May 22, 2013

1. "I mean, that's a storybook, man." 2. "This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen."

1. Senator Joe Biden, February 2007.

2. Bill Clinton, January 2008.

Just 2 old quotes we had occasion to bring up in conversation around Meadhouse this morning. Storybook/fairy tale... the positive/negative description of Obama the Candidate. The story continues. Obama the Candidate continues. What we were talking about was the idea that Obama is operating at a very high level of politics, not just high as in The President is at the top of our political structure, but high as in We are gazing upon the great political genius of our time.

It might be true in a way that Obama is the great political genius of our time, in that he was great enough to make us think that, but it's heartening to see that the greatest political genius really isn't able to be that great in America. Or is that itself a delusion, and allowing us to think that we're onto him is part of the way in which we are duped and part of the workings of the genius? If so, at least I got far enough to be able to ask that question.

69 comments:

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe they meant mythical. As in Icarus.

Freeman Hunt said...

But then again, for that to be true the media would need to apply some heat.

Iconochasm said...

What examples would people point to of Obama showcasing his intelligence? Not third-hand accounts, or credentials. When has he ever said or done something publicly that made you think "Wow, this guy is smart"?

Howard said...

Obama really is a Zero. He is as dumb as W, liberal as Carter and as crooked as Nixon. I am now more ashamed voting for him as I was for voting for W. Fortunately, our system of checks and balances prevents him from doing much more damage.

Colonel Angus said...

If he's such a political genius, you'd think he'd devise a way to get something done other than whine about Congress.

Meade said...

When I first became aware of him, in 2004, I thought: Now why can't the Democrats nominate someone like this. It took me until 2008 to realize my misperception. Genius! (And I don't mean myself).

Brew Master said...

When I first saw him at the Dems convention in 2004, I knew that he would be president someday. When it came down to voting for or against him, I voted against as by then I knew enough about him to know that he would be a disaster.

I don't think 'political genius' is warranted for him, rather he was the head of a perfect storm much beyond his control. The press wanted him, the establishment wanted him, the people wanted him, all hoped that he would be a great president.

All were wrong.

Scott M said...

Clint Eastwood has been proven more right the more time goes by and this trifecta of scandals (along with Pigford et al) just keeps hammering it home.

TML said...

I'll ask it for the 300th time: In what way--any way, form, shape or manner at all--is Obama or Kerry "smarter" than Bush? Why and how does that myth gain such weight and "authority"? How is Obama not significantly dumber and less effective at his job than Bush? How is he this great genius? In what area? he can't negotiate, he can't navigate complex situations with any reasonable degree of competence. He can't speak his way out a situation. He's a total fraud.

MayBee said...

Whoever chose him for the 2004 convention and wrote that speech is the genius. That was never the way Obama thought or spoke.

bagoh20 said...

The only way I qualify someone as a "great politician" is if they achieve great, as in good results. Anything else reduces the thing to a game where awful results still can be called great work. I guess Attila was a great warrior, but war and politics have different objectives in my mind. Some might say Jodi Arias won the argument with her lover. He's not the ones who's famous, with a book in the works. Pure genius.

Nonapod said...

If defining a person (any person) is a matter of declaring that they're a genius or simply lucky or worked really hard, I never pick genius. People see patterns where there are none and attribute greatness to individuals far too easily in my opinion.

bagoh20 said...

Can you be a great political mind if you don't know anything about what your administration is doing except when it makes you look good? I guess if you pull that off, you are a great something.

Scott M said...

Maybe they meant mythical. As in Icarus.

Icarus was able to fly without teleprompters.

bagoh20 said...

You know who is an indisputable genius?

The guy that won that 500 million dollar lottery.

Colonel Angus said...

Why and how does that myth gain such weight and "authority"?

If you keep repeating the lie often enough it becomes the truth.

It also helped to cry RACISM anytime someone questioned his capabilities. Lies and victimization is a potent combination. How do you think Democrats do as well as they do in elections?

bagoh20 said...

I know who clearly isn't a genius - about 53% of America for a start.

AllenS said...

What TML said at 10:43. I agree totally.

Quaestor said...

Iconoclast wrote:
Not third-hand accounts, or credentials.

Without transcripts what good are credentials? Or by credentials do you mean creds?

AJ Lynch said...

Let's answer your question with a supposition.

A great man would change his opinion when facts change.
Since Obama took office, it has become a fact that the USA has an over- abundance of energy and tapping it could envigorate the economy. A smart and great man would have declared victory against the Mideast energy emirs, and embraced the new forms of energy while imploring the tree huggers "Not now- please go away for a few years".

But Obama has not deviated from his green energy pipedreams.

Pastafarian said...

Yes, he's clearly a political genius, who calls most of the country bitter clingers, tells small businesses "you didn't build that", spends more time on the golf course and on vacation than any previous president, spends lavish amounts on state dinners of bison tenderloin with lobster garnish and huckleberry reduction while millions are without work, and on and on.

For a genius, he sure does step on his own dick a lot.

Either that, or he's a shit-for-brains for whom the press endlessly covers, convincing the low-information citizens of Idiocracy that his stumblings are brilliant break-dance moves.

It's a real mystery which one is the case, Althouse. A puzzler.

Tom altee said...
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BarrySanders20 said...

"he was great enough to make us think that . . . and allowing us to think that we're onto him is part of the way in which we are duped."

To whom do you refer with "us" and "we"?

He convinced the majority of the voting public to vote for him twice. Many never went along for the unicorn ride.

edutcher said...

"10 years ago, he'd be fetching coffee".

Howard said...

Obama really is a Zero. He is as dumb as W, liberal as Carter and as crooked as Nixon.

Wrong on all 3 counts.

Dubya isn't dumb, he never got in as much trouble as Choom, and had sense enough to try to kill subprime; Bucketmouth was mostly David Rockefeller's errand boy and more squishy than radical; and Nixon wasn't that crooked.

X said...

he's a genius the same way Michelle is gorgeous, with the unspoken qualifier.

Quaestor said...

Pastafarian wrote:
Either that, or he's a shit-for-brains for whom the press endlessly covers, convincing the low-information citizens of Idiocracy that his stumblings are brilliant break-dance moves.

If this were a game of charades I'd be touching my nose frantically with both index fingers.

Colonel Angus said...

It's a real mystery which one is the case, Althouse. A puzzler.

The real mystery is why his approval ratings aren't in the 30% range.

Iconochasm said...

Quaestor said...

Without transcripts what good are credentials? Or by credentials do you mean creds?

I'm not sure what you mean by "creds", but I mean evidence of exceptional intelligence that isn't just the name of a school he attended. Why should he be considered an intellectual credit to such an institution?

traditionalguy said...

Obama is definitely The Greatest Fifth Columnist in Presidential history smiling his loving smile to distract us from any push back as he diligently dismantles our 1st and 2nd Amendment freedoms, our Military Hegemony, our international alliances, our support for Israel and our dollar valued retirement assets.

Michael K said...

"But Obama has not deviated from his green energy pipedreams."

The only way Obama alters his green energy pipe dreams is when someone, like Jeff Immelt, lays some long green on him.

In 2008, I thought Obama was too inexperienced. Then I saw how they disabled credit card verification and knew he, and/or the people behind him were crooks.

There has always been a mystery behind his career. Who is he ?

It seems to me that the administration is being run from somewhere we don't see. Maybe it's Valerie Jarrett. Obama is talented with a Teleprompter and seems to have some ideas that engage him. Most of them are left wing and immune to experience.

His resistance to the energy discoveries is one example. Another is his disinterest as his middle east policy goes up in flames. Another is the weird focus of DHS on conservative white people as potential terrorists while real terrorists are ignored.

Maybe America is too strong for a third rate ideologue to wreck in eight years. I hope so for my kids' sake.

JohnJ said...

It's much easier to position yourself as the great political genius of our time when the entire MSM has your back. It's analogous to being admired for your speed when you're constantly running downhill. I suppose Obama deserves some credit for being savvy enough to allow it all to unfold, but it's not like he should be awarded a Nobel Prize or anything.

J2 said...

The Clinton remark was in the context of contesting Obama's claims about his Iraq positions. It was not complimentary.

bagoh20 said...

If you think he's been a genius, imagine what could have been. Handed a huge pile of political capital and good will, as well as a recession he clearly didn't cause, a Democratic congress, and relatively small debt, he could have turned the economy around into booming employment like every other President who was handed a recession before him. He could have made smart changes to health care, continued the dramatic march to a successful Iraqi Democracy, stemmed some of the slaughter and backward slide of the rest of the middle east. He could have strengthened our trade stance and created enormous economic growth at home with smart spending, regulation and tax reform. He could have moved us much closer to energy independence and improved racial relations and trust in government. Instead he's made a disaster of all of those things.

Genius.

Colonel Angus said...

The Clinton remark was in the context of contesting Obama's claims about his Iraq positions. It was not complimentary.

I don't think Clinton (either of them) have many complimentary things to say about him. I'm confident Hillary will always view him as a usurper who came out of no where to claim her 'rightful' nomination to the Presidency. Even Bill was accused of racism during the primary, but being the good party apparatchiks that they are, absolution was given and they dutifully kiss his ass like the rest of the sycophants.

AprilApple said...

If wasting tax payer dollars on donors and cronies and making sure large corporations who donate and support the Obama campaign are off the tax hook (GE) then Obama is a success.

creeley23 said...

Obama has the genius, if it can be called that, of a sociopath who can worm his way into the soft, vulnerable places of ordinary people and manipulate them.

It's a very limited talent and creates nothing while destroying much.

Jeff Teal said...

The MSM created a myth and does not like it when everyone questions their myth.Too many PR types and not enough old fashioned seekers of truth.

bagoh20 said...

It sounds like "genius" is described as as getting away with things, or keeping the hounds at bay. That is a kind of genius, I guess. Of course, only until it finally falls apart, then it's just evil. Ted Bundy was a genius like that.

gerry said...

@bagoh 11:25

Obama is the Progressive messiah. He did exactly the opposite of the tasks you enumerated to establish the Progressive dream state. Unfortunately, the Progressive dream state includes crushing all dissent, since any dissent is evil.

The collapse of the Obama regime may be happening in time, since it seems the Independents seem to be bolting from their cells now.

I hope so. A lame quack will be a relief.

phx said...

It's not that he's a genius, it's that his opponents are self-defeating.

Bob Ellison said...

He's a good-looking guy and a first-rate speaker. He's also better than Bill Clinton at lying. Those qualities have helped him.

But "political genius"? Wouldn't a genius have brought people together at least a little bit?

Maybe a genius is good at doing things, like destroying faith in government and passing a huge welfare program against the majority's approval.

All in a definition. They say Nixon was a political genius.

campy said...

it seems the Independents seem to be bolting from their cells now.

They will be back to vote for the next democrat, mark my words.

Quaestor said...
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Quaestor said...

In the age of speech writers and teleprompters pubic speaking is completely worthless as a tool to judge anybody's fitness for office. I'm surprised Meade didn't apply this rule in 2004 when Obama impressed him as presidential material... Well, better late than never.

Much is made of legislative experience on the theory that effective presidents should be able to walk Capitol Hill's byzantine corridors of power blindfolded, but isn't that what WH staffers are for, not to mention frequent and pleasant round tables with congressional leadership figures by which such are influenced to see things the president's way? Obama had as little real experience in the Senate as is humanly possible of someone who was a duly elected a senator and wasn't expelled or dead. In my book he earns an solid 2 on a scale of 0 to 10 in this department.

Academic achievement. This was trotted out constantly by Obama myrmidons during the 2008 campaign. He's a law professor! they bleated to anyone with the misfortune to be in earshot -- adjunct to be precise, and not a legal scholar. (And just how does one earn a professor ship without a body of published scholarship?) Historically academics have done poorly by the country as chief executives. Consider Woodrow Wilson, his arrogance prolonged the Great War by at least a year and helped spoil the peace when it finally came. Yet Obama cannot fairly make a claim to presidential-level academic excellence. Without a transcript I can't give Obama more than 3.

Only managerial experience in an atmosphere of crisis makes sense to me as a qualifier for the Oval Office, the deadlier the better. Here the Obama poultry lay a big fat goose egg and have yet to come home to roost. That makes 5 out of a possible 30. Shameful.

Conclusion: Barack Hussein Obama is a work of fiction.

creeley23 said...

All in a definition. They say Nixon was a political genius.

I'd have to say Nixon was a political genius. So was LBJ and FDR. These were men who were distinguished by their all-around, hands-on abilities to wheel, deal and make things happen.

Obama just knows how to make speeches and get elected, which is a very limited, albeit important, slice of politics.

CEO-MMP said...

phx said...

It's not that he's a genius, it's that his opponents are self-defeating. "

It's cuz certain peeps will always give him a pass no matter what and always pile on the other side no matter what.

Meade said...

Bob Ellison said...
"They say Nixon was a political genius."

He was. Geniuses frequently make poor leaders, administrators, governors, educators, athletes, heavy equipment operators, and so forth.

Meade said...

They do make fabulous professors, scholars, research experts, and so forth. Academia is a perfect holding pen for geniuses.

jr565 said...

"It might be true in a way that Obama is the great political genius of our time, in that he was great enough to make us think that, but it's heartening to see that the greatest political genius really isn't able to be that great in America."


Who was fooled by Obama to even think that he could be assumed to be the great political genius of our time?
To put it charitably, low information voters. To put it not so charitably, IDIOTS.
C'mon. Relisten to some of his early speeches and you'll find they are nothing but pablum. And he doesn't even speak them well(not in comparison to say a MLK). And his personality skills are not there. He is a bore. And always has been.
Clinton had charm and an aw shucks friendliness. This guy ALWAYS seemed aloof. From day one. And he says UM, way too much for a political genius.

jr565 said...

The emperor never had any clothes. and Obama voters are the people cheering his style without realizing he was naked. There were people in the crowd who said at the time he was naked, only this crowd STILL cheered him for his style, despite ample evidence that he was now and always had been naked.
At the end of his 2 terms, even if the economy stays in the doldrums this crowd will say what a sharp dresser that Obama was.
Meanwhile, those in the reality community will shake their heads and wonder how much further we can slide into Idiocracy.

Unknowable said...

Ignoring whether or not Obama is the source of the political intellectual horsepower that buoyed him to president twice, got the money and freedom eating beast that is Obamacare passed, etc., he has unarguably changed America to a not insignificant degree - and much of his 'change' has not fully impacted us yet.

If "immigration reform' passes, his soft coup of America will be complete.

With tens of millions of artificially-created leftist votes created by political hocus-pocus, the left will be assured of absolute control of the federal govt for a very, very long time.


And the "fundamental transformation of America" will be complete.

If all goes to plan, 100 years hence Obama will be viewed as having radically changed the makeup and course of America.

And that history wiil be written in Spanish....

David said...

Obama has political skill. You don't get elected to the presidency twice without it.

Political genius involves taking the fruits of political skill and using them to govern at a highly effective level.

Based on that definition, Obama is no political genius.

His biggest production, the affordable care act, is a mess. It was based on misrepresentation and lies.

His economic policies have been ineffective. The Federal Reserve is the main player here.

He has not been an effective leader in tax policy or fiscal policy. Nothing has happened there.

His foreign policy has failed measured by his own stated aspirations.

He doesn't inspire. At least not anymore, since people have seen him in action.

He has solidified the position of the Democratic party through bureaucratic expansion, increasing federal benefits and immigration demagoguery. That may benefit the Democrats in the long run, but the failures in substantive areas may undermine that, if they can't be blamed on the Republicans.

All in all a very weak effort, and that's not even accounting for the thuggish and authoritarian tendencies, which are now starting to hurt him.

cubanbob said...

Obama is a genius only when viewed from the perspective of the stupid. That he was elected is more of an indictment of the majority of the electorate who voted what they wished they saw than what was actually seen.

jr565 said...

Young people are stupid. No one else has an excuse.

Amartel said...
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Crunchy Frog said...

More apropos:

“Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.”
― P.T. Barnum

How fucking "genius" do you have to be when:

a) you have the right skin tone and compelling backstory, and
b) everything you say is written by someone else and put up on a teleprompter?

That you think Obama is genius (along with that silly twat Lena Dunham) says more about you than it says about him.

Amartel said...

I think we are going to look back on this time period, the Obama years, and see mass hysteria. There is nothing about Obama that is in any way exceptional other than his ability to turn everything he touches to shit. And don't try to sell that it's exceptional because he's black because that is just insulting. We, as a nation, lost confidence in ourselves, in our national idea, and went about looking for a leader. Like we're some sort of tribe. We're invested in Obama being exceptional because that then makes us exceptional, ratifies our unicorn hopes and dreams or, alternatively, our inability to get everyone refocus on our national idea.

Did you know Obama's polling numbers are up recently? Three big scandals cooking away, a parade of ineffective nitwit Obama team members, with more to come, and his numbers are up. How to explain that? Well, he's exceptional! Bullshit. We're exceptionally delusional. He's just some doofus who fits the part in our national dream.

People talking about Obama always try to throw him a bone, like saying he's a "great orator" or a "good family man," because they are running him down. Deservedly, but they feel obligated to say something nice for some reason, maybe so they'll look objective. We don't know the truth of whether he's a good family man, although judging from his wife's constant kvetching probably not. He's definitely not a good orator with that droning delivery. I got used to the lame and halt Bush delivery but the Obama speech reading, the predictable cadences, the corny pauses, the reliance on poses, is vastly more annoying.

Tom said...

Does it help or hurt Hillary Clinton if Obama succeeds or fails as a president? I can't see the American people voting one party into the White House for 12 years unless the president is exceptionally successful. Obviously, Reagan was successful enough to land George H.W. Bush in the White House. And Clinton was largely successful, not enough to secure it for ManBearPig.


At this point, I think Obama's success is achieving power for himself and also by creating a massive Federal Bureaucracy through Obamacare. I don't see massive amounts of success the rest of the way. If the IRS, Benghazi, HH$, and DOJ War on Journalist issues are isolated events, maybe he creates a platform for Hillary. However, if those issues are systemic, then it's going to be three more years of scandals, each more damaging than the other. People who gave him the benefit of the doubt will stop and only the most clueless will still support him. That can only hurt Hillary, right?!

Quaestor said...

Hillary is a coward. She won't make a serious run in '16.

creeley23 said...

Political genius involves taking the fruits of political skill and using them to govern at a highly effective level.

David: Excellent distinction. The rest of your comment too.

Calypso Facto said...

People talking about Obama always try to throw him a bone, like saying he's a "great orator" or a "good family man," because they are running him down. Deservedly, but they feel obligated to say something nice for some reason, maybe so they'll look objective.

Bless his heart ....

bagoh20 said...

You know, by this standard the whole crew of Jersey Shore are all geniuses. The Kardashians - geniuses. Fox News - geniuses. Our whole culture is full of geniuses. What a country!

creeley23 said...

bagoh20: When everyone's a genius, no one is.

bagoh20 said...

Did it take genius to get the Obamaphone woman to vote for Obama? How about convincing Althouse and Cedarford? He used the same campaign on all of them. Genius

bagoh20 said...

Naaa, those people are educated, sophisticated, and quite smart. Only explanation is Obama must be a genius.

Jack Trainor said...
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ken in sc said...

He is as crooked as Nixon. I'm glad he is not a smart as Nixon. Nixon would have got away with it if not for the Democratic media.

ken in sc said...

Freeman, why did you adopt this sourpuss picture. I took you seriously when you were smiling.

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