Obama the glib

I came down the stairs and my son's friend was on YouTube.  "Here, you need to see this," he said, playing a clip from the David Letterman Show where Obama makes a lay-up as Letterman declares "cool and not cool," contrasting Obama's lay-up with Bush missing a dribble in a photoshoot.

"That is great," I said.  "What I want is a cool President.  That is my measurement."  He quieted down.

Fast forward to Obama's foreign policy speech today as I sat in line at a quick lube, waiting to get my oil changed.  Now the surge is working but it is "tactics" versus "policy" (nevermind that the "failure" of the surge a month ago was policy).  We don't need troops in Iraq (nevermind that Obama's previous positions were immediate withdrawal and March, 2008 withdrawal - let's go with 16 months from January, 2009, I think).

C'mon.  I remember a great line from George Shultz during the Reagan administration.  He said that working for Reagan was easy because when you got up each day, you knew that Reagan's positions would be the same that they had been for 30 years.  There is something to be said for that. 

I then read Michael Wade's post on snakes and lines (I claim no knowledge of Michael Wade's politics).

I also found a great City Journal post of Obama, the Shaman:

"What both Aristotle and Weber made too little of is the mentality of the charismatic leader’s followers, the disciples who discover in him, or delusively endow him with, superhuman qualities. “Charisma” was originally a religious term signifying a gift of God: it often denotes (according to the seventeenth-century scholar-physician John Bulwer) a “miraculous gift of healing.” James G. Frazer, in The Golden Bough, demonstrated that the connection between charismatic leadership and the melioration of suffering was historically a close one: many primitive peoples believed that the magical virtues of a priest-king could guarantee the soil’s fertility and that such a leader could therefore alleviate one of the most elementary forms of suffering, hunger. The identification of leadership with the mitigation of pain persists in folklore and myth. In the Arthurian legends, Percival possesses an extraordinary magic that enables him to heal the fisher king and redeem the waste land; in England, the touch of the monarch’s hand was believed to cure scrofula."

Listen carefully to Obama's arguments.  I remember Mario Cuomo's speeches years ago.  He sounded great but when you broke down what he was saying, it made no sense.


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  • 7/18/2008 12:51 PM Jeff wrote:
    If you do go to Michael Wade's post, he points to a sales technique that is used in politics all the time - people buy on emotion and justify with logic. And that is what will happen in the upcoming election. It won't necessarily be won on careful review of the candidate's "truthiness" or ability - but on how much one believes their pain will be reduced by voting for this particular candidate. The vote will be won on "fear" - fear of the economy, fear of the war, fear of being left behind.
    Reply to this
    1. 7/18/2008 2:26 PM Cultural Offering wrote:
      I understand, Jeff.  Just trying to light a match in a windstorm.
      Reply to this
    2. 7/18/2008 5:41 PM Tim wrote:
      Nope Jeff--you have got it wrong sir. People that are voting for Obama are not voting on fear--they are voting on hope. Hope for the economy, hope of - wrongly - ending the war and the hope of not being left behind.
      Reply to this
  • 10/25/2008 12:16 PM New car pricing wrote:
    "Listen carefully to Obama's arguments. I remember Mario Cuomo's speeches years ago. He sounded great but when you broke down what he was saying, it made no sense." I totally agree, the guy makes no sense and he is not ready to be the president of the US. We need someone with experience and knowledge of external politics and conflicts like MacCain. Sorry Obama, you are not ready.
    Reply to this
    1. 10/25/2008 2:59 PM Cultural Offering wrote:
      Well said.  I remember outlining Cuomo's speeches to follow them.  Utter nonsense.  But sounded so good.  I can remember his hand gestures and how talented he was at drawing an audience in to what he was saying. 

      Bill Buckley used to describe a concept as what the French call a fausse idee claire - an idea brilliantly illuminating except that it is wrong.  That is my take on Obama.  Sounds great but never works in practice.
      Reply to this
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