May 2, 2012

"Football spiked: Obama to address nation on Bin Laden anniversary live from Afghanistan."

"The official reason for the trip is to sign the new strategic partnership agreement with Karzai, but of course that doesn’t require his physical presence in Afghanistan. We all know why he’s there and why he chose today to visit. One word: Scoreboard."

***

I must be the last blogger in the world to notice that Obama went to Afghanistan. The linked story was posted yesterday at 3:35 pm, just as I was in the final rush preparing my last Conlaw class of the semester. After class, we played with puppies. That took a while. When we got home — because these were not our puppies — we sat around eating and watching a movie — "Bridesmaids" (HBO on Demand) — and got about halfway through before I sensed that the baseball game in San Diego must be on (because Meade was consulting his iPad), and that presented the perfect opportunity to cave in to sleepiness (I'd been up since 5) and appear attractively magnanimous. I switched to the game and switched off my personal consciousness. I really don't monitor the news constantly.

***

But, so Obama traveled to Afghanistan to "speak[] to an American television audience on Tuesday night from Bagram Air Base, [and] declare[] that he had traveled here to herald a new era in the relationship between the United States and Afghanistan, 'a future in which war ends, and a new chapter begins.'" The quote is from the first sentence of the article in the very Obama-friendly New York Times, and it's not very flattering, is it? He went all the way to Afghanistan to do a TV show aimed back at us here at home. He went there for a showy backdrop for the show. And he traveled there to "declare[] that he had traveled here to herald a new era." Herald... new era... I hear sarcasm. If the NYT didn't mean sarcasm, then they're so Obama-friendly that they don't hear how PR language like that sounds to a person who is just trying to read what he believes is supposed to be a newspaper.
"My fellow Americans,” he said, speaking against a backdrop of armored military vehicles and an American flag...
The NYT notes the showy backdrop. (By the way, the intro "My fellow Americans" will always, for me, call to mind LBJ.)
... “we’ve traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of new day on the horizon."
Oh, brother. Dark... pre-dawn darkness... light... new day... Not only is light and darkness a hackneyed metaphor, applied clumsily, but it's the very metaphor LBJ used over and over in his effort to manipulate our emotions about the Vietnam war.

67 comments:

kcom said...

He's a dick and always has been. "We don't spike the football" only applies to the we. We as a country accomplished something but since "we" don't spike the football "he" gets to do all the celebrating. And all the spiiking. Which he has been doing for a year. This is really tacky.

rhhardin said...

My fellow Americans is in ask not what your country can do for you, and in every JFK parody.

Obama's is cluelessness with a backdrop. Somehow that will be parodied. It's not possible to parody at the moment, being a moving target. You will have left out something.

Kit said...

We were watching our dvr'd episode of Mad Med when the speech came on and went to bed before Brewers game even started (no game story in this morning's MJS, either). So, not much to report from us on either front.

rhhardin said...

Obama started the Obama parody series with the number of American flags in the background, which I think was eight, long ago.

Scott M said...

We were watching our dvr'd episode of Mad Med

Is that a spinoff about the complex lives of doctors in the early sixties?

Hagar said...

If the U.S. military really pulls out of Afghanistan next year, I think it will be wise for Hamid Karzai to get out ahead of them with whatever he can carry.

Jay said...

hahahahaha, Obama has pledged to have American troops in Afghanistan until 2024!

I guess we're all Neo-Cons now!!

lemondog said...

**rolling eyes**

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Obama is clearly desperate. Much as I hate the idea, at this point I would give him a slightly better-than-even chance at getting reelected, but he obviously doesn't think so. A trip to Afghanistan with such bad optics that even the NYT notices clearly shows his lack of confidence. This is the only action of his administration that has widespread approval. Why is he beating it to death already? Wouldn't it have made more sense to save this until the election is nearer? Obama has been bleating about OBL for a week now-- are we going to hear about this every day until November? Desperation.

TWM said...

To sum up, Barry said "Mission Accomplished" and as soon as he left the Taliban blew something up with grenades. He has such gravitas . . .

pm317 said...

So his speechwriters plagiarized from LBJ this time. These 20+ year old speechwriters don't seem to have an understanding of history, do they?

Paddy O said...

The trouble is that the Left so consistently mocked Bush's moments that they can't now say Obama can legitimately do the same.

Obama can't have a "mission accomplished" moment.

Well, maybe if Obama is really just a hipster, celebrating bin Laden's death in an ironic way.

edutcher said...

He's in the process of declaring victory so he can pull out (bet he does the same with Moochelle).

As the saying goes, he looks to be going a bridge too far on this one, especially since SEAL Team, present and former, are objecting to the show.

Ann Althouse said...

After class, we played with puppies. That took a while. When we got home — because these were not our puppies

He's wearing her down.

By the way, the intro "My fellow Americans" will always, for me, call to mind LBJ.

You and me both, kid. It's kind of a lame thing, I always thought.

FDR's, "My friends", was a lot better. Lynnon always struck me as wanting to be the new FDR; the Great Society was going to be his New Deal and 'Nam was going to be his war.

Carl Vero said...

Later Obama will make a campaign stop in Gettysburg to act out the Address of President Abra Hom Lin Kon (transcribed from Austrian-Kenian):
'Even as a child I was a little boy. This boy made a Gutsy Call ©®. I decided to do unto others what they would do unto me. But first. I ate that dog. That was a Gutsy Call ©®.'

Scott M said...

Wouldn't it have made more sense to save this until the election is nearer?

Perhaps they have done the political calculus that shows them they need a cache of public support built up ahead of 1) SCOTUS on Obamacare, 2) SCOTUS on Arizona, 3) Contempt charges against Holder, etc. I am not in the camp that says ACA being shot down by SCOTUS = lefty base voter enthusiasm.

The momentum is clearly with Romney right now and not because he just "won" the primary gauntlet. Every time Team Obama has tried to hit him, his campaign has rolled with it, hitting back twice as hard.

The Drill SGT said...

They are clueless about how that trip and the Gutsiest call evah stuff plays out with the troops, vets, now the people and even the NYT.

bad bad PR.

clueless

Expect that to be in GOP campaign ads

PS: the entire one year anniversary reunion thing in the WH and MSM is frankly obscene.

PPS: Didn't Bush catch huge flack for even going to the WTC in the months leading up to the 2004 election?

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

I listened to part of this speech only because it was on the radio. Even for Obama, it sounded especially awful, full of weird pauses and jerky sentences with the emphasis in the wrong place, it was like his teleprompter kept failing or didn't scroll pages fast enough.

Mitchell said...

Obama signed the new strategic partnership agreement with Karzai and all I got was this lousy economy.

rhhardin said...

Mission accomplished was never what the left portrayed it as.

It was for the invasion and for the ship involved, not for Bush or the war on terror.

And they did do it. It talked about how amazing it was.

Bush has a sort of can-do modesty.

garage mahal said...

Ready...set....whine!

ndspinelli said...

Obviously the Chicago Mafia Advisors have decided to go for the fences, make the liberal professor a military president campaigning against a Mormon wimp. Don't look @ the economy, health care, immigration, I'm the one who can keep you safe. They need the MSM to be complicit for this to work. We'll know soon enough if it will.

edutcher said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Obama is clearly desperate. Much as I hate the idea, at this point I would give him a slightly better-than-even chance at getting reelected, but he obviously doesn't think so.

Have to disagree on chances. The economy's on another downward spiral and a lot of his approvals are less than 50.

I don't doubt they were counting on the Republicans fracturing after the primaries, but that isn't happening and his side seems to be perpetually misfiring.

TWM said...

"I listened to part of this speech only because it was on the radio. Even for Obama, it sounded especially awful, full of weird pauses and jerky sentences with the emphasis in the wrong place, it was like his teleprompter kept failing or didn't scroll pages fast enough."

Chris Matthews said it reminded him of the Henry V "St. Crispen Day" speech. With that statement and his "tingle" does anyone have any doubt Matthews would play Columbian prostitute for Barry and never complain if not paid?

Scott M said...

Ready...set....whine!

Ready...set...rationalize!

TWM said...

"Ready...set....whine!"

garage, are you trying to tell us you got that job as Obama's director? Congrats!

pm317 said...

Drudge had the perfect healdine yesterday: "Campaign Stop: Kabul"

pm317 said...

You know, it is like if a tree falls, does it make noise? Obama went all the way to Afghanistan and made a speech aimed at people here and nobody seems to care. And most people who are not as political as we are, seem to scratch their heads and say, why did he go all the way for that? Again, there was no build up to make it a legit trip even for the uninitiated. Not Romney but all his supporters should point this out. I am thinking this will not even be close by November.

The Crack Emcee said...

Not only is light and darkness a hackneyed metaphor, applied clumsily, but it's the very metaphor LBJ used over and over in his effort to manipulate our emotions about the Vietnam war.

Ah, geez, let's not go there, shall we? Not only was LBJ not trying to "manipulate our emotions about the Vietnam war" (because he was right and you hippies were wrong in YOUR manipulations) but - though I loath Democrats - he's one I have soft spot for, partially because (like Bush) he was done wrong by the Left, and I still love the image of a president dictating letters from the toilet, and whipping his dick out to reporters to proclaim, "Have you ever seen anything this big?" Now THAT's my kinda guy.

Long story short, LBJ was NOTHING like Obama, and any comparison is just another manipulation in itself.

kimsch said...

(By the way, the intro "My fellow Americans" will always, for me, call to mind LBJ.)

Me too. Every time.

Timing is everything.

And they thought that the Lincoln's "Mission Accomplished" sign was over the top and so very wrong...

Lem said...

Its a new wrinkle on Clinton's wag the dog..

except..

Clinton actually did 'something' of substance as a distraction.

Obama seems to have gone over there to sign his own fedex.

rhhardin said...

A true bureaucrat emphasizes prepositions

("I'll have to ask him ABOUT that")

because the topic is emphasized in English and the bureaucrat wants to have no topic.

Obama by contrast is attracted to non-finite verbs and conjunctions.

traditionalguy said...

To follow our Roman Empire returns theme: Octavian is becoming more and more the devine Augustus before our eyes.

He just announced the new age of Pax Romana accomplished by his talent for defeating his enemies on display at Actium.

His father Julius Ceasar was deified after death as were all prior heads of the Roman Republic.

But now Augustus Ceasar is deified as a living son of god that is here to defend the borders from barbarians and Persians.

The Senate at Rome had best start to obey the new Ceasar now.

Christopher in MA said...

Ready. . .set. . .whine!

It's almost as if that whole "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" bullshit was just. . .so much bullshit.

Jay said...

Let's compare the two candidates on who sounds more like an adult:

“I think politicizing it and trying to draw a distinction between himself and myself was an inappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together, which was the elimination of Osama bin Laden,” Romney said when asked about the President’s remarks yesterday,


Versus:
"I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority . . . even as I continued our broader effort. . . . Then, after years of painstaking work by my intelligence community I was briefed . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . And finally last week I determined that I had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . ."


Gee, it seems so close, doesn't it?

*SNICKER*

prairie wind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Haz said...

Remember during the campaign when Obama announced that Afghanistan is the real war; the war he'd win? Yeah.......

And remember during the Bush administration when the NYT ran the number of American military members killed in the war(s) in the Middle East? I keep looking for that number, but the printing presses at the NYT must be defective.

And Cindy Sheehan and her perpetual protests of the wars, whatever happened to her?

prairie wind said...

I still love the image of a president dictating letters from the toilet

See, I don't get that. Sudoku, maybe.

Ex-prosecutor said...

Actually, Lyndon Johnson, accent-wise, began his speeches by saying "My fellow merkins," the word "merkin" referring to a pubic toupee. These were used when mercury, which resulted in pubic hair loss, was used to treat sexual diseases.

By contrast, the word "morkin" refers to the flattened corpse of a dessicated critter, as that of a rattlesnake, on a west Texas highway, and dried by the summer sun.

roesch/voltaire said...

Instead of watching Hollywood films full of fictional characters, I was outside walking our dogs and enjoying the green of Arbor HIlls, but when I watched the news, I was relieved to see that at least Obama did not wear any cod pieces.

bagoh20 said...

Four more years and this time with legacy building. I can hardly wait.

I think this draw down in Afghanistan is a very powerful campaign theme. We all wish that war was over. If the Taliban were smart, they would stop all hostilities and let him do it and let it seem like he left peace behind. Then take over later unopposed. I could even believe Obama would make such a deal secretly with the Taliban. It would only require stopping hostilities until the election. It's a win-win.

That plus even a little good news on the economy and he's got it locked.

Quayle said...

Chris Matthews said it reminded him of the Henry V "St. Crispen Day" speech

Except that Henry had 7000 men against the French 35,000.

And Henry V was actually in the field with the men leading them once more into the breach, not one of those men back at home, where Obama was when the real men did the fighting and killing.

So, comparison FAIL.

Quayle said...

And if the whole Chris Mathews thing was a joke, then comment FAIL by me.

edutcher said...

rhhardin said...

Mission accomplished was never what the left portrayed it as.

It was for the invasion and for the ship involved, not for Bush or the war on terror.

And they did do it. It talked about how amazing it was.

Bush has a sort of can-do modesty.


Tripped over this at one blog or another:

At one of the big TX airports (forget which), a group of women make it a point to greet servicepeople returning from overseas. Quite unexpectedly, and without entourage, who shows up to help but Dubya and Miss Laura, all caught on the camera of one of the family members' phone.

No fanfare, just handshakes and "Thank you"s.

Classy.

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

After class, we played with puppies. That took a while. When we got home — because these were not our puppies


Best kind of puppies. And I love dogs and cats [although I'm allergic]. But I also like to leave them and go back to my own house.

Long ago I decided I needed a time-share dog. One I could have every second or third Sunday [when I'm not working]. Perfect.

Jason said...

You know, I would not have gone there on May 1, as the CINC, because you would have to expect that the Taliban would anticipate that Obama would show up on the anniversary of the Bin Ladin raid. Obviously, they would like to pull a Tet, and stage an elaborate and well planned attack right in Kabul, to be set in motion as soon as they got word the President had arrived.

Looks like we lucked out, though, and the Taliban was asleep at the switch. Oh, wait!!!

Tank said...

It's funny how the left was embarrassed by Bush, and I'm embarrassed by Zero.

Hmmm.

No class.

Con man.

Liar.

At least he was not fool enough to stop our good guys from shooting the pirates or Bin L. Even he is not that clueless.

Scott M said...

By contrast, the word "morkin" refers to the flattened corpse of a dessicated critter, as that of a rattlesnake, on a west Texas highway, and dried by the summer sun.

I thought "morkin" was an egg-flying, ear-twisting, finger-drinker.

David said...

Sure it was another taxpayer funded campaign stop, but do most people care? It's not clear to me that they do. Most people are not paying very close attention. They have more important stuff in their life. "Oh, there's Obama, with the troops." That's pretty much what they see.

They will pay more attention in a few months.

Christopher in MA said...

edutcher, I remember that video clip. I think W was handing out challenge coins to each soldier, too.

But yes, quiet and unobtrusive. Class will out, as they say.

bagoh20 said...

I get the distinct impression - and some reporting suggests it - that this Presidency is mostly run by underlings. Obama seems like an aloof self-absorbed rock star who they have to drag to the stage to keep them all working. He cares about his image, but not enough to act responsibly. His power is in his fan base, which is loyal to the end, and that needs tapped until it's dry for all involved, no matter what happens to the star or the country in the process.

The Crack Emcee said...

prairie wind,

See, I don't get that. Sudoku, maybe.

Nah, both my examples of LBJ's crassness reflect what I see as the charmingly simple unpretentiousness of an American leader, so raised on the farm, that - in certain areas of life - he's completely unaware of how "polite society" functions.

Having little respect for such people myself (and who Jimmy Kimmel recently described at the WHCD as "everything that's wrong with America" while, to my disgust, they're currently working overtime to keep Romney's weirdness under wraps) I welcome any example of the true American character that can reveal itself, and - if there's anything LBJ was about - it was revealing himself.

Clear(er)?

Brennan said...

Was this a campaign stop to protect him against Romney on foreign affairs?

Come on. The President made this speech for the interests of the United States. This wasn't a political speech. It wasn't "spiking the football". This was a marker in an 11 year conflict to eradicate Al Qaida's safe haven.

Yes, Pakistan is still yet another safe haven, but the nation does have an approach to that and the Bin Laden kill is evidence of that.

Obama is still going to get creamed in November.

AJ Lynch said...

I saw Nora O'Donnell on CBS furiously trying to defend the timing and location of this. She said "look, this meeting and negotiations have been in the planning stage for twenty months". As if, the date was just a koinkeedeenk.

edutcher said...

bagoh20 said...

I get the distinct impression - and some reporting suggests it - that this Presidency is mostly run by underlings. Obama seems like an aloof self-absorbed rock star who they have to drag to the stage to keep them all working.

I'd say you nailed it. This is a very lazy individual (remember the first week when they showed up at a school saying, "They let us go"?), intellectually speaking.

He let Pelosi and Dingy Harry write ZeroCare and turn it into a nightmare, especially politically for him when RahmBO wanted something a little more finely crafted.

He likes all the ego stroking, but it makes you wonder if he did all the acdemic work required for a couple of Ivy League degree.s

Brennan said...

He likes all the ego stroking, but it makes you wonder if he did all the acdemic work required for a couple of Ivy League degrees.

Well he wrote absolutely nothing of importance as a law student and as a "professor of law". He engaged in no debate at the University of Chicago Law School despite having access to some of the most brilliant minds in legal, healthcare, and economic policy. His position there was created just for him. In fact, in his time at the UofC he spent more time with Bill Ayers than he did with Gary Becker.

He's a ghost intellectual. He is never challenged to validate any intellectual prowess he supposedly has.

garage mahal said...

Romney showed his steely resolve and loyalty by letting his gay adviser get bullied from his campaign because he is gay.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Obama can't have a "mission accomplished" moment..."

Sure he can. That will be when our economy completely collapses from unsustainable debt. We will be at around $16 trillion by the end of his first term. Imagine another four years.

prairie wind said...

Crack, yes, I understand.

I chuckle at women who are appalled at the idea of sharing a conversation with someone sitting in the next restroom stall. (I imagine this is true for guys as well?) I enjoy the ones who carry on the conversation as if, well, as if urinating is a normal occurrence.

Christopher in MA said...

Romney showed his steely resolve and loyalty by letting his gay adviser get bullied from his campaign because he is gay.

There's more to the story than that, but you're a dishonest hack, so we expect nothing else from you. But speaking of "steely resolve," how many people are under Little Black Jesus' bus these days, hmm?

traditionalguy said...

Images are the message in politics.

Obama creates images of himself like a great artist. That they are faked cartoons is NOT an issue anymore.

Romney needs to get in gear and create some favorable images soon. His wife Ann is the only one we have been allowed to see so far.

Even if Romney is not perfect, he needs to take off the Wealthy Investment Guru mask and act like whatever authentic man he is. People accept real people.

I Pray that Romney gets some courage. Obama already has immense courage and is now throwing himself out to be seen in whatever light the images of him can create. He loves campaign acting.

Come on Mitt. Get off the bench and run some plays. A perfect image is not possible, Mitt. Just try out a good image and see what happens. We do not need another stiff Tom Dewey type campaigner hiding out until the election that belongs to him is over.

The Drill SGT said...

edutcher said...
Quite unexpectedly, and without entourage, who shows up to help but Dubya and Miss Laura, all caught on the camera of one of the family members' phone.

No fanfare, just handshakes and "Thank you"s.

Classy.


August 2010 was one example, DFW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOC_JjNFkVw

Robert Cook said...

Forget about weak tea critiques of Obama, such as childish delusions that he's a communist or in thrall to Bill Ayers or that he can't speak without recourse to his teleprompters, (not true, for one, and all Presidents use teleprompters, if you want to consider that some sort of defect).

Here's the real meat on Obama's unsuitability for office. I wonder if Romney will pick up on any of these and use them as talking points?


http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/02/the-constitutional-crimes-of-barack-obama/

Robert Cook said...

"Even if Romney is not perfect, he needs to take off the Wealthy Investment Guru mask...."

Hahahahahaha! "Wealthy Investment Guru?" He's a corporate raider! He made his money buying up companies, stripping them of their assets, reducing quality, firing people, then selling off the remains. There's no secret to how to accomplish that...you just have to have the means to acquire resources owned or controlled by others and the ruthlessness to wreak great destruction in order to enrich yourself! It's a tactic as old as history, (from the Roman Empire to Genghis Khan to the American Pioneers)!

Michael said...

Robert Cook: If corporate raiding is such a cinch why are there not more of them afoot? Why would KKR and Blackstone trouble with buying and building companies when it would be so much better to do all the mean and dastardly things that corporate "raiders " do?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

garage mahal said...

Romney showed his steely resolve and loyalty by letting his gay adviser get bullied from his campaign because he is gay.


Shorter garage, "Squirrel!"

ErnieG said...

Romney is wise to lie low as Obama goes about his 21st Century version of a Royal Progress, which is looking less and less royal, and more and more like Spinal Tap, with the gain turned up to eleven.