Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Is it just me?
I'm betting the house he'll be at the Army-Navy game this year too.
POST-MEMORIAL DAY. Mrs. CP wanted to see the Arlington wreath-laying ceremony. She always does. She admires Admiral Mullen, and she doesn't despise Secretary Gates nearly as much as I do. She's also prepared to appreciate a genuine presidential contribution even from Obama. So we watched.
It really could just be me. Honestly, it could. The president's speech was okay, especially after the predictably soporific intro by Gates. For once Obama didn't pretend that all of American history was simply a symbol portending his own arrival on the scene. (And I had a positive thought too. Michelle reached out to kiss the Doles, and I observed to Mrs. CP, "I begin to suspect that the First Lady has learned more about America and Americans than her husband has... I think she might actually be falling in love with her country."
But as I told Mrs. CP in a completely other context this weekend, "I may be just a nasty, cynical, suspicious old sonofabitch, but..." (although she agreed with me in that instance; pursue in comments if you're intrigued), I had some issues with the Arlington speech. Here they are, enumerated:
1. I think he's learned that the Marine Corps is not pronounced "corpse." But he never did say the words "Marine Corps" in his paean to American military bravery. Omission at this level is proof of error, if not shame.
2. Here we are at Arlington, and the underpaid, undermanned CSPAN crew is doing its best, but as we observe the proscenium awaiting the most moving, heartfelt, and nonpartisan of presidential remarks, there are the inevitable teleprompter panels, so visible and out of place that they actually obscured the face of the president on the podium. (God bless the fat, pot-smoking CSPAN technicians.)
3. It's not the U.S.S. Naval Academy, which doesn't help the familiar, anecdotal, "I know what I'm talking about approach," does it?
4. Watching Obama speak has become like watching the world's slowest, most ponderous tennis match. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. It's called moving by the MSM. I know Well, if you worked for the Washington Post or the Providence Journal, you'd be moved to sustain your whole fake education and value system too. Even if you'd never heard of Bill Tilden.
5. Something that offends me a lot. Sorry if it's petty. "I love my daughters more than anything else in the world." I hate it, hate it, hate it when fathers talk that way. And these days, everyone does and we applaud it. Oh what great dads they are! Fuck them. The line should always read, "I love my wife and children more than anyone else in the world." If you can't say that, your wife is simply the dispensable vessel from which your children came, in which case I have absolutely no use for you. American Sharia.
6. Double down. Of all the losses our president cited in his sorrow for those killed in the military -- in his 2011 Memorial Day Address -- he conspicuously never listed the loss of a spouse, husband or wife. He talked about about brothers, sisters, uncles, fathers, daughters, grandfathers, but never husbands or wives. Hmmmmmm. Check it. I'm right about this. And they ridicule us for thinking Obama has muslim sympathies. uh, what do you think Michelle thinks?
7. I couldn't help it. I didn't even express it to Mrs. CP because I was so sure it was my own bias. When we first heard the helicopters descending on the Arlington ceremony, and when we got word that the president was arriving, I could NOT evict from my mind the image of the president's golf clubs waiting in the wings or, at least, stashed on Marine One. I had this image of him reading off the teleprompter and then fleeing headlong for the links, leaving his gradually expanding wife for a DC golf course with appropriate amounts of shade and presidential libations. Was I wrong?
Can you imagine David Cameron enjoying a round of golf on Remembrance Sunday? It would be inconceivable for the British Prime Minister to do so, and not just because of the usually dire weather at that time of the year. Above all, it would be viewed as an act of extremely bad taste on a day when the nation remembers and mourns her war dead. I can’t imagine the PM even considering it, and I’m sure his advisers would be horrified at the idea. And if the prime minister ever did play golf on such a sacrosanct day he would be given a massive drubbing by the British press, and it would never be repeated.
Contrast this with President Obama’s decision to play golf yesterday, Memorial Day, for the 70th time during his 28-month long presidency. For tens of millions of Americans, Memorial Day is a time for remembrance of the huge sacrifices made by servicemen and women on the battlefield. The president did pay his respects in the morning, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, but later in the day traveled to Fort Belvoir to play golf. The story has not been reported so far in a single US newspaper, but was made public by veteran White House correspondent Keith Koffler on his blog. Here’s Koffler’s report:
The business of memorializing our war dead done, President Obama headed out to the Fort Belvoir golf course today, finding his way onto the links for the ninth weekend in a row.
8. The "Two Voices" problem. It's rare that you get a true one-two punch in presidential politics in two days. Here's his presidential voice at Arlington.
9. And here's his voice the day before:
President and Preacher. Are they anything like the same person, apart from their common paternalistic presumption? Or are they flip sides of the same Caesarian coin? And if they are, what does it mean and how are we to interpret a president who adopts polar opposite personalities depending on who he's addressing? Could it mean that he's trying to defeat Lincoln's truism about fooling all of the people by fooling them one demographic at a time?
10. Follow-on. The one thing in common between the Arlington and Joplin performances is the mouth at rest, which is invariably downturned. Look at the footage. I'm thinking "normal state." Which body behavioralists interpret as broadly negative.
Slight changes in the mouth can also be subtle indicators of what a person is feeling. When the mouth is slightly turned up, it might mean that the person is feeling happy or optimistic. On the other hand, a slightly downturned mouth can be an indicator of sadness, disapproval or even an outright grimace.
And which I interpret as utter contempt.
Does your mouth, at rest, turn into a fixed upside down smile?
Think about it.