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Obama Damns the Torpedoes

Obama has been criticized as sufficiently narcissistic as to lack the capacity to recognize personal fault. The President has ticked off a laundry list of villains responsible for all our woes: Bush, Rush, Boehner, Rove, etc. Recently, Obama chastised Democrats for failing to have his back. And finally, having run out of just about anyone else to blame, Obama turned on the voters themselves.

Apparently, "facts and science and argument" are not persuading Americans because they are unable to "think clearly," since they are "scared," "looking backwards," full of "fear" and "confused." He cited Republicans as refusing to put aside politics and deciding to "ride people's anger and frustration all the way to the ballot box." (The GOP would probably agree to the last bit - and should laugh at the President for chiding others about partisanship.)

Insulting the public as too addle minded to comprehend your magnificence isn't likely the quickest way to electoral success. It speaks to the mind-set and temperament of the President, who has yet to truly address the obvious public refutation of his policies and ideology. At this 11th hour, witnessing the eclipse of his legislative potential as November nears, Obama's desperation has led him to a unique strategy: honesty. 

Obama is right, and the public is just to dumb to get it. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! 

Categories > Politics

Discussions - 13 Comments

I have long been perplexed by the claim that Mr. Obama is in any way superior in his intelligence. He's a smart enough fellow, I suppose, but no more so than many on this site, including Mr. Scanlon.

What Mr. Obama lacks is a kind of intuitive, grounded, common-sense intelligence. Or if he does, he's sure not displaying it now.

I've been around big business long enough to see in action the kind of intelligence I'm alluding to. The people who influence meetings, who drive agendas forward, are often not the most overtly intelligent, or the loudest ... but more the quiet and assured person in the room. They do not make imprudent comments, or rash decisions, or burn bridges. They lead through humble strength. That is not a contradiction in terms.

Sadly, Mr. Obama seems not to understand that approach. He lacks that form of intelligence.

I think Obama's general intelligence is more than ample, and likely exceeds all but a small minority. What is lacking is a different quality - call it seriousness of purpose, perhaps. You seldom encounter someone 49 years of age who has been so dilettantish about how he has lived his life.

He has been a copy editor, 'community organizer', author, attorney, college teacher, legislator, and now public executive. Other than the time he spent proofreading company newsletters, all of his efforts have been in subtrades of politics. The 'community organizer' most notable for making a pest of himself to the Chicago Housing Authority, the memoirist writing of himself, the associate in an insipid law practice, the college teacher who made no contributions to scholarly literature, the legislator identified with a particular interest in no department of public business, the executive who delegated the business of drafting his legislative program to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Bwahney Fwank.

One gets the impression that his understanding of history begins and ends with the Democratic Party's received narrative and that he conceives of himself as a character in some tome by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

So, what good is his intelligence to himself to to anyone else? It seems to do more harm than good, this intelligence of Mr. Obama's. It is a painful thing. Intelligence without a few other positive human attributes, does more harm than good. It leaves you intellectual. Apparently, in that state, intelligent humans are a risk to us all.

How about this: God save us from the brilliant who are only guided by their inner light.

Before the election in '08, I wrote here on this blog that the guy was "painfully provincial."

Few concurred with that judgement.

That was the time when anything remotely negative about our "first black whatever" had to be prefaced with some nonsensical tribute to his "brilliance" or "intellect." It was more than enough to make a mature man want to throw up.

Now all the world, not just the United States, is seeing this clown as the jerk that he is.

The man has remained married for 18 years, and paid his bills, so he has some 'positive attributes'. The thing is, his intelligence has proved insufficient to the task of developing a genuine vocation, rather than the simulacrum of one.

Honolulu is its own place. Unlike Sarah Palin or George W. Bush (whose families also had scant history where they grew up), Obama never embraced his hometown and its distinctive rhythms and tastes. That is peculiar. Several of my own relatives landed in Honolulu. They went native within a few years. Obama watched episodes of Soul Train to attempt to figure out how to 'be black', cast about for a worldview from the likes of Frank Marshall Davis and Jeremiah Wright, and eventually landed in Chicago, but not in pursuit of employment or genuine mission work.

I don't think he's that intelligent, just well-spoken (they don't necessarily go hand in hand). He's doubling down, as I predicted (and as a great number of pundits predicted). The guy's a one-trick pony, and he'll go down in flames before he changes his act.

That is the big question, isn't it? If Obama learns from this election and "changes his act" then he will not go down in flames. He will adapt and don't we all wonder what that might mean? I do not like the idea of our president "going down in flames." He is still our president with all that means, especially in foreign relations.

Yes, we all know the guy has problems, or, as AD points out (yes, he's not Pol Pot or someone like that, for crying out loud) he is just problematic as president.

But he is our president, so what the heck are we going to do for the next two years or so and even longer if the Republican Party cannot get everyone to the right of left in line behind a candidate?

Domestic politics is one thing. Existing in the wider world is going to take an at least half-decent president. Wouldn't it be risky to break the one we've got? (Not that I am even convinced that he is half-decent.)

The next several years are going to be as challenging as any since 1939 in the economic realm and as challenging as any in the realm of public finance. In the realm of war and diplomacy, it is difficult to say, but could readily prove the equal of 2003-07 and then some. One might wish we had someone in whom you might have some confidence leading the executive and the legislature, but we have who we have. It is not just Obama. I had to ask the question some weeks after he assumed office how many people would have to resign
'ere the presidency was occupied by someone trustworthy: Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Byrd, Mrs. Clinton, Geinther. The next in line was Secretary Gates, a registered independent. Michael Dukakis been retired a while. The whole top echelon of the Democratic Party is rancid.

I prefer Obama to Biden (even more vain and far more irresponsible.) God help me, but of the three, I think I could live with Clinton until January 2013. Yeah, I know Pelosi is next after Biden...for now.

Ok, no problem here with smelling the rancidity of the Democratic Party. What is the top echelon of the Republican Party?

Currently John Boehner and Mitchell McConnell, a pair of tedious Capitol Hill apparatchiks.

Exactly my point.

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