October 28, 2008

Obama has fretted about U.S. "arrogance," and now Sarkozy is calling Obama "arrogant."

Power Line says okay, then, let's forget about this whole notion of "arrogance" in foreign affairs. Arrogance is "for teenagers when they are explaining why they don't like certain classmates."


Quayle said...

To me, one of the most telling moments about Obama was at the Al Smith dinner.

He was horrible. His jokes were pretty good, but he just didn't delivery them well.

Why is that? Was it that it was hard to tell if he really was joking when he implied he was Superman?

Or was it that he kept laughing nervously between the gags?

Or was it because we don't know where Obama ends and the joke begins, where the talk ends and the person begins, what is him and what is him talking?

There just seems to be a lot of blur there.

Chip Ahoy said...

Casserole, je voudrais vous présenter à cette bouilloire

integrity said...

I'd like to hear Sarkozy say that in public.

Arrogance is Sarkozy daring to take his shirt off in public, now that's arrogance.

I'll be curious to see if that is reported in France, and if he pays politically at some point considering the arrogant image he has cultivated. Hmmm.

blake said...

Wait, the French love Obama!

How can they have elected a guy who doesn't?

Ohhhh--is there a Diebold in France? Le Diebold?

Kirby Olson said...

Oui c'est vrai qu'Obama est l'arrogance lui-meme.

Merci, Sarkozy, c'est vrai.

Il faut consolider l'ouest contre l'arrogance supreme d'Iran sous Ahmaninajad.


mcg said...

What Sarkozy called "arrogant" was Obama's pledge to open direct presidential-level talks with Iran. The point being (it seems to me) that Sarkozy does not like the unilateral nature of such talk.

That doesn't seem all that surprising to me. Forget Obama for a moment: doesn't it seem reasonable that Europe would want to be involved in talks at that level?

Maguro said...

Imagine that - a French politician bitching about Yankee arrogance and unilateralism. plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose ...

Oxbay said...

Althouse forgot the special: Bissage comment only $4.95; it comes with a pickle. It's a Bissage kind of night at the Althouse Bar and Grill.

Original George said...


Mmm...blur. Lots of surface. Lots of aura. He's all about process, not arrival, thus the many 'present' votes.

It's always good to be wary of people who can't laugh at themselves. The insecure, authoritarian types, the ones whose shirts are stuffed with hubris.

His followers know not to joke. Here is an article, not an editorial, from the new Newsweek about why Sen. Obama is not to be mocked:

"For many, Obama represents an opportunity to restore America's promise, and it's clear that satirists, perhaps for themselves as much as the rest of the country, don't want to lend credence to the notion that he might not be the real deal. A few jokes, it seems, aren't worth further depressing a nation embroiled in two wars and a financial crisis, a nation for whom Obama could represent the leadership we need."

Talk about obsequious.

Pride goeth before a fall.

Revenant said...

America will always seem "arrogant" to Europeans, for the simple reason that they generally view themselves as superior to us and aren't.

In reality, the usual reason we do things without consulting with the EU is that the EU isn't helpful to our goals.

Henry said...

That's a hassle -- a double link through Powerline to get to the real article.

I'm not much of a fan of Obama, but Sarkozy looks like the screw-up here. If the permanent members of the United Nations are trying to maintain a united front, why they hell call out a politician who hasn't even been elected yet?

I bet Obama was phlegmatic and his advisors were diffident. So what? That doesn't mean jack in the silly season.

Diamondhead said...

So an Obama presidency means that the parties will switch positions on the question of whether the French are assholes.

ricpic said...

Sarkozy's cracking under the pressure to perform from the divine whore, Carla.

Trooper York said...

No the French will always be arrogant assholes.

What's that famous saying:

It takes one to know one.

LUCKY said...

Basicly I think of Monty Pythons, "Quest for the Holy Grail" where the French gurads are taunting King Arthur and his men. Only now France has no amazing castle to hide behind and all they can do is fart in the general direction of the U.S. which amounts to alot of useless stinky air being blown.

dualdiagnosis said...

Another example of Obama bringing people together.

integrity said...

ricpic said...
Sarkozy's cracking under the pressure to perform from the divine whore, Carla.

That's funny. She is a whore. And a shitty songwriter.

I listened to her song about Sarkozy being her drug and immediately wanted to O.D. on heroine. Awful stuff. Nitwit.

He's gotta be a Viagra junkie.

knox said...

Ohhhh--is there a Diebold in France? Le Diebold?

LOL. Must be--it's the only possible explanation.

Revenant said...

So an Obama presidency means that the parties will switch positions on the question of whether the French are assholes.

Conservatives have had nice things to say about Sarkozy since long before he thought about criticizing Barack Obama.

Most of the assholish behavior of the French during the Bush Administration was during the Chirac period. Chirac has always been a useless turd (that the public allowed him back into office is truly amazing), but Sarkozy has his good points.

garage mahal said...

They're saying Viva McCain! in France for those 40,000 jobs he gave them for scuttling the Boeing air tanker deal to go to EADS. McCain is very friendly with EADS and 7 people on his campaign have either fund raised or lobbied on behalf of EADS. In 2004 McCain wrote part of a law [that passed] that waived the application for any domestic sourcing requirements. It was a 35 billion dollar deal that would have created 20-40,000 new jobs with downstream suppliers in 40 states benefiting from it. People like me.

What the hell was he saying about Country First again? All bullshit. All of it.

Jen Bradford said...

These French-bashing reactions are time-warpish. Sarkozy may be vain, but he's no fool. And I don't think it was star-power envy, although who knows. The key paragraph:

Sarkozy has made his criticisms only in closed forums in France. But according to a senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate's stance on Iran as "utterly immature" and comprised of "formulations empty of all content."

I found it fascinating. He would be taking into account the need for Obama to be at least somewhat opaque, but still found his statements hollow. That has been my reaction on too many occasions to count. Remember before Hitchens flipped and asked if anyone could quote a single line from the "great orator's" speeches? Well I still can't.

Palladian said...

You know, Obama is an arrogant socialist loser, but he's our arrogant socialist loser, so back off, Sarkozy!

America is a diverse nation. Some of our citizens, like Obama, are arrogant socialist losers, some aren't. On the other hand, everyone in France is an arrogant socialist loser!

Palladian said...

I kid the French and Sarkozy. I'd much rather dine with Sarkozy and his talentless whorish wife than with Barack and Michelle.

"...formulations empty of all content."

A perfect description of Obama, wouldn't you say?

Maguro said...

They're saying Viva McCain! in France for those 40,000 jobs he gave them for scuttling the Boeing air tanker deal to go to EADS.

Bullshit as usual. The Boeing lease deal was thoroughly corrupt and McCain didn't award anything to EADS, the Air Force did.

Synova said...

Believe it or not, I've got foreign friends.

The United States is arrogant, and it bothers people. Part of it is just size and economic influence. My friend from New Zealand expressed it this way... no one *needs* to deal with New Zealand, so if they pass rules we don't like, we just don't go there. OTOH, the US can pass rules about air travel and everyone HAS to comply. We don't even have to tell them they have to follow our rules, if they deal with us they have to follow our rules. And everyone *has* to deal with us.

What's really rather funny is that the ways that we are arrogant are not going to go away under Obama, not for a moment. Because its those little things that chafe... probably more than soldiers.

It's little NZ knowing that *no one cares* that they ban all nukes, and if we don't send subs through their waters it's because it's just as easy not to go there, and if we had a reason to go there we'd ignore their silly no-nuke resolution.

This is very much the attitude that Obama expresses when he's trying to sound "tough" and all foreign-policy competent.

It's the same attitude of all the idiots here and elsewhere who've been bleating for six years about why we haven't gone into Pakistan (though we've done so a bit, recently). There seems not to be any recognition that when we *do* violate another country's sovereignty we ought, at the very least, offer a fig leaf of deniability about it.

It's automatically viewing sanctions or other non-military influence as not being a bully, when by design they are meant to bully other nations into doing what we want.

If Obama frets about our "arrogance" one wonders if he has his own definition of that word, the same way he has his own definition of what a "right" is.

Revenant said...

And everyone *has* to deal with us.

Nobody "has" to deal with us. They deal with us because we're better than the alternatives. I'm not clear why any reasonable person would think that means we have to take other people's wishes into account.

Just because we produce things other people want to buy and are one of the only democracies in the world bothering to field a decent military doesn't mean that it is "arrogant" for us to act in our own interests. It is, I would say, arrogant for other countries to choose pacifism and socialism over armed capitalism and then whine that our economy and military aren't behaving in quite the way they want. It is the arrogance of a teenager who complains that his parents won't let him borrow the car.

miller said...

Sounds like Bambi is worried about being liked. Not a good sign in an executive.

garage mahal said...

It's the truth Maguro. In fact McCain claims credit for killing the initial bid awarded to Boeing.

Geoff Matthews said...


Sarkozy didn't call Obama out, he complained to someone/somepeople about Obama, and someone/somepeople reported that to the press.

So basically, the French government have as many leaks as the U.S. government.

mcg said...

Hey, if "country first" means you've have to let Americans win every contract no matter what the merits, then yeah, I suppose McCain ought to abdicate that slogan. But I ain't going there. Two Boeing officials were sent to prison over this contract for crying out loud.

Besides, Northrup Grumman, a partner with Airbus in the project, is a huge American contractor.

mcg said...

Here's NG's claim: "Northrop Grumman, with its subsidiary of Airbus, was going to add 48,000 new jobs in the United States and build four brand new factories," he explains. "Boeing was not going to add very many jobs, if at all; and they were not building any new factories."

Who's putting country first again?

Jen Bradford said...

My favorite leak was when Blair couldn't help sharing a hilarious Bushism that got out: "The problem with the French is they don't have a word for entrepreneur!" (yeah, I know this was disputed, but I refuse to let it go, it's too good.)

EDH said...

Obama is not the first American to wear a hint of "Arrogance" .

In the late 1970s, Franke adopted the ring name Adrian Adonis and the character of a brawling, leather jacket-clad biker...In early 1986, Adonis started carrying a briefcase which said "Relax with Trudy" on the outside of it and carried a spray called "Fragrance"; 3 years later, Rick Martel would lift the gimmick, calling his perfume "Arrogance," an apparent ode to Adonis. During an edition of Piper's Pit, Adonis gave his signature leather jacket to host Roddy Piper. Adonis' new character was the effeminate "Adorable" Adrian Adonis. The gimmick change saw him bleach his hair blond and begin wearing pink ring attire, as well as scarves, leg warmers, dresses, women's hats, and clownish amounts of eye shadow and rouge.

I thoroughly expect Obama to adopt a Gorgeous George personnae any moment now.

Synova said...

Nobody "has" to deal with us. They deal with us because we're better than the alternatives. I'm not clear why any reasonable person would think that means we have to take other people's wishes into account.

It's not reasonable to think we ought to do things the way someone else thinks they ought to be done, "just because"... but recognizing that dealing with us might be a better choice than not dealing with us, even if a nation would rather not, does illustrate a difference of power and influence that simply *is*.

Everyone is allowed their own patriotism and nationalism... I tend to think those things are good, over all... and it's often the little things, such as music and dress and McDonald's, that makes people feel crowded (and I suppose people overseas don't see all the counter-influence in this country and how much we love foreign stuff.)

And I'm not saying we *ought* to do something about this or that we even *can*.

What I'm saying is that Obama *won't*.

And people who think that Democratic policies or Obama's election is going to make us seem less arrogant... it's a delusion.

LoafingOaf said...

When Obama captures Usama bin Laden, his approval ratings will soar!!!

Eric said...

I think you have to consider the history on this one. Bush wanted the Europeans to play good cop to his bad cop on the nuclear issue. If Obama unilaterally changes the strategy it makes France and Germany look completely impotent.

In a sense the French will probably feel betrayed if he goes through with it.

Mortimer Brezny said...

On American hegemony: we run the world. Our strategic competitors seek to sell their products here; our military can topple any government; our diplomatic corps can destabilize any nation’s alliances. The French, lamenting – and do not the French excel to lament? – their lost colonial power, oppose us while cherishing us in that frustratingly inconsistent philosophically French way, with their veto on the Security Council and their nuclear arsenal everyone knows they lack the testicular fortitude to deploy. Chirac and Villepin termed us (and Frenchmen “term,” they do not “call,” like all men of romance) a “hyperpower” – a linguistic and postmodern attack on our rightful integrity, a challenge, with a dainty gauntlet slap across the cheek, to our proper boundaries of hard and soft power; a hyperpower is a power exceeding its limits; therefore a rebuke of such a power is a morally justified act. A hyperpower must be constrained; a hegemon, perhaps, propitiated. The French first must create the space in the discourse to act; the opening salvo of war with the French is the asinine mischaracterization. I say we nuke the fuckers.

Arrogance, Powerline has it, is a vague term signifying intrinsically nothing; as bereft of substance as is the McCain campaign these days (and, by substance I mean “focus on the issues that scientific public opinion polling reflects the public cares to hear discussed”), I am still surprised to see rock-ribbed conservatives concede to closet nihilism. William F. Buckley truly is dead. In any event, they, more or less, have it correct: arrogance is not only in the eye of the beholder, but also rarely beheld by those who claim to see it, much like the imaginary six-foot-four African thief who pounced upon a McCain campaign volunteer to whittle her baby-fat cheek. The pompous and the arrogant and the elitist are almost invariably the neater, the plainer-spoken, the more able at mathematics, the higher-scoring on standardized tests, the handsomer, the more charismatic, the more well-traveled, the more well-read, and the more creative. Calling another arrogant is usually an admission of abiding jealousy, social proof of seething resentment, a sad, pathetic, pitiable act that strangles to death a little bit of one’s self-respect and annihilates one’s self-control. For arrogance seen through green eyes is a gateway to dehumanization; dehumanization a short stroll to genocide. Are the French keen on genocide? No, but for all their preening condescension, all their prissy, pseudo-intellectual wordplay, the French have yet to concede that they are brilliantly inept at war, singularly incompetent at diplomacy, and their xenophobic attitudes did much to stoke Marxist rebellion in French Indochina and Islamic jihadism in Northern Africa. We are living in the hateful, violent world created by the blissful stupidity of the French, and they have yet to take responsibility for it. Talk about arrogance.

Oh, and your cheese stinks, froggy.

Dear Trooper,

I am sorry I have been in absentia. I was preoccupied with a redhead.

Maguro said...

It's the truth Maguro. In fact McCain claims credit for killing the initial bid awarded to Boeing

He did kill the deal and rightly so - it was crooked through and through. The Air Force acquisition official who awarded the contract and Boeing's CFO both went to jail because of it.

Are you really suggesting McCain was the bad actor in that fiasco? He exposed a serious case of government corruption.

Michael McNeil said...

LoafingOaf sez:
When Obama captures Usama bin Laden, his approval ratings will soar!!!

You mean if. And it's hard to see how Obama can accomplish that goal without occupying with U.S. troops the Pakistani borderlands where the Taliban-supporting tribes most probably sheltering Bin Laden reside. That's been the problem all along.

Given such an action by Obama, what do you suppose will happen to anti-American public opinion in nuclear-armed Pakistan? Answer: it'll go through the roof. Yeah, go ahead Obama — risk nuclear strikes on American forces by an infuriated enemy whose country you have invaded.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Silly those who believed the French would like us just by the power of The One (PBUH). They don't like anyone, not even themselves (except for a few selected dictators they love)

Henry said...

Geoff Matthews wrote: Sarkozy didn't call Obama out, he complained to someone/somepeople about Obama, and someone/somepeople reported that to the press. So basically, the French government have as many leaks as the U.S. government.

Good point.

Synova said...

Obama won't capture bin Laden because he's so far underground, one way or the other, that he can't be found.

He's most probably dead. Dead, buried and long ago rotted.

Do people really think that we haven't been looking for him?


And that Obama will somehow be able to find him just because he *wants* to?

Trooper York said...

Good show Mort. Redheads are great. Not as good as brunettes but way better than blondes.

We missed you, glad you are back.

knowitall said...

He is very arrogant. Aren't all the Ivy-League illuminati politicians arrogant? When the left-wing is in control, people will be calling them way worse.

blake said...

Hey! Mort's awake!

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