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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

POS POTUS

President of Some People of the United States.

ED NAILS IT. I told you at the very beginning he wasn't my president. By which I meant he wasn't going to be everybody else's president, either. He's president of some of the people, the ones his community activist heart believes are worthy victims. And not all victims are worthy. Some of them were just asking for it, for various reasons. Which is why he can't speak from the heart to the whole nation. Every national audience contains multitudes of people he despises. His mission in life is to humble and punish and 'reeducate' and ultimately control those people.

I didn't watch the speech because I already knew it wasn't aimed at reassuring me or most of America. So I won't give you a review. What I will do is share the best rundown I've come across in a morning of surfing the Interwebs:

Nothing Left to Say [Daniel Foster]

The Left's rejection of President Obama's speech last night was breathtaking in its scope.

RCP has some tidbits from the MSNBC set Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Howard Fineman which we've already highlighted on the homepage:

Olbermann: "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days."

Matthews compared Obama to Carter.

Olbermann: "Nothing specific at all was said."

Matthews: "No direction."

Howard Fineman: "He wasn't specific enough."

Olbermann: "I don't think he aimed low, I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling."

Howard Fineman: Obama should be acting like a "commander-in-chief."

Matthews: Ludicrous that he keeps saying [Secretary of Energy] Chu has a Nobel prize. "I'll barf if he does it one more time."

Matthews: "A lot of meritocracy, a lot of blue ribbon talk."

Matthews: "I don't sense executive command."

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones called it a "terrible speech."

This gives pablum a bad name. Obama wants a bill. Pretty much any bill will do. But he didn't say a single word about what he himself wanted. A carbon tax? Cap-and-trade? Nuclear subsidies? Electric cars? Who knows? And as Kate Sheppard notes, he didn't breathe so much as a word about climate change.

I dunno. This speech felt entirely by-the-numbers to me. He told us about the spill. He told us the best minds in the country were working on it. He told us BP would pay for it. He told us he was setting up some commissions. He said he wanted an energy bill of some kind. Then he told us all to pray. It felt like he was reading off a PowerPoint deck.

This is, by a long way, the most negative reaction I've ever had to an Obama speech. Even on Afghanistan, where I was dubious of his strategy and felt his address at West Point was technocratic and unconvincing, I thought his speech had at least a few redeeming features. But this one? There was just nothing there. I felt better about Obama's response to the spill before the speech than I do now.

At The Atlantic, James Fallows' response was a "sigh."

Do we think anything different about our problems, our policies, the possible solutions, or the Administration's intentions after this speech than we did before hearing it? For many of Obama's big speeches, from "race" in 2008 to national security last month, the answer is Yes. To me, the answer for this speech is No. If this speech resembles anything in the past Obama canon, it is his address last December, at West Point, announcing an increase in U.S. troop commitment to Afghanistan. Unfortunately.

Jonathan Chait said the part of Obama's speech concerning Obama's energy and climate bill "revealed just how much Obama is operating from a position of weakness."

Even Ezra Klein, for whom Obama's wonky sobriety is ever a source of starry-eyed optimism, couldn't help but fret over the speech's lack of specifics:

The optimistic take, at least for environmentalists, is that this is the language and approach Obama uses when he really means to legislate. The pessimistic take is that Obama shied away from clearly describing the problem, did not endorse specific legislation, did not set benchmarks, and chose poll-tested language rather than a sharper case that might persuade skeptics.

But perhaps the most damning commentary came from Jon Stewart, in a show taped hours before the president's speech. It doesn't cover the BP stuff but is well worth a watch as a pure distillate of the left's disaffection...

Overlook the lefty rhetoric. What they're discovering goes deeper than that. They're finally realizing that POSPOTUS is an incompetent empty suit who can't see past his own ideological cant to communicate anything helpful, meaningful, or substantive to the American people.

Just to rub it in, here's part of what I said on Election Night, November 4, 2008:

I'm not urging violence of any kind. I'm simply declaring my unalterable opposition to the worst electoral decision this country has ever made. I will not wait and see. I will not give him the benefit of the doubt. I will not hope for the best. His election is the greatest catastrophe that has befallen this republic in 232 years. Clinton was just corrupt. Obama is a nemesis. I will do everything I can to turn him legally out of office as soon as possible.

I'm sure there's going to be a lot of making nice in the next few days and weeks. I won't be part of that. When you get sick of all the attempts to put the best possible face on this unutterable disaster, come here. We'll be at the old stand as usual, fighting for what remains of this stricken dream, our country.

Let me repeat a couple of suddenly relevant words from that post: Catastrophe. Disaster.

It's time to start thinking about impeachment.







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