Barack and Jimmy
In a polarized nation, on the eve of another divisive contest for the White House, those seeking a unified America are not without hope. For amid the partisan bickering, there remains one principle on which all Americans are agreed: ANY COMPARISON TO JIMMY CARTER IS ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE A PUT-DOWN.
Given Mr. Carter's Democratic affiliation, IT'S MOSTLY REPUBLICANS AND CONSERVATIVES WHO TRAFFIC IN JIMMY CARTER ALLUSIONS. That makes for something of a yawn, as Mitt Romney is finding out with his claim that the community organizer from Chicago is worse than the peanut farmer from Georgia. MORE IN THE MAN-BITES-DOG CATEGORY IS WHEN ONE OF MR. OBAMA'S OWN STICKS THE CARTER TAG ON HIM.
So it must have stung when the New York Times's MAUREEN DOWD RECENTLY QUOTED AN UNNAMED DEMOCRATIC SENATOR MOANING THAT "WE ARE WATCHING HIM TURN INTO JIMMY CARTER RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES."
She was not alone. Eric Alterman earlier this year weighed in with a column in U.S. News whose headline declares, "OBAMA'S AWFUL '70S SHOW ECHOES JIMMY CARTER." The unkindest cut of all comes from ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI—Jimmy Carter's national security adviser and one of the first to hop aboard the Obama bandwagon—who on MSNBC last month brought up the word most associated with Mr. Carter, though he never actually said it: "malaise."…
When the left turns on him, it's over.
How Bright is Obama?
WE'VE LONG BEEN AWARE THAT THE ONE IS NOT QUITE THE SUPERIOR INTELLECT HE WAS SOLD AS. Obama, we were told, was the rare possessor of a mind with the profundity of a Socrates, the breadth of a Goethe, and the penetration of a Newton. An intellect unrivaled on the current American political scene, and possibly without equal in this country's politics since the beginning.
Events have certainly demolished that little trope. Within weeks of the inauguration, sometime between "I won" and the Air Force One trip to New York for a single night's outing with Michelle, IT BECAME CLEAR THAT THE AMERICAN SOLOMON WAS NO BETTER THAN AVERAGE. And in the immortal words of Harvey Pekar, "Average is dumb."…
… WHAT KIND OF MENTALITY DELIBERATELY ARRANGES A BRAWL OVER GOVERNMENT FINANCES IN THE MIDST OF A SENSITIVE AND FRAGILE RECOVERY? Obama was obviously out to steal an issue from the GOP and wreck their 2012 campaign plans. But at what cost? Wrecking the national economy? This isn't thinking of any description -- it's the mentality of a street punk who spots somebody in another gang and decides to take him down at no matter what happens to passersby or himself.
THE S&P DOWNGRADE WAS SOMETHING HE WAS WARNED ABOUT, WHICH HE KNEW WAS COMING, AND WHICH WAS NOT ALL THAT DIFFICULT TO AVOID. BUT HE DID NOTHING TO AVOID IT. His response was that of a dull-normal -- it never happened before, so it can't happen now. Quite apart from the economic cost, it's embarrassing and humiliating. From here on in, Obama is and always will be the president who wrecked America's credit rating. He can put that right next to his Nobel citation.
Then to top it off, we have the strange incident -- the latest of many strange incidents -- on Friday, August 5th, when OBAMA, ABOUT TO GIVE A SPEECH, STOOD STARING FOR A FULL MINUTE WHILE EVIDENTLY WAITING FOR THE TELEPROMPTER TO SWITCH ON. Under such circumstances, the normal politician will joke, will tell a yarn or two, tease the audience, do anything but what OBAMA DID: STARE OFF INTO SPACE AFTER ANNOUNCING, "WE'RE WAITING."…
I think that may be an epitaph for his presidency, “We’re waiting.” Actually we are waiting for the end of his presidency.
Is Obama Smart?
….When it comes to piloting, Barack Obama seems to think he's the political equivalent of Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager and—in a "Fly Me to the Moon" sort of way—Nat King Cole rolled into one. "I THINK I'M A BETTER SPEECH WRITER THAN MY SPEECH WRITERS," HE REPORTEDLY TOLD AN AIDE IN 2008. "I KNOW MORE ABOUT POLICIES ON ANY PARTICULAR ISSUE THAN MY POLICY DIRECTORS. AND I'LL TELL YOU RIGHT NOW THAT I'M . . . A BETTER POLITICAL DIRECTOR THAN MY POLITICAL DIRECTOR."
On another occasion—at the 2004 Democratic convention—Mr. Obama explained to a Chicago Tribune reporter that "I'm LeBron, baby. I can play at this level. I got game."
Of course, it's tempting to be immodest when your admirers are so immodest about you. How many times have we heard it said that Mr. Obama is the smartest president ever? Even when he's criticized, his failures are usually chalked up to his supposed brilliance. Liberals say he's too cerebral for the Beltway rough-and-tumble; conservatives often seem to think his blunders, foreign and domestic, are all part of a cunning scheme to turn the U.S. into a combination of Finland, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.
I don't buy it. I JUST THINK THE PRESIDENT ISN'T VERY BRIGHT.
SOCRATES TAUGHT THAT WISDOM BEGINS IN THE RECOGNITION OF HOW LITTLE WE KNOW. Mr. Obama is perpetually intent on telling us how much he knows. Aristotle wrote that the type of intelligence most needed in politics is prudence, which in turn requires experience. MR. OBAMA CAME TO OFFICE WITH NO EXPERIENCE. Plutarch warned that FLATTERY "MAKES ITSELF AN OBSTACLE AND PESTILENCE TO GREAT HOUSES AND GREAT AFFAIRS." Today's White House, more so than any in memory, is stuffed with flatterers….
Even with sycophants all around Obama, you can see he is losing it. As more criticism grows he becomes more petulant and angry.
Obama’s horrifyingly bad speech
HE WAS A HALF HOUR LATE. HIS HEAD TURNED FROM SIDE TO SIDE AS IF HE WERE ATTENDING A TENNIS MATCH. HE PRACTICALLY NEVER LOOKED IN THE CAMERA, as if he were averting our gaze. AND THOSE WERE THE STRONG PARTS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S DISASTROUS SPEECH.
It was a bit like a slow-motion car crash. After a while, one stopped listening to the blather and simply watched the stock ticker go down and down. And down some more.
OBAMA HAD ALL WEEKEND AND THE BEST HE COULD COME UP WITH was a reiteration of his plea for a “balanced” approach to deficit control….
Obama is going back to do the things that got him to the big dance. The problem is he only knows one dance and people are tired of it.
Krauthammer on Obama’s Speech
On Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer criticized Obama for doing just that — not portraying the right image or speaking the right words to allay market jitters. ACCORDING TO KRAUTHAMMER, HE PLAYED THE BLAME GAME INSTEAD.
“LOOK, HE IS ACCUSING THE TEA PARTY BECAUSE IT THREATENED DEFAULT, for causing this,” Krauthammer said. “HE HIMSELF SAID OPENLY HE WOULD VETO ANY DEBT CEILING EXTENSION THAT WASN’T LONG ENOUGH TO GET HIM INTO 2013. He was going to veto it over the length, which incidentally turns out to be, as you point out, irrelevant. He got what he wanted on length and we still got the downgrade.”
Obama is toast.
It’s Pretty Well Over for Obama and the Progressives’ Agenda
At first, President Obama had no public events on his schedule Monday. Then, after markets opened down sharply, THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCED OBAMA WOULD SPEAK AT 1 PM. THEN 1:30. THEN HE FINALLY EMERGED AT 1:52. By that time, the market had dropped 410 points. OBAMA THEN SAID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING NEW. He attacked S&P’s downgrade decision, something his aides had already done. He blamed Republicans for the downgrade, something his surrogates had already done. And he called for extending unemployment benefits, extending the payroll tax cut, more infrastructure spending, and higher taxes; all policies he has been pushing for months.
Later, the White House press corps pressed spokesman Jay Carney on whether Obama would be unveiling a deficit reduction plan “in a form of being scoreble by the Congressional Budget Office.” When Carney demurred, POLITICO’S GLENN THRUSH ASKED: “YOU SAID HE WILL BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROCESS, TALKING ABOUT THE SUPER COMMITTEE, BUT HE WON’T BE LEADING IT. HE IS THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. WHY ISN’T HE LEADING THIS PROCESS?” Carney responded: “Glenn. Look, this President, his leadership on these issues is quite established.”
Quite established to whom? AFTER OBAMA’S STATEMENT, THE MARKETS FELL ANOTHER 210 POINTS.
Actually I think Carney’s statement is absolutely true. “This President, his leadership on these issues is quite established.” It’s established as nonexistent.
Wait a Minute? What about his focus on JOBS?
Does anyone think Obama still has any credibility?
Cohen turns Cold to Mr. Cool
…THIS QUALITY OF OBAMA’S, THIS INABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WHAT MANY OF US THINK HE MUST BE FEELING, HAS LATELY COST MANY TREES THEIR DEAR LIVES — reams of essays and op-ed pieces. One of the more interesting ones, by Drew Westen, a psychology professor at Emory University, ran in Sunday’s New York Times. It cited Obama’s frequent inability or unwillingness to explain himself or to appear empathetic. All this is true. But Westen’s most salient point was contained in the title: “WHAT HAPPENED TO OBAMA?” THE ANSWER: NOTHING.
Obama has always been the man he is today. HE IS THE VERY PERSONIFICATION OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE — THE GAP BETWEEN WHAT WE (ESPECIALLY LIBERALS) EXPECTED OF THE FIRST SERIOUS AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND THE MAN HE IN FACT IS. He has next to none of the rhetorical qualities of the old-time black politicians. He would eschew the cliche, but he feels little of their pain. In this sense, he has been patronized by liberals who looked at a man and saw black and has been reviled by those who looked at a black man and saw “other.” …
The liberal press is starting to turn. It’s going to be a long 15 months for the Democrats.
The liberal press would never vote for Bachmann, but…
…It turned out that Hoover, who had not decided whom to support in the GOP race, had not come to query Bachmann on the ISSUES BUT TO COMPLAIN THAT HE HAD RECEIVED FIVE AUTOMATED CALLS FROM HER CAMPAIGN IN THE PAST WEEK. He was on a no-call list, ...
….Then Bachmann seemed to catch herself. She walked over to Hoover, leaned down, locked her eyes onto his, shook his hand and didn't let go for the longest time. "I thank you, and I would ask you to come to Ames on August 13, this Saturday, and I'll tell you why," she began.
"I WANT YOU TO COME, AND I WANT YOU TO GIVE ME YOUR VOTE BECAUSE WE HAVE GOT TO TURN THE COUNTRY AROUND," Bachmann said. "You get to choose. There are people all across the United States who wish they were in your shoes. People wish they were an Iowan because you get to make that down payment on Saturday for taking the country back."
BACHMANN WAS STILL HOLDING HOOVER'S HAND AND LOOKING STRAIGHT INTO HIS EYES; at that moment, every ounce of her considerable energy was devoted to making this one particular sale. "I'M 100 PERCENT PRO-LIFE, I'M 100 PERCENT PRO-MARRIAGE, PRO-FAMILY, I'M 100 PERCENT ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT," she told Hoover. "Let's get 'er done right now, let's make a decision right now. What do I need to do to convince you?
Hoover still wouldn't commit…
…"The things that she told me, personally standing there with her, that she was pro-life, and Second Amendment, and cutting spending -- ALL OF THIS I BELIEVE," HOOVER SAID. "SHE LOOKED ME IN THE EYE, HELD MY HAND AND TOLD ME, 'THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE.' "
If the rally did nothing else, it proved that one man, all by his lonesome, didn't stand a chance when faced with the Full Bachmann.
Obama's “I didn’t say change in a week or a month” line won’t play well in the America he has helped to create. We are looking for someone we can trust and Obama has proven we can’t trust him.