January 4, 2010

Everybody's talking about that James Bond/dead tired photograph of Obama.

The Atlantic Wire has a good rundown of the commentary about that photo from the White House Flickr page. (They link to me and manage to introduce 2 typos that were never in the original. How do you do that when cutting and pasting?)

There's so much talk about about the photo, and my post is drawing so much traffic from various blogs — the kind that try to disqualify me as drunk/stupid — that I have to conclude this criticism — it's hardly even a criticism, more of an observation — really hurt.

Here's Andrew Sullivan:
Glenn Reynolds finds a photo in the White House Flickr basket...
Flickr basket? Sullivan either doesn't know what things are called, or he's inventing a phrase to create the impression that the White House dumps all manner of images onto its public Flickr page without much thought. In fact, the White House Flickr page — which I check almost daily — gets — I would say — an average of one new photo a day — maybe 2 — and the photos are clearly chosen to flatter President Obama. I have zero doubt that if there is a photo there, the White House believes it presents the President in an excellent light.
... and publishes it to, er, point out how bad the White House's p.r. is, or how blind they are to perceptions of Obama or some such thing.
Yes, exactly. It's obvious and it's easy to understand. Acting out a pretense of having difficulty understanding is hammy.
I tried to puzzle this one out and can just about see how an elusive photo of a tired Obama reacting to something unknowable might make him look tired or arrogant or something.
And then I realized why this photo immediately strikes some people are [sic] damning. Obama is a black man who looks as if he is condescending to a white man. That's political gold.
It's political gold against Sullivan. And I don't just mean because he played the race card with so little provocation. It's damaging to Sullivan because the way he arrived at the racial interpretation was entirely by searching around in his own brain. He thought and he thought — he puzzled — and then he realized what looked bad to "some people." Some people? But that was you seeing that, Andrew! What you see is what you see. How much alienation from one's own thoughts there must be that you would expose your own racism like that!

If you think that's unfair, then take it as a lesson in fairness.

340 comments:

1 – 200 of 340   Newer›   Newest»
Scott said...

Sullivan, engaging in an ad hominem attack? How shocking and unusual.

AllenS said...

Biden: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

MarAkin said...

You hate Sully, don't you?

Just an excuse to attack him, hm?

Scott said...

Sullivan's collapse from serious journalist into hack sensationalist has been rapid, unlike his popularity; the decline of which seems to have the half-life of Uranium 238.

former law student said...

Here's an earlier shot of the Godfather with his consigliere:

http://www.ashleysaunders.com/ashblog/archives/tom_god.jpg

Mr. Bingley said...

He puzzled 'til his puzzler was sore!

AllenS said...

fls posts something that doesn't work.

Henry said...

I tried to puzzle this one out and can just about see how an elusive photo of a tired Obama reacting to something unknowable might make him look tired or arrogant or something.

... a tired Obama reacting to something unknowable ...

... something unknowable ...

LOL. Obama is talking to Joe Biden, his Vice President.

Sure, I get it. Sullivan is saying that what Obama is hearing is unknowable to us.

But my first thought on reading this passage was that what Obama is hearing is unknowable to him. He's listening to Biden talking and saying to himself "WTF?"

Here he's at some White House event where there's tons of fascinating people to talk to and he's cornered by his vice president.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And then I realized why this photo immediately strikes some people are [sic] damning. Obama is a black man who looks as if he is condescending to a white man. That's political gold

You know what? That black white thing never occurred to me. It never crossed my mind until I read that sentence.

I just thought it was Obama being his usual condescending arrogant self and that he was talking to Biden his stupid doofus of a VP. Not black on white. He is a condescending A-hole to everyone.

Weird.

bagoh20 said...

Can't we just accept that we are all racists...and sexists, and and homophobes (what a stupid term),that we all profile each other and so what. If you don't like your stereotype, change it.

I profile Sullivan as a nut. It's up to him to fix that.

bagoh20 said...

What is the white half of Obama up to in all this?

Alex said...

Whine, bitch, whine. That's all you cons can do.

AllenS said...

I think Alex just whined and bitched.

Scott said...

It's damaging to Sullivan because the way he arrived at the racial interpretation was entirely by searching around in his own brain. He thought and he thought — he puzzled — and then he realized what looked bad to "some people." Some people? But that was you seeing that, Andrew! What you see is what you see. How much alienation from one's own thoughts there must be that you would expose your own racism like that!

Sullivan's career has been about trying to make solipsism respectable as a philosophy.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

an elusive photo

Why does he throw in that "elusive"? It wasn't hard to find. No one had to search it out. It wasn't dodging around, hiding. Does he just throw in words that make absolutely no sense?

former law student said...

The link works for me, sorry.

Traditionally guys with heavy-lidded eyes -- James Franco, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Robert Mitchum -- were seen as sexy. But all Althouse sees is "tired."

Jim said...

alex -

So Mr. Glutes is a con because he's a bitchy whiner?

I'm trying to puzzle out your supposed attempt at logic since the post is about Milky whining about non-existent racism...

So which kind of "con" is it that you're accusing Glutes of being?

Robert Cook said...

I don't think Obama looks tired at all in this photograph; his stance and expression convey disdain by him toward the person with whom he is speaking, Biden...it's an "I don't suffer fools gladly and you're a fool" look.

Whether this is simply one of those distortions imposed by extracting a frozen millisecond from the actual living event or whether this is exactly what Obama was feeling we cannot know.

I do think the O Man is full of himself: he's America's first black president, recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, and the most powerful man on the planet, continuing the war crimes of the previous administration. He's arrived at this point of power and "honor" with a past largely free of significant accomplishment.

I vote for "disdain" as the message of this image.

garage mahal said...

Only me and Glenn Reynolds can stare into a photo and make all kinds of goofy assumptions. Sullivan? He's crazy!

c3 said...

this food fight with Sullivan is getting tiresome.

downtownlad said...

She hates Sully because he's gay. The same reason she hates Glenn Greenwald.

Paul said...

"You know what? That black white thing never occurred to me. It never crossed my mind until I read that sentence."

Absolutely. The racists are those like Sullivan who compulsively interject racism as the sole motive for any criticism of President God Damn America. A President Ayers, Chomsky, or Zinn would elicit the same reaction from those of us who are horrified by the reality of a president steeped in post modern and anti-American dogma from birth.

phosphorious said...

Yeah. . . that photo was worth another whole post.

Maybe this comment thread can get past 300!

Conservative honestly see this photograph as proof of. . . anything?

Bizarre.

Scott said...

"He's arrived at this point of power and 'honor' with a past largely free of significant accomplishment."

Robert Cook calls Obama a token. [falls out of chair]

lumiere said...

Althouse was also attacked by Charles Johnson of littlegreenfootballs, the self-appointed arbiter of permissible criticism of Obama and of all things racist, as being a "wingnut".
Such criticism by Sullivan and Johnson is designed, of course, to stifle any criticism not only of Obama but even any image of Obama.

bagoh20 said...

"Whine, bitch, whine. That's all you cons can do."

What's to bitch about? Everything is going great isn't it? At least were not calling our troops murders and losers, and our President a Hitler chimp. We're just saying he looks tired and condescending. We clearly have a better standard for critisim of the "lightworker". You guys are a thin-skinned bunch of warriors

downtownlad said...

Conservative wingnuts need to have an outrage a day.

The thought of a black President drives them crazy, so they must destroy him.

It is so obvious that it is racism that is driving their rage.

downtownlad said...

Ann is a wingnut.

She's a global warming denialist. Enough said.

rhhardin said...

Sullivan is a journalist who seeks out larger lessons, always a valuable thing when you've run out of material.

Chase said...

Sullivan can be glad he's not visiting Uganda today.

traditionalguy said...

It's all a defense lawyer's smoke screen of passionate irrelevance objections to a very powerful piece of evidence in the court of public opinion. The original gasping realization that in a candid moment ( Not in the usual 60+ Identical Smiles being staged photo op )Obama appears to be James Bond on a secret assignment for Her Majesties Empire. That is not the harmless good will smile that got Barry elected, rather it is the aristocratic stiff upper lip persona from an upper class taipan in a colonial empire. FYI to Barry the USA is the rebel colony he is in process of reconquering from the inside. Andrew Sullivan of all people knows that. So Andrew's pretense of a smoke screen argument that American's are racists has a giant hole in it.

Scott said...

downtownlad must be a right-wing counter-Moby. :)

Jim said...

phos, etc. -

No one is seeing it as "proof" of anything. It was a comment on just how bad Obama's PR team is at "getting it."

The people all up in arms over even the slightest criticism of their Messiah and His acolytes are on the Left - not the right.

The world is laughing at you for your histrionic convulsions. Better to stop now before you embarrass yourselves further on the subject.

But then we'd have less to laugh about, so I'm kind of torn on the subject...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You would think that the PR guys in the White House and the people that are advising the President on Protocol would consider getting a second opinion once in a while.

Instead they make all kinds of mistakes and international protocol gaffes because they are so insular. They live in a little bubble of Obama worship and are blinded to how other see him and don't give a rip about protocol niceties. The result is that they make Obama look bad...or worse...they don't make Obama look better.

Chase said...

She's a global warming denialist.Enough said.

Proving once again that even the highly educated commenters can be close-minded and irrational.

downtownlad said...

Gee - Why is that the vast majority of people who hate Obama are white and old? Hmmm - why could that be?

He's already turned the economy around - it's now on the mend and growing again, and the Stock Market is up almost 70% since March. So you would think that old people would appreciate that Obama has almost made their 401K's whole again. But nope - they can't get beyond that whole Black President thing.

Chase said...

traditionalguy,

LOL!

downtownlad said...

Well Chase - the whole Uganda death penalty against gays items was actually driven by 3 Americans pushing their reparative therapy bullshit.

I believe that Ann, if I am quoting her correctly (and I am) called gay reparative therapy a form of "freedom".

Jim said...

rhhardin -

Would those "larger truths" include the inner workings of Sarah Palin's reproductive system, or is that just a hobby for Glutes?

Speaking of which: how do we even know that Sullivan wrote the post in question. Barring an actual proof of him writing any post on his blog, his previous mendacity on his blog's authorship, then we can't even credit him with this. Was it one of his "ghost-bloggers"? Can he prove it wasn't?

I want medical records...

Scott M said...

@Cook

the most powerful man on the planet

As much as I'd like this to still be true, being a child of the cold war and all, I think the American president stopped being the leader of the free world some time toward the end of the 90's, definitely by the middle of the next decade.

It just doesn't seem to resonate that way anymore, more's the pity.

Jim said...

dtl -

Funny...the only ones talking about Obama's skin color are you and Glutes.

You really should learn to look beyond the color of his skin and look at the content of his character.

Shame on you.

Roger J. said...

I would suggest that not all that many people have either seen the photo or are talking about it

I fear you are mistaking the world of blogs and bloggers with the real world--so frankly I simply dont understand what your fascination is with picking fights with dorks like sullivan

I have enjoyed your blog for several years--but it is starting to look very petty with dust ups with other bloggers--that probably drives up your hits among the blogging community so more power to you.

Its your blog you can do what you want with it--I get to vote with my delete button.

Kirk Parker said...

Robin,

"Does he just throw in words that make absolutely no sense?"

Well, that is how Maureen Dowd manages to pull in the big bucks.

Chase said...

Hey, did anyone else see the current webpage front of the New York Times:

Inside Obama’s War on Terrorism

They're BACK to calling it "War on terrorism"? I thought that was a no-no to the Obama posse and the NYTimes.


Nothing like a wake-up call on Christmas Day to make a President get serious about reality. "Gee, I guess this really is a war, not just a criminal action".


D'Oh!

AllenS said...

Roger,

The Althouse Woman is just standing her ground. Good for her.

David said...

I'm not a big fan of the "what if Bush had done that" school of Obama commentary, but what if the same picture had been published of Bush and Cheney in the same poses as Obama and Biden?

Republicans in tuxedos? That just shows the class divide between the two Americas.

Moreover, this wouldn't be seen as presidential disdain for the veep, but as a child passive aggressively protesting against being told by his stern dad to behave himself in public.

And then we could all switch sides, dosey-doe and bow to your partner.

Scott said...

"I believe that Ann, if I am quoting her correctly (and I am) called gay reparative therapy a form of 'freedom'."

This is the internet, you putz. Link to the quote.

MayBee said...

Traditionally guys with heavy-lidded eyes -- James Franco, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Robert Mitchum -- were seen as sexy. But all Althouse sees is "tired."

Hopefully, the WH did not post this picture because they thought the President looked "sexy".

MadisonMan said...

Obama is a black man who looks as if he is condescending to a white man.

That never occurred to me either, the racial aspect.

Does Obama look tired? I'd say bored is more likely.

All the talk about Bond in the first comment thread makes me think of the best Bond jingle. Off to youtube!

Scott M said...

@dtl

Gee - Why is that the vast majority of people who hate Obama are white and old?

- source this or stfu

He's already turned the economy around

Name three things that Obama's policies have done that undeniably point to proactive steps his administration has taken. Please do not include anything that could be subjectively attributed to the economy correcting itself slowly but surely.

Do so or stfu. You've long since used up tolerance for the world-as-you-say-it-is.

The Ghost said...

is anyone even sure that Sullivans post was Sullivan or was it one of the "other" Sullivans he employees ?
Maybe we are witnessing someone else playing the race card in Sullivans name ...

Roger J. said...

AllenS--have appreciated your commentary because you have impressed me as a principled conservative.

The world of blogging is like USENET with a GUI--my thought is you dont need to stand your ground with an idiot--its like wrestling with a pig. Anyway, sir--my best to you and continue to fight the good fight.

MayBee said...

What does it say about Biden, that he is so...reduced in Andrew's interpretation?
He's the Vice President!
When Cheney was Vice President, he ran the world.
Biden is just some disdained guy in a tux.

Henry said...

Scott wrote Sullivan's career has been about trying to make solipsism respectable as a philosophy.

Nicely put. It's easy to enjoy Sullivan's style when you agree with him, but in the end he has nothing to offer beyond debate points.

Like many here I appreciated his arguments for the GWOT. Unlike many I don't think his style or ability is any different now that it was eight years ago.

He skates on the thin ice of argument. He never looks into the depths.

SteveR said...

Mitchum was stoned not tired.

rdkraus said...

I'd suggest that Roger J. is right about this, "I would suggest that not all that many people have either seen the photo or are talking about it."

This is really "inside baseball." Not .01% of people in the US have seen this photo or are talking about it. That's ok. People who are interested will read, others can skip. I'm thinking many/most readers here skip posts Ann makes about most legal decisions. This is not really the crowd for that, but some % here are interested.

Also, this post is not really about the photo anymore. It's about Sullivan and others who can't get past Obama being ... omigod...black.

I thought dbq was spot on. I never think of O as black. When I see him, I see a socialist, a facist, a clueless guy who thinks he's bright, but has no wisdom, a guy that is pushing us faster and faster towards the cliff. Who has time to worry about his color?

The race card has been so successful for so long that those who've relied on it can't let go. It is important that, every time it's used, we slap it down for what it is, a distraction from whatever the real issue is.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook calls Obama a token. [falls out of chair]"

Well, no, at least that's not what I meant to say. Simply, Obama, as every politician strives to do, succeeded in making himself so ambiguous, so much a blank, that voters could project onto him their own assumptions about his character and intentions, to the extent that he won a majority of the votes. (It helped that his predecessor and his party were so widely loathed.)

And it is true that his history is largely free of significant accomplishment.

Alex said...

Robert Cook is a racist.

Almost Ali said...

Look at Drudge's "Cold, Cold, Colder" photo today; a beautiful "snow leopard," that is, a tall, slim, skin-tight girl dressed to kill (herself): here

Scott M said...

Robert Cook is a racist.

...a comment that smacks both of failed glibness and mental midgetry.

David said...

The problem with the racial interpretation is that conservatives have no problem with blacks, or anyone else, condescending to Joe Biden. Condescension is the only possible response to Joe Biden.

cokaygne said...

It is so obvious. As Ann sez, the WH doesn't put just any pic on the web This was carefully chosen. It is a subtle message to the veep. Because the president, like all good liberals, hates confrontation. This is his way of telling Joe to stay out there on the road talking about the wonders being worked by the stimulus and to stay away from the prez when there are more important people, anyone else, in the room.

Chase said...

Well Chase - the whole Uganda death penalty against gays items was actually driven by 3 Americans pushing their reparative therapy bullshit.

I believe that Ann, if I am quoting her correctly (and I am) called gay reparative therapy a form of "freedom".


Thanks for taking the bait, dtl, so that I can talk about the anti-Christian agenda journalism of the New York Times.

No effort is spared by the New York Times to explain away bad and unintended consequences of Obama's/Pelosi's/Reid's actions:

- High unemployment getting worse than Obama and Dems predicted as their admin goes on? Not the Democrat's fault for focusing on healthcare and not jobs.

- Death Panels (which is a code word for the reality of increased rationing of care). That won't happen, says the NYTimes.

- and about a dozen things daily like that.

Defense, defense, defense.


So, instead of admitting that the law in Uganda was most likely a stupid and unintended consequence of overzealous government officials, the anti-Christ New York Times wants to indict 3 evangelicals it already has demonstrated it hates. The 3 people slandered in the article have all denounced the law. But to anti-Christian bigots, the truth never really matters. The Times just thinks:

"Oh, those stupid, child-like blacks in Uganda. They just can't be held responsible. We all know how they are". Wink, wink.

Of course, the New York Times, while only beginning to editorialize against slavery per se in the late 1850's, still published voluminous amounts of articles favorable to slave owners and accepting the inferiority of Negro's.

So really, nothing's changed.

gaywrites said...

The average number of photos posted per day is hardly around 1 or 2. This is more like a "basket" (whatever that is) than it is a very elite group of photos as Althouse implies. Here are some numbers of photos posted on a given day:

December 22: 28 photos posted
December 16: 28 photos posted
December 14: 28 photos posted
December 11: 16 photos posted
December 2: 15 photos posted
November 28: 48 photos posted

December 22 alone nearly reaches the 1 photo per day average for the Month of December that Althouse describes. In December, if we compute the average based on total number of photos divided by the number of days, the average is at least 4 photos per day, and if we only count days when photos are posted, the number is much much higher.

I'm not saying that this proves Sullivan's point that the White House is not careful about which photos it posts, but it certainly cannot be used to argue that the White House is selective because of the low average of photos posted.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

@Robert Cook: That's an astute observation.

In a way, the campaign Obama was like a newspaper cartoon, drawn in simple shapes. Voters filled the Obama cartoon with their own personal hopes and aspirations. His campaign encouraged that -- "Hope" was the campaign chant.

Now that the campaign Obama is turning into the real Obama, we're finding out how ordinary he is; and (to many of us) how inadequate he seems to be for performing his Constitutional duties.

Jim said...

gaywrites -

4 photos per day is hardly significantly different from the couple that Ann said.

You're trying to pick a fight where there's no significant difference of facts because the larger point Ann was making is inarguable: Glutes' description of the flickr feed as a "basket" was meant to imply that there is no real selectivity going on in the publishing of the photographs.

Even if you only publish 4 photos, you're still making serious editorial decisions. Or have you never seen how many photographs are reeled off by a professional photographer in just a few seconds in order to make sure the "get the shot?"

My guess is that there are probably at least 5 photographs of this precise moment alone, and that this was chosen as the best of those 5. Now multiply that by the number of "moments" they attempted to collect on that day alone, and you're talking about a lot of time and effort going into selecting this one photograph of this one moment.

His people thought this made him look good, and it was a flop. Period.

bearbee said...

Robert Cook said...
......his stance and expression convey disdain by him toward the person with whom he is speaking, Biden...it's an "I don't suffer fools gladly and you're a fool" look.,

'Xactly

That appears to be his general attitude towards the US and her people.

Blowhard Biden most likely reflects a similar attitude toward BO,........ of course with a bit more political tact.

downtownlad said...

She hates Sully because he's gay.

And you base this on what.....?

Jim said...

bearbee -

DTL sees EVERYTHING and EVERYONE as being anti-gay. It's the prism through which he sees the world...He doesn't need any proof, and very often rejects proof to the contrary, because his entire world is built on the construct that it's just him and his sexuality against everyone else. He cannot, and does not, tolerate anything which might interfere with that....

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DTL: "She hates Sully because he's gay."

And you base this on what.....?

DTL sees everything through the prism of his sexuality. He thinks that if anyone has a derogatory opinion about him it is because he is Gay, rather than it is due to his unpleasant personality.


The photos may be many or few each day on the White House Flicker site, but they have been chosen (supposidly) to represent the Administration in a positive light.

As we all well know by now, the viewing of these photos is subjective. Some people see James Bond/cool while others see something much much less flatering.

The point is that the persons, to whom Obama is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to do this job are failing. They are too subjective themselves and need to get outside of their bubble to be effective.

On the other hand.....maybe that IS the best they can do with what they have to work with.

Hmmmmm?

kcom said...

"The problem with the racial interpretation is that conservatives have no problem with blacks, or anyone else, condescending to Joe Biden. Condescension is the only possible response to Joe Biden."

You put my exact thought into words. In this case, Joe Biden's not a white guy, he's Joe Biden. Special rules always apply to Joe Biden. How could they not?

edutcher said...

My, my, all our little Lefties are really in a tizzy about this. Must be the prospect of The Zero taking the Left down in flames this year and they feel they must play Kevin Bacon at the homecoming parade in "Animal House".

Ann said...

They link to me and manage to introduce 2 typos that were never in the original. How do you do that when cutting and pasting?)

Effort? Incompetence? Maybe incompetent effort.

There's so much talk about about the photo, and my post is drawing so much traffic from various blogs — the kind that try to disqualify me as drunk/stupid — that I have to conclude this criticism — it's hardly even a criticism, more of an observation — really hurt.

Althouse stung by the gnat stings of those who can only envy her? We know better, Ann.

You're a colossus (colossa?), Ivana the Terrible, Destroyer (destructress?) of Trolls, The Law West of the Blogosphere, Aribtress of Cruel Neutrality.

Slay them generously, Madame.

bagoh20 said...

What is the white half of Obama up to in all this?

Excellent point, bag, and a grand little rebuttal.

phosphorious said...

"No one is seeing it as "proof" of anything. It was a comment on just how bad Obama's PR team is at "getting it."
"

You're assuming that his PR team could have picked a picture that wouldn't have provided fodder for the anti-Obamites.

Conservatives lookd at this picture and saw obvious confirmation of their settled opinion: Obama is ARROGANT.

Or is it: Obama is IN OVER HIS HEAD.

Or whatever.

You are seeing what you want to see. And have persuaded yourself that it is Obama's people who do not see what's there.

Good work.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You're assuming that his PR team could have picked a picture that wouldn't have provided fodder for the anti-Obamites.


So, are you making my point. That there isn't a photo of Obama that doesn't show him in a poor light. That they ARE doing the best that they can, in providing positive photos, with what they have to work with.

Also....why do you give a rip, what I or anyone else sees in the Obama photos? Because we don't fall at the feet of Teh Won? Because you can't stand it that everyone isn't in lockstep worship? Can't take dissenting views without foaming at the mouth?

If you see him one way...fine. Who are you or anyone else to deny my subjective interpretation of these photos?

My interpretation is just as valid as YOUR subjective interpretation.

This forced group think attitude from the left is very disturbing.

phosphorious said...

The incandescent Althouse has on more than one occasion claimed that she is less interested in the truth of a person's claim, than she is in the motivation behind that claim. o let's speculate on moitvations, shall we?

Conservatives see this picture and see in it proof of Obama's arrogance/incompetence/cluelessness/whatever.

At the very least we can say they are primed to leap to conclusions on very little evidence, no?

So why is this?

It's not merely partian hackery, although of course that's always there. BUT ALTHOUSE VOTED FOR OBAMA!!!!

Yes, yes, I'm sure she did. But that provides the important clue! If you look at her reasons for supporting Obama over McCain, one of them is that Obama was respectful towards Bush! Isn't that an odd reason to vote for president? Did she vote for Gore because he was appropriately deferential towards Clinton? Is respect towards the outgoing president a relevant criterion for selecting a president?

Yes. . . if that outgoing president is Bush. One thing that still sticks in the conservative craw is all the "disrespect" that was shown to Bush. Conservatives spent more time protecting Bush's feelings than they did running the country, and it chafes their bottoms that by the end Bush was a laughingstock.

And so they have made it their mission that Obama will be "disrespected" in the same way. Bush was inarticulate? Well Obama uses a teleprompter! Bush was callow and incompetent? Well Obama has no experience! Bush looked old and beaten at the end of his term? Well Obama is worn out and tired and won't run for a secon term!!!

For od's sake, the website "Impeachobama.org" went up the day Obama was nominated! He wasn't even president, and conservatives were talking impeachment. Why? Becasue "libs" said that Bush ought to be impeached.

So conservatives see this picture and say that Obama's arrogance (or cluelessness, or incompetence, etc) is obvious. I say it's obvious, if you have an insane need to vindicate Bush.

Am I wrong, wingnuts?

danielle said...

Ann, you are kidding, right ?

Do you *really* believe that racial biases play no role in how people interpret this picture ? C'mon, Ann. I tend to think that you are just the constantly questioning type, and self-aware enough to sort out your own biases .... but do you REALLY think that is the case with all the people who post here ?

Ann, you got ~150 posts on the interpretation of a picture. You talked about the tiredness in his face, but, um, did you read the posts you got ? Do you *really* think those perceptions are not influenced by unfortunate racial biases ?


BE REAL ANN.

Big Mike said...

Very strange. I've shown the picture to numerous people, all of whom agree that President Obama is expressing somewhere between disdain to outright contempt for his Vice President. If all of them are the hardcore Obama-haters that alex and downtownlad and phosporious seem to believe, then their hero is in wa-a-a-a-y more trouble than Rasmussen's latest poll suggests.

Historians agree that JFK felt somewhere between disdain and contempt towards LBJ several times a day, and probably a number of presidents who've taken office since JFK's assassination have had times when they've felt much same about their own Veeps. But each president's staff was wise enough not to post a photo of that for all to see.

Before now.

This will come as a rude shock to alex and downtownlad and phosporious, but presidents need politically-saavy staffs. And their guy will not be the first exception to that rule.

Der Hahn said...

My OT comment on the Rasmussen Poll post...

Der Hahn said...
The Instant-man also has another of those oddly unflattering photos of Obama from the White House Flickr page.

Begging to be deconstructed. Just sayin'. :)

1/3/10 8:12 AM


My first reaction on seeing the photo and noting it was posted on the White House Flickr page was 'what is the thought process that makes someone think this is a image of Obama worthy of public display?'.

Does his staff really think they need to provide a warts-n-all view behind the scences, and that these images will make up for a decided lack of transparency in other critical areas? That we can't imagine there are moments when Obama doesn't look like a greek god or PR glossy? Is it one-upsmanship on the part of the staff to prove their level of access to the man?

The image says much more about the commenters than it does about Obama. (Speculation that he won't run in 2012 is just off the charts hyperbole, IMO)

The comments on Ann's posts have been revealing.

AJ Lynch said...

The drama king, Sullivan, does his daily ....."look at me, look at me, pleeeeeeeease look at me".

phosphorious said...

"This will come as a rude shock to alex and downtownlad and phosporious, but presidents need politically-saavy staffs. And their guy will not be the first exception to that rule."

Again, you are assuming that there is anyhting Obama or his staff could do to avoid conservative contempt.

If you are a conservative, this photo reflects badly on Obama because (choose one of the following): it shows that Obama is arrogant; it shows Obama is conteptuous of his VP; it shows that Obama's people are not savvy enough to hide this contempt; it proves that Obama is in over his head; it suggests that he doesn't want to run in 2012; it proves that he is shallow and unserious about politics. . .

And dozens more.

If I didn't know for a fact that conservatives are free-thinking, mavericky types who belong to no sect or faction and forge their own path through thr political thicket, I'd begin to suspect that you fuckers had already settled on an opinion of Obama and were merely looking for confirmation!

Jim said...

phos -

That was an AWFULLY convoluted path you had to take to get to where you got. Here's a hint: 99% of people don't put nearly as much thought into their reaction as you are doing into figuring out how you far you can pretzel twist reality in order to fit your world view.

Ever heard of Occam's Razor? If not, then you really should do a little Googling.

It's pretty simple, really. What Obama's sycophants are reading as "cool," everybody else is seeing as "contempt" or "disdain." It's pretty plain to see that the PR folks who published this photo fall into the former category, but THAT'S NOT THE JOB OF A PR PERSON.

The job of the PR person is to look after the public image of their client, not stroke his ego or preach to the converted.

They failed because Obama cannot tolerate dissent. He surrounds himself only with those who stroke his ego. That's why we have such utter incompetence at every level of his administration. This PR failing is just a symptom of the larger disease.

alwaysfiredup said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lincolntf said...

Just proves that nobody who has ever set out looking for "racism" to bolster their point has ever failed to find it. Andy dug real deep to conjure a way to make his racism the responsibility of his critics, but he still comes off as a chump.
He is a lost cause, going through the motions with the least possible intellectual effort.

alwaysfiredup said...

"I'd begin to suspect that you [] had already settled on an opinion of Obama and were merely looking for confirmation!"

Um. Yes, the man's been president for a year now, and made several policies many of us disagree with and that run counter to his campaign promises. I'm afraid we have indeed settled on an opinion of Obama. Did you expect that we would withhold judgment until 2012? How long did it take you to determine that W. was not so hot a president? Because it sure didn't take me four (or eight) years to figure that out, either.

Scott M said...

@phosphorious

If you are a conservative, this photo reflects badly on Obama because (choose one of the following):

Let me fix that for you…

If you are an ideologue, this photo reflects badly on Obama because (choose one of the following):

Painting with such large brush strokes doesn’t speak well to your reasoning. I consider myself to be a fair and open-minded conservative on many things. I’ve given President Obama kudos and props where I felt he deserved them. I’ve also called him to task on things I perceive to be wrong. But for you to label all conservatives as knee-jerk reactionaries in this context just points to intellectual laziness on your part.

The level of the discourse is everything these days, whether people realize it yet or not. Patience is wearing thin with the pure party fundamentalists.

phosphorious said...

"Yes, the man's been president for a year now"

This opinion has been settled long before now.

Are you claiming that you had a positive view of Obama before, and that this last year chnaged it, with this photo being the last starw?

Seriously?

And for the record: check Bush's approval ratings in the early years of his presidency. People were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt even after he dropped the ball on 9/11. His ratings didn't start falling until he started making noise about Iraq. there was no bullshit about photographs.

Bush got his chance.

exhelodrvr1 said...

This is clearly not a flattering photograph; I don't see how anyone can argue otherwise, although you can argue about whether or not it is an accurate portrayal of the Pres and VP. But posting it shows a lack of competence on the part of the administration staff, since the photo supports the criticisms that have been aimed at Obama the past six months.

phosphorious said...

BTW. . . it's over three hundred comments between this post and the other.

Are no conservatives embarrassed that they find this photograph so significant?

MayBee said...

Again, you are assuming that there is anyhting Obama or his staff could do to avoid conservative contempt.

There are plenty of things Obama and his staff could do to avoid contempt.

But so what if people don't like this picture?
Really, so what?
How is it a big deal to not like a particular photo of the President of the United States?

phosphorious said...

"This is clearly not a flattering photograph; I don't see how anyone can argue otherwise, although you can argue about whether or not it is an accurate portrayal of the Pres and VP. But posting it shows a lack of competence on the part of the administration staff, since the photo supports the criticisms that have been aimed at Obama the past six months."

Ok. . . the strategy is beginning to shape up now. I take it that conservatives have admiited, if only to themselves, that this photo is a non-story. At best it's a rorshach test that reveals their anti-Obama biases. So they regroup:

the story is not that this photo proves that Obama is arrogant (or ready to quit or whatever). . . the story is that this photo reflects badly on his PR people. . . which in turn reflects badly on Obama.

It's not the story, it's the META-story.

Well done!

MayBee said...

Are no conservatives embarrassed that they find this photograph so significant?

Why do you find the story of the insignificant photo so significant that you must be involved?

phosphorious said...

"There are plenty of things Obama and his staff could do to avoid contempt."

Really? Like what?

"But so what if people don't like this picture?
Really, so what?
How is it a big deal to not like a particular photo of the President of the United States?"


Excellent! By simply asking this question, you make it seem as if liberals were overeacting to mild criticism of their messiah and hero, when what they were doing was pointing out the insanity that runs through modern conservatism like a california wildfire.

The formidable Ms. Althouse. . . and other conservatives. . . didn't merely "dislike the photo". they took it as proof that Obama is in over his head, unfit to be president, Arrogant and narcissitic and. . . my favorite. . . will not run in 2012 Althouse tagged the first post on this photo "Obama's in trouble."

Cam you blame anyone for pointing out that this is stark raving bonkers?

phosphorious said...

"Why do you find the story of the insignificant photo so significant that you must be involved?"

Well done! Ann and Co are not gibbering morons reading far too much into a simple photograph. . . no, it's the "libs" who are blowing things out of proportion! Fantastic!

But to answer your question: I never get tired of pointing out conservative stupidity. Which is good, because there is so much to point out.

Gerald E. said...

Wound up again, huh, Annie?

Don't blame Sullivan. Blame Meade. He is pushing you so far to the right that you have lost all bearings.

And hey, you looked "tired" years ago!

Lincolntf said...

Why do you find the story of the insignificant photo so significant that you must be involved?

Isn't that always the way? No matter what the issue, large or small, the Left feels obliged to tell people why they have no right to be discussing it.
Budding little totalitarians, every one of them.

mrs whatsit said...

Phosphorious posts, at last count, eight comments about the photo, and then asks conservatives why THEY are discussing such an insignificant photo. Ummm . . .

Personally, I just want to know why Andrew Sullivan thinks the photo is "elusive." I wonder what he imagines that the word means.

Penny said...

"... I have to conclude this criticism — it's hardly even a criticism, more of an observation — really hurt."

Not sure if I am reading this correctly, Ann, but if you are hurt by some of the criticisms you got personally, I feel badly about that. Even those of us with pretty thick skins can be impacted by an attack on a particular day.

I suppose that's the price you pay for putting yourself "out there". Cheer up though. No matter how bad it might ever get for you, just think how much worse it is for President Obama.

phosphorious said...

"Isn't that always the way? No matter what the issue, large or small, the Left feels obliged to tell people why they have no right to be discussing it."

Rights? Who has mentioned your right to talk about it? Has anyone threatened legal action?

It has only been pointed out that this photo doesn't show anything that the beholder doesn't already want to see. This photo only displays "arrogance" to those who already think Obama is arrogant.

And the claim that this photo suggests that Obama won't run in 2012. . . that's just fucking nuts.

Certainly liberals can point out how stupid you're being witjout being accused of "taking away your rights", no?

You're not that fragile, are you?

John said...

"There are plenty of things Obama and his staff could do to avoid contempt."

Really? Like what?"

Agree to the surge in Afghanistan. Continue the course Bush set in Iraq. Me and every conservative I know give him credit for those things. They also give him credit for the drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. Obama hasn't done everything wrong. He has done a few things right.

You just parrot the liberal meme excusing the failure of the Obama administration. Instead of facing the harsh reality that your policies stink and are unpopular and you foisted an completely unprepared vicious partisian amateur on the country in the name of post racial, post partisian change, you just whine that the country is ungovernable and conservatives are mean and racist. Blah blah blah.

John said...

The photo says nothing about Obama. You can catch anyone in an unflattering pose. It does however say a lot about his staff. Who on earth let that photo be posted? Does Karl Rove have a mole up there?

It would be nice if a candid photo really could look into someone's soul because I would like to know what is in Obama's. Through a year in office, it appears to be entirely empty.

Arturius said...

"There are plenty of things Obama and his staff could do to avoid contempt."

Really? Like what?"


Demand Congress to stop spending trillions of dollars we don't have.

Just for starters.

Penny said...

"This forced group think attitude from the left is very disturbing."

DBQ, forced group think is ALWAYS disturbing.

Does it matter if it's coming from the left or the right?

Joseph said...

Sullivan only attacks you because he thinks this blog is really written by the child slaves you keep locked in the basement. Prove that is isn't!

Seriously, isn't President Obama looking tired the whole point of the picture? If President Obama wasn't tired, he'd be off chatting with the guests, right?

John said...

In fairness to Sullivan, that might not have been him writing the post. Maybe one of his ghost writers has a bug up their ass about Althouse. Considering Sullivan's long time mental deterioration, it is questionable whether anything on that blog is actually Andrew Sullivan.

phosphorious said...

"You just parrot the liberal meme excusing the failure of the Obama administration. Instead of facing the harsh reality that your policies stink and are unpopular and you foisted an completely unprepared vicious partisian amateur on the country in the name of post racial, post partisian change, you just whine that the country is ungovernable and conservatives are mean and racist. Blah blah blah."

Can you give me an example of his "viciousness"? Or even his "partisanness"? Because it seesm to me that he is bending over backwards to placate conservatives. Just look at his attitude towards Lieberman. He intervened to get Reid to let him keep his chairmanship. That doesn't strike me as partisan. . . or vicious.

But I'm sure you have better proof?

jmatt said...

Sullivan's a dope. Why does anyone even pay attention to him?

He picks on Glenn and Ann because, as they always say, you punch *up* when picking your fights. If you guys stopped respondong to his mindless provocations, *no one* would talk about Andrew Sullivan.

Scott M said...

Can you give me an example of his "viciousness"? Or even his "partisanness"?

That depends, phos, on whether you consider things done/said (in the context of the positions they hold) by not only the President, but members of his administration. Be clear on that point and pointing out such things is strikingly easy.

I held Bush to the same standard. His administration is HIS administration in toto.

Don't make the newb mistake of equating criticism of President Obama with support for Bush, even on the same policy or issue.

John said...

"Can you give me an example of his "viciousness"? Or even his "partisanness"?"

Obama is quicker to attack Rush Limbaugh than he is to disprove of Iran. The Obama administration can respond to a Cheney criticism in minutes when it takes days to have something meaningful to say about the Christmas day bomber.

Obama is willing to pass a makeover of 1/6th of the economy wihtout a single Republican vote or incorporating a single republican idea. If he had been willing to allow interstate ompetition on health insurance or had real tort reform in the bill, he would have gotten a republican vote or two and had his health plan.

Obama was sold to the country as a post partisian who would get things done. Instead, what we are getting is Chicago politics writ large. It is funny when rightest call him a socialist. If only he were that, his policies might make some sense. Instead, his policies aim to do one thing; reward his supporters and punish his opponents. So instead of a real Keynesian stimulus, we get a $700 billion payoff to prop up state budget so that public employee contracts don't have to be renegotiated. Instead of real healthcare reform, we get a huge bill that screws the entire country but protects his supporters. Longshoreman get to keep their health benefits while everyone else pays a tax. Seniors in Florida get to keep their medicare advantage and everyone else looses it. Mutual of Omaha gets a gift via Ben Nelson and Lousiana gets $400 million in medicare supliments at everyone else's expense.

Obama has never once even tried to talk to the opposition or form real middle road ideas. He is nothing but a big city political gangster given the power of the Presidency.

phosphorious said...

"That depends, phos, on whether you consider things done/said (in the context of the positions they hold) by not only the President, but members of his administration. Be clear on that point and pointing out such things is strikingly easy."

Very well then. . . examples?

RebeccaH said...

I'm getting pretty sick and tired of having "racism" tossed in my face every time somebody comes up with a less-than-adoring comment or a criticism about Obama. Almost always it's some sour-puss white liberal who does it, too.

Lincolntf said...

phosphorious said...

Surely you're not so dense as to believe that I feel they are attacking anyone's legal rights. It's the marginalization by deafening accusation that serves their purpose of squelching free speech. There's no need to "legally" ban saying something if you can simply convince the idiot masses that anyone who believes that something is obsessed, or a racist, or a nazi, or a hillbilly,...
You know the routine, so spare me the song and dance.

Kurt said...

According to phosphorious, "placate" can be defined as "locking out of discussions about the stimulus, cap and trade and the health care bill," "saying 'I won,' when questioned or challenged," and the numerous other "bipartisan" moments this administration is so famous for.

And as for Lieberman, it may come as a surprise to you, but an intervention by Obama on his behalf was done with the aim of keeping him voting with the Democrats most of the time, thereby diminishing the possibility that he will join the minority party in a filibuster.

phosphorious said...

"I'm getting pretty sick and tired of having "racism" tossed in my face every time somebody comes up with a less-than-adoring comment or a criticism about Obama. Almost always it's some sour-puss white liberal who does it, too."

Very well: the conservative response to this photo was not grounded in racism, but in sheer conservative stupidity. They will take anything at all as "proof" that Obama is washed up as president.

Conservatives are not racists. . . they are just plain stupid and self-deluded.

Is that better?

Ah Pooh said...

Phosphorious is a teacher. Wow, that inspires confidence!

Scott M said...

@phos

...and then you jumped the shark...

Conservatives are not racists. . . they are just plain stupid and self-deluded.

And you, sir or madame, are a bigot.

phosphorious said...

"There's no need to "legally" ban saying something if you can simply convince the idiot masses that anyone who believes that something is obsessed, or a racist, or a nazi, or a hillbilly,..."

Seriously though, Althouse's claim that this photo gives her reason to think that Obama is sick and tired of the presidency and will not run for re-election. . . that's screwy, right?

I'm not shouting down a valid idea by saying so, am I? Pointing out that reading that much into this photo is insane is fair play.

No?

mrs whatsit said...

Penny, Ann's remark about criticism that "really hurt" wasn't a reference to herself. Read it again and you'll see that she meant that OTHER people must be very bothered by her comments on the photo, because they triggered such an intense reaction. I'd say she's right. See, as one good example close to home, the ongoing stream of umbrage that phosphorious has felt compelled to post over the past few hours.

reader_iam said...

I think Althouse's conclusion that "this criticism--it's hardly even a criticism, more of an observation--really hurt" refers to the reactions of others to her original post on the photograph in general, not her OWN hurt. I think readers are getting thrown by her use of "this" at the start of the excerpt I italicized above. The "this criticism" to which she refers is her *own*--that is to say, what she wrote in her first post.

Alex said...

Also how do Obama's policies stink? He doesn't even set the agenda - Pelosi/Reid do.

phosphorious said...

"And you, sir or madame, are a bigot."

How do you figure that?

I suppose making a blanket statement about conservatives is unwarranted. Perhaps I should have limited my comment to the conservatives. . . I'm sorry, the independent mavericks. . . who post here in Althousiana, and who see vicious partisanship in every single thing Obama days or does.

Better?

(Of course, I notice all sorst of blanket statements about liberals posted here, but I suppose that's a different.)

Ralph Cramden said...

Remember when Ann was going to find all of those lies and gross errors in the Obama books? You know, the ones that would supposedly parallel the long list of falsehoods in Sarah Palin's book?

Well, you're not supposed to remember!. That is probably one of the reasons this post is so long.

Diversion, diversion.

But we remember. You failed your homework, Althouse. And you made a major claim that you cannot prove.

Quick, look over there!!!

MayBee said...

I'm not shouting down a valid idea by saying so, am I? Pointing out that reading that much into this photo is insane is fair play.

Photos exist to capture a moment. Photos are displayed to tell a story.
What does this photo say to you, phosphorious?

reader_iam said...

Ah! Cross-posting. Mrs. Whatsis beat me to it (bet she wasn't simultaneously nagging her son to practice his recital piece WITH the metronome, damn it!).

; ) And I'd bet money she and I are both taking Althouse's meaning correctly.

reader_iam said...

The photograph drew a double-take from me. Now, if from that Phosporius et al would like to conclude that I'm a hyper-partisan right-winger, I say have at it. I could use a good laugh today (and I daresay I'd have company at the very notion of that particular characterization).

AJ Lynch said...

If Ralph Cramden is an Obama supporter, we have come a long way!

wv = dementr

phosphorious said...

"I'd say she's right. See, as one good example close to home, the ongoing stream of umbrage that phosphorious has felt compelled to post over the past few hours."

This si the old "If it's so insignificant, then why are you talking about it" strategy. Fine.

Let's try something else:

Perhaps you don;t realize this, but all this conservative chatter over the photo looks insane. It looks like conservatives have nothing of substance to say, and so are "kitchen-sinking". . . throwing everything they have in an effort to make Obama look bad.

Why would you even mention such a trivial thing if you had more substantive claims to amke? That's the question that independents are asking themselves.

You could, in other words, take all this as constructive criticism (of course I'll be accused of arrogance for suggesting that a liberal has useful advice for a conservative, but there it is). The fact of the matter is that you look as if you are frothing at the mouth over every little thing Obama does.

Conservatives lost big in 2008. Part of regaining power is persuading people that you are not lost in bitter partisan grudges, that you are interested in substantive issues.

This photo bullshit doesn;t do that, does it?

rather than devise elaborate rationales for why the photo is worth talking about, can't you simply admit that all this speculation is ridiculous, and move on?

The smart money says "no". . . .

edutcher said...

Long before this photo was taken, more than a few people speculated The Zero might not run for re-election (even resign).

Why, you ask?

Because, for the first time in his life, he is being criticized for his work and not getting a pass on the grounds of race (or half his race). He is used to worship and being able to con people and more and more people refuse to be conned.

And he probably is tired, psychosomatically.

It was supposed to be easy, with those Democrat super-majorities to take over health care, raise the price of gas to $8 a gallon, and federalize everybody's pension. But he actually had to do some work, and most of it still isn't done.

And there's that pesky war thing that won't go away. Once he apologized and told everybody to make nice, they were supposed to stop fighting so he wouldn't have to appropriate money to those dopey armed forces; money that should be going to make the federal government bigger.

And now Mommy won't be proud of her little commie, sitting out there somewhere with Father Karl, and Vladimir Iyich Ulyanov, and the Man of Steel.

And it's so unfair. After all, he's the Messiah. Even the editor of Newsweek said so, and his grandfather was The Great American Socialist.

And he's still stuck with Michelle.

WV "triker" Hell's Angel with mother issues.

Alex said...

Conservatives lost big in 2008.

Really? Maybe RINOs lost big in 2006-2008, but it's hard to come with evidence that conservatives lost big. Also there is no evidence that uber-lefties won big in the same time frame. It seems that while the Democrats won a majority of the seats in Congress, it was based mostly on DLC-style politics. Do you have a problem with that?

phosphorious said...

"The photograph drew a double-take from me. Now, if from that Phosporius et al would like to conclude that I'm a hyper-partisan right-winger, I say have at it. I could use a good laugh today (and I daresay I'd have company at the very notion of that particular characterization)."

You don't like the photo. Fine. You don't like Obama. Fine.

But what's crazy is that this photo proves that Obama is arrogant/narcissistic/unprepared for te presidency etc.

Really quite crazy.

If you have not jumped to any of these conclusions based on this photo, then I am not calling you crazy.

But a lot of conservatives have. Over 300 comments worth.

I would worry, if I were you.

phosphorious said...

"Long before this photo was taken, more than a few people speculated The Zero might not run for re-election (even resign)."

I suppose you think this makes conservatives seem less crazy. But it doesn't. Why?

Because "Long before this photo was taken" means that conservatives had reached a settled opinion about Obama before he had spent much time in office at all.

Keep in mind, you are supposed to be showing that you are NOT leaping to conclusions about Obama based on narrow partisan bile, that you gave him a chance and he failed.

To have said "long before this picture was taken" that Obama had failed is to have jumped to a conclusion about him.

You guys are nuts. . . and when you try to prove you're not nuts, you're REALLY nuts.

phosphorious said...

"Photos exist to capture a moment. Photos are displayed to tell a story.
What does this photo say to you, phosphorious?
"

He looks tired.The photo says to me that at the time the photo was taken, Obama was tired.

Since I'm not a wingnut, I am unable to complete the inference from "Obama is tired" to "Obama's presidency is in trouble, and he won't run for reelection."

Maybe you could suggest a course of study that would fill that gap in my education?

Scott M said...

”Better?

(Of course, I notice all sorst of blanket statements about liberals posted here, but I suppose that's a different.)”


No, not better. Now you’re just doing damage control over something you wrote freely, of your own volition, and in your own words. Based on your screed thus far, I don’t for a second believe that you honestly believe differently than you wrote.

As to your second statement about blanket statements, I would honestly respond that of the same type from the opposite end of the spectrum is no different and equally repugnant…further I have offered and shall offer no defense of the same. However, you supposing that I believe so is now your soft tyranny of putting words in my mouth.

And later, even though the shark has since been jumped, you said,

” Conservatives lost big in 2008”

Two responses to that, the first being that if you think conservatives lost in 2008, you obviously don’t know many actual conservatives. Secondly, even granting that you’re right about actual conservatives loosing, I and many others have made the case to suggest this is to limit your historical scope. You have to allow that if things go poorly for the next two years, Obama’s presidency would have handed the conservatives a huge boon. “Progressive” ideological politics is already on track to do so later this year.

John said...

Where has Obama ever said that he would run for re-election? Where is it written in stone that a President must do so? I wouldn't be shocked if in 2012 facing 10+% unemployment, a hostile Congress, the aftermath of a terrorist attack, and approval numbers in the 30s if Obama decided not to run. Indeed, if he is able to get healthcare through and burn the bridge behind him, he won't really care to run for re-election. His purpose in office will have been served. Why bother to let marks punish him? Better to step aside and let someone else claim to be "different".

bearbee said...

If Ralph Cramden is an Obama supporter, we have come a long way!

Popped a blood vessel a while back and now in retirement.

MayBee said...


Maybe you could suggest a course of study that would fill that gap in my education?


No, I asked you what you think. Thank you for saying.
Why do you think the WH posted it?
Do you think he looks like James Bond?
Do you think it is racist to think it is a bad photo?

FWIW, I think he looks tired, but I also think he looks disinterested in what Joe Biden is saying. I'm certain the WH didn't post it to put that message across.

I think they posted it to show he is engrossed in important policy conversations even when others might accuse him of partying. He is never resting.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Are no conservatives embarrassed that they find this photograph so significant?

Who says we/I find this photo "significant".

Revealing perhaps....significant, no.

You are reading much to much import into a photo.

phosphorious said...

"No, not better. Now you’re just doing damage control over something you wrote freely, of your own volition, and in your own words. Based on your screed thus far, I don’t for a second believe that you honestly believe differently than you wrote."

I was being snarky. I'm actually willing to stand by my first blanket statement that conservatives are self-deluded. And your next claim sort of proves my point:

if you think conservatives lost in 2008, you obviously don’t know many actual conservatives.

I don't know a single conservative who thinks that conservatism as an ideology lost in 2008. the standard response is that "real" conservatism was never tried. Bush's Conservapedia entry even claims that he is a liberal!

Seriously? You all voted for Bush in 2004 not because he was a conservative, but because he was less liberal than Kerry? I don't recall anyone saying as much at the time. Bush's victory was a HUGE win for conservatism. . . at the time.

But now the conservative wayback machine is in full throttle, making sure that everyone realizes that Bush was a filthy "lib".

Deeply delusional, all of you.

rdkraus said...

Phos thinks that, "Bush's victory was a HUGE win for conservatism."

Phos - just out of sympathy, I urge you to stop digging.

Scott M said...

Ah...so you are a bigot and stand by that. How honest of you. An honest bigot is still a bigot, and deserves nothing but rational people's disdain.

I tried to muddle through the rest of your response, but you are all over the map so far now, that it's just easier to score you was a ideologue and a bigot and set you to /ignore.

phosphorious said...

"Revealing perhaps....significant, no.

You are reading much to much import into a photo.
"

Oy vey.

1) What's the difference between "revealing" and "significant" in this context? Are you claiming it reveals something, but that what it reveals is trivial? Althouse and Reynolds seem to disagree. As do most of the commentators here: they seem to think that it speaks volumes about Obama's character/motivations.competence etc.

2) We've been through this: I have said very little about the photo. I am not reading anything into the photo. What I am reading into is the conservative reaction to the photo, which strikes me as borderline hysterical and fullblown irrational. Conservatives seem to think that this photo OBVIOUSLY shows x, y and z about Obama, when it's pretty obvious that it is nothing more than a peg to hang settled opinions upon.

And yet you keep talking about it, and defending your interpretations of it.

Bizarre, really.

MayBee said...

And yet you keep talking about it, and defending your interpretations of it.

Am I counting right? 20?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You all voted for Bush in 2004 not because he was a conservative, but because he was less liberal than Kerry

I voted for Bush because he WASN'T John Kerry. I wouldn't vote for that slimey traitorous son of a bitch for anything. It had nothing to do with conservatism: a concept on which you seem to have a very limited grasp.

reader_iam said...

I do indeed think that in professional contexts (journalism, marketing, public relations, etc.), photographs are selected for use for specific reasons. I not only think this, I know it.

The process is not one of accidents (though accidents--as well as mistakes--do occur). It is fair game to look at the output of that process and analyze what the intent was and how well that was executed. For this reason, I find the content of the excerpt from Sullivan to be disingenuous in both substance and tone.

That said, I myself am not tempted to speculate over much or draw too many conclusions about Obama's current state based on any one photograph, and especially this particular one. It got a double-take from me because it's not a particularly flattering photo of either person in it and because its intent is not especially clear--odd for a photo selected in a professional context. However, I don't see it as "significant" and am bothering to comment primarily because of all the comments here, which have been quite entertaining pretty much across the board.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phosphorious said...

"Phos thinks that, "Bush's victory was a HUGE win for conservatism."

Phos - just out of sympathy, I urge you to stop digging.
"

Seriously? Bush is no longer considered a conservative? And in fact never was?

All those Bush voters in 2004 voted for a liberal?

Did anyone here NOT vote in 2004, because both candidates were liberals?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

1) What's the difference between "revealing" and "significant" in this context? Are you claiming it reveals something, but that what it reveals is trivial?

I can't imagine in what topic it could possibly be where you "educate" people, if you can't grasp this simple concept.

It can't be logic or English. I'm guessing some sort of social sciences or political science where the word science is really a falsehood.

(fixed grammar ...doh)

nrn312 said...

I wouldn't vote for that slimey traitorous son of a bitch for anything.

Kerry wouldn't vote for you either, so there.

nrn312 said...

It can't be logic or English.

Queenie, can you tell me how to express logical union in terms of intersection and negation? TIA!

Beaverdam said...

What be a moby? Why you keep calling my sweet breasted Florida a moby? LEAVE FLORIDA ALONE!!!!!!!

rdkraus said...

Phos

Bush was no conservative and many of us pointed this out many times years ago.

I did not vote for Bush or Kerry. Yes, they were both non-conservative.

As others here have said, a criticism of O is not an endorsement of B.

phosphorious said...

"I can't imagine in what topic it could possibly be that you "educate" people, if you can't grasp this simple concept."

The concept in question being the difference between "revealing" and "significant".

Ok, I'll talk slower.

You want to have it both ways: you (and by "you" I mean the conservatives who have commented here and at Reynolds blog, including Althouse and Reynolds themselves) on the one hand claim that this photo "reveals" something about Obama: his arrogance, his unfitness for the presidency, whatever. You are reading all sorts of bizarre things into a simple photo.

But then you want to insist that it is liberals who are getting bent out of shape over the photo, that they are completely flustered by some mild criticism of their messiah.

The photo either reveals something worth talking about on several posts and hundreds of comments across at least two blogs. . . or it doesn't.

You're claim that the photo is "revealing" without being "significant" is equivalent to saying "I'm not saying is a viciosu partisan whose presidency is a wreck. . . I'm just sayin'"

In other words a meaningless statement.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@nrnwhatever

I was talking about argumentative or classical logic that is a part of basic critical thinking. Not Boolean or mathematical logic.

Please explain the difference between Macaulay and Modified duration and provide examples based on current environments and inventory available.

TIA.

Scott M said...

@phosphorious the admitted bigot

sigh...I'll try one more time...if only out of morbid curiosity.

Did anyone here NOT vote in 2004, because both candidates were liberals?

I left the Republican party in 2004 over Bush's convoluted and, from my point of view, incompetent handling of his administration in the first term. An actual conservative detests, more than anything, expansion of government. Bush was horrible in this arena and prompted my exit.

This cuts President Obama not an inch of slack. As bad as Bush was, Obama's track record thus far is orders of magnitude worse. I could give two shits about a stupid picture. His continuing assault on personal liberty, which Bush had his own hand in, is of utmost concern to every conservative I know.

phosphorious said...

"It can't be logic or English. I'm guessing some sort of social sciences or political science where the word science is really a falsehood."

I suppose that nothing less than an advanced degree in "Photodivination" would cut any ice with the incandescent bulbs of Althousiana, right?

phosphorious said...

"I could give two shits about a stupid picture. "

Well then you're on the wrong blog, buddy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Phos. You really are a dim bulb.

Of course something can be revealing without it revealing something significant.

You have come to an irrelevant conclusion.

Revealing /= Significant

phosphorious said...

"Of course something can be revealing without it revealing something significant."

But in this case, what was revealed was held to be rather significant, no? Conservatives were peering into Obama's character and future politcial fortunes by way of that photo, no?

Obviously the poto "reveals" that Obama has two eyes, and hair and any number of trivial things.

But that's not what you idiots were talking about, was it?

To restate my point: conservatives have had a settled opinion about Obama right from the beginning, and you latch onto any little bit of proof to confirm that opinion. You were all acting as if this photo proved something about Obama, when it was merely a vehicle for your own biases.

And when I pointed this out, you claimed that it was liberals who were blowing the photo out of proportion.

There's not even an attempt at rationality anymore on your part, is there?

Scott M said...

Well then you're on the wrong blog, buddy.

Ah…a bigot and clueless. You asked a question steeped in political ignorance (“Did anyone here NOT vote in 2004, because both candidates were liberals?”). I gave you an honest answer and apparently that wasn’t good enough for you…so you resorted to snark.

Add intellectual lightweight to bigot and ideologue.

Nomilk said...

Hey, so Queen Mary Jane Milky Loads is at it again, huh?

What new queer theory is he proposing this time? How will he bend the gynecological laws of space-time now?

What, uhh, accusations of right-wing "racism"? Wow, that's . . . original. A Harvard Ph.D. and a million dollars in retro-virals and all we get is a Brit blogger yelling racism?

I want a refund.

phosphorious said...

"It can't be logic or English. I'm guessing some sort of social sciences or political science where the word science is really a falsehood."

Funny you should ask, i teach creation science!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But in this case, what was revealed was held to be rather significant, no?

By whom? According to who?

In addition if what is revealed is no revelation that also isn't especially significant.

My first thoughts and caption to that photo would be:

Obama thinking......"Remind me again: why did I pick this guy for VP?"

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Funny you should ask, i teach creation science!

Ah..so. Creative writing and fantasy then.

nrn312 said...

I was talking about argumentative or classical logic that is a part of basic critical thinking. Not Boolean or mathematical logic.

Thanks for admitting that you couldn't pass a 300 level logic course.

Please explain the difference between Macaulay and Modified duration and provide examples based on current environments and inventory available.

Right after you tell me how I could hedge a stock position and wind up either gamma positive or negative. Some of us actually work in finance, donchaknow!

phosphorious said...

"Ah…a bigot and clueless. You asked a question steeped in political ignorance (“Did anyone here NOT vote in 2004, because both candidates were liberals?”). I gave you an honest answer and apparently that wasn’t good enough for you…so you resorted to snark.

Add intellectual lightweight to bigot and ideologue.

"

Fair enough. My snark was directed at the thread as a whole, but you did give me an honest answer, which deserves an honest response in turn.

And my response is that as far as I can tell, you are in the minority. At the time, no conservative I can think of was calling Bush a liberal, and the reaction to his victory was hardly restrained or cautious. Read Peggy Noonan's WSJ article where she called his victory a "blessing."

When conservatives claim that they want to "take the country back" from liberals. . . and that as it turns out, Bush was one of these liberals. . . I can only ask where were the Tea Baggers during the Bush years. Sure, you say, Obama is worse, but wasn't Bush bad enough?

For some reason republicans and conservatives who didn't like Bush were content to shut up about it. If they had made a little more noise then, perhaps they could have avoided the election of "the most socialist president in history" who "hates white people."

You can perhaps see why I take conservative claims of bi-partisanship with a grain of salt.

phosphorious said...

"
Ah..so. Creative writing and fantasy then.
"

No, you godless liberal. . . pure, unvarnished truth.

TJ said...

"Deeply delusional, all of you"

I don't have to live up to some lofty standard to give caretaker Zero any benefit of the doubt.


He is a lib. That is all I need to know.

It's repugnant on a visceral level. Like aversion to snakes or vermin. Or you, now that I have sampled some of your posts.

I don't care what the cause of his failure, or how it is brought about, just that it is brought about.

Bad policy, bad decisions, bad karma, I don't give a shit.


Another thing, your a teacher?

Teachers are far overvalued, but I understand you fellating Zero, as he has shown that he does honor a debt.

We all know that the bailout money given to the states that accepted it disallowed that state from spending less on education, a rather obvious gift to you fuckers, wasn't it?

Just to tide you over until the economy picked up? Here's to hoping that states "reform" the teacher pension system and put you on 401k plans like everyone else, before you a-holes bankrupt the system.

Upon reflection, it looks to me that your defense of Zero is mainly based on your pocketbook.

Shove your delusions, jack.

nrn312 said...

He is a lib. That is all I need to know.

Indeed.

AC245 said...

Out of the 167 previous comments on this thread, 30 of them were made by phosphorious.

He yammers on and on and on and on (for 30 comments!) about how conservatives are supposedly obsessed with talking about this photo.

Scott M said...

@phosphorious the bigot

And my response is that as far as I can tell, you are in the minority.

Please allow me to repost exactly what I did earlier…

if you think conservatives lost in 2008, you obviously don’t know many actual conservatives.

…to which you outlined just how large the blinders are that wear visa vi actual conservatives in your life. You’re still just as wrong and seemingly feeding on a steady diet of MSM.

At the time, no conservative I can think of was calling Bush a liberal, and the reaction to his victory was hardly restrained or cautious. Read Peggy Noonan's WSJ article where she called his victory a "blessing." When conservatives claim that they want to "take the country back" from liberals. . . and that as it turns out, Bush was one of these liberals. . . I can only ask where were the Tea Baggers during the Bush years. Sure, you say, Obama is worse, but wasn't Bush bad enough?

Ah, more ad hominem. Apparently that’s the lion's share of what you bring to the table. I don’t know that I expect much more from a bigot, but here’s yet another attempt…for the most part, the “silent majority” was just that. Why? Complacency? No. They were asleep. Dumb, happy, and getting fatter. The claim that the country woke up on 9-11 is untrue from a political point of view. It took a real, honest to God, radical agenda being pushed through that would impact every single person’s life to wake them up.

For some reason republicans and conservatives who didn't like Bush were content to shut up about it. If they had made a little more noise then, perhaps they could have avoided the election of "the most socialist president in history" who "hates white people."

You’re either being dishonest here, or you really don’t know that many conservatives.

You can perhaps see why I take conservative claims of bi-partisanship with a grain of salt.

Grain of salt, my ass. You’ve done pretty much nothing but attempt to skewer conservatives in all manner of insult and generalization.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have gone back and forth with you so much today if it weren’t so easy to show you how ridiculous you sound. I’m just into low-hanging fruit today, apparently.

nrn312 said...

You’ve done pretty much nothing but attempt to skewer conservatives in all manner of insult and generalization.

He's in good company.

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

AJ Lynch said...

Bearbee:

I think Phosporous is going to bust a blood vessel today.

nrn312 said...

Out of the 167 previous comments on this thread, 30 of them were made by phosphorious.

"Posts too much" flame, well done!

nrn312 said...

I think Phosporous is going to bust a blood vessel today.

Conservative medical theorist.

Salamandyr said...

He's in good company.

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward." - Franklin D. Roosevelt


nrn312, I doubt it will matter to you, but neither of those people were alive during the rise of modern conservatism, which wasn't really born until the 60's.

That's right, progressivism is older than conservatism.

David said...

Sullivan makes no sense.

Even a racist who can't stand the idea of a black man condescending to a white man would make an exception in the case of Joe Biden.

From Inwood said...

Andrew reminds me of an old joke.

A specific old joke as well:

"Naughty lady goes to Shrink.

“Shrink shows her a series of ink blots (told you that this was an Old joke) & asks for her first thought after seeing each one.

“While viewing about a dozen ink blots, she blurts out the same answer for each: ‘sex’.

“Shrink asks: "Why, always the same answer?"

“Naughty Lady replies: ‘Everything reminds me of sex’"

Everything reminds Andrew of racism. Racism on the part of others, of course.

Alex said...

nrn312, I doubt it will matter to you, but neither of those people were alive during the rise of modern conservatism, which wasn't really born until the 60's.

That's right, progressivism is older than conservatism.


That's just moronic. You throw out words like conservatism and progressivism like it means anything. Perhaps you mean libertarianism, but that's hardly a new philosophy. Anything against the in-place regime is considered reactionary and subversive.

nrn312 said...

nrn312, I doubt it will matter to you, but neither of those people were alive during the rise of modern conservatism, which wasn't really born until the 60's.

Is that when the fluoridation really started kicking in?

TJ said...

nr312 sez

he's in good company

""A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Meh. I wouldn't point to an FDR quote regarding legs, as he did not have much experience using any.

As for good company, it is certain you could find as many against as for that statement.

Penny said...

"And I'd bet money she and I are both taking Althouse's meaning correctly."

Thanks for the clarification, reader and mrs. Whew. Sure glad it wasn't Ann that was hurt. Long as it was someone else.

reader_iam said...

"I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress. And in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge."
--William F. Buckley

Tom DeGisi said...

They link to me and manage to introduce 2 typos that were never in the original. How do you do that when cutting and pasting?)

Just a guess without looking at the actual typos: Poor use of spell / grammar / style checker.

However, I don't see it as "significant" and am bothering to comment primarily because of all the comments here, which have been quite entertaining pretty much across the board.

Winner! Winner! Why all the interest in arguing about this photo? Because it is fun! If you are a conservative/liberal you can argue with liberals/conservatives risk free due to the utter lack of obtainable facts by which you can be embarrassed. It's all emotion and opinion like arguing Veronica vs. Betty, Kobe vs. Lebron or Star Trek vs. Star Wars - all of which is so fun people spend hours on it!

Yours,
Tom DeGisi

Synova said...

"And then I realized why this photo immediately strikes some people are [sic] damning. Obama is a black man who looks as if he is condescending to a white man. That's political gold."

I suppose I'll go back and see that many other people mentioned this but...

Some of us (like me) are saying that Obama looks arrogant.

Some others are having cows because, of course, this is all in our heads.

Andrew Sullivan also sees arrogance.

But the only reason he can even IMAGINE that the arrogance bothers anyone at all is that it is arrogance of a black man toward a white man.

Isn't just the arrogance enough?

Or do many of those all in a huff because some people are picking on Obama for silly things like looking tired in a picture or looking like a Country Club wall prop actually see the arrogance TOO... only they LIKE it?

Scott M said...

AH!

It's been far too long since someone cited Buckley here.

Regardless of your ideology, you wouldn't go wrong attempting to reach Buckley's level of political discourse.

Henry said...

I just wish Obama would direct that gaze at Congress instead of poor Joe Biden.

phosphorious said...

"You’re either being dishonest here, or you really don’t know that many conservatives."

really? So the Tea Bag movement started earlier than is widely known?

There were no protests demanding that RINO's be romoved from office before 2006.

Limbaugh only claimed to be critical of the GOP AFTER they lost.

rocketeer67 said...

One wonders if those who quote Mill realize he spoke as a classical liberal. As such, he is a direct descendent of Smith, and a direct ancestor to Hayek and Friedman, and thereby to contemporary conservatism. Modern liberals have very, very little in common with him, either philophically or politically.

reader_iam said...

I cut and paste that quote from an article accompanying the actual source--a broadcast interview. In fact, Buckley says much more, and the first sentence of the "quote" I posted is actually a boiling down of, several ( but the article writer just skipped a bunch of stuff--without ellipses, I note--which fell after "...ideology" and before "with the result...").

Here's the broadcast interview. Skip to about 8:14 for the section containing the referenced quote (or to about 8:04 if you want to hear the interviewer's question just preceding the response).

nrn312 said...

I wouldn't point to an FDR quote regarding legs, as he did not have much experience using any.

Well, FDR wouldn't have made much of a conservative since he was only crippled physically, not mentally.

reader_iam said...

Although I really recommend listening to the whole thing ...

phosphorious said...

"Grain of salt, my ass. You’ve done pretty much nothing but attempt to skewer conservatives in all manner of insult and generalization."

Not mere insult though. I have accused conservatives of being delusional, and have offered reasons: they have sudden;y decided that Bush is a aliberal, they claim that the photo in question reveals Obama's character, that it suggests that his presidency is in ruins, etc.

It doesn't of course, but then conservatives claim that they didn't read anything at all into the photo. It's the libs whop are doing all the overinterpreting! Those silly libs!


At any time, a commentor could have said : The photo isn't worth talking about. let's change the subject.

But no one did!

Some conservative or other needs to grab the reins, because as it stands, EVERYTHING seems to be proof enough that conservatives are always right.

reader_iam said...

Penny, that wasn't a whack at you.

nrn312 said...

Regardless of your ideology, you wouldn't go wrong attempting to reach Buckley's level of political discourse.

Ya think?

"The central question that emerges…is whether the white community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically. The sobering answer is YES — the white community is entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race." - William F. Buckley, Jr.

Salamandyr said...

That's just moronic. You throw out words like conservatism and progressivism like it means anything. Perhaps you mean libertarianism, but that's hardly a new philosophy. Anything against the in-place regime is considered reactionary and subversive.

No. It's not moronic. It is in fact, the truth. The modern conservative movement largely arose in the late 50's & 60's in the works of Buckley, with one of the first flag bearers being Barry Goldwater. Of course, it has roots that go back much further, and American conservatism is primarily concerned with preserving American institutions that have existed for 200 years. But conservatism as a coherent intellectual body is a relatively young study.

One could make the case that Roosevelt was fighting the embryonic form of conservative philosophy, but Mill, being in a different century, and a different country was fighting an entirely different conservative orthodoxy, that has nothing to do with the things modern conservatism espouses, thus it's useless to bring him up.

nrn312 said...

It doesn't of course, but then conservatives claim that they didn't read anything at all into the photo. It's the libs whop are doing all the overinterpreting! Those silly libs!

That's fairly typical. How many times have you seen a racist conservative attempt to turn the tables on a liberal critic by accusing him of racism?

Scott M said...

nrn312

In what universe does "level of discourse" equate to "content of discourse"?

I'm fully aware of his biography. That doesn't mean I agree with him on every detail, but it means I approve of the way the man structured an argument.

nrn312 said...

No. It's not moronic. It is in fact, the truth. The modern conservative movement largely arose in the late 50's & 60's in the works of Buckley, with one of the first flag bearers being Barry Goldwater.

They certainly were instrumental in shifting racist support from the Democratic party to the Republicans. Well done!

nrn312 said...

In what universe does "level of discourse" equate to "content of discourse"?

In WFB's case, it's the difference between a "well-bred" racist and a redneck. Goebbels had a doctorate, for example.

rocketeer67 said...

That's fairly typical. How many times have you seen a racist conservative attempt to turn the tables on a liberal critic by accusing him of racism?

Never.

Neither have you.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 340   Newer› Newest»