Posts Tagged ‘August 8’

Obama As The Stupidest Genius President Ever

August 10, 2011

Well, at least he’s not arrogant, right?

The aircraft was large, modern and considered among the world’s safest. But that night it was flying straight into a huge thunderstorm. Turbulence was extreme, and airspeed indicators may not have been functioning properly. Worse, the pilots were incompetent. As the plane threatened to stall they panicked by pointing the nose up, losing speed when they ought to have done the opposite. It was all over in minutes.

Was this the fate of Flight 447, the Air France jet that plunged mysteriously into the Atlantic a couple of years ago? Could be. What I’m talking about here is the Obama presidency.

When it comes to piloting, Barack Obama seems to think he’s the political equivalent of Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager and—in a “Fly Me to the Moon” sort of way—Nat King Cole rolled into one. “I think I’m a better speech writer than my speech writers,” he reportedly told an aide in 2008. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m . . . a better political director than my political director.”

On another occasion—at the 2004 Democratic convention—Mr. Obama explained to a Chicago Tribune reporter that “I’m LeBron, baby. I can play at this level. I got game.”

Of course, it’s tempting to be immodest when your admirers are so immodest about you. How many times have we heard it said that Mr. Obama is the smartest president ever? Even when he’s criticized, his failures are usually chalked up to his supposed brilliance. Liberals say he’s too cerebral for the Beltway rough-and-tumble; conservatives often seem to think his blunders, foreign and domestic, are all part of a cunning scheme to turn the U.S. into a combination of Finland, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.

I don’t buy it. I just think the president isn’t very bright.

Socrates taught that wisdom begins in the recognition of how little we know. Mr. Obama is perpetually intent on telling us how much he knows. Aristotle wrote that the type of intelligence most needed in politics is prudence, which in turn requires experience. Mr. Obama came to office with no experience. Plutarch warned that flattery “makes itself an obstacle and pestilence to great houses and great affairs.” Today’s White House, more so than any in memory, is stuffed with flatterers.

Much is made of the president’s rhetorical gifts. This is the sort of thing that can be credited only by people who think that a command of English syntax is a mark of great intellectual distinction. Can anyone recall a memorable phrase from one of Mr. Obama’s big speeches that didn’t amount to cliché? As for the small speeches, such as the one we were kept waiting 50 minutes for yesterday, we get Triple-A bromides about America remaining a “Triple-A country.” Which, when it comes to long-term sovereign debt, is precisely what we no longer are under Mr. Obama.

Then there is Mr. Obama as political tactician. He makes predictions that prove false. He makes promises he cannot honor. He raises expectations he cannot meet. He reneges on commitments made in private. He surrenders positions staked in public. He is absent from issues in which he has a duty to be involved. He is overbearing when he ought to be absent. At the height of the financial panic of 1907, Teddy Roosevelt, who had done much to bring the panic about by inveighing against big business, at least had the good sense to stick to his bear hunt and let J.P. Morgan sort things out. Not so this president, who puts a new twist on an old put-down: Every time he opens his mouth, he subtracts from the sum total of financial capital.

Then there’s his habit of never trimming his sails, much less tacking to the prevailing wind. When Bill Clinton got hammered on health care, he reverted to centrist course and passed welfare reform. When it looked like the Iraq war was going to be lost, George Bush fired Don Rumsfeld and ordered the surge.

Mr. Obama, by contrast, appears to consider himself immune from error. Perhaps this explains why he has now doubled down on Heckuva Job Geithner. It also explains his insulting and politically inept habit of suggesting—whether the issue is health care, or Arab-Israeli peace, or change we can believe in at some point in God’s good time—that the fault always lies in the failure of his audiences to listen attentively. It doesn’t. In politics, a failure of communication is always the fault of the communicator.

Much of the media has spent the past decade obsessing about the malapropisms of George W. Bush, the ignorance of Sarah Palin, and perhaps soon the stupidity of Rick Perry. Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart and considerably more successful.

But it takes actual smarts to understand that glibness and self-belief are not sufficient proof of genuine intelligence. Stupid is as stupid does, said the great philosopher Forrest Gump. The presidency of Barack Obama is a case study in stupid does.

Oh, well. Never mind about that thing about him not being pretty much the world’s most self-exalted specimen in the history of the human race.

By some strange coincidence (or by some mystical alignment revealing the essence of Obama for the foolish fraud that he is), the same day the above article emerged the following Dilbert cartoon came out:

Note the stunning similarity in character: yes, the narcissist is a complete screw-up, but somehow he believes himself to be absolutely magnificent.

Have you ever encountered one of those punk kids who was just as certain that he was smarter than everybody else as he was that he was God’s gift to the entire universe?  Usually these arrogant little vermin end up in prison because they just keep going farther and farther and getting away with crap until they finally take that one giant step too far.  But occasionally they get elected president before the truth emerges about them.

When that happens, in the words of former chair of Obama’s council of economic advisers Christina Romer, we are all “pretty darned f—ked.”  At least, that is, until somebody finally does something to control the irritating little turd.

We Need A Leader. Unfortunately We’ve Got A Fool-in-Chief

August 9, 2011

I wrote up my own comments in an article I wrote yesterday titled “Obama On Downgrade, Market Plunge: The Buck Stops With (Anyone BUT) Me.”  But Judith Miller’s systematic take-down on Obama’s speech should be preserved.

In Debt Downgrade Aftermath, Obama Serves Up a Silly Speech
By Judith Miller
Published August 08, 2011 | FoxNews.com

First, do no harm. That is a useful injunction for doctors, lawyers, and, it turns out, U.S. presidents.
 
But President Obama’s useless speech Monday about the basic soundness of the American economy managed to reinforce all the concerns Americans on the left and right have about his stewardship of the country.
 
The speech did at least temporary harm. As soon as he finished speaking, the already jittery financial markets plunged.
 
Americans didn’t want to hear that we’re fine people or that Warren Buffett thinks that we should have an impeccable credit rating.

They didn’t want him to repeat his basic talking points: the need to marshal the “political will” to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits, or create an infrastructure bank.

They didn’t want to hear his perfectly reasonable desire to solve the debt crisis over time by cutting spending after the economy recovers and by raising more revenue from what the president now calls “tax reform” rather than new taxes.

Americans wanted to hear what President Obama was planning to do to create jobs and stop our economy from slipping over an economic abyss into a double-dip recession.

His calm, passionless, “voice of reason” message, without a single new proposal except his pledge to make specific proposals in the future and work with the Congressionally designated super-committee to address the deficit and debt crises – “leading from behind again” – actually panicked the markets. And no wonder.  Americans were looking for a leader, and what we got was the professor again.

One must sympathize with the president. Last week was his worst week ever in the job.

First, he turned 50, usually traumatic for most people, even politicians.

Then he became the first president to have a downgrading of America’s credit worthiness on his watch – an action taken by Standard & Poor’s, a company that made a two trillion dollar mistake in its own budget calculations and which gave the highest credit rating to Lehman Brothers on the verge of bankruptcy and to the mortgage-backed securities that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis. How do you spell “chutzpah” on Wall Street?

Then he presided over the deadliest day in Afghanistan– the loss of 30 Americans soldiers, most of them Navy Seal commandos, some from the same unit that killed Usama Bin Laden. (He lauded their courage and sacrifice in the only convincing part of his today’s speech – at the end of that speech, which he introduced with the world’s most awkward transition: “One More Thing.”)

Then markets plunged.

The president has now managed to deepen the alienation of the right – which I believe unfairly accuses him of being a free-wheeling tax and spender whose profligacy is responsible for the nation’s slow growth and falling credit worthiness.

Now, the left of his party, too, is in full rebellion. On Sunday, Drew Westen, a professor of psychology at Emory, articulated the fury of liberal Democrats in a New York Times Sunday Review essay.

He excoriated Obama for failing to provide a “counternarrative” to that of the right and for engaging in “the politics of appeasement” with the Tea Party. The public, he wrote, was desperate for a Roosevelt who would name names and assign blame – to his predecessors. (Hasn’t Obama done a lot of that?) Instead, it got more rhetoric. Instead of indicting his predecessors’ economic policies that had eliminated eight million jobs, “in the most damaging of the tic-like gestures of compromise that have become the hallmark of his presidency,” Westen wrote, “he backed away from his advisers who proposed a big stimulus, and then diluted it with tax cuts that had already been shown to be inert.” The predictable result was a “half-stimulus that half-stimulated the economy.”

How can one explain this lack of leadership? Westen offered several harsh theories. Perhaps Obama is, as conservatives have alleged, too inexperienced and hence, incompetent. Obama, he wrote, “had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state.” He had a “singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography.” Finally, before joining the Senate, he had voted “present” rather than “yea” or “nay” 130 times, “sometimes dodging difficult issues.”

But wait. Westen has an even harsher explanation, namely that America is being “held hostage not just by an extremist Republican Party but also by a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election.”

Ouch. No wonder Mr. Obama looked so very shaken during a speech that was intended to boost the nation’s confidence.

Obama came on television when we needed a leader.  And of course all we got was a clueless clown.

“Here’s my plan.”  “Here’s what we need to do.”  You’re not going to get anything like that from THIS Disgrace.

Obama is THE POSTER BOY for the phrase “all talk, no action.”  All this man ever offers is another useless speech.

I’m still waiting for Obama to give his “My work here is done” speech:

But it appears he thinks he can still do more to destroy America.