Sunday, May 03, 2009

Steyn On Obama’s “Strongest Talent”

Here’s part of Mark Steyn’s latest column - - -

… President Obama's strongest talent is not his speechifying, which is frankly a bit of a snoozeroo.

In Europe, he left 'em wanting less pretty much every time (headline from Britain's Daily Telegraph: "Barack Obama Really Does Go On A Bit").

That uptilted chin combined with the left-right teleprompter neck swivel you can set your watch by makes him look like an emaciated Mussolini umpiring an endless rally of high lobs on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

Each to his own, but I don't think those who routinely hail him as the greatest orator since Socrates actually sit through many of his speeches.

On the other hand, if you just caught a couple of minutes of last Wednesday's press conference, you'd be impressed.

When that groupie from The New York Times asked the president about what, during his first hundred days, "had surprised you the most … enchanted you the most … humbled you the most and troubled you the most", Obama made a point of getting out his pen, writing it down and repeating back the multiple categories: "Enchanted," he said. "Nice." Indeed.

Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger, you may see a stranger across a crowded room, but then he scribbles down your multipart question to be sure he gets it right, and he looks so thoughtful, and suddenly he's not a stranger anymore, and the sound of his laughter will ring in your dreams.

The theater of thoughtfulness is critical to the president's success. He has the knack of appearing moderate while acting radical, which is a lethal skill.

The thoughtful look suckered many of my more impressionable conservative comrades last fall, when David Brooks and Christopher Buckley were cranking out gushing paeans to Obama's "first-class temperament" – temperament being to the Obamacons what Nick Jonas' hair is to a Tiger Beat reporter.

But the drab reality is that the man they hail – Brooks & Buckley, I mean; not the Tiger Beat crowd – is a fantasy projection. There is no Obama The Sober Centrist, although it might make a good holiday song:

"Obama The Sober Centrist

Had a very thoughtful mien

And if you ever saw it

You would say it's peachy keen."
And it is.

But underneath the thoughtful look is a transformative domestic agenda that represents a huge annexation of American life by an ever more intrusive federal government. (bold added)...

Folks, you can read Steyn’s entire column here.


Anonymous said...


"He has the knack of appearing moderate while acting radical"

He's a loser.


Anonymous said...

Steyn's comments are on the money. Many Americans are moe intereted in what the government can do for the them (monetarily) than they are going out to create wealth. I have worked (with the exception of a year) my entire adult life. I have no illusions about the existence of medicare and social security - I have always maintained that they will either be non-existent or so insolvent as to render any payments nugatory. As I have long told my children - retirement will never be in the game plan - that I will work until I die much as my farming ancestors did. My husband and I have seen the savings and securities that we have shrink due to corporate mismanagement and governmental decisions that have affected businesses adversely. It is frightening to contemplate how one's stocks, land, and securities can literally disappear overnight - as we await the May 7th news about the soundness of the US banking system, I have a sinking feeling that those who have bank stock will see thir ownership diluted to nothing (as the stock owners in GM and Chrysler have seen)when the government converts its TARP monies to common stock ownership.

Anonymous said...

As we rapidly approach so-called democratic socialism, I'm reminded of grafitti scrawled on the walls of an East German factory: "They pretend to pay us; we pretend to work."
Democratic Socialism's fig leaf is that the people vote for it, thus making it "democratic," and somehow different from communism. Yet there is absolutely nothing democratic about what any brand of socialism does to a nation.
The only places where communism has worked have been in places where people voluntarily join--monasteries and cloisters of religious orders, and small groups like the Shakers in Massachusetts or Oneida Community in central New York in the late
When a major part of the population consumes the proceeds while the minority labors to provide them, the system is doomed to failure. And with the failure comes human misery unlike anything we have seen in this country.
Our "Reader of the Free World" makes it sound like some kind of latter-day paradise where everyone is happy and the bosses are chock-full of empathy. I hate to break it to Barack, but it just doesn't work the way he's selling it. Sadly, there appears to be a large number of people who have allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by his sleight-of-hand. One can only hope the rest of us get wise before he prevails.
"Where are we going, and why am I in this basket?"
Tarheel Hawkeye