August 28, 2020

"I recognize that my dad’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste and I know that his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered..."

Said Ivanka Trump, in her convention speech last night. Clearly, she was there to reach out to people who might like some or a lot of what Trump is doing but think there's something brutal and rough about him and nice people don't associate with that.

My choice of the word "rough" makes me think of that famous line attributed to George Orwell: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." But that has nothing to do with how the President of the United States chooses to speak.

President Obama spoke in a beautifully polished style — most of the time — but he was ready to do violence on our behalf. I wrote "most of the time" because as soon I thought about Obama's readiness to do violence on our behalf, I remembered something he said: "Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine."

Here's the larger context of that Ivanka quote:
My father has strong convictions. He knows what he believes and he says what he thinks. Whether you agree with him or not, you always know where he stands. I recognize that my dad’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste and I know that his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered, but the results, the results speak for themselves. He is so unapologetic about his beliefs that he has caused me and countless Americans to take a hard look at our own convictions and ask ourselves what do we stand for? What kind of America do we want to leave for our children? I am more certain than ever before we want a future where our kids can believe in American greatness.... We want a culture where differences of opinion and debate are encouraged, not canceled, where law enforcement is respected, where our country’s rich diversity is celebrated, and where people of all backgrounds, races, genders and creeds have the chance to achieve their God-given potential....

42 comments:

rehajm said...

I like good policy that helps humanity so I can't reckon the absurdity of hating Trump because he says mean things, which is only to his opponents who are mostly filled with hatred themselves. People must appreciate the grade school snarky backhanded insults of an Obama...

Biden won't be able to string enough words along to form a sentence, so I guess he's got that going for him with that type of voter...

rhhardin said...

She's softening it for women. She doesn't say it's women's inability to read men that's the problem.

Trump's zingers are gentlemanly invitations to a reposte. There's no hate in them, quite the opposite.

PC doesn't want repostes to its own stuff. Which one is the cancel culture of the dictator.

SensibleCitizen said...

"Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine."

That seems to me the statement of a sociopath. It's a gruesome disregard for the civilian life he ordered destroyed.

Tommy Duncan said...

"We want a culture where differences of opinion and debate are encouraged, not canceled, where law enforcement is respected, where our country’s rich diversity is celebrated, and where people of all backgrounds, races, genders and creeds have the chance to achieve their God-given potential...."

Those are fighting words for the base of the Democrat party.

bgates said...

President Obama spoke in a beautifully polished style

"Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat."
***
"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said as the crowd cheered. "It's still a pig."
***
"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl."
***
"The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives. You know, that casts a long shadow and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on."
***

Obama spoke in a beautifully polished style when he was talking to people who, by virtue of their adulation of him, he thought deserved to have the light of his countenance shine upon them. You never seem able to admit, or perhaps even remember, how he talked to and about the rest of the country. One possible explanation is that you share his contempt for the rest of the country. I can't think of another.

JAORE said...

Brava.

Dan in Philly said...

Obama was an empty suit who spoke words mostly written for him which made as much lasting impression as words written on the sand. What has he said you actually remember? Which made an actual impact on your life? When Trump speaks it's like he's saying what you're thinking, he's like Lincoln that way. You may not like your own thoughts but he's speaking them.

Iman said...

That’s Obama... always ready, willing and able to blow smoke up his own ass, should his court jesters be asleep at the wheel.

wendybar said...

Obama called us "Teabaggers" which is a homosexual term. He said we cling to our bibles and guns. Yes, he may have been smooth, but he hated us, and he didn't hide it. He pretty much said we were a racist country which is NOT true...but with the way Democrats and Progressives are regressing...it may come into fruition again, since they want segregated dorm rooms at NYU.

Wince said...

"...rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf". But that has nothing to do with how the President of the United States chooses to speak.

I'd say what Trump says and more importantly the political establishment it infuriates has everything to do with it.

What Trump says causes his enemies to become violent. To invite and endure that relentless violent reaction in the service of a cause without wavering is "to do violence" in the most courageous fashion.

In that respect, Trump is like Jesus.

Sebastian said...

"spoke in a beautifully polished style — most of the time"

Did he? Polished, yes; beautiful? Does anyone remember any speech he ever gave as president?

"most of the time" -- except when he had to, like, speak: umm, uhh, I, me, I, umm.

The Bergall said...

Never crossed my mind..............learn something new everyday.

Limited blogger said...

Thought Ivanka would start to make the case for her 2024 presidential run.

It was not that political a speech.

I guess she is content to be a terrific mother, a sharp business woman, and a patriotic American.

Ken said...

It's always odd to me that the quote is attributed to Orwell, when he is quite clearly giving the nod to Kipling. The passage from Orwell's essay "Rudyard Kipling" goes:

"It would be difficult to hit off the one-eyed pacifism of the English in fewer words than in the phrase, ‘making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep’. It is true that Kipling does not understand the economic aspect of the relationship between the highbrow and the blimp. He does not see that the map is painted red chiefly in order that the coolie may be exploited. Instead of the coolie he sees the Indian Civil Servant; but even on that plane his grasp of function, of who protects whom, is very sound. He sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them."

The last sentence was garbled by others quoting Orwell. But they would have done better, in my opinion, to stick to the original Kipling:

"Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;"

Michael K said...

What has he said you actually remember?

"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

JAORE said...

Obama was an empty suit who spoke words mostly written for him which made as much lasting impression as words written on the sand. What has he said you actually remember?

Spot on. I always tried to read a transcript of Obama speeches. Hollow, empty words.

traditionalguy said...

DJT has the attack guardian personality, as Ivanka knows. Are we ready to show him the door yet, that has been the question since 2015. But with Communist Revolutionaries on the March, I guess we give him an extension ... then we pretend we never liked him.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The choice is clear - Trump the BRUTE!
v.

total corruption and lies and Clintonian family enrichment with a river of WaPoo antifa Nazi terrorism propping him up.

Roy Jacobsen said...

President Obama spoke in a beautifully polished style...

With zero substance. My daughter, in high school at during Obama's first campaign, observed that "He talks a lot, but he doesn't say anything."

Robert Cook said...

"President Obama spoke in a beautifully polished style — most of the time — but he was ready to do violence on our behalf."

Except that none of the violence done by Obama (or his predecessor) was on our behalf or to our benefit: it did nothing to protect us or guarantee our freedom to sleep peacefully abed.

In addition, Obama's beautifully polished style was maddeningly wishy-washy and condescending, and as deceptive and dishonest as Trump's appeals to the working people he pretends to care for and serve.

Big Mike said...

I recognize that my dad’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste and I know that his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered, but the results, the results speak for themselves.

Lady is into understatement, but she’s absolutely right about results. Trump’s real-world experience leads him to think things through, unlike the disastrous roll-out of Obamacare.

Joe Smith said...

For a peaceful man, Obama seemed to revel in telling people how tough he was and how many people (US citizens included) he droned out of existence.

Trump rarely talks tough about military matters but was happy to destroy ISIS, something the lightbringer and old Joe said was impossible.

Off teleprompter Obama sounds far less polished. He really isn't as smart as people say he is...the epitome of affirmative action writ large.

I have a particular problem with he and Michelle always droppin' their 'Gs.' What's with that? He (supposedly) grew up in Hawaii.

Just sayin'.

Joe Smith said...

@Ken

You quoted Kipling. That is verboten these days. To the gulag with you...

Robert Cook said...

"Trump’s real-world experience leads him to think things through...."

Wha----OMG! HHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Inga said...

“Trump’s real-world experience leads him to think things through...."

“Wha----OMG! HHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”

Hey, no hyena style laughing allowed! But I’ll nod my head and laugh silently with you.

tim maguire said...

SensibleCitizen said..."Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine."

A somewhat subtle theme of the Netflix show The Last Kingdom is that petulance and violence against the weak is a mark of the weak man. The warrior, the Shield of King Alfred, leads troops in battle, fights the good fight even when he expects to lose, and executes criminals without apology. But when not doing violence on the king’s behalf, he is a gentle man who helps the poor, he can be teased by his wife and disagreed with by his subordinates. Meanwhile, lesser men, men who did not earn their high status, though they may control great armies, they do not lead them. They bully the weak, abuse their wives.

Obama is not good at killing people. He is good at having other people kill people.

daskol said...

He was such a lovely man, Obama. So well-spoken and polished, and with a thrilling crease to his pants. Such a contrast with the harder edges of his presidency, such as his enormous mendacity, his weaponizing the intelligence and law enforcement apparatus against his political opponents, launching operations against Trump's campaign and then leading an attempted coup to remove him from office, well, that's the kind of guy Trump looks like. How confusing, that the lovely man did such unlovely things, while the brutish and ostentatious and poorly read Trump with his ridiculous hair and boxy suits and crude humor is actually far more respectful of our society's norms and laws.

n.n said...

Obama the "boyfriend". Obama the social justice-mongerer across three continents and catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform (and an em-pathetic ooverup by Cooper et al). Obama the diversitist and progressive guardian. Obama of progressive prices and promissory notes. Obama the spy, Biden the obstruction, and Clinton the colluder, and combinations. Obama of palettes for anthropogenic conflicts. Obama should be happy to be relieved of his "burdens".

Michael K said...

Such a contrast with the harder edges of his presidency, such as his enormous mendacity, his weaponizing the intelligence and law enforcement apparatus against his political opponents, launching operations against Trump's campaign and then leading an attempted coup to remove him from office,

To be fair, I think whoever was running Obama did most of this. Obama is an ideologue, yes, but he has no history of ever actually accomplishing anything. Maybe it was ValJar or maybe shadowy figures like Ayres and Dohrn. I don't know if we will ever find out.

Calypso Facto said...

daskol said... "He was such a lovely man, Obama. So well-spoken and polished, and with a thrilling crease to his pants."

Don't forget that Biden was also amazed that Obama, an African-American, could be so "articulate, bright, and clean".

friscoda said...

Prof,

I am disappointed. "A beautifully polished style". really??! I would have thought that an alumna of S&C would be a more discerning judge.

Big Mike said...

and as deceptive and dishonest as Trump's appeals to the working people

@Cookie, Trump appeals to working people. Leaves lazy, worthless bastards like you right out, doesn't it?

Joe Smith said...

"Obama is an ideologue, yes, but he has no history of ever actually accomplishing anything."

The result of white guilt combined with affirmative action.

Obama was the first quota hire president.

narciso said...

'if I had a son, it would have been trayvon', 'i'm the one standing between you and the mob' (re the cleanup crew at aig's bonuses,' 'that ig gerald walpin (who was investigating my wife's friends fraud at americorps,) was senile,' those are just some random bonmots from the previous occupant at the white house, spontaneous or deliberate,

Bob Smith said...

Let’s send Obama back to the mean streets of Chi Town and see how tough he really is. They just topped 500 murders. Barry was good at sending the military to kill people. Anybody can do that.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Obama was eloquent when speaking from a teleprompter. Speaking without one, he hemmed and hawed, restarted and lost his train of thought. An empty suit.

Swede said...

Turns out I'm a really great chef because I ordered the steak tartar, twice baked potato, and fresh garden salad.

Obama would soil his panties if he had to actually do the things he told others to do.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

They would have hated him if his tweets were Shakespearian love sonnets.

mikee said...

President Obama had two speaking tricks, and only two.

First, he'd put up a strawman, "Some people believe this," (something obnoxious that nobody believes, but we're supposed to associate it with Republican policy). And he'd knock it down with his policy pronouncements.

Second, he'd speak about two groups, say, legal gun owners and mass murderers, and as he spoke he'd confound the two very separate groups into one group, such that his message was that all legal gun owners are mass murderers.

That was it. He had no other skills in speaking.

Wikitorix said...


The last sentence was garbled by others quoting Orwell. But they would have done better, in my opinion, to stick to the original Kipling:

"Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;"


The last line of Kipling's poem is where the lesson is spelled out: "and Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool, you bet that Tommy sees." This concept has never occurred to the rioters - that the cops that they denigrate and assault will not lift a finger to defend them when the shooting starts.

Jon Ericson said...

Attention Althouse comment readers:

There's Moby "Ken B" aka Karen, and then there's "Ken".

Don't be skippin' over Ken.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

DeepRunner said...

Madame La Professeur, en homage at the Messianic O's altar, said...
"President Obama spoke in a beautifully polished style — most of the time — but he was ready to do violence on our behalf. I wrote "most of the time" because as soon I thought about Obama's readiness to do violence on our behalf, I remembered something he said: 'Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.'"

Sorta like Muttering Joe observing how neat and clean and articulate O was. Or the creased slacks. Or like when O won the Nobel Peace Prize. And then proceeded to brag about how good he was at killing people.

I shrug at those who voted for "transcendence" and wound up with "transactional."