December 23, 2012

Did President Obama violate the precepts of etiquette and display raging narcissism at the funeral of Daniel Inouye?

It's pretty much what everyone is saying, notably Emily Yoffe at Slate (where one ordinarily expects support for the Prez). When I encounter a controversy at this late stage of one-sidedness, my instinct is to develop the other side. Law school class is like that, you know. If there's a case that everyone just somehow knows is rightly decided, the way to have a discussion about it isn't to remark upon its obviousness, but to figure out how someone — someone intelligent, educated, and sane — could think it wasn't right. That's what I do.

Read Yoffe's description of Obama's eulogy, which dwells on Obama's own life, growing up in Hawaii, the state Inouye represented in the Senate. Obama talks about his family vacations, where they stayed in motels, and the motel rooms had TVs, and — "as the people must have been twitching in the pews wondering where this was all going" — the Watergate hearings were on TV, and so he saw Inouye, and because Inouye did not have that typical white person look, the young mixed-race Obama was inspired to imagine "what might be possible in my own life."

A funeral for a very old person — Inouye was 88 — is not an occasion for deep mourning or soothing profound shock. It can be an occasion to look back on the era, to indulge one's own personal connections to the time and the man who has passed on. And if the President of the United States speaks at the funeral, that in itself is a phenomenal honor for the deceased. The President should not read a typical eulogy, a conventional account of the dead man's achievements and wonderful personal traits. This is something different. And when the President is specifically noted for his oratory, something special is anticipated.

No one — I submit — was "twitching in the pews wondering where this was all going." They were rapt, experiencing the gift of a unique presentation, The Story of a Boy — that boy! — and how his individual history merged with The Story of America — A Story of Race. They knew, as they surrendered themselves into the hands of our storyteller-in-chief, that they would be cared for and rewarded. The threads would come together, the yarns would be knitted into a beautiful eulogy blanket, under which Daniel Inouye could be laid to rest and all would be comforted.

How dare you snatch that comfort away by counting the "I"s and "me"s in that speech?!

160 comments:

campy said...

Where's the "lameness" tag?

tiger said...

[can't tell if serious or not.jpg]

Sooooo, Professor, do you think he did or didn't because that last line is full of raging snark(not that I have a problem with that)that appears to negate your point.

Jay said...

America needs 8 term senators like we need another 16 trillion in debt.

I'll never understand the celebratory nature of this "service" we supposedly get from people in Congress for 5 decades.

Matthew Sablan said...

You know what you're getting with some speakers. If you don't want the speech to be seen through the lens of "My Life," you don't invite Obama to speak. Everything can be seen through the lens of himself -- remember, "If I had a son." Whoever invited Obama thought this would be a fitting tribute to the senator, and they knew him better than us, so I assume that's what the family wanted.

bpm4532 said...

Obama's behavior is pathological.

Charlie said...

Vote in haste, repent at leisure.

Real American said...

Nah. He's just a narcissist.

john said...

And when the President is specifically noted for his oratory, something special is anticipated.

Maybe I need another cup of coffee because you lost me here. Which president were you refering to?

Phil 3:14 said...

Irrelevant.

MadisonMan said...

I am in agreement with Jay. 50 years for one person in the Senate is about 30 years too many. It's too bad he couldn't do something with his life, seduced as he was by DC.

Quayle said...

Ann's right.

He's come to save you.

So how's that salvation going?

edutcher said...

We should honor the man who served in Italy, but I have to go along with Jay in saying Inouye had as bad a case of DC-itis as ever existed.

As for Zero, well, even Slate is beginning to notice.

EDH said...

When I encounter a controversy at this late stage of one-sidedness, my instinct is to develop the other side.

How about thinking of it this way?

At least by giving the eulogy Obama prevented Biden from stepping-in and saying to the audience "let's all give Sen. Inouye a hand".

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kchiker said...

" It's too bad he couldn't do something with his life, seduced as he was by DC."

I don't think this statement is worthy of you.

Nor do I see what's wrong in providing first person account of how inspired one was by seeing someone in a role that at the time...was quite unusual.

creeley23 said...

It's all about the Preezy of the United Steezy.

It's Obama's world; we just live in it. Including that old one-armed geezer, Danny, who just slo-jammed off.

phx said...

If there's a case that everyone just somehow knows is rightly decided, the way to have a discussion about it isn't to remark upon its obviousness, but to figure out how someone — someone intelligent, educated, and sane — could think it wasn't right. That's what I do.

So your example of figuring out what how intelligent, educated and sane person considers this is "How dare you snatch that comfort away by counting the "I"s and "me"s in that speech?!"

Rhetorical brilliance and fairness.

Clyde said...

Dog bites man. This is nothing new for Obama. It has ALWAYS been all about him. Remember when someone went into the White House web site biographies of the other presidents and added Obama-related material to them?

Moose said...

I don't think he violated any "precepts". When your a self absorbed twunt that sort of thing is to be expected. Nice to see people finally getting the message.

McTriumph said...

When don't the democrats politically dry hump the caskett of a freshly dead democrat pol?

tim in vermont said...

The only people who can possibly be surprised are those who expected something different from him.

Dust Bunny Queen said...


No one — I submit — was "twitching in the pews wondering where this was all going.


Probably not literally twitching. They all had virtual cartoon bubbles over their heads with"WTF?? in them.

Clyde said...

Jay said...
America needs 8 term senators like we need another 16 trillion in debt.

I'll never understand the celebratory nature of this "service" we supposedly get from people in Congress for 5 decades.


On the plus side, we never had to pay his pension. So there's that.

MadisonMan said...

I don't think this statement is worthy of you.

Oh Blah blah blah. Nothing is so tedious as some scold looking down their nose at you and saying "You're better than this"

Inouye has a compelling story with his service to country in WWII that changed his life's trajectory. But after 2 decades in DC, he became just another DC politico who thought he was indispensable. (originally mistyped as indispendable).

AllenS said...

When I encounter a controversy at this late stage of one-sidedness, my instinct is to develop the other side.

You just like to be a contrarian.

Steve Austin said...

I noticed that January is almost upon us and Obama hasn't been able to get any deal done on the fiscal cliff despite the fact he's negotiating with Boehner, a guy most conservatives consider consider a pushover.

Obama is in way over his head and has skated along on the basis of his perception as being special. No need to change now I guess. Unfortunately for us though, these next four years are where the real ramifications to lack of leadership are going to hit home.

rhhardin said...

Everything Obama says is not only stupid but a lie.

Kchiker said...

"But after 2 decades in DC, he became just another DC politico who thought he was indispensable. (originally mistyped as indispendable)."

There are many ways to be of value to your fellow citizens. Surely you agree that the US Senate is one of them.

AllenS said...

Hard to get a deal done when you're vacationing in Hawaii, which is about as far away from Washington as you can get.

Michael K said...

" tim in vermont said...
The only people who can possibly be surprised are those who expected something different from him.
"

I have to agree. In a society where Cornel West is a sought after speaker at college campuses, why would anyone expect anything different from this president. Do you think anyone today would stay to listen to the Lincoln-Douglas debates ?

Bill said...

Oh for Pete's sake! Yes, some push back is warranted because, yes, the president shouldn't necessarily give a conventional eulogy and there's nothing wrong with talking about how a person's life has influenced your own.

But when you've already got a reputation as a narcissist, you will deserve what you get when you feed into that narrative at every opportunity.

I don't mind exploring the counterintuitive side of an issue but it seems like society is embracing the counterintuitive side of far too many things in an effort to be clever. "I know it seems like _____ is a bad thing, but it's really not because..." Um, no, it's just a bad thing.

And did you mean to lay it on so thick or was that some subtext that I was missing?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Kchicker

Depends on what you do as a Senator. I don't know much about Inouye so I can't say. But given the examples of the worthless, self serving, corrupt Senators and Representatives that I have seen over the past 40+ years (when I started paying attention) I seriously doubt the actual "value" provided is all that great.

You can take Barney Fwank, Nanci Pelosi, Maxine Waters and the rest of their ilk and dump them all in the trash and we would all be better off.

sonicfrog said...

The ultimate narcissists eulogy. This one for Inouye comes in a close second.

Star Trek episode background here.

sonicfrog said...

Oops... here

Bill said...

Sometimes "cruel neutrality" can become a fetish. This seems like one of those times.

FedkaTheConvict said...

EDH for the win.

Bob Ellison said...

You make a good argument, Professor. It would work if Obama hadn't already established such a stellar reputation as a narcissist.

And yes, EDH for the win.

Joe Kidd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...

All of Obama's speeches are filled with "I"s and "Me"s.

Joe Kidd said...

The "I's" have it: Obama is a pathological narcissist. He himself reported that he used the word "my" 21 times, "me" 12 times, and "I" 30 times.
Apparently he counts them out as he speaks -- it's that important to him. <--Now that's sick.

edutcher said...

Kchiker said...

But after 2 decades in DC, he became just another DC politico who thought he was indispensable. (originally mistyped as indispendable).

There are many ways to be of value to your fellow citizens. Surely you agree that the US Senate is one of them.


You will find few examples. As Mark Twain noted, he knew a man who had spent a term in prison and a term in the US Senate. He freely admitted the former, but denied to his dying day the latter.

Pogo said...

"He wants to be the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral, and the baby at every christening.

MadisonMan said...

There are many ways to be of value to your fellow citizens. Surely you agree that the US Senate is one of them.

After 3+ terms, are you really bringing anything new to the table?

Nope.

Why are politicians allergic to stepping aside and letting someone else in?

Pogo said...

President Bridezilla.

Bamzilla.

Say yes to the duress.

Chip S. said...

A mere tally of the I's and me's doesn't begin to measure the degree of narcissism on display in that speech.

Ice machines! Yellowstone!!

I think he got in touch w/ his early days in Hawaii by chooming just before speaking.

Chuck Currie said...

I call BS on Obama watching the Watergate hearings on TV while on vacation.

Cheers

rhhardin said...

I and me don't actually refer to oneself. The sentence takes on a different role with those in it.

Kchiker said...

"Why are politicians allergic to stepping aside and letting someone else in?"

Would he automatically deserve praise for stepping aside and taking a think tank job? I don't see why. His political style pleased his constituents. Without evidence of corruption, I see zero reason to criticize anyone for serving their country in that role.

Saint Croix said...

No one — I submit — was "twitching in the pews wondering where this was all going." They were rapt, experiencing the gift of a unique presentation, The Story of a Boy — that boy! — and how his individual history merged with The Story of America — A Story of Race. They knew, as they surrendered themselves into the hands of our storyteller-in-chief, that they would be cared for and rewarded. The threads would come together, the yarns would be knitted into a beautiful eulogy blanket, under which Daniel Inouye could be laid to rest and all would be comforted.

You're trying hard to play Devil's advocate, but that came out pretty snarky.

Hard to bring back the illusion once it's been shattered.

Seeing Red said...

The surprise meter didn't move.

Michael said...

As it happens I attended a funeral yesterday for a friend who died aged 82. Her eulogy was delivered by her son who hardly referred to himself at all except to use the word "my" as in my mother.

I read the Obama eulogy and it was offensively self referential. Obama is the wrong sort.

Seeing Red said...

Via Insty from Powerline:

Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”

“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”

William said...

The Senator led in many ways a worthy life. It is fitting and proper that on the occasion of his funeral we take note of his greatest achievement. His life inspired and prepared the ground for the coming of Barack Obama.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

It was a fun article, but read the comments to see what people thought of it. Hint: A eulogy is supposed to be personal.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Hard to get a deal done when you're vacationing in Hawaii, which is about as far away from Washington as you can get.

Uh, yeah Allen. Especially when the bastards to negotiate with had already decided to leave on their own.

ricpic said...

There comes a point at which subtle thinking, a la Althouse, is just silly thinking. There is no upside to Obama's raging narcissism.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Funeral oratory is to the honor of the deceased, not to the honor of a self-aggrandizing orator who's got infinite opportunities to play that fiddle.

Saint Croix said...

It's not news that Obama gave a narcissistic speech. He's been doing that for a long time.

What's news is that a liberal noticed, and was appalled.

It's refreshing, like a liberal journalist doing his job. Emily Yoffe is an etiquette columnist. She has professional standards for what etiquette requires. And she holds to her standards, which causes her to hold Obama to a standard. And so she ignores the PC affirmative action rule, and rips him one.

Good for her.

Chip S. said...

Hint: A eulogy is supposed to be personal.

Psst: Watch the video.

Gahrie said...

Remember when someone went into the White House web site biographies of the other presidents and added Obama-related material to them?

I'm actually beginning to think President Obama did this himself sitting in the oval office......

Seeing Red said...

I finally agree with Ritmo!


No Senate budget for 4 years, the dems left the building a long time ago!

ricpic said...

Hey Montana Urban Schmendrick, the "bastard" who was attempting to negotiate with your god at one point asked what Obama's counter offer would be after Boehner had agreed to $800 billion in closed loopholes and deductions on those earning over $1 million. "Nothing," that was your god's counter offer.

The obscenity is that Boehner didn't walk away weeks ago.

Lem said...

There is no record of an eulogy given by Narcissus.

Paul said...

Ann,

Why does it shock anyone when after four years of Obama he gets up and talks about himself?

He has be a raging pathological narcissist since, well I guess since birth.

And with the fiscal cliff you see he will let Rome burn.... to make way for his idea of what life should be in the U.S.

Nero has nothing over him in many respects. I mean he watched while his own State Department people died for heaven's sake.

And you know if he could order Congress dissolved and he ruled by decree he would do that.

That is just his nature.

bagoh20 said...

" Surely you agree that the US Senate is one of them."

Since the job evolved primarily into one where you vote on ways take money from the successful and hand it over to the failures to waste, I'd say every year of "service" is a net loss to the country. The daily work schedule involves almost nothing else but working for your reelection, restricting freedoms of those not paying sufficient tribute, while refusing to even do their simplest duties like pass a budget year after year. So, no.

I rather pay them to golf all day every day.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

While a eulogy does and should contain personal reminisces of how the deceased person lived and affected others, It shouldn't be 'all about you'. It is appropriate to laud the deceased's contributions to society and contributions on a personal level. There is a balance between being non personal, just reciting facts making it all about YOU.

When my aunt died, her then husband made a eulogy that was mostly about himself, about how my aunt failed at things and stressed her foibles instead of talking about her life and many accomplishments. He ignored all of her early life and the fascinating things that she did. To be fair....he didn't know her then. HOWEVER.....her eulogy should be more than how bad her golf game was or that she wasn't a neat housekeeper. What a dick. I was PISSED.

Although I didn't plan to speak, I felt that I must give a truer picture of her to those at the funeral who only knew her with the dick husband. I did put personal content and how she affected me. BUT....it wasn't about me. It was more about how her personality and her accomplishments inspired me and others.

Obama is the dick husband at the funeral.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Should be:

just reciting facts....OR..... making it all about YOU.

Roger J. said...

IIRC Sen Inouye was president pro tem of the Senate--does anyone know who now the President Pro tem?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Psst: Watch the video.

WHy? You'll see what you want in it and I'll probably focus on the flaws in that foregone conclusion.

There are many ways of interpreting the same thing. Narcissism is an incredibly naive and, uh yeah, SELF-SERVING way to describe Obama. As a liberal with a healthy ego and assessment of his abilities, and you conservatives hate that because you assume he should be beneath you: Politically eviscerated, weak and cowering in fear of anything that challenges the failed conservative agenda. But he doesn't have to and he won't. That doesn't make him a narcissist but a strong opponent who doesn't misjudge his own strengths.

To be a narcissist he would have to, for one, lack empathy - such as what we witness when Romney talks of not caring for the very poor and writing off half the country as manipulative, intentional victims. That statement also revealed some paranoia - also a hallmark of narcissism.

Oh I know some have twisted themselves into pretzels claiming that Obama is cynically making a "power base" out of those whom both he and they prefer to somehow make permanently downtrodden. The internal incoherence of that thought however, should give you a hint as to which side's analysis is more flimsy.

Caring about and actually doing something for those less fortunate than you is the opposite of narcissism. He is cajoling the society into realizing the limits of its selfishness, and turning away from that. But conservatives have defined the shallow, materialistic selfish narcissism on display every night on every reality TV show as the very reason for our own greatness, then they fling that obvious condemnation back around with all the subtlety and understanding of a boomerang.

SteveR said...

If this were not his standard practice (celebrating Rosa Parks with a picture of himself), it might be a nice way to frame the eulogy. Instead its just another example of the universe revolving around him.

Aridog said...

William said...

The Senator led in many ways a worthy life. It is fitting and proper that on the occasion of his funeral we take note of his greatest achievement. His life inspired and prepared the ground for the coming of Barack Obama.

In a word...total nonsense. Obama on his worst day ever never faced 1/10 of 1% of the trials and tribulations Inouye had to deal with. Obama is a parasitic scab post facto on anyone of merit...by his own invention, not reality.

David fucking Duke could croak and Obama could still give a eulogy where he drew inspiration from ole "Davie" for his mission to fight for equality and march beside Martin Luther King ...oh, wait, scratch that...still bed wetting when Dr King was alive. Ah, yes, Dr King came to him in his dreams, just like dear ole daddy Barack Sr. who never lived with his mother nor even met him until he was a decade old.

The man fashions in his head that he's been perpetually preyed upon by the white man, and he imagines that he was elected POTUS by the 12% of the population that is African American. He tried so hard to be black he's in danger of popping inside out and turning pink.

I had an old uncle like Barry once...you name a celebrity or anyone of any merit and by Gawd, ole Uncle Everit had bowled with him several times. Evrit died in his late 50's and he'd have had to live until 80- to have even met everyone he said he bowled with. Obama is exactly the same.

The nation voted for him and now they, all of us actually, will get what they deserve. A shit pile.

Roger J. said...

Oops--just looked it up--it Patrick Leahy

Shouting Thomas said...

This nonsense was set in motion by the woeful decision by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Ed., to carry on about "self-esteem."

So, what else do you expect.

The self-esteem BS has prevailed ever since. Obama is the winner in the self-esteem derby, which is the centerpiece of the quota system that jacked up his career.

The self-esteem BS is also the reason for the homosexual veneration of the left... which Althouse cannot seem to prevent herself from participating in.

Chip S. said...

WHy? You'll see what you want in it and I'll probably focus on the flaws in that foregone conclusion.

So you're commenting repeatedly on something you could see for yourself, but prefer not to? Interesting...

I'd say you have a good idea of what you'd see and how hard it would be to spin as some unfair right-wing harping on a personal memoir of Sen. Inouye.

Michael said...

Ritmo, our most narcissistic and self adoring commenter, opines on narcissism. Hilarious.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Close the "loopholes" and the bungholes, Ric.

But there's no reason to relent on the higher rates supported by 2/3rds of the country, first. That's what the Republicans, only in power in the same House in which they got a half million less votes than the Democrats, want.

No, they won't get that. Higher rates first, then close the loopholes. Otherwise, the Rethugs just use the latter as a bargaining chip to distract from ever implementing either. As always.

Not going to happen.

Bob Ellison said...

It's a notable event in Obama's effort to convince people that he just might, possibly, maybe, be a little stupid. Good-looking, though, and he has a nice singing voice.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

And Michael sees himself as some kind of Don Trump and doesn't see the downside of either. Hilarious.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

At least Trump, if hilariously, defends to the death his own self-righteousness.

Little Michael just lobs a pebble or two and runs away.

He is the Palestinian equivalent of smug, self-satisfied capitalists.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, since the "self-esteem" rationale has been the driving force of liberal politics for 60 years, Obama is correct to spin everything in accordance with this rationale.

It is his reason for existence. It is the rationale for the feminism scam that Althouse keeps playing out. It is the rationale for homosexual worship.

Those are the rules of the game. What else do you expect Obama to do? I suspect that Inouye, a liberal Democrat from the one party Democratic state of Hawaii would approve.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Thread is over. Ritmo is here and it will now descend into name calling, tit for tat exchanges and digress into topics far far from the original.

Oh well.

deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Someone should have asked Inouye before he died, what happened to all of our Social Security money.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Bye bye bunny! Hop away!

Anyone else can feel free to address the topic as impersonally as they want to. Not that there is ever anything impersonal about the amateur clinical diagnoses levied by partisan conservatives at the president. Never.

deborah said...

@creeley

How about a nice cup of shut the hell up. Read the name tag, grama, you're in my world now.

-Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler)(paraphrase)

Jenner said...

Good try Althouse, but I think this is one of those scenarios that simply cannot reasonably be appreciated from any other perspective than from the position that the speaker was blatantly inappropriate. Even if he is the President of the United States of America.

Shouting Thomas said...

Ritmo is also playing out the game by the rules of the "self-esteem" hustle.

He's the good white man who's heart bleeds for blacks, gays and women. Thus, his carryings on, no matter how vile, are in the service of producing higher self-esteem among blacks, gays and women.

This is a license to be as vicious as you please, and still place a halo over your head. Which is Ritmo's game!

Ritmo knows this game, and plays it to the hilt. He's actually a civil rights, hero, you see, since he's devoted his life to increasing the self-esteem of the oppressed.

Chip S. said...

To be a narcissist he would have to, for one, lack empathy

But we're not supposed to talk about Obama's brother, right?

- such as what we witness when Romney talks of not caring for the very poor

What Romney said was that the poor were covered by a safety net, whereas the middle class were not. So that job creation was all-important.

Keep twisting those facts, Ritmo.

and writing off half the country as manipulative, intentional victims.

Uh, sure, dude. That's exactly what he said. "People who are in a position of reliance on the federal government tend to vote against spending cuts" = "they're manipulative, intentional victims".

That statement also revealed some paranoia - also a hallmark of narcissism.

Yet it's you who sees a right-wing conspiracy around every corner. How strange.

Clearly, you've got nothing to say on the topic, Ritmo. I do wonder, tho, why you and the idiot commenters at Slate are so incredibly defensive about any criticisms of Obama, however warranted.

Shouting Thomas said...

Ritmo is also instructive in the parallel side of the game, which is that white hetero men gain extra points for being white knights who eviscerate the "bad" white men.

His viciousness, as I said, is in the cause of all that is good and just... the self-esteem of the oppressed.

He's been well indoctrinated... so well, in fact, that he thinks he contrived this game on his own.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger William said...

The Senator led in many ways a worthy life. It is fitting and proper that on the occasion of his funeral we take note of his greatest achievement. His life inspired and prepared the ground for the coming of Barack Obama.

12/23/12 10:22 AM
___________________________________

Japanese John the Baptist for the Black Jesus?

Lem said...

“Stop whining, take your licks, and accept that “twitching in the pews, wondering where this was all going” is a hazard of inserting yourself in the middle of an argument between billionaire-funded know-nothing, bitter clingers and people whose livelihoods and stability are being threatened by the insatiable greed of the super-rich and the blind extremism of their wooden-headed political allies. In exchange, liberals will buy you a bench-cushion to ease blood circulation through your buttocks and re-iterate that A Long Eulogy Is Bad. Sound good?"

O Ritmo Segundo said...

But we're not supposed to talk about Obama's brother, right?

Talk about him all you want. I'm sure Obama is an imperfect person dealing with an imperfect person in a possibly imperfect way. Happens in American families all the time. Not the same as narcissism.

What Romney said was that the poor were covered by a safety net, whereas the middle class were not. So that job creation was all-important.

Keep twisting those facts, Ritmo.


The way he said it said a lot.

Since he will say anything, what he says is still important. But how he says it is more important.

Uh, sure, dude. That's exactly what he said. "People who are in a position of reliance on the federal government tend to vote against spending cuts" = "they're manipulative, intentional victims".

Weak. There's a reason he dipped at least ten points and more immediately after that video leak.

That statement also revealed some paranoia - also a hallmark of narcissism.

Yet it's you who sees a right-wing conspiracy around every corner. How strange.


I'm not afraid of them. Look up the definition of "paranoia".

Clearly, you've got nothing to say on the topic, Ritmo. I do wonder, tho, why you and the idiot commenters at Slate are so incredibly defensive about any criticisms of Obama, however warranted.

Criticize him all you like. But don't forget the counter-arguments. Oh, that's right - you're Republicans, so you won't do that. You believe that there is only one right answer to anything ever. For all time. Eternal and wondrous in its calcified correctness.

Aridog said...

O Ritmo Secudo said...

As a liberal with a healthy ego and assessment of his abilities ...

Which are?

As far as I can tell he can't lead, and neither can his appointees. He procrastinates better than I do and THAT is a phenomena feat. Congress, of both parties, are a collection of self serving back stabbing little dweebs who can't accomplish their primary function over a period of 4 years now. And this conglomeration of Obama's Executive crap heap, his personal failings, and Congress conspire to make everything a crisis by procrastination and dramatics.

Noteworthy is the real reason why many Republicans and all progressive Democrats don't want to trim deductions and exemptions ... their wealthy sponsors will be hurt badly by reduced exemptions, because every dollar deductible has a magnitude of cost relating to the marginal rate, not the effective rate of taxes they pay. Raise they rates, they don't give a shit...reduce the exemptions and watch the fur fly in DC.

Pssst: I loved your astute commentary on the "firing a Woman" thread...I confess, I dropped it I figured it would go in the toilet totally, but you and a few others proved me totally wrong. Thanks for that. I was kind of shocked I was in agreement with you...given my very personal prejudice toward the Dentist and his inability to be a grown up.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Aren't you all so glad that Guitar Eye Tie Tongue came in to bring the astute racial analysis, as always?

He's sure illuminated a hell of a lot today.

Is there a web-based app for cleaning the cobwebs from his cranky cranium?

whoresoftheinternet said...

Wow. Who would have thought an affirmative action official acts wildly inappropriate for their position?

Who would have thought a black guy with no qualifications thinks everything is about him?

Who would have thought a middling speaker would give an underwhelming speech?

lol. The left's reaction to this reminds me of their reaction to the Clinton pardons at the end of his term.

Once any chance of their incumbent fascist losing his second term was gone, and they actually looked at him, they started murmuring the same truths the anti-left had screamed for years.

I remember one Salon.com article saying, right after the pardons scandal broke, that, "Maybe everything the right said about Clinton was true."

Enjoy the decline, bitches!

Shouting Thomas said...

I know your game, Ritmo.

Seen it a thousand times. You aren't an incisive original thinker.

You're one of the most heavily programmed, indoctrinated drones I've ever encountered.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I noticed that January is almost upon us and Obama hasn't been able to get any deal done on the fiscal cliff despite the fact he's negotiating with Boehner, a guy most conservatives consider consider a pushover."

-- What's worse is that he was pretty much offered almost everything. He was literally handed a gigantic win, and Obama passed on a huge win to try for a total win, now he might get nothing.

Such is pride.

Jenner said...

Uh-oh! Is this a case of us missing the use the professor using rhetoric, reductio ad absurdum? We've been punk'd!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Which are?

The shift in public opinion, for one. He stemmed the tide of the 2010 midterms. Democrats would have won the House, too, if actual numbers could mean enough to circumvent the gerrymandering.

Change is a long, slow slog. Think of what Nixon faced politically until Reagan came along.

And thanks that you recognize that one man's opinion is not the same as every one of his opinions. Many here really prefer to stereotype as much as possible.

garage mahal said...

"What Adam Lanza got right"

#SlatePitches

Shouting Thomas said...

And thanks that you recognize that one man's opinion is not the same as every one of his opinions. Many here really prefer to stereotype as much as possible.

Here we go. Not long until Ritmo tells us that he has to engage in hysterical attacks on other people because he's doing it for the blacks!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You're one of the most heavily programmed, indoctrinated drones I've ever encountered.

Tell us again about your groundbreaking research in pharmaceutical biochemistry and how it makes zygotes and genomes obsolete.

You are a joke, and can't stop obsessing with me. You are as annoying as driver that can't stop riding the next car's bumper. Go ride someone else's ass, you ridiculous bum-hug.

Shouting Thomas said...

The source of this phenomenon, I'll repeat, is the "self-esteem" language the Court decided to employ in Brown v. Board of Education.

The result, in retrospect, seems inevitable.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

This comment is a test to see how quickly Thom will obsessively incorporate it into his obsessive following over every word I say.

Chip S. said...

But don't forget the counter-arguments.

In the matter of Obama's eulogy, your "counter-argument" consisted of an assertion that people's reactions to it would be completely determined by their general opinion of Obama. Yet, the article linked by Althouse was written by a garden-variety liberal and posted at a garden-variety liberal site. Which, of course, pretty much means that your entire argument was demonstrably false from the moment you made it.

Your aversion to hearing Obama's eulogy tells me that you have a pretty good idea that it's easier to base any defense of it on ignorance.

Well, ignorance plus a large portion of crazy talk: Oh, that's right - you're Republicans, so you won't do that. You believe that there is only one right answer to anything ever. For all time.

I nominate that one for the Inga Prize, awarded to that commenter who displays the most stunning lack of self-awareness in an Althouse thread.

Seeing Red said...

And Ritmo once again proves it's all politics. They live it, breath it, long for everything to be shaded by politics.


I don't recall Reagan talking about the "I" so much in his speeches, go figure.

But this is the Wellstone speech crowd we're dealing with.

Methadras said...

He must inject his personality into everything. That's just him.

Seeing Red said...

--You're one of the most heavily programmed, indoctrinated drones I've ever encountered.

Tell us again about your groundbreaking research in pharmaceutical biochemistry and how it makes zygotes and genomes obsolete.---


I am brilliant in my field, therefore I'm brilliant in everything?

And we're always supposed to be right?

yeah.



garage mahal said...

Yet, the article linked by Althouse was written by a garden-variety liberal and posted at a garden-variety liberal site.

Is there a right wing equivalent to Slate and its love of contrarianism?

Rusty said...

Having read the above I'm moved to conclude our president is pretty much a douche no matter how you slice it.

FWIW
The honors are for the dead guys family and friends.
I can't be absolutely certain, but I'm pretty sure, at this point, ole Daniel doesn't give a shit what anybody says about him.

miss j said...

While it may be true, as you argue, that an intelligent person could take a different view than the one described at Slate, I submit that absolutely *some* people were sitting in the pews and wondering where this was going: they said they were.

If there is one moment in history when it is inappropriate to focus on one's own story, even if it is as grand as the president's, it is during a funeral oration. Can you imagine Pericles oration as a celebration of himself and not of Athens? If he had given such a speech, what would his closing exhortation have been?

Unfortunately, Obama's pattern of narcissistic speech has been seen during earlier deaths. Remember the lovely photo of Obama & the moon that went out from the Whitehouse when Armstrong died?

It is entirely appropriate to mock a middle-aged, lazy, and mean-spirited politician with few accomplishments when he narcissistically brushes over the accomplishments, valor, and courage that these distinguished men demonstrated as young men and then continued to demonstrate through decades of public service.

Inouye and Armstrong did more on Earth than inspire Barack Obama. Military troops, including their gay members, do much more than "fight on [his] behalf." His language consistently reveals an incredibly narrow worldview reduced to the suffering and fragility of just one man. That is frightening. Perhaps if it is openly mocked, it will become less powerful.




O Ritmo Segundo said...

Christ, Chip. I recognize that Obama might have rendered yet another boring eulogy. Eulogies are like that, you know. And yes, it might have been tone-deaf, especially to those with ears especially attuned to turning his every word into a diagnostic criterion.

The decisive factor in this somehow incredibly important to you "argument" is, just how well-known or influential was Inouye? Who's heard his name before, and in how many contexts, before this?

One of you? Three?

So Obama eulogized a guy - yes, a senator, a Japanese senator, perhaps a first of many sorts - but still a boring and not all that influential a guy.

So continue to show me all the shock in the world that a president's eulogy of him somehow didn't manage to deify the God of a Senator that you believe that Inouye was, if only as a contrast to the one that Obama (as you keep reminding us) isn't.

Rusty said...

Having read the above I'm moved to conclude our president is pretty much a douche no matter how you slice it.

FWIW
The honors are for the dead guys family and friends.
I can't be absolutely certain, but I'm pretty sure, at this point, ole Daniel doesn't give a shit what anybody says about him.

Saint Croix said...

Wow. I just saw the video. Wow. Wow wow wow. It's horrifying. He's talking about going to Disneyland, the swimming pool. Watching cartoons.

Shouting Thomas said...

Tell us again, Ritmo, how much you love blacks, and how every argument of yours must be correct because people who disagree with you are racists.

That's your game.

How long before you pull out the blacks as human shields bit?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Remember when you open your MedMinder weekly pill dispenser to not skip the twelve o'clock meds, Tommy. The blue one is for obsessiveness.

Shouting Thomas said...

Like you, Ritmo, I have dedicated my life to rooting out "stereotypes" wherever they exist.

Seeing Red said...

Your comments are very insensitive to the people of Hawaii, Ritmo.

It's not about us, it's about them.

Try getting out of your provincial world every now and then.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, Seeing Red, if you poll the people of Hawaii on how much more insensitively you presume they found his remarks than anyone else did, then I guess you can encourage them to protest their vote last month for Obama on account of his poor eulogizing skills.

I guess this is what it's come to. The amusement is still there, but starting to fade to background noise.

Seeing Red said...

That Louis XVI graphic Insty posts every now & then is coming more to life every day.

Or is he the XIV? The Sun King?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Narcissist! Bad eulogizer!

Derek Zoolander was also a bad eugoogoolizer.

The funniest thing is that I actually enjoyed Prudence's little zing and figured that the criticism in it might have even had a bit of merit, possibly. But the way this lights so much fuel under the fire of ODS is impossible to ignore.

John Cunningham said...

Compare and contrast--
1949 was the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Pushkin, the greatest Russian poet. Stalin's ministry of culture held a contest for sculptors to design a memorial statue. there was shock when the winner was announced, an unknown sculptor from Yaroslavl, not Moscow or Leningrad. [Yaroslavl was considered an industrial backwater, inhabited by yokels]
All became clear when the statue was unveiled in Moscow. it depicted Stalin, in a chair, reading a book of Puskhin's verse.
[from a 1969 collection of dissident Soviet jokes].

Seeing Red said...

Ritmo talking about obsessiveness LOLOLOL.

cubanbob said...

To paraphrase Abba Ebban's comment about the Palestinian's never missing an opportunity to mis an opportunity, Obama never misses an opportunity to be classless. Perhaps by being old school I don't get it. I always believed that at a funeral one should not speak ill of the dead and that the eulogy should be solely about the departed.

Saint Croix said...

Contrast Obama's eulogy for Teddy Kennedy, which is quite good. Obviously he liked Ted Kennedy quite a bit.

This eulogy is worse than Chuckles the Clown. That's a good eulogy, because Chuckles the Clown wanted you to laugh.

This is just pure awkward. The first half of it is particularly bad. The second half is normal mediocre. But the first half, oh my God.

Normally, in a eulogy, you're talking to a man's friends and family. You're recognizing the human being who has died, and the people who are left behind.

Instead it's Obama as a child. Obama on a vacation. Disney World. Swimming pool. And then, Japanese man on TV.

It's beyond narcissicism. It's a kind of solipsism.

The world and other minds do not exist.

He's not thinking about the humanity of Daniel Inouye, or his family. No mention that he won the Medal of Honor. No talk of his accomplishments in the Senate.

He's talking about his vacation, and Disney World, and the swimming pool, and his racial awakening.

Ugh!

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"I noticed that January is almost upon us and Obama hasn't been able to get any deal done on the fiscal cliff despite the fact he's negotiating with Boehner, a guy most conservatives consider consider a pushover."

The great thing about this statement is you can add "whom" before most and it works, or just take out one of the two "consider"(s) and you still have a nice, cogent observation either way.

Good stuff.

Sam L. said...

Isn't this what Bill Clinton does? I believe it is...

Fr Martin Fox said...

One more reminder of why Catholic funerals are not supposed to include eulogies, and why I wish the Archbishop of Boston had insisted none be allowed at Sen. Kennedy's funeral.

Actually, had it been up to me, I would have told Senator Kennedy years before that his scandalous public actions, unless publicly repented of, would mean not only no sacraments, but only a low key Mass of Christian burial. Celebrated by his eminence personally. With no homily whatsoever, just many prayers for the soul of the Senator.

Clyde said...

Chuck Currie said...
I call BS on Obama watching the Watergate hearings on TV while on vacation.

Cheers


I hate to defend Obama, but in that case, he was correct. I remember that summer, since we also were on vacation, and all that was on television in the afternoons was the Watergate hearings. You almost couldn't avoid them if you had the television on, since most places only had the big three broadcast networks, the local PBS channel and maybe an independent station. Hard to believe in this day of hundreds of channels of narrowcasting, but that's how things were forty years ago.

MayBee said...

Hopefully, Obama had someone recording this speech so he can put it on an iPod for Will and Kate's baby gift.

shiloh said...

hmm, most politicians are narcissists to a certain degree, just like folk who are in charge of conservative political blogs.

Nothing to see here except continued hatred by Althouse con flock of the easily re-elected 44th President of the United States. As the appeasing of her depressed con flock continues unabated!

Let's move on, shall we ...

shiloh said...

"I wish the Archbishop of Boston had insisted none be allowed at Sen. Kennedy's funeral."

You mean someone like Cardinal Law, who was feverishly whisked off to the Vatican after he spent several years covering up for for deviant/perverted/criminal priests?

There's no strict rule re: eulogies at Catholic funerals, so Fr Fox can deal w/his intense hatred of certain liberals as best he can. Indeed, he's certainly not in charge of anything important since he has so much time to waste at a conservative political blog.

Imagine if he actually spent his time trying to make the lives of all around him a little bit better as the Catholic religion teaches. What a concept.

hmm, does the Catholic religion teach priests to be judgmental of folk w/opposite political views.

Again, all I ask for is consistency.

>

btw Fr Fox, why isn't Cardinal Law in prison? Rhetorical.

Lydia said...

Saint Croix said...
He's not thinking about the humanity of Daniel Inouye, or his family. No mention that he won the Medal of Honor. No talk of his accomplishments in the Senate.

And no mention that Inouye had dreamed of becoming a surgeon, but losing an arm in WWII destroyed that dream.

Bob Ellison said...

garage mahal said Yet, the article linked by Althouse was written by a garden-variety liberal and posted at a garden-variety liberal site. "Is there a right wing equivalent to Slate and its love of contrarianism?"

You might try "The Corner" on National Review. It will probably be tough going for someone with lefty views, and I would advise avoiding everything from Mark Steyn. But it can surprise. Pro-drug-legalization, for example.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Shiloh, God bless your heart, I doubt not you will merit a witty response someday.

Not from me, my wit has been exhausted for years, but from someone with enough whimsical wonderings to do it.

Thank you for trying to elicit this; this cause is bigger than you.

Lydia said...

More compare and contrast -- the Bush eulogies for Reagan versus Obama's eulogy for Inouye:

George H.W. Bush used “I” only to show what he learned from Reagan:
“As his vice president for eight years, I learned more from Ronald Reagan than from anyone I encountered in all my years of public life. I learned kindness; we all did. I also learned courage; the nation did.

Who can forget the horrible day in March 1981, he looked at the doctors in the emergency room and said, ‘I hope you're all Republicans.’

And then I learned decency; the whole world did. Days after being shot, weak from wounds, he spilled water from a sink, and entering the hospital room aides saw him on his hands and knees wiping water from the floor. He worried that his nurse would get in trouble.”

George W. Bush used "I" not at all.

Both very good eulogies, by the way.

shiloh said...

"witty response"

No, I'm used to being avoided as I just like bringing "perspective" to Althouse ad nauseam, con hatred er expected lame sarcasm re: her latest anti-Obama thread.

And Fr Fox recently "implied" he was not going to reply to me anymore, so not to worry ...

It's somewhat amusing when someone says they are never goin' to reply to you or mention your name ever again, like Alex and (5) minutes later he caves.

Again, the yin/yang of conservative self-righteousness at a 90/10 con blog.

shiloh said...

C-Span covered the "wake" er political/family eulogies of Tip O'Neill. Hey, he was Irish so what's not to like.

Michael said...

Shiloh. You brought LOL and Mittens to this blog and have used both more than might be required to make a pithy point. But that was long ago. LOL and har.

Michael said...

Shiloh. You brought LOL and Mittens to this blog and have used both more than might be required to make a pithy point. But that was long ago. LOL and har.

R. Chatt said...

The president's personal touch, hearing his story, only works if you are in love with him and think his success is the greatest thing in the world. For the rest of us, a eulogy is about the person who died, not the one delivering the speech. When Reagan died, for instance, there were many eulogies and the best ones had humor and stories about personal experiences with Reagan, and gave a better sense of the man.

Obama spent so little time as a Senator and was so busy campaigning for President he never developed any relationship, despite his familiar tone.

The DailyMail had a good write up on Inouye here.

William said...

The elder Bush has long expressed regret that he did nothiing to inspire Obama. It was the biggest failure of his life. I just hope that in his eulogy Obama passes over this obvious shortcoming and finds what's left to praise about him.

veni vidi vici said...

"Isn't this what Bill Clinton does? I believe it is..."

Incorrect, believe it or not.

It would have been instructive for Pres. Obama or his writers to have listened to how then-Pres. Clinton, obviously not well-personally-acquainted with his subject, eulogized Pres. Nixon. I remember well listening to it on my car radio.

Clinton spoke about Nixon's life, his accomplishments in his political career - even briefly but not-inappropriately mentioning Watergate - and Nixon's family, and the lessons that the politician left for all of us. It was what one expects from a Presidential eulogy. Not some overly self-referential grotesquery.

Nixon was also eulogized by then Senate leader Bob Dole, who was a Nixon protege in his younger days and really owed much of his rise in politics to Nixon. Dole told the stories, the "what he meant to me" stuff -- but it was real, and personal, by which I mean that it had sufficient detail to ring true, and Dole became very emotional, in the way one might if eulogizing one's father.

That was a model for political funerals: the President spoke with a presidential demeanor and substance, and there was someone who knew the deceased well and loved him to express the feelings of those who grieved the passing of a fellow human being (not just the political edifice).

I'm really disappointed by the tic of Obama's to refer to everyone by their first name. First the fellow in Benghazi, "Chris" - that was to me horribly disrespectful; should've been "Ambassador Stevens". Even Hillary carried forward that steaming turd in her memorial in Time Mag this week; and now "Danny". Danny??? Really? Obama makes himself sound like the ultimate arriviste with this one; then again, his protocol office has been off-pitch since the DVD's to England debacle. He should start with that office when it comes time to shuffle the cabinet...

Tim said...

William said...

"The elder Bush has long expressed regret that he did nothiing to inspire Obama. It was the biggest failure of his life. I just hope that in his eulogy Obama passes over this obvious shortcoming and finds what's left to praise about him."

Should GHW Bush have the misfortune of dying over the next four years (which seems probable, given his ongoing hospitalization), let's all hope Obama is not invited to eulogize him (no doubt the Bush' will shown no such ill-manners), for surely we will all receive a lecture from Obama on what GHW, as a "typical white person," taught him about racism in America.

No doubt Obama will bring up Willie Horton, to widespread media applause for "telling truth to (dead) power," and no doubt the same-such media will fail to acknowledge Al Gore's surfacing the issue in his primary against Dukakis.

I can hardly wait.

Sigh.

Page said...

Those who deride the length of time Inouye served in the Senate are clueless of the importance of that seniority to a state like Hawaii. Its population size would otherwise render it under domination by interests of larger states, when Hawaii's importance to the nation as a whole, due to its Asia/Pacific positioning, military bases, astronomical research, etc. requires it to take on expenses other states do not.

shiloh said...

"Willie Horton"

Damn, not only is Althouse con flock hating Obama for recent events, but also for what may or may not happen in the future ...

as Obama deranged syndrome marches on!

Darrell said...

One wonders, given that Catholic priests are so far down on the list of sexual offenders of children after school teachers, school counselors, psychologists and about thirteen other trades/professions that have contact with kids, why they would even be mentioned. Why are NYC school officials in jail? Don't they just shuffle teachers around to cover up scandals, and haven't they don't that for more than a century? Don't they finally wind up in "rubber rooms" where they get paid to show up and do nothing? What ever happened to that teacher that was feeding his cum to his students with a spoon? Last I heard, nothing had been done. Finally, shitlow, go fuck yourself. You can prosecute yourself later.

shiloh said...

Darrell, Fr Fox appreciates your inane/nonsensical deflection. He truly does.

And you have a pleasant evening as well ...

Darrell said...

Facts and statistics are diversions/misdirections? Nice universe you live in, shitlow. Dream about the highlight of your life, crossing the Equator. It's not much, but what else do you have?

shiloh said...

Darrel, your main inaccurate debate point:

Deviant/criminal/child molesting priests may be bad, but/but/but teachers/counselors etc. are worse.

Congrats as that pretty much sums up an Althouse con argument ... on a good day.

Indeed, as you must have been a leader on your hs debate team.

Chip S. said...

as Obama deranged syndrome marches on!

The word you're looking for is "derangement".

I can understand your confusion, tho, since your nurses probably say "deranged" all the time when they think you're asleep.

Darrell said...

For example, Obama's body count with gun murders is 300-400 with the automatic weapons he intentionally supplied to Mexican gangs in order to gin up support for a US gun ban. The total is presented as a range because it was 300 long ago and the grand total has been updated since except for vague references. The Mexican gun deaths were a feature of the plan--it had no chance of working without them. I would think a honest person would mention Obama first when recent mass gun murders are being discussed. You lead according to frequency of occurrence. So why start with number 15 on the list of child sexual offenders? The number of children assaulted by teachers far exceeds those assaulted by RC Priests, at least by an order of magnitude. So why do you single out RC Priests? We know why.

And of course you know that States/District Attorneys decide whether cases brought to them are pursued, not Catholic Cardinals. But keeping it disingenuous is how you roll as we know all too well.

I'm sure you were a master debater or some version of that term. Still are, most likely, when your not drinking from the faucet as it were.

Aridog said...

Shiloh..."... Althouse con ..."

Fer Christ's sake, you use that term a lot. Your stereotype with ease but without distinction.

Define it.

Please tell me, am I an "Althouse Con?"

Who else is an "Althouse Con" ... list a few names or nicks?

Do you distinguish Lockeans from progressives or conservatives? If so, how, by what criteria, in each case?


shiloh said...

Ari, perhaps you prefer lemmings.

>

"The word you're looking for is "derangement".

Chip, your anal-retentiveness is duly noted.

>

Darrell, when you're in a hole, stop digging ... or not!

Aaron said...

"Hawaii, due to its Asia/Pacific positioning, military bases, astronomical research, etc. requires it to take on expenses other states do not."

LOL.

Hawaii does not fund military bases - it receives funds.

Same with scientific facilities.

Do you think New Mexico pays for Los Alamos itself?

PianoLessons said...

Obama also lied - again - about his own biographical timeline:

"This story would work only if Obama had toured the United States during the summer of the Watergate hearings, 1973, when he was eleven years old going on twelve, but in his memoir Dreams from My Father, he tells another story — a much more specific one. Yes, he made the same trip, but he did so “during the summer after my father’s visit to Hawaii, before my eleventh birthday.” This would have been 1972, when Watergate was still a third-rate burglary that had gotten little media traction."

From Gateway Pundit

AllenS said...

Piano, I read about that this morning. Obama's version of being named after a famous mountain climber before that person climbed a mountain. Again, as others have pointed out, he just couldn't resist adding himself to the story line.

Aridog said...

AllenS ...you mean all this history isn't true? OMG! [sob, sniffle...]

Astro said...

My apology to anyone who may have already posted this.

AllenS said...

Aridog, that was great.