The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


In a scathing critique of Barack Obama, Rich Lowry expresses the reality of a president whose job approval numbers are tanking. Obama appears to have lost the American public, but for those of us who opposed his election in 2008, there's the strange feeling one gets after a bad dream in which you know bad things will happen, you try to warn people to beware, you're ignored, and then have the bad things happen (is there one word for that?)

In the run-up to Barack Obama's first election, I wrote many posts on his total lack of executive experience, his lack of private sector experience, his lack of accomplishment in any real sense (writing two books about oneself is hardly an accomplishment), his questionable (and hidden) academic record, his far-left ideology, and his extremely questionable associations (e.g., with Rashid Khalili, today a Hamas apologist of the highest order). At the time, I thought an Obama presdiency was likely to be rocky, but I never thought he'd do the damage that he has done—both domestically and internationally.

Lowry spares no words when he critiques this president. He writes:
It’s certainly true that the president is much further left than he’d ever admit, but the deepest truth about Obama is that there is no depth. He’s smart without being wise. He’s glib without being eloquent. He’s a celebrity without being interesting. He’s callow.

It’s a trope on the right to say that Obama has quit, that he’s not interested in the job anymore. It isn’t true. If you are smug, overly self-impressed and unwilling to bend from your (erroneous) presumptions of how the world works, this is what presidential leadership looks like.

Obama is incapable of the unexpected gesture or surprising departure. He evidently has no conception of the national interest larger than his ideology or immediate political interests. In terms of his sensibility, he’s about what you’d get if you took the average reader of The New Yorker and made him president of the United States.

The notion that Obama might be a grand historical figure was always an illusion, although at the beginning his rousing words lent it some superficial support. He gave a truly inspired convention speech in 2004 and a few defining campaign speeches in 2008. But that was long ago.

Once the magic wore off, it became clear he’s not really an orator. Few of his big speeches as president have been memorable or remarkable, and he’s almost always failed to move public opinion.

His greatest rhetorical skill turns out to be mockery. The man who once promised to transcend political divisions is an expert at the stinging partisan jab. What Churchill was to thundering statements of resolve, he is to snotty put-downs.
We have over two more years of an Obama presidency. The likelihood that he will learn from past errors, stop whining and negotiate with his political opposition, stop his near and/or actual violations of his constitutional authority, and in the end accomplish something meaningful are very close to zero. "Zero" is also an apt description of this president.