July 12, 2012

"It's funny - when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?"

"And in my first two years, I think the notion was, 'Well, he's been juggling and managing a lot of stuff, but where's the story that tells us where he's going?' And I think that was a legitimate criticism."

President Obama, explaining his "biggest mistake" which was "thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right" and missing that "the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times."

The people who voted for him, including me, really did expect him to bring the country "a sense of unity and purpose and optimism," but I don't think a "story" is what we needed. He came to us with a story — his life story, told in his "Dreams" book, and somehow that led to people imagining him able to bring the country a new sense of unity and purpose and optimism. He chose, however, to do policy that simply wasn't unifying. It was highly partisan and divisive, and for the longest time it has felt as though he is simply running for reelection. So the "story" of Barack Obama, the President, is not a compelling story at all.

And now, he seems to be saying: I'm such a great speechmaker, so if only I'd speechified more I could have sold all my policies as a good story, like I sold myself in the first place as a good story. As if all he really needed was more words. He's so good with words.

Oh, that reminds me of something from the David Maraniss biography of Obama, which is, interestingly, called "Barack Obama: The Story" (pp. 299-300):
One of his English teachers at Punahou was Barbara Czurles-Nelson.... Barry was not the most talkative student in her class, she recalled. He would sit near the back of the room, relaxed, waiting for his opening in the conversation. One day they were dealing with a philosophical question about what people should most fear. The answers included loneliness, death, hell, and war. Then Barry straightened up. That was the sign that he was ready to participate, Nelson thought, when he was sure to sharpen the class discussion. “Words,” he said. “Words are the power to be feared most.… Whether directed personally or internationally, words can be weapons of destruction.”
Words! How fearsome! If only he could put them in the right order, into a story, this would all work out all right. Does he really believe that?

125 comments:

exhelodrvr1 said...

When you saw what he sat through with Reverend Wright for twenty years, and how the campaign treated his opponents (both in the Democratic primaries and in the general election), how he discarded his white heritage, the dirty tricks he had played in previous campaigns, how could you rationally expect that he would be a unifier?

DADvocate said...

He's good at telling stories, mostly fiction.

Oso Negro said...

Planning to vote for him once again, Professor? Or will it once again be a striptease?

Paul said...

Calling George Lakoff.

Mark said...

If you tell a really good story, will it repeal the law of gravity?

I didn't think so...

Roman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moose said...

Jeebus. Apparently all we want is a good story and a glass of warm milk.

Matthew Sablan said...

Maybe he needs a composite campaign message.

Jay said...

Yes!

Let's all pretend he didn't go around the country (invoking Jesus) to tout Obamacare.

Let's all pretend he does anything but talk.

Hey, do Democrats ever do anything wrong?

I mean, is every policy prescription absolutely correct and the dummies in America just don't get it?

AllenS said...

The man is a fucking embarassment.

Skyler said...

And you fell for his pretty words, Ann.

I'm glad you're seeing the light, but I am still deeply disappointed that you were so late in seeing it. You are normally so perceptive and inciteful, but in his case you saw what you wanted to see. His words destroyed your rational sense.

Skyler said...

er, I meant insightful.

rhhardin said...

Francis Ponge says you have to write against words, given the habits they've contracted in so many foul mouths.

edutcher said...

It used to be a polite word for a lie was a story, so he's got that part right.

The story was Hopenchange and the oceans and all that stuff.

As for managing the job, plenty of us knew the answer to that.

The rest just ODd on the whole "Triumph Of The Will" thing.

bagoh20 said...

Don't we have to wait until he understands something first. I know this man life. There is almost nothing I think he could tell me, except what's really at Roswell. He has not done anything that gives me a reason to believe he has any answers or even appreciates the questions correctly.

And I'm sorry, "words"? That is such a teacher's pet / golden boy answer to an English teacher that it's almost sad.

"Good morning Mrs. Cleaver. How are you today? I think it's great how you handle The Beaver."

chuck said...

Does he really believe that?

I think so. He just says stuff, stuff that has no connection to reality, and seems to believe saying it makes it so. He's a very weird guy. Bit nuts, frankly.

rhhardin said...

Maybe it's a transcription error for woods.

There's lots of dark in the woods.

Maguro said...

If he'd given better speeches back in the 90s, maybe he would've been able to get the asbestos out of Altgeld Gardens.

Maybe!

leslyn said...

"Words" is a good answer to the philosophical question. In numerous ways they are responsible for loneliness, death (see Nancy Grace) and war. I suppose they could be responsible for hell too if you believe there's a magic word formula to be saved.

pm317 said...

Yeah, fear the teleprompter words!

mccullough said...

It was pretty obvious last time around that Obama believed that the liberal agenda pushed by the likes of Mondale and Dukakis only needed to be presented in his flourishing rhetoric and the right slogans, supported by his charisma and biography. He has never believed that the agenda itself was a failure. He also figured he could allay any liberal suspicions by voicing support of the death penalty and guns figuring he could undermine both through his Supreme Court appointments.

rhhardin said...

If you want conjunctions, Obama is your word man.

mesquito said...

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

pm317 said...

Fear this word, 'CONDI'.

jr565 said...

Even his life story, the story he sold to the american people in his memoirs was a bunch of tall tales. And his ACTUAL story was buried by the media.
And he thinks he should have told MORE stories?

chickelit said...

"Story" and "history" are feminine nouns in those Indo European languages which still make such gender distinctions. I'm wondering what's behind that and also what's behind his lingering female support.

mesquito said...

The people who voted for him, including me, really did expect him to bring the country "a sense of unity and purpose and optimism,"....

Remind me: You people expected this based on what, exactly?

Mark said...

The first two years of his presidency it seemed like he couldn't go a week without muscling in on Prime Time TV. And he thinks he should have done more of the same?

Please. This is just his passive-aggressive way of telling the American public they're beneath him.

Coketown said...

He's beating that drum once more,
But the beat seems softer than before.

traditionalguy said...

Magicians have always used words infused with spiritual power. Their real limitation is another speaker with more power in their words.

That is what "leading from behind" apparently means. Barack says divisive words and awaits the divided camps to bump each other off and then he will scoop up the loot.

The trouble is his words have lost their power. Nobody fears his little tricks with lies anymore.

jeff said...

""And in my first two years, I think the notion was, 'Well, he's been juggling and managing a lot of stuff,....."

yeah, no one had that notion. Unless it was the pro at the golf course.

Shanna said...

The Democrats keep doing this 'you don't agree with me? I must not have explained it to you. Or you are stupid. Or brainwashed. or Racist!'

Anything other than, I reject you position because I do not agree.

mesquito said...

Has he given any good speeches? When? Which ones? Do those memorable lines pop into mind? Quick! Quote one! No cheating!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Words. Glittering Generalities that everyone can get emotional about, but if you really stop to think about them: the words mean nothing. Unfortunately, most people don't think.

Shanna said...

BTW, remember when Obama kept going on tv all the time, pre-empting everyone's tv shows, to 'explain' things to us?

He just thinks he needed to do more of that. This guy is so delusional.

Coketown said...

Besides, it's a little late to revert back to that hopenchange horseshit. He dropped that 'unity & inclusiveness' meme the minute he was sworn in. And as a wise philosopher once said, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...well, you ain't gonna fool me twice."

mesquito said...

As Drew M asks over at Ace's, what would the unemployment rate be with better stories?

Chip Ahoy said...

This is a very insightful post that you have written that impresses me mightily

Your maths are somewhat unique.

1+1+1 = 1,000,000 - 3

and it is one reason why nobody can ever take your place

which is why you can never truly go on vacation.

bagoh20 said...

Wasn't his speech writer in his mid-20's. I always thought the speeches were empty and naive, so I'm surprised that a Professor who teaches 20-somethings would fall for that stuff.

It was the Barack monster saying it though, and he was kind of a Black guy for President - dreamy.

Michael said...

He failed and fails to see that leadership is what is required and what he lacks.

Darrell said...

January 20, 2013--The end of an error.

Those are the words I'd like to see in a headline. Those are the words that Barry fears most, so that fake story of his high-school comments is prescient.

bagoh20 said...

I'm beginning to wonder if any of the Obamas will vote for him.

Ann Althouse said...

I didn't myself fall for his words. (I voted for him because I thought McCain would be worse.) But I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race.

mesquito said...

Althouse really thinks a black Chicago Democrat pol won't play the goddam race cards whenever it damn well suits him

Charlie Eklund said...

Ann, do you still think McCain would have been worse? Inquiring minds want to know.

DCS said...

So if a storyteller makes a good President, why didn't we elect James Patterson or Stephen King President?

chickelit said...

But I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race.

Well Obama wasn't a Jimi Hendrix or even a Condi Rice.

The first black President who will transition us to a higher level with respect to race will have natural talent, not something foisted on him by a partisans, and he or she will be self-evident, not concocted. Barack Obama just proved, like Clinton did, that you can have a relatively crappy childhood and still become something. People should have looked much much harder at his mother's influence on his political views but they still refuse to do that in large part.

rcocean said...

I didn't vote for Obama but I wasn't that upset when McCain lost. I thought Obama would be a somewhat Populist, different Democrat, unlike Hillary!

But Obama is, in fact, nothing more than Hillary!, only less competent and even more of a blue-state elitist. Too bad - even sadder - the problems of the USA are not going to be solved by electing Bob Dole II.

chickelit said...

Charlie Eklund said...
Ann, do you still think McCain would have been worse? Inquiring minds want to know.

I suspect I know a sole big reason Althouse disliked McCain but I'm not saying.

Synova said...

There's a particular use of story as a creative act. "We write our stories" isn't recording what happened in the past or even finding meaning in it, it's declaring our future and asserting our reality. It's got a metaphysics vibe and it seems common in various navel-gazing social environments. (And why it probably seemed comfortable and wise to Althouse last time around.)

Obama seems to be recognizing (as many of us complained) that part of his job is to be a cheerleader. But I think he's still missing it, confusing it with the Oprahesque self-actualization mushiness of the creative story rather than prudent practical encouragement.

Yes, his job was to provide leadership, to instill confidence, to do all of those things.

But it's not a narrative and it's not a creative story.

No matter how deep that particular intellectual conceit seems to be.

AprilApple said...

It's not about our nation, it's all about the ego of this one man.

leslyn said...

I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race.

Well, that fell apart in about, oh, three minutes.

gk1 said...

Its amazingly sad he is following Carter's failed trajectory on the way towards electoral defeat. Same pissy, passive agressive tone. Nothing they do was ever wrong, just ask them. People didn't understand how great their policys where. Pathetic. The only thing left is for obama to give a malaise speech and we can call it a day.

Synova said...

"the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times."

This bit.

I'm saying that Obama or his speech writers use "story" in the creative sense, as a vehicle to create truth.

Normally we use "story" to mean something fictional. The storyteller weaves tales. Less often we use it for History, "what's his story?" meaning "why is he like he is?" But more often, "She's just telling stories" meaning she's making stuff up.

But he's not at all saying that he should have been telling us tales that made us feel good.

He's using it in the sense of "story" creating a pattern that becomes truth.

It likely resonates with his audience just the way it's meant to do.

The problem, as we found out, is that a story of unity and getting past racial division and all that, actually has no creative power at all without actually *creating* it.

bagoh20 said...

Racial relations will not be improved by a Black person who can interface with Whites. Today what is needed is a Black who can communicate to Blacks, but tell them something that will inspire, rather than pander, treat them equal rather than tell them they are. Equal means that your happiness comes from what YOU do for others, not the reverse.

Residual racial problems today are only due to unequal treatment based on unequal expectations.

Revenant said...

"It's funny - when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?"

Nobody seems to be asking that question anymore.

On a perhaps coincidental note, none of Obama's campaign commercials seem to be about his skills managing the job. In fact, they hardly mention the Obama administration at all. The only person who appears to be interested in discussing Obama's record is Mitt Romney. Weird.

Paul said...

"I didn't myself fall for his words. (I voted for him because I thought McCain would be worse.) But I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race. "

Really? How'd that work out for you? You didn't think his own racism would seep into his politics and discourse? And this constant race baiting from the left is going to heal us how?

White liberals with no personal experience with black culture (every libtard here for instance)really have no clue.

Synova said...

"Well, that fell apart in about, oh, three minutes."

It fell apart in the three minutes it took Obama to explain that in the future there were "some people" who were going to say bad things about him because he didn't look like the guys on the money.

That being a "story" of unity and elevation of issues related to race.

Revenant said...

But I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race.

Seriously?

He tried playing the race card on Bill "First Black President" Clinton, and you thought he'd improve race relations in America? As the Wise Man of Knoxville would say: heh.

Synova said...

Since then it devolved into the amazing spectacle of there suddenly, for the first time in all of History, being no possible reason for any difference of political opinion or philosophical belief or understanding of economic theory whatsoever that wasn't in reality an excuse for racism.

Because no one is really of the Austrian school and no one really wants smaller government and no one dislikes taxes and no one has a disagreement about war and...

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

"the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times."

Yeah, but when the entire premise of your political ideology is to use the state's police powers to poach your neighbor's wealth (as it is for any Democrat) or to use the state's spending power to pile up trillion dollars per year deficits, even if one is able to get past the fact he's the least qualified person ever nominated for the office (let alone elected), it is pretty God Damned Fucking Impossible to find a Fairy Tale big enough, plausible enough, to enable people to believe, despite all visible and known evidence, that Obama was, and is, the last fucking guy on earth who could Americans "a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times."

Some people don't like others stealing from them, or piling up debts for their kids and grandkids to pay off.

They just don't.

edutcher said...

Revenant said...

But I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race.

Seriously?

He tried playing the race card on Bill "First Black President" Clinton, and you thought he'd improve race relations in America? As the Wise Man of Knoxville would say: heh.


During the last campaign, it was widely predicted Zero would set back race relations about 50 years.

That certainly has come true.

Tim said...

"Because no one is really of the Austrian school and no one really wants smaller government and no one dislikes taxes and no one has a disagreement about war and..."

Exactly.

Our profoundly inexperienced president thinks all Americans are as dumb as his voters.

Paul said...

I really feel badly for my black friends and American blacks in general that this pathetic creature was the first "black" president.

Too bad it wasn't a successful businessman or military man, or somebody who really accomplished something that required discipline and leadership skills.

Instead we have a half black man, who is really a white liberal, and who just screams affirmative action and the weakness of unearned achievement.

exhelodrvr1 said...

There is no way that you could rationally think he would be a unifier. I mean, other than everybody unifying around the opinion that he was a horrible choice.

Joe Schmoe said...

Sure, words led to the defeat of nazism, fascism, communism, and the dictatorship of Hussein.

That, and a big ass-thumping.

Synova said...

I suppose that what I'm saying is that while he said the right things, by some accounts, and said them in the way that thoughtful people found familiar and comforting, that what he did was entirely different.

Obama himself set the expectation that those who disagreed with him were doing so because he didn't look like dead white presidents.

The assumption of bad faith on the part of anyone not on board with Obama was right there to start. It certainly wasn't because Janeane Garofalo or Joy Behar were intelligent enough to think of it all on their own.

jvermeer51 said...

Ann wrote, "He chose, however, to do policy that simply wasn't unifying."
Ann, policy upon which everyone agrees has already been enacted. Politics concerns those things about which we disagree. To think that politics can be uniting is unbelievably naive.

Michael K said...

"I really feel badly for my black friends and American blacks in general that this pathetic creature was the first "black" president. "

You know what ? I am too. How embarrassing it must be for someone like Charles Payne who admits he voted for Obama because he is black and now has to face the result that the black man has proved himself incompetent. Payne worked his way up and went to college on the GI Bill. Obama never worked and has a mysterious history that is being concealed.

How humiliating to be a smart black guy and have this is an example of the best the race can produce.

obladioblada said...

Ahh, words, obviously a reference to the work of Wittgenstein, Chomsky or anything else we wish to project upon the blank screen of our Lightworker. I'm still waiting for the receding seas and the healing planet, not too much to ask from the New Messiah, are they? Something more than styrofoam columns, at least...

wv: after the previous incttio gatekeeper, headseo has me banging mine against the wall.

Tim said...

Charlie Eklund said...

"Ann, do you still think McCain would have been worse? Inquiring minds want to know."

Really, who cares?

Obama was clearly not qualified for office, and anyone who cared to think it through would have reached the all-too obvious conclusion.

For whatever reason Althouse didn't think it through, or somehow discounted experience, or elevated the value of affirmative action, or somehow thought his associate instructor status sufficient for the office of president, the fact remains, she foolishly voted for the worst candidate that year.

Whether she's learned from that or not only she knows; I'm not optimistic, only because people who make foolish mistakes for foolish reasons tend to repeat them.

Isn't that what experience teaches?

Comanche Voter said...

Well Ann not YOUR words.

Just HIS words.

Phil 3:14 said...

That's the story! !!

Pete said...

Now would be a good time to admit you were wrong to vote for Obama, Althouse.

CWJ said...

"It's funny - when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?"

Now that quote is the real knee slapper. First of all as so often with this man it fuels his ego with a self complement. But second of all, hardly anyone other than his opponents questioned his competence, credentials, or "story" certainly not the MSM.

If everybody had actually said "but can he actually manage the job" then he never would have been elected in the first place. Usually straw men are used as point of attack. Obama now uses them on defense as well. I don't know whether to give him credit for gall, or imagine him certifiable.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Clean and articulate are great unifiers!

Paul said...

In Ann's defense I think her position was that if we were going to elect a liberal well then let's let the Dems own the ensuing mess. Or something like that.

But I don't think she realized how badly Obama would bollocks things up. I remember her imagining that he was cool, rational. That's a real knee slapper.

chickelit said...

@Pete: She didn't vote for Obama--she voted against McCain. Electorally indistinguishable at the ballot box, and the latter counts the same as the former.

Tim said...

chickelit said...

"@Pete: She didn't vote for Obama--she voted against McCain. Electorally indistinguishable at the ballot box, and the latter counts the same as the former."

She may have said so.

She may have even believed so.

But their being "Electorally indistinguishable at the ballot box" is just factually wrong.

I wasn't a big fan of McCain - lots of problems - but there's no argument that Obama was even qualified for the office, outside of actually being on the ballot.

And then, his stated positions were far to the left of McCain.

And he had no cultish airs about him, either.

Sorry, but it's just risible that they were indistinguishable - especially if one had been paying any attention, let alone close attention.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I dunno, the story about how unemployment would only go to 8% if we enacted the Porkulus, versus 9% if we didn't enact it, was a pretty good one-- right up to the point where we enacted the Porkulus and unemployment went to 10%

bgates said...

I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America

You know how, in the funny papers, sometimes Charlie Brown wants to kick a football, and Lucy holds it for him?

Have you ever noticed a pattern there?

Richard Dolan said...

Only a profoundly narcissistic personality could reach the conclusions that Obama is offering here. Note that he is never wrong; his insight never fails to penetrate to the core of our problems. His failing is in not offering the parables needed to appreciate his brilliance by those dimmer souls he is burdened with rescuing from their own follies.

Skyler said...

Ann defended, "I didn't myself fall for his words. (I voted for him because I thought McCain would be worse.) But I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race."

My logical syntax is rusty. Is this cognitive dissonance or some other form of semantic logical fallacy?

chickelit said...

Sorry, but it's just risible that they were indistinguishable - especially if one had been paying any attention, let alone close attention.

Dude, she still pulled the lever or checked the box for Obama when she said she was voting against McCain. But the ballot box just counted a vote for Obama. It couldn't distinguish her nuance-- ergo, indistinguishable.

We may be on the same page here but if you're still confused go here and beat the crap out of me.

Tim said...

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. budget deficit grew by nearly $60 billion in June, remaining on track to exceed $1 trillion for the fourth straight year.

That's not the whole story.

But it ought to be enough.

Yet, for still too many voters, it won't matter.

Not at all.

Willful stupidity is the worst kind.

Tim said...

"My logical syntax is rusty. Is this cognitive dissonance or some other form of semantic logical fallacy?"

Neither.

It's bait for a bullshit tag.

wyo sis said...

Words aren't the things that we should most fear. Actions are. Actions have results that affect people. People have a way of remembering how things affect them more than the words said to explain it. In other words we've been burned and a good story won't cover the scars.

yashu said...

So Obama is magnanimously acknowledging the "legitimate criticism" that he may have done a great job "managing" things & got the "policy right," but has failed to tell the right story about it. Too busy being a great POTUS to sell himself and his accomplishments to the American people, uniting the country around the warm hearth of O's charismatic glow. Too bad he didn't make more TV appearances or have his talking points propagated by the MSM.

My eyes are going to roll out of their sockets.

One interesting thing to note is the fact that this "legitimate criticism" doesn't come from the "American people"-- who complain of many things indeed, but as far as I can tell, not a lack of "story." The "legitimate criticism" doesn't come from the citizenry at large but one quarter alone: the MSM and the Dem/ liberal pundit class.

In other words, from the story-tellers who've taken it upon themselves to sell Obama and his policies, Obama's "stories," to the American people. Saying dude, you've got to give us more (or better) talking-points to work with.

But of course, this "criticism" is itself a story, precisely the story propagated by Obama and the pro-Obama MSM… to account for the failure of their stories to sell Obama's awful stewardship as the story of a successful presidency.

PatCA said...

ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME.

el polacko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
el polacko said...

what 'story' did we know from his autobiographies, ann? 'revelations' these past several weeks prove that nobody ever actually read those books.
now, we find that they are full of 'composites' and various other self-aggrandizing fictions. considering that all of his other records were (and mostly still are) under lock-and-key, about all we knew/know is that he's "black"...and even that's a stretch since his mother was white.
well, actually we did also know that he had shady past associations with known terrorists...but it's racist to bring that up...and we know that he was involved, for 20 years, with a radical preacher...but it's racist to mention that too...so, what's left? oh right, he could deliver a swell speech but nobody can recall a single thing he's ever said except for his many gaffes: 57 states, speaking austrian, corpse-man, etc.
but hey, he was 'better' than the alternative, right? plus, despite his scrawny frame, enormous ears, and thin, purple lips, he was dreamy in that 'my new black boyfriend' kinda way. right, ann?

sheesh.

David said...

So Obama actually knows what a massive fuckup he has been. Interesting.

wildswan said...

In Romney's speech to the NAACP he said that we all assumed that by the time we elected a black president other problems would have been solved - meaning education among other things - and these problems have not been solved. I think saying this reaches out to the African-Americans much more than Biden's low life speech. And even after Romney was booed, he said:If I am elected and if you invite me to the NAACP convention next year, I will come. This reaches out much more than calling everyone who disagrees with you a racist. And I am going to go out on a limb and say I think are substantially misunderestimating him. Wouldn't it be strange if this supposed whitebread guy actually did more to bring us together than Obama - simply because Romney looks higher than the color of skin, he looks to original American values. What a storyline.

Tom Spaulding said...

But I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race.

What on Earth lead you to believe that? What events/accomplishments in his career as a politician (since he has no other quantifiable career) gave any glimpse of that happening?

Was it worth trading your White Guilt for the current state of this nation?

We could have put any number of competent people who have darker skin than I do in the office. This fool and everyone who voted for him has pushed the 2nd Black president's inauguration decades out, regardless of how prepared he or she might be to serve. All because you wanted to transition race relations with a half Black/half White guy with no governing skill set.

Way to go, Progressives and rubes. Way to go. That's your legacy. Feeling good about yourselves only cost all of us trillions of present and future dollars.

What higher race-relations level is there than "I don't care what color he is, is he qualified and competent?" Apparently, I am already on that level because that's the way I judged Obama.

Jordy Nelson is not a starter for the Packers because he is white. You know that, right?

Tim said...

"This fool and everyone who voted for him has pushed the 2nd Black president's inauguration decades out, regardless of how prepared he or she might be to serve. All because you wanted to transition race relations with a half Black/half White guy with no governing skill set."

Given the nation's demographics, the wide and growing disparity between Blacks and Hispanics, Obama may very likely be the only Black (half, at that) president for a very, very long time.

It isn't like there's a Black mayor or governor with a significant record of achievement (since the "blue model" is arcing rapidly toward failure) on the immediate horizon; Obama's election confirms the stupidity of electing a "Senator" (does Obama qualify in any sense but name, given his imperceptively small list of accomplishments in the Senate?), not that there are any Black Senators of note either.

So anyway, after the '12 elections, I don't think we'll see any Black presidents for a very long time.

Ralph L said...

Allen West?

I think a lot of liberals & non-partisans assumed that just having a black president would somehow change people's attitudes, regardless of what he did. It's probably made black people more defensive, since "their" man has upset large portions of the country (and that would have happened even if he'd been a real Omessiah). So it was a pipe dream.

In one sense, he's done as advertized: most of the country is so worried about the economy, race seems less important.

Pogo said...

For the first time in my adult life I am ashamed of my country.

Thanks, Mr. Storyfeller!

Carnifex said...

I have to agree with those saying a 2nd black president will be a long time coming. Maybe 150-200 years. And then they will be part Latino. You don't forget a fuck up this bad, and as Zero goes deeperinto the history books he'll loose more and more of his sycophants in the press.

I'd still vote for a qualified blackman, and maybe my dad. The rest of the family runs too much on emotion, they'll not trust any others.

I didn't vote for Zero because everyone who looked at him could see he was a stumblebum. There was no "there" there. A Chicago ward pol who advanced by chicanery and racial politics. Question for Althouse...Had you never heard of Jeremy Wright until after the election? And if you had, why owuld you think this guy would "help" the racial mood of the country?

So you didn't vote for McCain. I can't argue against that. I didn't like McCain myself. But I did figger him to be an insider who would at least wouldn't ruin the country in his haste to "make it better".(if it ain't broke, don't fix it)

So know we come to Romney/Zero. This is the Gods honest truth, I swear on a bible, I cannot see a breath of difference between them. Both are elite self serving east coasters, who are rich, have rich friends, and take care of those rich friends. They both are gun grabbers, internationalists, and big government kinda guys. They both LOVE amnesty, open borders, and have no problems running a government deficit like it has no tomorrow.

The only difference I can see is Zero has already promised to sell us out to the russians(more flexibility indeed), and Romney might not.

The good news for me is that this was the third major surgery I've had on my GI tract in 10 years. The doctor said I ain't got no more to work on. I figger in 5 years, or 10 if I change my lifestyle, I'm gonna die of excruciating pain and I won't care.

See, there really is a silver lining in every cloud.

Craig Landon said...

I sort of gauge my reactions to leaders on how proud I am to display the various credentials and citations garnered over a 23 year career as a naval carrier aviator.

I project what they would have been like cutting up in the ready room, rolling in on target, shepherding you home if you were hit, volunteering for the last cycle tanker mission, and other meaningful stuff no one understands. It has the luxury of not giving a shit about the race of the player.

He wouldn't be there.

Craig Landon said...

And a postscript:

If the President (or any other feather merchant) wants a glimpse of post-racial America, spend a week on the flight deck of a operating United States aircraft carrier. All that dependence makes you color blind.

Revenant said...

I have to ask some of the sensible liberals here, like MadisonMan -- did Bush seem as narcissistic as Obama does?

I don't remember the left describing him that way. It was more typical to see him described as incurious, rather than as someone who believed he was a genius. Or as someone disinterested in reaching out to others, rather than as someone who believed all worthwhile people would be instinctively drawn to his charm.

I dunno. Supposedly a lot of people like Obama, but he strikes me as the most self-important President of my lifetime.

Fen said...

Still laughing at all the "enlightened sophisticated" Athiests that fell for this False Prophet.

Hope you choke on the Change.

Fen said...

"I really feel badly for my black friends and American blacks in general that this pathetic creature was the first "black" president. "

No worries. Obama will be rejuvinated by all the Revisionist Historians.

Just like JFK was.

MayBee said...

This is now about year two of Obama and his camp claiming his problem has been lack of communication regarding his policies. So what has he done to correct that?
Did he hold a big town hall after the SCOTUS decision, addressing questions from citizens who are uncomfortable with the law? No!!! He took a bus tour through Ohio to talk about Mitt Romney's record.
If he really believed messaging is his problem, he would change that. The fact that he doesn't proves it is just a story he tells us as a smokescreen

MayBee said...

Yashu- perceptive!!!! Great stuff.

Quaestor said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
I didn't myself fall for his words. (I voted for him because I thought McCain would be worse.) But I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race.

There is much to be said for this point of view. John McCain is a hell of a man, and he took a hell of beating as POW in the hands of an enemy without scruples or honor. But in 2008 he seemed to me a man who had shot his bolt politically -- just another prickly Senator with his head up his ass all too often, witness the execrable McClain-Fiengold Act, his signature legislation. Yet I voted for him because I was appalled by the Stalinesque personality cult the left was busy building around Obama. Obama could have repudiated all that foolish adulation as irreconcilable with the spirit of the Republic, but he was silent. Qui tacet consentire vid├ętur. Thus I was compelled to oppose him, and the vote for McCain became inevitable.

As for this race argy-bargy, I must say that Ann's hope was both in vain and irrelevant. I realize what I'm about to state amounts to latter day heresy, but here goes: Racism is the USA is 71.3% bullshit; the remaining 28.7% is statistical haze and the sliminess all societies must endure. Racism is overwhelmingly a convenient excuse for some people to avoid answering embarrassing questions, and a cheap way for a few others to gain wealth and influence with no talent or skills for anything beneficial or enlightening. To me voting for someone because he might help resolve the issue of race is like voting for someone because he might reveal the truth about the Roswell crash. It's a plank for cranks and dimwits. Everybody carries a load of false assumptions and persistent illusions. For persons of a certain age -- the hippy generation particularly -- the foundation myth is racism. Everything descends from that paradigm -- let's not say that because it's racist, let's do this because of racism, isn't he brave, to endure all that racism, ...blah, blah, blah. The sooner we ditch the mythology, the sooner we'll get to the real issues.

Ralph L said...

Supposedly a lot of people like Obama, but he strikes me as the most self-important President of my lifetime
Obama seems worse because Clinton was so oily, you felt it less when he shoved himself in you everyday for 8 years. No one struts like Bill, though O has stolen his patented wiggle-walk.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Craig Landon,
What did you fly?

Joe Schmoe said...

At least Clinton was a governor as a red state. As a result, he had already learned the lessons of governing in such an environment.

Reagan was a long-time Democrat before converting to the GOP. He knew what both sides were about.

Barry has marinated in a left-wing stew his whole life. He's never lived, or worked, or governed, in anything remotely resembling a conservative environment. Blaming his woes on a lack of story shows that he still is unwilling to entertain the idea that his policy is awfully, awfully wrong.

At what point does any of his inner circle convince him to be accountable to us for his shitty decisions?

Joe Schmoe said...

This goes beyond narcissism into full-blown delusion.

Henry said...

"What's your biggest weakness?"

"Well, sometimes I get so wrapped up in managing projects and getting them right that I forget to be inspirational."

"On your resume it says you never had managerial responsibility."

"That's just words."

Curious George said...

This is the same trope they rolled out during the Obamacare fiasco. It wasn't the policy, it was the message. The American public didn't understand how awesome Obamacare was.

Problem was that Barry was going non-stop on it. Every time he had a speech or presser the polling numbers would tank. By mid-terms no one was talking about it. Obamacare? What Obamacare?

This guy is a disaster at policy and communications. A terrible POTUS and despicable human being.

Joe Schmoe said...

Since Barry is into hoops, I've got 3 words for him: Ball don't lie.

"Govt. intervention has staved off depression!"

GDP growth is flat, getting lower, and unemployment is still sky-high. Ball don't lie.

"Green energy is the future!"

Alt-energy firms go bankrupt, and energy costs are higher than ever. Ball don't lie.

"Obamacare will provide better health care for everyone and decrease the deficit!"

Obamacare projected costs climb higher every day. People will get lower quality health care, and will wait longer to get it. Ball don't lie.

"I will be the first post-racial president!"

Racial tensions have not been eased at all, only inflamed by the likes of jackasses like Eric Holder. Dems refuse to give up calling Republicans racists because it's one of the few tricks left that diverts attention from their own jackassery.

Ball don't lie.

Smith said...

I didn't myself fall for his words. (I voted for him because I thought McCain would be worse.)

And how many times have you said that, and they still don't hear you...your words. Seem they have their own narrative that they need to maintain.

But I did think we'd have the benefit of him elevating the mood of America, especially transitioning us to a higher level with respect to race.

Yeah, well, he's not working in a vacuum...and, as I recall, there were other crisis' that took priority.

damikesc said...

Sadly, he seems to really believe the issue was he didn't give an awesome enough speech.

On a perhaps coincidental note, none of Obama's campaign commercials seem to be about his skills managing the job. In fact, they hardly mention the Obama administration at all. The only person who appears to be interested in discussing Obama's record is Mitt Romney. Weird.

Well, that's because discussing his record would be racist.

gerry said...

The people who voted for him, including me, really did expect him to bring the country "a sense of unity and purpose and optimism,"

Amazing. What founded the expectations? Was it Obama's accomplishments (NONE) or philosophy (MARXIST) or religion (LIBERATION THEOLOGY - which is hateful, anti-American, and Marxist)? Was it merely his speeches? Did only the sound of his voice and perceptions of facile and superficial demeanor inform your vote?

Wow.

The citizens got what the majority voted for: hateful, lying, crony-capitalistic incompetence, incredible debt, frightening joblessness and an anxious future.

It couldn't have been worse with McCain.

Nathan Alexander said...

"Because I was afraid of worms, Roxanne! Worms!"

MnMark said...

No single thing better helps you understand Obama than to understand how egotistical he is.

The man really thinks he is a great man, a historic man, a man with "a gift" (as he told Harry Reid). He thinks he is brilliant, he thinks he has basically figured out what the country and the world needs, and he is a bit impatient with us idiots for not fully getting with the Obama program. But it's ok, he understands that we're a little slow, we're "bitter clingers" who are irrationally afraid of the brave new world he has planned for us.

Drudge had a thing about how many times he said the words "I" and "Me" in one of his recent speeches.

He's a man with a deep sense of alienation from traditional America because he is mixed race and because he was raised as a socialist by his mother and maternal grandparents. His ego has been stoked for his entire life by white progressives who wet themselves over a black-looking man who can sound literate unlike most blacks. In addition he has all the usual identity issues that come with being abandoned by a father.

The person we currently have for a President is an alienated egomaniacal socialist who promised to "fundamentally transform the United Stated of America." It is really frightening that someone like that is President.

Calypso Facto said...

"Funny?" No, that's not the word I'd choose.

prairie wind said...

Mesquito said: Has he given any good speeches? When? Which ones? Do those memorable lines pop into mind? Quick! Quote one! No cheating!

And there are no responses. Huh.

I have NEVER understood why people say he knows how to deliver a speech.

MnMark said...

I have to agree with those saying a 2nd black president will be a long time coming. Maybe 150-200 years.

Oh you couldn't be more wrong about this. If Romney wins, he will likely be the last white man to be President.

Notice that the buzz is that Romney is choosing Condoleeza as running mate? He's got to get some non-white face up there on the platform with him.

There is a dynamic in this country that you are missing: once a highly symbolic position is occupied by a non-white, it is the "possession" of non-whites or women. To have a white man in that position would be seen as a regression to an unenlightened past.

For example, the last white man who was Secretary of State was Warren Christopher some 15 years ago. Since then we have had a white woman, a black man, a black woman, and white woman. No white men.

Another example: once a school district gets a non-white or woman as superintendant, from then on they never have a white man again. The only exception would be a white man who is so extremely left-liberal and white-hating that he is an acceptable toady, an acceptable figurehead. A few years back, after Minneapolis got rid of an incompetent black woman superintendant, they hired a well-known liberal white man as her temporary replacement. The outcry from the black population of the city was so loud that he had to immediately resign. The blacks said a white man could not possibly understand the special needs of non-white children.

Nope, from now on it will be very, very difficult for a white man to be elected President unless he is a far-left liberal who has a long track record of kissing non-white ass. The Republicans will be worse about this than the Democrats, because the Republicans, being right-leaning liberals, are continually feeling pressure to prove they aren't 'racist'.

Revenant said...

And how many times have you said that, and they still don't hear you...your words.

The reason we "don't hear her" is because of her follow-up sentence: her belief that he would improve racial relations. The empirical evidence was that he had no interest in doing anything of the kind. She fell for his speeches on the subject, that's all.

She was taken in by him. She quite possibly would have voted against McCain anyway (I can certainly identify with not wanting THAT greasy son of a bitch in office), but she absolutely did fall for the whole "Obama as unifier" schtick.

Virago Rising said...

Having been an avowed leftist when I was a misguided young woman, I readily saw through his spoken narrative and investigated the back story. It was chilling; I did not vote for this man. I voted for Sarah Palin. McCain lost my respect when he said during a speech that Barack Obama is a fine man and would make a good POTUS. Sounds like he might have voted for him.

I am saddened and mystified that so many thoughtful conservatives voted for him. I was talking but no one was listening.

Virago

Unknown said...

"the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times."

When I watched "Being There" I thought it was a satire. I was wrong; it was a prophecy.