59:15 AM EST
    Seems so simple, (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:06:21 AM EST
    reading the link.  All fits into a t-shirt slogan.  Great.

    Thanks! Cripes, am I ever (none / 0) (#18)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 09:20:54 AM EST
    out of touch...

    It's at least something like (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 08:54:29 AM EST
    You need to get credit for that in Bartlett's! (none / 0) (#33)
    by Exeter on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:53:57 PM EST
    Seriously -- I here that phrase all the time!

    But, in all things chess... (none / 0) (#35)
    by pcpablo on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:35:21 PM EST