May 1, 2013

Obama's performance in the Theater of the Ineffectual President.

It's not "my job... to somehow get [Congress] to behave," said Obama at yesterday's news conference, quoted by Maureen Dowd, who says:
Actually, it is his job to get them to behave. The job of the former community organizer and self-styled uniter is to somehow get this dunderheaded Congress, which is mind-bendingly awful, to do the stuff he wants them to do. It’s called leadership.

He still thinks he’ll do his thing from the balcony and everyone else will follow along below. That’s not how it works.

How can the president star in a White House Correspondents’ Association dinner satirical film pretending to be Daniel Day-Lewis playing Barack Obama in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Obama,” and not have absorbed the lessons of “Lincoln”?
1. It's silly to think that because Obama played the role of himself (playing Day-Lewis playing himself) that Obama is all about Lincoln. It made Obama look like he's about Obama, and putting Obama on the same level as Lincoln, with the mock-historical grandeur and the direction by Steven Spielberg, seems likely only to inflate Obama's egocentrism.



2. Why would this Hollywood-in-Washington adoration make him deferential to some other historical figure, one who had to accomplish great things to achieve his high place in history? Quite the opposite! It should make Obama feel that it's always been enough for him simply to be Obama, the screen onto which a nation projects its hopes and dreams. Why should Obama "absorb lessons" from the movie about "Lincoln"? Obama created his own mode of arriving at greatness, and it's not much like Lincoln's at all.

3.  A "community organizer" doesn't really "organize" a community, but even if one does, Congress isn't like the communities Obama supposedly organized. The idea that Obama could "organize" Congress is silly. Congress has its own organization, and it's full of powerful individuals who are currently actively pursuing political goals, not a bunch of citizens going about their private lives who might be induced to back some political project run by somebody else.

4. Yesterday's performance at the press conference was — I would presume — theater. It was the Theater of the Ineffectual President. It was not the Theater of the Lame Duck. (Dowd's piece is titled "Bottoms Up, Lame Duck." The "Bottoms Up" refers to her suggestion that Obama "have a drink with Mitch McConnell.") Obama likes to say he'll never face another election, but he's facing the 2014 elections. His performance yesterday was — I presume — a scene in the script for winning the midterms. I can't accomplish anything without Congress. Congress is the problem. He needs his Congress. Will we not give this beautiful man — upon whom we've projected our hopes and dreams — the Congress that will bring his presidency to a successful end? He is the central character in this movie "Obama" that we've all got to sit through. If we stay in character as members of the audience — passively taking in whatever we see on the screen — we'll merge our desires with the main character in the big spectacle. Identification with the protagonist. In the scene that ran yesterday, we saw our protagonist suffering his doubts and his weaknesses. He is beset with adversaries. Oh, no!

5. So, now we can see that Obama is doing his "job," as described by Maureen Dowd: "to somehow get this dunderheaded Congress, which is mind-bendingly awful, to do the stuff he wants them to do." Somehow. I'm telling you how I think he's going about getting Congress — Congress 2015 — to do the stuff he wants them to do. Keep sitting on your bottom as he leads from behind. Or: Bottoms up! And I don't mean drinking. I mean, get your ass out of your theater seat and stop watching the "Obama" movie. The lameness is not in our President but in ourselves.

313 comments:

1 – 200 of 313   Newer›   Newest»
Matthew Sablan said...

It almost makes Clinton and Bush's ability to work across the aisle ... super.

Jay said...

Actually, it is his job to get them to behave

Yes, because by "behave" we mean: pass legislation whether or not it is relevant or effective.

Example: Background checks at gun shows in response to Sandy Hook.

Totally sane response.

Really.

Bob Ellison said...

I see that writer's name and skip to the next article. Even writing this comment is a waste of time, and here you are wasting your time reading it.

SGT Ted said...

Obama isn't a leader. He is a wannabe dictator. He has expressed that exact complaint: that he isn't one, frequently.

kcom said...

He is beset with adversaries

He is beset with petty weaselism. That is, and always has been, his problem.

BarrySanders20 said...

When he had "his Congress," we got things like stimulus and Obamacare.

Convenient for him to blame Congress for his own failings. Every President butts horns with Congress and sometimes they don't get what they want done. Bush failed with SS reform, but didn;t complain about it.

Time for Barry, who throws like a girl, to be accountable.

Bender said...

It's not my job to somehow get Congress to behave.

Instead, it's his job to continue to be a condescending jerk every time he opens his mouth.

Tim said...

He's the least experienced candidate ever nominated by a major political party for president; what the hell did anyone reasonably expect?

And, if we're lucky (because, God knows, we aren't smart enough to learn from this episode of mass, collective stupidity), he'll always be the least experienced candidate ever nominated by a major political party for president.

And, the last election?

#doubledownonfailure

And we all know it's true.

Even the idiots who voted for him.

tiger said...

It's everyone else's fault but his.

This is the excuse you hear from every addict/loser in America.

'If only things were different'
'If only those people would do what I say'
'If only I had more money/time/power'

Yeah if ONLY you were a leader instead of a guy who thinks that people need to ask 'How high?' when you say jump things might be different.

What an embarrassment of a President.

SteveR said...

We always do better when everything goes our way but even when he had a majority in both houses he had difficulties getting things done. He's not a leader, he's not a compromiser, he's not a politician. He's a candidate.

Bender said...

But let's be clear --

John Boehner has this same arrogance about him, proclaiming himself to be the adult in the room and expecting people to shut up and do what they are told.

That's what governance is today - shut up and do what your betters tell you to do. No questioning. No objecting. No checks. No balances. Checks and balances are now childish.

Hagar said...

A "community organizer" in South Chicago starts a ruckus to get some media attention, so that the mayor will send someone down to find a way to "make a deal" and have the problem go away.

When you are the President, you are the mayor.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't think any commenter so far has actually read this post!

Tim said...

Also, Obama-supporters' extremely strained efforts to compare Obama to Lincoln are a huge insult to both the memory of Lincoln and, of course, the Obama-supporters themselves, for their gross lack of knowledge and sense of history.

But, they're proven so dumb, they can't even know that.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm changing the post title, in the hope that people will read past paragraph 1.

Comments like "Even writing this comment is a waste of time, and here you are wasting your time reading it" are telling me that I'm wasting my time writing unless I elbow you up front that I've got something I want to show you.

Tim said...

I read the post.

Our president is an idiot.

So too is Maureen Dowd.

And, he feels sorry for himself.

You had more take-aways intended beyond those three?

joeshmo99 said...

Bottoms up! And I don't mean drinking.

Remember, you're talking about MoDo!

Tim said...

Of course he's ineffectual.

He's the least experienced candidate ever nominated by a major political party for president.

Don't go all Obama on us because our take-aways aren't what you intended!

exhelodrvr1 said...

Too bad there was no way for voters to anticipate this.

creeley23 said...

I don't think any commenter so far has actually read this post!

I did and I'm mulling it over. The problem is telling how much of Obama's performances are intentional and how much are they simply the reflection of his arrogant petulance.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It's not "my job... to somehow get [Congress] to behave."

I think this hi-lights his fundamental problem. He believes that what he wants is indisputably the right answer. Therefore, anyone working against that is doing something wrong. He cannot comprehend that there are valid, honest differences of opinion, and that people who disagree with him can do so in good faith.

mccullough said...

The last column was about The American President movie. This is about Lincoln the movie.

Dowd is a hopeless Boomer. Time for her to retire.

Dr Weevil said...

How can someone write the words "bottoms up" and "duck" in the same sentence without knowing that some of us are going to thinking of this (SFW unless you're some kind of perv).

Matt said...

I read it and agree with Dear Leader. We have all failed him! I will wail in the streets as I bloody myself.

"But Dear Leader!" I cry, "What am I to do? There are more than one candidate on your ballots!"


I love it when Obama shows his true colors.

Tim said...

"I did and I'm mulling it over. The problem is telling how much of Obama's performances are intentional and how much are they simply the reflection of his arrogant petulance."

Oh?

There's a third option:

Intentionally arrogant petulance.

You know which one I'm choosing.

Nonapod said...

Obama's goal is to win back the House in 2014. To do so he must make the GOP seem like the problem. In order to do that he needs to find issues that are divisive, issues that he can use to demagogue the Republicans in the house, make them look like out of touch neanderthals.

So he had/has:
Gun Control
Immigration Reform
The Budget: The Fiscal Cliff
The Budget Episode 2: The Sequestration
...and now, Closing Guantanamo?

Obviously he lost the Gun Control battle. He won the Fiscal Cliff but the Sequester has turned out to be a bust for him. Immigration Reform is up next, but right now that's murky with a far from certain outcome.

So he adds Guantanamo yesterday out of the blue. The problem with the whole Guantanamo Closure thing from Obama's standpoint is 1) It reminds people of a failure to keep a promise. 2) There's no politically easy solution since you gotta do something with these scumbags if you close the prison. Not that Obama cares about a solution, he just needs to make the GOP seem like the problem rather than the political and logistical realities of a closure really happening.

The Godfather said...

"When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

Obama's only skill is winning elections. In 2008 he got himself elected along with a lot of Democrats in the House and Senate, and he was able to get some important (to him) legislation enacted. In 2014, he will have his last chance to get a lot of Democrats elected to the House and Senate, and if he can do that he'll be able (he thinks) to get some more important (to him) legislation enacted.

Until then, getting something done would mean working with the Republican majority in the House and the Republican minority in the Senate to develop mutually acceptable compromises. But that's not something Obama is skillful at, nor is it something he wants to do. So he demonizes Congress to prepare the battle field for 2014.

That's a real long shot, but if the only tool you have is a hammer, . . . .

El Pollo Real said...

Althouse wrote: The lameness is not in our President but in ourselves.

I read this as a challenge to Althouse readers (and all Americans) to stand up and make 2014 about real hope and change regarding the constitutional balance of power in the US. This requires a sober and honest reflection on how we got this way and so drinking Kool-Aid--or whatever else--should play no role.

MadisonMan said...

Typical for a President to rail against Congress when the President can't get his way.

SteveR said...

I read the post. The problem with yesterday, as Dowd pointed out, is the same problem as always. She revealed nothing new, she seems to be joining the crowd. Too late.

My comment reflects my point of view about Obama not mine about hers. If she ever said anything interesting I might comment on that.

CEO-MMP said...

Maybe the problem, Professor, is that most people reading this already know he's ineffectual (or whatever's worse than ineffectual) so there's no big a ha! moment?

John said...

"He still thinks he’ll do his thing from the balcony and everyone else will follow along below."

Nobody else seems to have noticed this. For me, the immediate imagery was of Mussolini. Seems like every time I see video of the guy he is screeching from a balcony above the adoring throng.

http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/48/4887/KVQ8G00Z/posters/alfred-eisenstaedt-italian-fascist-dictator-benito-mussolini-giving-impassioned-speech-from-balcony.jpg

Other than the Pope and (Godwin alert) Hitler I can't think of any other leaders who are so associated with speaking from balconies as Mussolini. Probably not even the Pope as he doesn't so much give speeches as blessings from his balcony.

Did MoDo miss this symbolism or did she do this on purpose? I say on purpose since it seems so odd a phrase to use. Has Obama ever spoken from a balcony?

Others, including me, have noted the similarity in facial expressions between the two. http://1389blog.com/pix/Mussolini-and-Obama-striking-a-pose.jpg First reference I recall seeing to a balcony, though.

We know that Obie is a socialist. The argument has always been how much and what kind. Is MoDo implying that he is a national socialist? ie; a "Fascist"? (note the capitalizations there.) It is certainly of a piece with what is often called his "crony capitalism".

If so, the wheels must really be coming off the bus.

John Henry

chrisnavin.com said...

Are women like Modo really necessary?

AprilApple said...

ah no. Stopping Obama's radical agenda is called - leadership.

Calypso Facto said...

I think your list makes a good point, Nonapod; that Obama seems to be choosing issues based on hoping to be able to demagogue the GOP opposition, rather than any actual desire to get particular legislation passed.

bagoh20 said...

Ineffectual implies that he can't effect things. I wish that was the truth. Incompetent, foolish, and corrupt is what we have.

Our peoples' lives are being turned upside-down, their opportunities ruined, their world-leading health care broken and mired in a swap of unwise regulation, While the strongest among them (their real leaders), who they rely on most, are dragged down and weakened to enable the parasitic.

Overseas our enemies are given space, time, and confidence to regroup, and re-aim.

Worst of all are the new precedents of deception, cover up, and corruption being laid down so that our government will never be returned to even the low level of trust it had before this period of "ineffectual" leadership.

Ineffectual would be a godsend for the next 3 years, but even that won't climb us out of the hole we've dug with this one. He's been quite effectual, if you happen to live in the real world of competitive survival and give a shit about the people in that fight with you. He's effectual like a virus, and we are getting sicker each day.

Other than that, he's swell.

John said...

BTW: If he is a Fascist or a fascist he is not a very effective one which I think is what Ann was getting at.

After all, Mussolini famously made the trains run on time. Obama can't even do that. Not literally, not figuratively.

Mussolini also drained the Pontine Marshes. Obama promised he would drain the swamp in DC and he has not done that, either.

John Henry

AprilApple said...

Ann, The NYT should fire Dowdy Doody and hire you.

MayBee said...

The question isn't "how can he get Congress to do what he wants them to do?"

The question is, "what does he really want to do, and how can he get Congress to do it?"

Surely Obama doesn't really care about raising a few more taxes and testing more background checks for gun purchases. Those are not big ideas.

He ran on nothing. He's got nothing. And every single Congress person can feel it. Even a new Congress would know that. Anybody who wins in 2014 would do it hoping to get done what they want. Obama would, perhaps, like a Congress that doesn't make it so obvious that he's all out of plans.

lemondog said...

It's not "my job... to somehow get [Congress] to behave."

He did not seem to feel that way when he assailed the Supreme Court during 2010 State of the Union.

Motto to live by: Kick your opponents when they are defenseless

... and not have absorbed the lessons of “Lincoln”?

Too self-absorbed to absorb anything other than his ‘magnificence.’

AprilApple said...

(My "Ah no" above was directed at Maureen Dowd's dunderheaded mind-bendingly awful hacktastic insight.)

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"The lameness is not in our President but in ourselves."

This is true, and why "America" is a figment in the imagination of many minds.

Obama is America. He is not some aberration, but in fact the essential nature of our being.

Enjoy the neverending decline. Laugh at Republicans getting theirs while speaking platitudes, as the joke is funny as Hell (even if on you).

bagoh20 said...

The entire left of the chattering class is just a bunch abused spouses. They know, but they don't want to get him in trouble, and no matter how bad he gets, they prefer to have him than to not. Without him, they have to face the world alone.

Alex said...

Maureen Dowd is simply whining that Obama is unable to jam through the socialist utopian agenda at warp speed.

MayBee said...

I guess my question is, what does Obama really care about when it comes to this country?

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
I'm changing the post title, in the hope that people will read past paragraph 1.


I read Dowd earlier, then I read your post. Overall,

1. I disagree on Dowd. I think she is down on Barry. When you've lost Dowd, etc, etc

2. On Barry's performance? You have to ask, what was the plan? why the press conference? It sure was more than un-impressive. The whole weakness thing. He's weak to start. Talking about weak, makes you weaker.

3. He has not learned in 7 years that over-exposure hurts the brand. If you are in Bully Pulpit mode 24/7 for 5 years, you should not be surprised that people tune you out.

4. As for the passive - aggressive stuff with Congress? a waste of time. His ego doesn't allow him to understand, you can be the good cop or the bad cop, but not both within 15 minutes.

5. gonna be a long long 4 years.

PS: my numbers aren't related to yours

Alex said...

I've noticed one more commonality among the chattering class - they have never started a small business, much less made one work.

AprilApple said...

Maureen Dowd code:

'Oh Obama! You would be so amazing if you could only fist pump your shiny brass knuckle in the air. The seas would part and the congress would bow down to your every command!

That is how you do it. Listen to me... I know!'

John said...

It just now struck me: Perhaps MoDo's balcony imagery was intentional after all.

She is complaining about Obama not getting things done. She wants him to "make" Congress "behave". Not work with him, not compromise but "Behave" in the sense of rubber stamping whatever he wants.

Perhaps she is complaining not that he is a Mussolini wannabe but that he is not. Or at least not enough of one to "make congress behave"

Is MoDo saying that she wants a strong dictator in the White House? Thinking about it, I think this makes more sense than my first thought that she is saying that he is a Fascist.

She is unhappy that he is not a Fascist.

John Henry

Mark O said...

He's just not that smart.

Do you think his race had anything to do with his election? Just a simple yes or no will do.

ricpic said...

The illness that afflicts America is looking to the state to save ones life. Which of course quickly degenerates into looking to Dear Leader to save ones life.

lemondog said...

Theatre of the Absurb (Absorbed)

The Theatre of the Absurd (French: Théâtre de l'Absurde) is a designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1950s, as well as one for the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Their work expressed the belief that human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence.[1]

Ahhhhhh, silence....

bagoh20 said...

Those of you who don't know yet are gonna be really pissed when you find out what's coming. You will be quite a bit poorer in the near future, with less options and unable to even cut loose and help yourself in the face of the government's new powers, but that's progress. "Forward!"

Cedarford said...

At some point, the females that think he is adorable, the "movement lefties" suffering through his convenient betrayal of them, his brainless black flock unwilling to admit they suffer more in the Obama economy than anyone ......

Will have to wake up to the fact that he is a horrible executive, unable to lead. Only be cool and popular.

It will probably trouble them greatly in later years that they elected an affirmative action President that:

1. Helped crush America under debt.
2. Did nothing his 1st 4 years but blame Bush for every trouble and how he was unable to fix "what that Bush guy did"
3. Did nothing his 2nd term but blame Congress for not fixing things.
4. Will leave office claiming he had little to do with the Obamacare wreck...that it really was Pelosicare and all her idea and he just went along with it.

Darrell said...

People only think that he is ineffective because everything he touches turns to shit.

AprilApple said...

2014 is everything. The radical left needs ultimate power for ultimate control.





bagoh20 said...

For once I agree with Cedarford, but there isn't any difference between an Obama vote from one of the brainless black flock" and yours.

AprilApple said...

I've stated this before. I live in a fairly affluent white liberal community and have for the past 16 years. Our vote split is 70/30 in favor of democrats.

I have never witnessed as many homeless as I have over the last few years. Men and women, and many of them do not look like bums.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

You just remember: Snerdley doesn't respect the U.S. enough to celebrate the 4th of July.

That be a white folk holiday. Shut up whitey, you're too white to understand.

A man working with Rush for decades doesn't give a shit about this country, why the fuck would you? You don't have what Snerdley has, you pauper.

We have a tradition of starvation and murder in this country. And porn. America is a leader in porn. Let's embrace this reality.

When you celebrate a country that elevates Bill Ayers to where he's at you celebrate evil.

Darrell said...

I have never witnessed as many homeless as I have over the last few years

The MSM won't notice them until we get another Republican President.

Darrell said...

The Democrats have said that women will start trading sex for food if global warming isn't fixed by big-ass taxes.

gerry said...

We have to watch him.

He cannot be trusted with our liberty.

bpm4532 said...

Yes, we (the electorate) are lame for electing him twice, but I don't hold much hope of the lameness being cured. Too many people get too much from government and that is their faith. They will not give up the faith easily and if they do, the self-loathing will lash out in unexpected and uncontrollable ways.

St. George said...

Behave?

Such a strange word. A lost soul, he is.

Way, way, way out of his league.

AprilApple said...

The MSM won't notice them until we get another Republican President.

Homelessness only matters to the pro-democrat hack media when there's a Republican to blame, or an R at the helm. Indeed.

Robert Cook said...

"I have never witnessed as many homeless as I have over the last few years. Men and women, and many of them do not look like bums."

That's because many or most of them are not "bums," (whatever you may mean by that), but are formerly middle-class citizens who are victims of the economy being shaped by the elites in Washington and on Wall Street, an economy rigged to serve the wealthy.

Expect to see this trend increase.

gerry said...

He is beset with petty weaselism.

kcom, Obama is beset by a case of major petty weaselism.

He give weasels a bad rep.

In fact, he gives petty weaselism a bad rep.

AprilApple said...

Working across the aisle means - Do what the democrats want, or else.

Darrell said...

Robert Cook has been touched by Obama.

Robert Cook said...

"We have to watch him.

"He cannot be trusted with our liberty."


What?! Weren't you paying attention to the city-wide lock down in Boston? Our "liberty" is gone, baby, gone! What we have is merely the charade of liberty.

St. George said...

Prof., you write "The lameness is not in our President but in ourselves."

That was the logic Pres. Carter put on the nation. The American people are a great bunch of folks--hard-working, creative, spirited, and all that jazz.

We need a leader, not some mopey dude who takes a vacation-a-week and feels miserable and overwhelmed....just like Jimmy Carter.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook has been touched by Obama."

I'm sorry, I don't know what this means.

Darrell said...

Weren't you paying attention to the city-wide lock down in Boston?

We were. That's why the Left has to be wiped off the face of the Earth.

Darrell said...

They're not "left" like Cookie is. No one is.

AprilApple said...

Cook- A bum is someone who would be homeless regardless. A person addicted to drugs and/or alcohol etc... more than just down and out.
I talk to some of these homeless people and many refuse to work, even though they are able. Many of them cannot cope with civil society at any level. And of course many are mentally ill.

In my rich white liberal town, I see homeless people who are out of work. Period.


Patrick said...


That's because many or most of them are not "bums," (whatever you may mean by that), but are formerly middle-class citizens who are victims of the economy being shaped by the elites in Washington and on Wall Street, an economy rigged to serve the wealthy.


Of course this is not even close to correct. The vast majority of homeless are men with significant drug and alcohol issues or mental health issues. These people used to be institutionalized, but since they no longer are, they are unable to handle the basic skills required to maintain a residence.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

America burns corn in order to starve children.

Brown children.

Every man woman and child in America contributes, until we as a society prevent, to the murder via forced starvation of other than Americans.

Darrell said...

Cookie is President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Sargeant-at-Arms of his little collective of one. And no one gets along.

Patrick said...

And by "bum," I assume they meant "politician."

Robert Cook said...

"'Weren't you paying attention to the city-wide lock down in Boston?'

"We were. That's why the Left has to be wiped off the face of the Earth."


The Boston lock down had nothing to do with "the left," and the suggestion is imbecilic. It was a demonstration of the raw reality of the police state that has been erected in the dozen years following--and significantly as a result of--the 9/11 attacks.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What?! Weren't you paying attention to the city-wide lock down in Boston? Our "liberty" is gone, baby, gone! What we have is merely the charade of liberty.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

This is the plan of a dictatorial regime. Scare the people, create or allow the danger to appear, and then swoop in and offer the illusion of safety. All you have to do is acquiesce to giving up just a little bit of freedom....then....a little more and then soon...you have given up all of your rights.

Stand like sheep and let some government flunkies feel you up for no good reason. Sit passively by while the police act like Gestapo thugs and enter your home without any right and with no protests from you. It will may you or someone safe or something. Are you happy to be 'cared for' by the state, or are you afraid to protest. In either case, you have given away your freedom.

Goodbye America.

Valentine Smith said...

Like all narcissists, o lives in a world where the only reality is that which appears to be real. Work is for suckers.

Clinton was our first black president and obama is our first woman president. How's that for appearances.

ricpic said...

Cookie's formula that cures all ills: kill the rich.

Robert Cook said...

"In my rich white liberal town, I see homeless people who are out of work. Period."

As I said: they are "victims of the economy being shaped by the elites in Washington and on Wall Street, an economy rigged to serve the wealthy.

"Expect to see this trend increase."

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

It's obvious that Obama's agenda rides on the 2014 elections. He's been playing the "congress is being mean to poor little me" card for awhile now. Will it work? Beats me.

There was a time when the American public wanted and respected strong leaders.

Obama leads by playing the victim. You're supposed to be outraged that someone's bullying poor little Barack. Looking at the last election, I'm guessing he's playing it right.

Darrell said...

The Boston lock down had nothing to do with "the left,"

Yet it came from Obama, Holder, Deval Patrick and their brain-dead Boston Mayor that does what he's told in exchange for the checks. Let me know when they do that in Texas.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Americans are too bigoted to become bipartisan in opposing the voluntary starvation of brown children.

Fuck this country.

Romney and Obama and McCain were all the same when it came to Fat Rich White Corrupt Child Murderers in Iowa and their precious Ethanol.

Rocketeer said...

That's because many or most of them are not "bums," (whatever you may mean by that), but are formerly middle-class citizens who are victims of the economy being shaped by the elites in Washington and on Wall Street, an economy rigged to serve the wealthy.

Maybe in your town, Cookie. In mine, they're definitely just plain old garden variety bums.

gerry said...

I'm still wondering why we are lame. As I said in my original post to this thread, "We have to watch him - he can't be trusted with our liberty".

Or - perhaps I do understand. We are lame in continuing to watch this loser of a man and President. Egad, if he were left alone, posing for pictures of moments of silence in the Oval Office for people murdered largely because of his inept management, mightn't he launch some drone into Syria, if only to prove his lameful lamelessness?

The trouble is, of course, we may leave the bad show, but the movie will continue sucking the life out of us wherever we go, anyway.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

They're not "left" like Cookie is. No one is

I guess we have come full circle when I agree with Cook on this issue of liberty and freedom. I don't care WHO started it, the slippery slide. Right, left whatever. It is what it is.

Darrell said...

Why didn't the Boston police find the little man in the boat? They skipped that block. Figures.

Darrell said...

I don't care WHO started it, the slippery slide. Right, left whatever

It's the Left. The sooner you realize that the sooner we all can flush the toilet.

John said...

Darrel said:

"Robert Cook has been touched by Obama."

Perhaps.

But perhaps Cookie is just touched, period.

John Henry

El Pollo Real said...

Robert Cook said...
The Boston lock down had nothing to do with "the left," and the suggestion is imbecilic. It was a demonstration of the raw reality of the police state that has been erected in the dozen years following--and significantly as a result of--the 9/11 attacks.

R Cook clarifies his remark

Darrell said...

When more government is the answer, we've run out of questions.

Rocketeer said...

I read the post, professor. While I'm perfectly willing to accept that Obama is more clever and calculating than I believe he is (it's prudent to do so!), it would defy all logic and evidence to think he's as clever and calculating as you imply he is in your scenario.

Tim's right: this is just the petulance of an arrested adolescent. Nothing more, nothing less.

Darrell said...

The Residentura approved Robert Cook's remarks.

khesanh0802 said...

I read the post. Certainly the fault is with those who re-elected our (STILL) amateur president, not those who opposed.

I have been hopeful that the MSM was catching up with Obama and that seems to be the case. There is a gradual eroding of the blind defense that so many have given to Obama. Dana Milbank -as left as they come - has very similar comments in the WAPO today under the title "Presidential Bystander".

By the time the 2014 elections are here no one will be listening to Obama and there will be a real uproar over the effects of Obamacare. I am convinced that the chances of a Democrat controlled Congress are slightly south of zero. Responsible, and angry people will vote.

CWJ said...

Althouse wrote-

"...seems likely only to inflate Obama's egocentrism."

Not possible. That particular balloon is already full.

Shanna said...

The Democrats have said that women will start trading sex for food if global warming isn't fixed by big-ass taxes.

Maybe this is one of those 'things we say are things we secretly want to happen' comments. Because high taxes seem more likely to lead to off the books activity than low taxes.

I Callahan said...

What?! Weren't you paying attention to the city-wide lock down in Boston? Our "liberty" is gone, baby, gone! What we have is merely the charade of liberty.

I have to concur with DBQ and Cook on this. Where I disagree, however, is his statement:

The Boston lock down had nothing to do with "the left," and the suggestion is imbecilic. It was a demonstration of the raw reality of the police state that has been erected in the dozen years following--and significantly as a result of--the 9/11 attacks.

Sorry, Robert, but for all intents and purposes, the right-leaning politicians who put this "police state" in place are actually on the left. Leftist philosophy is the one that wants to control the masses, NOT the right.

Rocketeer said...

Not possible. That particular balloon is already full.

Oh, it's possible. It's like the universe - all encompassing, and yet ever expanding.

Darrell said...

May Day is a big deal for Robert Cook, garage mahal, Ritmo and many others here. Don't choke yourselves celebrating.

khesanh0802 said...

I read the post. Certainly the fault is with those who re-elected our (STILL) amateur president, not those who opposed.

I have been hopeful that the MSM was catching up with Obama and that seems to be the case. There is a gradual eroding of the blind defense that so many have given to Obama. Dana Milbank -as left as they come - has very similar comments in the WAPO today under the title "Presidential Bystander".

By the time the 2014 elections are here no one will be listening to Obama and there will be a real uproar over the effects of Obamacare. I am convinced that the chances of a Democrat controlled Congress are slightly south of zero. Responsible, and angry people will vote.

I Callahan said...

R Cook clarifies his remark

That made me laugh out loud, El Pollo. Bravo. A shouting Fidel Castro type would have worked there as well.

Darrell said...

Yes. El Pollo did good.

David R. Graham said...

"The lameness is not in our President but in ourselves."

More accurate had been: "The lameness is not in our President but in myself."

However, the allusion in the line as written is clever:

Cassius:
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

To make the line as written a solid elbow, that last phrase of Cassius' would be present, I think.

Related: Augustine: "The innocence of children is in the weakness of their limbs, not in their wills."

Robert Cook said...

"'The Boston lock down had nothing to do with "the left,'

"Yet it came from Obama, Holder, Deval Patrick and their brain-dead Boston Mayor that does what he's told in exchange for the checks. Let me know when they do that in Texas."


It comes from the security state that has been under constant development for the (at least) the last dozen years, significantly spurred on by the events of 9/11. As I recall, the president during the first two trimesters of this dozen years was not a Democrat.

Don't you get it? Do you really think we lived in a shining nation of liberty that has become a sewer of poverty and police state repression only since and because of Obama's presidency? Do you really think we would not see a similar lock down in Texas?

We do not have democracy in this country, and this cannot be blamed on one party, however much it may comfort you to persist in this childish belief. There is neither "left" or "right," as such; there is only the security state, serving the interests of the elites, just as in any stereotypical third world country.

Robert Cook said...

"...for all intents and purposes, the right-leaning politicians who put this "police state" in place are actually on the left. Leftist philosophy is the one that wants to control the masses, NOT the right."

Yes, and pixies sprinkle fairy dust on good little boys and girls of the world every night when they go to sleep.

Darrell said...

I would have not "sheltered in place" if I weren't already home. And I said it at the time here. Declare martial law if you want that power. And suffer the political consequences later. Have some balls.

MayBee said...

I'm not lame. I voted for one of the most qualified presidential candidates to come along in decades. An outstanding man with a perfect skill set, Romney. I take no responsibility for Obama.

AprilApple said...

The funny thing about Dowd is that she's even more narcissistic than her beloved O. Poor Obama is powerless without a congress that operates like Max Baucus. Willing to write and stand behind horrid legislation and then fall on the sword for the unquestioning golden leftwing progressive socialist path. oops... it sucks!
People are beginning to notice.

glenn said...

I said it first.

Maryland Geezer said...

The video is an exercise in narcissism, which makes it a microcosm of the Obama administration.

gerry said...

The Democrats have said that women will start trading sex for food if global warming isn't fixed by big-ass taxes.

Maybe a whole lot of pesky anthropogenic problems will be solved by this.

According to the article, women may be the perfect vector. Other, far more promiscuous subpopulations may be at most risk, however.

Thorley Winston said...

The Democrats have said that women will start trading sex for food if global warming isn't fixed by big-ass taxes.


Sounds like a win-win situation, women get sex and men get fed.



Richard Dolan said...

Well, this post sort of meanders around, going this way and that with the 'theatre/performance' metaphor. Obama is performing a role, following a "script for winning the midterms." The point of the drama is: "Identif[y] with the protagonist", that being O-Man, so that we, the voting audience, will (continue to) to project our "hopes and dreams" on him, and thereby become motivated to "get out of our theatre seats" and win one for the Gipper (sorry, wrong movie, but it's the same idea).

No doubt, Team Obama wants to win the midterms, but O's performance at this press conference is hardly going to help. The problem with the 'theatre/performance' metaphor is that it assumes an audience, which is exactly what a mid-morning press conference doesn't have. For the few who pay attention, the snippets that will be shown won't change any minds. Those who like Obama aren't likely to change no matter what he says at these conferences; and those who couldn't stand him before will remain convinced they were right all along. We're at the stage (!) in his presidency where his ability to move a large segment of undecideds on any issue (among the voters or the members of Congress) is very limited. If he is going to accomplish anything, it will come about by a focus on details and a willingness to slog through by compromising (real, substantial compromise, not the fake kind he prefers) with those who don't agree with his agenda. We all know that Obama is not that kind of guy. And so leadership will necessarily pass to those who are: Biden (a creature of Congress if ever there was one), and the Reid/McConnell duo in the Senate and Boehner in the House. Obama will be mostly in the wings, watching the show, rather than on the stage.

If you still want to pursue a theatre/performance metaphor with O in a performing role, a better angle would focus on the past-his-prime performer who can't quite figure out how to summon up the old magic in front of the new audience. Imagine Obama as a Tony Bennett-type performing at some rock/glam concert, and trying to figure out how to pull it off. Half-way through, does he keep plugging on even when it becomes clear that the audience is just putting up with the permformance, or does he just go through the motions while thinking about how much he would prefer to be elsewhere, doing something different?

edutcher said...

I'm going to approach this in a slightly different cast (and, yes, Madame La Professeur, I did read the post).

I agree with 4, that it's theater, but it's the kind in which every schoolboy in history has starred. The money line, "The dog ate my homework".

Choom is making excuses for the fact that, without uber-majorities in both Houses, nothing will happen - at least nothing initiated by him. His Awesomeness is about to become a whole lot less awesome. Dubya's last popularity ratings in office may well look stratospheric in comparison.

That said, I'm surprised no one has really noticed theLefty tendency to go dictatorial in Choom's, as well as MoDo's comments. He is there to work with Congress, not make it "behave". It's not the Reichstag.

Just remember, this is the guy who wishes he could trade places with the head of Red China. This is the doof who says, "I am not a dictator".

Dr Freud, your slip is showing.

Darrell said...

Yes. It's only a coincidence that the infringements of rights that we have seen over the last five years have been the Obama years. Bush would have done it too--if he could have. Right.

Richard Dolan said...

Well, this post sort of meanders around, going this way and that with the 'theatre/performance' metaphor. Obama is performing a role, following a "script for winning the midterms." The point of the drama is: "Identif[y] with the protagonist", that being O-Man, so that we, the voting audience, will (continue to) to project our "hopes and dreams" on him, and thereby become motivated to "get out of our theatre seats" and win one for the Gipper (sorry, wrong movie, but it's the same idea).

No doubt, Team Obama wants to win the midterms, but O's performance at this press conference is hardly going to help. The problem with the 'theatre/performance' metaphor is that it assumes an audience, which is exactly what a mid-morning press conference doesn't have. For the few who pay attention, the snippets that will be shown won't change any minds. Those who like Obama aren't likely to change no matter what he says at these conferences; and those who couldn't stand him before will remain convinced they were right all along. We're at the stage (!) in his presidency where his ability to move a large segment of undecideds on any issue (among the voters or the members of Congress) is very limited. If he is going to accomplish anything, it will come about by a focus on details and a willingness to slog through by compromising (real, substantial compromise, not the fake kind he prefers) with those who don't agree with his agenda. We all know that Obama is not that kind of guy. And so leadership will necessarily pass to those who are: Biden (a creature of Congress if ever there was one), and the Reid/McConnell duo in the Senate and Boehner in the House. Obama will be mostly in the wings, watching the show, rather than on the stage.

If you still want to pursue a theatre/performance metaphor with O in a performing role, a better angle would focus on the past-his-prime performer who can't quite figure out how to summon up the old magic in front of the new audience. Imagine Obama as a Tony Bennett-type performing at some rock/glam concert, and trying to figure out how to pull it off. Half-way through, does he keep plugging on even when it becomes clear that the audience is just putting up with the permformance, or does he just go through the motions while thinking about how much he would prefer to be elsewhere, doing something different?

I Callahan said...

Yes, and pixies sprinkle fairy dust on good little boys and girls of the world every night when they go to sleep.

You know, you always make some good points, even if I think you're completely on the other side of the spectrum from me. But then you make a completely moronic statement like the above, and I have to think that, like a typical leftist, you have a hard time with logical thought. I posited a point to you; have the cojones to refute it on those grounds.

That aside - if you think GWB is right-wing when it comes to big government, then I must conclude that you're so far left on the spectrum that most lefties seem righty to you.

Feel free to respond.

garage mahal said...

I read the post. Mussolini, obviously.

Alex said...

I think it's pretty clear by now that Robert Cook is an anarchist.

Alex said...

I read the post. Mussolini, obviously.

Yes obviously. How else can you interpret MoDo except from a totalitarian lens?

Thorley Winston said...

I'm not lame. I voted for one of the most qualified presidential candidates to come along in decades. An outstanding man with a perfect skill set, Romney. I take no responsibility for Obama.

When I read that comment by our hostess, I couldn’t help but think of what Tywin said to Cersei “I don’t dismiss you because you’re a woman but because you’re not as smart as you think you are.”





Darrell said...

When I read that comment by our hostess

Is MayBee our Hostess now?

Calypso Facto said...

Why didn't the Boston police find the little man in the boat?

Because as typical self-centered males they didn't care about female orgasm?

Methadras said...

Leadership from behind coming from the rancid little weasel in chief.

Colonel Angus said...

So Obama spent his first four years blaming Bush and now he's going to spend the next four blaming Congress. You'd think the country elected a third grader.

Any self respecting individual who voted for him should be embarrased.

Darrell said...

Because as typical self-centered males they didn't care about female orgasm?

They didn't even let Rizzoli and Isles (Boston cop/coroner) out of the station house to go look. Pigs.

MayBee said...

Yes, Darrell. Would you like a cocktail? Please use a coaster.



(I think he was referring to the "lame" part of the post to which I was responding)

edutcher said...

Not OT, really 3 more arrested in Marathon bombing.

Robert Cook said...

I'm sorry I Callahan, but you're a victim of (and perpetuating) circular logic. You have defined "right" and "left" such that, in your skewed view, any government that tends toward authoritarianism is, by definition, "left," as, by definition, it is impossible for a right wing government to be a police state or in any way repressive or other than the acme of a free, open society.

This is where the pixies and their fairy dust come in....

chrisnavin.com said...

Sorry for the long post, but I still think it's largely about race, and white guilt:

I suspect Obama genuinely cares about what he chose to do out of law school, which was go to black neighborhoods and try to effect 'change.' with the community activist model.

He married a black woman from Chicago, whose parents worked and lived there, and went to Chicago because he heard the 'call.' Black folks have grown up to heed the call, and if they don't follow it, many feel deeply conflicted, which is understandable.

Yes, there's 'hate on whitey' talk, bitterness, reparations stuff, Rev Wright's liberation theology and some remnants of the kind of anger that leads to black nationalism. There's Cornell West's lack of scholarship and Left of Center victimology.

Black folks are sorting a lot of things out, and most will take greater dignity and inclusion at the expense of a sound economy. It's been a remarkably uphill battle all the way and the 60's civil rights battles are still fresh in their minds.

I look at Obama and see the 60's all over again, Left leaning Jewish folks, civil rights leadership, feminists, his devotion to single white Left ladies like his mother, environmentalists and progressives etc.

That's who brought him, as he was always inexperienced and knew how to appeal to broader audiences and give speeches and have everyone believe in the Theater.

As something of a libertarian/conservative
I was glad to see an issue like gun violence fail nationally because it was a repudiation of the activist model. Right back at you Obama.

This model exploits and appeals to emotion, 'empowers' (with much corruption) those political interests, foundations, non-profits, which can unite to 'effect' the same kind of change.

I genuinely think Obama still thinks his re-election was a vindication of who his true political allies and message are.



Methadras said...

The logic is not hard at all. He showed up and does nothing. That's what he always does. I'm here. I'm the president. Now fawn and adulate towards me. I need not say anything while actually using words. That is my way, it's the way you like it. Look, my mouth is moving, words are forming, sound is exiting. Nothing is happening.

Colonel Angus said...

R Cook clarifies his remark

That was great.

mccullough said...

Cook,

You make a good point. Authoritarian = government control. This isn't really a right or left thing.

Darrell said...

Please use a coaster.

It goes without saying.

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe the problem, Professor, is that most people reading this already know he's ineffectual (or whatever's worse than ineffectual) so there's no big a ha! moment?"

Did I say he was ineffectual or did I say the opposite?

Why is it so hard to read? Really! You need a sledgehammer? Hopeless!

Just read the last sentence in this post, then forget it, then go somewhere else that's easier. Go to the movies.

Darrell said...

You make a good point. Authoritarian = government control. This isn't really a right or left thing.

A very important point for the people who still believe that Hitler and Mussolini were right wingers. Low-information voters.

Colonel Angus said...

Imagine if we had a real police state like under FDR, complete with internment camps, curfews, censorship of the media and military tribunals of American citizens who turned Nazi saboteur.

I think its terrible Boston was locked down. Otherwise the two Islamic terrorists might have gotten away to plant the rest of their bombs.

chrisnavin.com said...

Whom is speaking to whom, here Althouse?

Methadras said...

Darrell said...

You make a good point. Authoritarian = government control. This isn't really a right or left thing.

A very important point for the people who still believe that Hitler and Mussolini were right wingers. Low-information voters.


One of the worst political canards still floating out there.

Joe Kristan said...

"The lameness is not in our President but in ourselves." Let me be clear: this is a false choice.

Darrell said...

Otherwise the two Islamic terrorists

One was already dead by the time they called the lock-down.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe the problem, Professor, is that most people reading this already know he's ineffectual (or whatever's worse than ineffectual) so there's no big a ha! moment?

Did I say he was ineffectual or did I say the opposite?

Why is it so hard to read? Really! You need a sledgehammer? Hopeless!

Just read the last sentence in this post, then forget it, then go somewhere else that's easier. Go to the movies.


Ann, calm down. People are going to take the idea and run with it. After all, trying to direct the commentariat here is like herding cats.

Or Yorkies.

In any case, this isn't class.

All the same, I think semester break is coming just in time.

traditionalguy said...

Obama's whining as President is analogous to the hijacker pilots' flying Flight 93 complaining that the passengers in revolt in the back of the plane are hindering the pilots in accomplishing what they hijacked the airliner for.

Ad Hominem said...

"A very important point for the people who still believe that Hitler and Mussolini were right wingers"

Indeed. Fascists hid their tracks well though, making it appear they were a right wing movement, by imprisoning communists, intellectuals, union leaders, etc.

Pogo said...

Obama is ready for his close-up, Mr. Spielberg.

Bob Ellison said...

Professor, I don't always read everything you profess. Sometimes you post dribble about other dribble. This is one of those.

EMD said...

Cook is right in that both Homeland Security and the Patriot Act were machinations put in place by a Republican president.

I have no affinity for either act.


Alex said...

The problem with conservatives is their simplistic notions of government. The fact is government exists to implement societal needs like infrastructure, military, basic research. These are things that the private sector will not provide.

ricpic said...

Are we supposed to laugh at Spielberg's cutesification of the tyrant?

Mark O said...

"Is MayBee our Hostess now?"

We should be so lucky.

Robert Cook said...

"I think its terrible Boston was locked down. Otherwise the two Islamic terrorists might have gotten away to plant the rest of their bombs."

Kernel, the one terrorist had been killed before the lock down, and the second one wasn't caught during or because of the lock down, but because a citizen saw something amiss about his boat in his backyard, which he saw after the lock down had been lifted.

EMD said...

Are we supposed to laugh at Spielberg's cutesification of the tyrant?

Spielberg is mocking the criticism of the President, obviously. The takeaway, however, is really that the criticism is valid.

Robert Cook said...

"The problem with conservatives is their simplistic notions of government. The fact is government exists to implement societal needs like infrastructure, military, basic research. These are things that the private sector will not provide."

Oh, they're trying, Alex, to get these public sector areas of endeavor transferred to the private sector, (and where the costs, driven by the profit motive, will skyrocket).

Ann Althouse said...

"PS: my numbers aren't related to yours"

Phew! I am about at the point of quitting this gig.

Ann Althouse said...

Or at least not looking at the comments.

The Dylan lyric in my head when I read the comments here is: "Oh, my God, am I here all alone?"

Colonel Angus said...

The private sector doesn't engage in basic research?

Bob Ellison said...

Please don't quit the gig. Just leave the shit where it lies.

Alex said...

Colonel Angus - yes the private sector does about 20% of the basic research. But it can't do 100% due to the profit-motive.

Cook - The Republicans cut off science to their own detriment.

furious_a said...

Actually, it is his job to get them to behave.

No, it isn't -- that's the role of the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader, respectively. It's the President's job to do the hard work of dragging Congress along, kicking and screaming if need be, toward accomplishing the President's governing agenda.

Obama likes to say he'll never face another election, but he's facing the 2014 elections.

...and the 2016 election, as well, just as in the 2008 elections where voters expanded Democrat majorities in both Houses in as much a referendum on the Bush Presidency as on individual legislators themselves.

MayBee said...

Or at least not looking at the comments.

The Dylan lyric in my head when I read the comments here is: "Oh, my God, am I here all alone?"

5/1/13, 11:43 AM


Maybe people disagree with your take on things.

Would you like some Chex Mix? Here's a napkin.

Bob Ellison said...

Alex, you seem to be upholding the notion that without government spending, nothing big would ever get done in science. Right?

cubanbob said...

Pogo nailed it. Hollywood lives off suspension of belief, scripted realities and myths. So does Zero, Dowd, the democrats and the progressives. Move along, nothing new to see here.

Alex said...

Bob - its historical fact that many important breakthroughs have come via government funded research. F.e. teflon, TCP/IP, email. We wouldn't be talking here today without it.

Bob Ellison said...

And Alex, I don't mean this to be a trick question, or a bait-and-switch, or anything like that. Really!

Ann Althouse said...

My last remark doesn't apply to everyone. AprilApple gets what I'm saying.

I appreciate David R. Graham getting my "Julius Caesar" reference: "To make the line as written a solid elbow, that last phrase of Cassius' would be present, I think."

But I'm not about giving a "solid elbow." I was annoyed to have to redo the title after people showed they weren't bothering to read with understanding.

We are underlings to need such elbowing. What's the use? Why do we deserve more than to be underlings? When do we show we are worth more? We're showing that we're not!

I'm feeling incredibly cynical reading these comments.

Colonel Angus said...

Phew! I am about at the point of quitting this gig.

Maybe write with a bit more clarity? I think you had a point in that thesis but honestly I lost interest and drifted to the comments.

It's possible you're just too highbrow for the hoi polloi who seem to be here for the conversation rather than a philisophical analysis of a Dowd column juxtaposed with Spielberg and Lincoln.

Cedarford said...

bagoh20 said...
For once I agree with Cedarford, but there isn't any difference between an Obama vote from one of the brainless black flock" and yours
================
Very few people who voted for Obama over the war-thirsty McCain regret their vote even now.

It is one thing to be a neocon tool in the Senate demanding new major wars (8) - you can ignore one war lover in the Senate. It is another thing altogether making a guy President who wants to bomb Syria, N Korea, Iran, Lebanon. Wanted to have ground troops sent to Libya, the Congo, and to fight against the Russians in Georgia.

On the other hand, I think by the time Obama is finished, many women and minorities will be wishing they voted for Romney.

Bob Ellison said...

Oh, OK, Alex. "It is commonly believed that Teflon is a spin-off product from the NASA space projects. Though it has been used by NASA, the assumption is incorrect." (Wikipedia)

I was using email before the Internet. Next!

TCP/IP. So that was a military invention. Heck, Al Gore created it! Nobody else would have! Next.

MayBee said...

Furious_a- I agree, and I think part of the problem is that Obama doesn't really have a governing agenda. He wants to do a little this and a little that and otherwise just run out the clock. Perhaps he's hoping something or someone big will come along to give him purpose.

ricpic said...

Cookie thinks profit is DOIGHTY!

furious_a said...

...and where the costs, driven by the profit motive, will skyrocket.

Self-contradictory. It's federal specs that give us $600. toilet seats and $857B stimulus packages that give us $2M/job-created grants.

Costs skyrocket when it's "somebody else's money".

Bob Ellison said...

Colonel Angus said "...rather than a philosophical analysis of a Dowd column juxtaposed with Spielberg and Lincoln".

This is my problem. I have a lot of time on my hands, but time I do not have to examine Dowd's writings. Here I am writing about that lack of time. I used to pretend to read required tomes in college; surely I could waste a few minutes on a Dowd column, and then a few more on a Fisking of same.

But I don't do it. Am I tired, or lazy, or arrogant? Not sure. Have you read this far? Why?

Colonel Angus said...

Define basic research Alex. I can understand govt funded scientists studying mating habits of fruit flies or the masturbation habits of primates because, yeah, the private sector probably doesn't see much ROI in that endeavor.

edutcher said...

chrisnavin.com said...

Sorry for the long post, but I still think it's largely about race, and white guilt:

I suspect Obama genuinely cares about what he chose to do out of law school, which was go to black neighborhoods and try to effect 'change.' with the community activist model.


If his autobio has any truth in it (asking for it, I know), then the guy is a phony all the way through.

Granted, he has his family's politics, but, if you pick your friends solely on the basis of not appearing to be a "sellout", there isn't a lot that's real there.

Marshal said...

Alex said...
The problem with conservatives is their simplistic notions of government. The fact is government exists to implement societal needs like infrastructure, military, basic research. These are things that the private sector will not provide.


I've literally never come across a conservative who believes government shouldn't fund the military or infrastructure, and only a few who object to basic research (and none who object to all of it). Maybe this is the sort of thing one wants to believe as evidence of independent thoughts. But it has zero application to reality.

MayBee said...

I understand your post, but I don't know how you jumped to the idea that *we* are lame because we are "watching the Obama movie" and we don't deserve more.

You obviously understand why you think we are all responsible and lame, and you understand the call to action you are making.

Perhaps flesh out your ideas here. As it stands, I disagree with that part of your assessment.

Methadras said...

Alex said...

The problem with conservatives is their simplistic notions of government. The fact is government exists to implement societal needs like infrastructure, military, basic research. These are things that the private sector will not provide.


That is another false premise about conservatives. That we think and act in simplistic ways. No, what we do is distil the complex into simplistic types of managing that complexity. Governments job isn't to manage it's populace via society, military, infrastructure, and so forth. It's job is to ensure that the people aren't disrupted in the pursuits of their best interests. That requires government to be more thoughtful in how it manages itself. How it grows, how it implements taxation, how it manages the military, etc. because that's what the people require and request. We do not want to be controlled by them, we want them out of the way. The idea that private industry cannot provide these things is another farce. It is private industry that has developed and sometimes in conjunction with government the modernity we have today. It actually is in the best interests of the private sector to develop, invent, create, deploy, produce, and sell products that we need and want.

It is in governments best interest to use our taxes in a more realistic way, for example infrastructure, without it our economy wouldn't flourish like it has, but that was built on the backs of the people money via taxation, which is created through labor, which that labor was created via the private sector. It all goes back to capital and production of capital. Government is just there to reap the rewards and burden the producers with more extraction of that labor. Do not fool yourself in thinking that conservatives are simplistic. We are not. We just know how to see through the bullshit.

Monkeyman said...

Seen this movie many times before. Now, we're in the Second Act, I think, and Obama is having a "Tinkerbell" moment because we don't believe in him. That nasty old Congress has gotten hold of some Kryptonite, and our "Lincoln" is having his doubts. Cue the audience, who at this moment, is supposed to feel a compulsion to jump up outta its seats and scream "We do! We do believe in you Obama! Yes We Can™! But if I was writing the script, in the Third Act those "Dunderheads" would just proceed to grind this clown into the dust. But who'd want to watch that movie?

David-2 said...

AA - this post was somewhat challenging - I had to read the last paragraph several times before I think I got what you were saying. (I couldn't really parse it ... maybe the punctuation is off?)

Anyway.

If he was really performing the "theatre of the ineffectual President" in order to promote a Democrat-run House in 2014 ... then isn't he choosing a rather ineffectual way to do it? Sort of, doubling-down on ineffectual? He did pretty much the same shtick in 2012 and it didn't work nearly as well as he thought it would. The Dems had a gain of 13, not nearly enough.

And some people say it is structural: blaming/crediting either redistricting or the production of safe seats for black/hispanic Dems, or just the clustering of Dems in urban centers. And if that is the case, then he's probably not going to get a Democrat-run House in 2014 no matter what. So pushing for one - instead of doing something else - is then tripling-down on ineffectual.

Basically, I think only part of his performance at the press conference was Theatre of the Ineffectual President. The rest was a) lack of teleprompted script, i.e., seeing the real Obama, and b) he just isn't any good at leadership but, since he's so smart, he just can't see it.

Lem said...

I agree with every well said word.

Kelly said...

What I took away from the last paragraph is that Obama is playing a rope-a-dope. He'll win the 2014 midterms because we are the lame ones and he is a political master. Is that about right?

El Pollo Real said...

Can we afford "not a Lincoln"?

garage mahal said...

Obama is Mussolini, but Republicans would work with him more if he were a better leader.

I Callahan said...

You have defined "right" and "left" such that, in your skewed view, any government that tends toward authoritarianism is, by definition, "left," as, by definition, it is impossible for a right wing government to be a police state or in any way repressive or other than the acme of a free, open society.

You're right, Robert. I DID define left and right that way. And they're not skewed definitions, they ARE the definitions of left and right respectively.

A right wing government cannot be a police state, by its nature. That's not circular. A purely left wing government IS, by its nature, authoritarian. Communism is the most purely left government; libertarianism is the most purely right government. Which one is authoritarian, and which one is not?

You didn't actually address HOW I believe in pixie dust and fairies. I'll wait for an explanation.

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

Obama is Mussolini, but Republicans would work with him more if he were a better leader.


Why? To get your little choo-choo to run on time? Or was your mother not available for carriage service?

Seeing Red said...

The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.

(From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians--including chaplains--sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”)

I Callahan said...

A very important point for the people who still believe that Hitler and Mussolini were right wingers. Low-information voters.

One of the worst political canards still floating out there.

Bingo. The above reinforce my points on the left/right dichotomy; and take from Bob Cook's.

Seeing Red said...

Leno Tells Obama How to Close Gitmo: 'Declare it a Small Business and Tax it Out of Existence'

Hmmm, Jay has nothing to lose, this year could be fun!

Sam L. said...

"Actually, it is his job to get them to behave. The job of the former community organizer and self-styled uniter is to somehow get this dunderheaded Congress, which is mind-bendingly awful, to do the stuff he wants them to do. It’s called leadership.

He still thinks he’ll do his thing from the balcony and everyone else will follow along below. That’s not how it works."

MoDo seems to think that he can persuade Congress to go along with him. I don't know why she thinks that, other than she's really clueless. The last two sentences perfectly encapsulate Benghazi Barry's approach.

bagoh20 said...

"Phew! I am about at the point of quitting this gig."

I think what you are trying to say is: "Maybe I should just pack up and go home."

The damned commenters I have to work with are all obstructionists.

Seeing Red said...

Did his presser wipe the Chicago Purchasing Index's horrible number from the news?

SteveR said...

I'm feeling incredibly cynical reading these comments.

Understandable. Its a subject that goes straight to the hard drive. It doesn't bring out the best of our commentary. We are talking past eachother.

Robert Cook said...

"You didn't actually address HOW I believe in pixie dust and fairies. I'll wait for an explanation."

You provided your own explanation with your fairy tale explanation of right wing and left wing governments.

Pogo said...

Althouse is correct in guessing that the Democrats could win in 2014, but this is less because of Obama, whatever movie role he's playing, but more stems from the massive moron vote, the slack-jawed Obamphone Obamafarm Obamacare takers who want to stick it to the last few remaining makers.

We'll call it To Kill A Golden Goose, where the conservative black surgeon is surrounded by furious Obamafarmers looking to string him up for the crime of capitalism.

Methadras said...

Seeing Red said...

The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.

(From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians--including chaplains--sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”)


Oh no, there aren't really any subversive 5th columnist apparatchik Marxist agents wondering the halls of government. Oh no, not at all.

furious_a said...

Keep sitting on your bottom as he leads from behind. Or: Bottoms up! And I don't mean drinking. I mean, get up out of your theater seat and stop watching the "Obama" movie. The lameness is not in our President but in ourselves.

Some of us never bought a ticket to begin with, Professor, the trailer ("...the moment the rise of the oceans began to slow...") and the reviews ("Four Stars! The Change We've Been Waiting For!") being so gag-worthy. And we "got up from our seats" when we and a majority like us managed to embed a Red-state model at least locally. It so happened nationally that a majority of our fellow citizens disagreed. Twice.

Besides, when the formerly watchdog press morphs irretrievably into palace heralds, averts their eyes from massive gov't fails like Fisker, Fast&Furious, and Four-Years-Without-a-Budget, and uncritically swallows howlers like "Unexpectedly" and parrots fictions like "jobs saved or created", what else are us moviegoers to do?

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