Our Cartoon-Physics President

Don't look down...

The last six weeks have been about the most politically disastrous time seen by a President since the final days of Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon.

First, the near-success of a Muslim terrorist armed with exploding underpants, thwarted only by an alert Dutch artist, gave America yet another opportunity to see that our entire "security" apparatus is as useless, clueless, and feckless as it is possible for human beings to be and not accidentally drown in the shower.

Then, the one single solitary state that voted for George McGovern and which has been a wholly-owned fief of the far-left wing of the Democratic Party for as long as anyone can remember, overwhelmingly decided to send a self-professed conservative with the specific remit of killing Obamacare to be the new occupant of Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat.

And last but not least, the Supreme Court struck down one of liberalism's most beloved shibboleths, the campaign-finance regulations that make it as difficult as possible for ordinary people, companies, and their various interest groups to express political opinions at election time.  Shock!  Horror!  This will permit speech other than that controlled by the Dominant Liberal Media Culture!  With two-thirds of business owners now opposed to the Democrat's agenda, this doesn't bode well for 2010.

So Democrats and Republicans alike were very interested to see what tactical changes Obama would unveil in his State of the Union address to reflect the new political situation.  The answer?


Take Me To Your Leader?

In some parallel world in which voters had spent 2009 asleep, Obama's speech might have made sense.  A year ago, it would at least have been consistent.  As it was, aside from the plaintive, sniffling pleading for Congress not to throw in the towel on healthcare, it seemed in the speech that the last year didn't exist at all!

Unemployment?  Bush's fault, as ever.

War?  What war?

Terrorist attacks?  What are those?  Apparently, nothing worthy of even being mentioned.

Jobs?  "I've saved two meeeellion jobs!" - that is, all those union bureaucrats, teachers, and so on that work for the government, and whom the stimulus package kept on the gravy train.  Nothing whatsoever about any real jobs at real entrepreneurial companies doing real productive and useful things.

Tax cuts?  Yep, promises for tax credits, help for small business, loans, whatnot - all the things he promised a year ago, and hasn't got round to yet.

Is it possible that Barack Obama is so utterly disconnected from reality that he does not know America loathes those few things he's actually done and seriously tried to do, doesn't believe his promises anymore, and increasingly, doesn't think he even understands what America is?

Obama actually had the temerity - the sheer, unmitigated, gall - to call out climate change as an urgent matter demanding massive tax and regulatory increases, based on the "overwhelming scientific evidence".

It's not every day you see half the audience burst into gales of incredulous laughter at the President of the United States.  Does he genuinely not know that the "scientific evidence" was completely fraudulent in more ways than you can count?

The Democrats expected Obama to be a leader.  He certainly knows where he wants to go, come hell or high water - but if nobody is following you anymore, how much of a leader are you really?  He may not be watching the polls, but any Democrats up for re-election this November most certainly are, and with an increasing sense of panic.

Time to Stay the Course!

Bravery?  Or Stupidity?

For a president who promised to restore science to its "rightful place", Barack Obama has an astonishing faith in cartoon physics.  You know how a cartoon character can run off the edge of the cliff, but doesn't plummet to the bottom until he looks down and realizes he's off the edge?

In one old Bugs Bunny cartoon, this happens to the rabbit - but, showing a keener sense of logic than most funny animals, Bugs ostentatiously does not look down.  So he doesn't fall.  He merrily continues walking on air across the chasm, safely to the other side.

Even in a cartoon, this is a pretty gutsy move; so far as we are aware, Bugs is the only character ever to successfully complete such a maneuver, and even he doesn't make it a habit.  Yet here we have a president doing precisely this with his entire agenda.

There are only two possible explanations for this behavior.  Either he has a set of giant brass cojones the size of watermelons - or he is a complete, raving lunatic as disconnected from reality as Hitler in his bunker at the end of the war.

Well, according to James Carville (who ought to know), it ain't the first:

If [Hillary Clinton] gave [Obama] one of her cojones, they'd both have two.

Speaking of which... where is Hillary?  She wasn't at the State of the Union address; in fact, she was about as far away from it as she could get, safely overseas.  Do you suppose that, unlike Obama, she knows where the cliff is?

Stand by for her to assume Bugs' more customary role: waving merrily from the safety of solid rock, while his opponent abruptly and terminally descends.

Read other Scragged.com articles by Hobbes or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments
The Times agrees with you:

Lost in Translation
The president has yet to realize that people want clear goals, clearly defined and clearly (and concisely) conveyed.


The article opens:

President Obama's State of the Union address soared - right over a familiar cliff.

The president simply couldn't seem to escape his professorial past, to convey his passion and convictions in the plain words of plain folks, and to breach the chasm between the People's House and people's houses.

He's still stuck on studious.

He seems to believe that if he does a better job of explaining his aggressive agenda, then he'll win hearts and minds. It's an honorable ambition, but it's foolhardy. People want clear goals, clearly defined and clearly (and concisely) conveyed. They're suspicious of complexity.

To my mind, the Times seems to forget that people also want goals to be ACCOMPLISHED! Conveying a goal concisely is no help if it doesn't happen.
January 30, 2010 4:17 PM
I was amazed at how underwhelmed I was by the speech. I'm used to disagreeing with much of the actual policies that he endorses but I am also used to being impressed by how he says it. Not so this time. None of his strengths were to be seen and all of his weaknesses were apparent.

I believe that Obama is in shock and doesn't know how to deal with the lack of support he is receiving. He became convinced of his own invulnerability and is having to come to terms with the reality that people will not follow him simply because of who he is.
January 31, 2010 12:08 PM
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