This was my Washington Post Pundit Contest Entry; actually I still think it was better than most of the chosen ten.
Piddlin’ away the Crisis/Opportunity
A common fallacy that the Chinese word for crisis is the same as opportunity may have started with John Kennedy. He threw it out one time, and then Richard Nixon referenced the usage. More recently, Condi Rice and Al Gore advanced the myth, so we are stuck with it. I heard it tossed around as the Obama administration constitutionally assumed our current problems (train wreck?). According to scholars* this is not a correct interpretation of wēijī, but the American myth labeled a Chinese paradox will endure. I would attribute it to Mao Zedong, but then Glenn Beck will have to cry, again.
With a swarm of crazies to entertain our cable news outlets, some now spilling into the halls of Congress, it would be easy to believe everyone is shouting at each other and no one can be heard over the din. As Obama’s late summer rallies and the fall media blitz for health care reform demonstrated many people just want factual information. A clear voice from the President of the United States will resonant with the American people. Even as all the moneyed interests try to rig the political landscape an authentic informed voice from this President can carry the majority to support his policies.
The GOP has made itself irrelevant by following a political strategy of hoping it is 1992, but no moment is exactly like another.