Barack Obama’s Un-Presidential Petulance

Victor David Hanson is one of our great public intellectuals.  Like Thomas Sowell, his writing does not inspire me (as Charles Krauthammer’s does, for example).  But also like Professor Sowell (and Krauthammer as well), Hanson is always on the mark. 

Among other attributes, Hanson has a devastatingly deep and accurate memory.  Almost every week, he writes something that pulls together seemingly disparate threads, events, or statements that I had probably seen, but had forgotten or failed to connect, into a powerful and coherent argument.  As someone who gathers facts and crafts arguments for a living, it is both humbling and educational.

Anyway, VDH is at it again.  The occasion is President Obama’s petulant lament that critics “talk about me like a dog.”  The analysis is devastating. 

We know Obama got into Columbia; we have no idea what he accomplished there — or whether his undergraduate transcript merited admission to Harvard Law School. Obama may have charmed his way into Harvard Law Review, but in brilliant fashion he seems to have guessed rightly that once there he would be singularly exempt from the usual requirements of quantifiable achievement.

What we know is that Obama did not have any quantifiable achievements before being elected President.  Rather than just singing along, my comments on Obama’s  record of non-acheivement are here.

This is a particularly perceptive and powerful summation of Obama’s current situation:

Obama’s tragedy is that there is nothing left he can run for, no further adulatory confirmation for just being Obama. Performance for the first time in his life is now all that counts.

And this is a particularly perceptive and powerful summation of Obama’s failure to rise to the challenge:

For some reason, Obama believed that those who expected after his campaign promises a real upturn in the economy, or fiscal responsibility, or inspired foreign policy would be satisfied, as they had in the past, merely with soaring rhetoric and superficial reassurance. When they were not, and voiced such displeasure, as ingrates they had supposedly reduced Obama to canine-like status.

* * *

[I]t is understandable both why America is very worried about what it has wrought — and why Barack Obama is miffed and lashes out.

You would too if both accountability and criticism were novel experiences at 49.

Do read the whole thing.  Even if you disagree, you will be smarter for having done so.

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Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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