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  • What kind of delusion is this?

    Posted by onparkstreet on January 26th, 2010 (All posts by )

    Watched Charlie Rose last night. He and some of his guests were discussing President Obama’s political fortunes – post a Scott Brown victory – and what the President might do in order to reverse the downward trend. To give you a flavor of the conversation, I present the following excerpts from the transcript:

    CHARLIE ROSE: Joining me now, Jon Meacham, editor of “Newsweek”
    magazine, in Washington, Tom DeFrank of the “New York Daily News,” and Anne
    Kornblut of “The Washington Post.” I’m pleased to have all of them here as
    we take a look at this week, which is important for the president, and a
    state of the union which is very important to him.”….

    : “Well, he has clearly found that history is a more
    complicated matter than the speechifying and the glamour, really, of the

    In politics, you don’t get credit for what didn’t happen. So I think
    we should say that he did in concert with the outgoing administration and
    with his own folks, he did keep us out of a more severe downturn in 2009.”….

    To my mind, the real problem has been that he has a kind of
    intellectual snobbishness about being simple and clear about what he wants
    the country to be. What does he want it to look like when he leaves? And
    it sounds odd to say that sound bites are important, but they are. Jesus
    spoke in them, and his stuff has aged rather well.”….

    THOMAS DEFRANK: “Why is he where he is today? I think it’s because they made a real
    miscalculation on health care. They thought they could sell it. They
    didn’t sell it. They lost control of the message. The critics have
    controlled the message on health care for the last four or five months, and
    it’s a negative message.”….

    ANNE KORNBLUT: “I guess it’s confusing to me why it’s so difficult for
    them to show what his emotions are. All of us who have been around him or
    covered the campaign know he isn’t a robot. He actually does have emotions
    and a family he cares about, and he’s extremely good at talking about the
    feelings he felt growing up in extraordinary circumstances.” ….

    Seriously, the entire transcript and conversation are like that: He’s misunderstood, he’s misrepresented, he’s under appreciated for all that he has done! What?


    10 Responses to “What kind of delusion is this?”

    1. Michael Kennedy Says:

      It’s nice that everyone has someone who loves them.

    2. ElamBend Says:

      I agree; I have seen this in several journalistic sources as well was from people in the administration. It’s amazing the amount of self-delusion. It kind of reminds me of the summer I lived in DC. The city lives in a bubble and really can’t see beyond it or understand how others looking in perceive it.

    3. cjm Says:

      what he i, is toast. albeit buttered on both sides.

    4. bgates Says:

      You know, I was really bothered by Obama’s arrogance, his pomposity, his evident disdain for America, and a litany of other things, but hearing that he’s not just good but extremely good at talking about his feelings makes me think I should –
      no, still hate him.

    5. TMLutas Says:

      Jude Wanniski had a great story. He likened the two parties as offering an electoral chicken and an electoral eagle to the people while the people wanted an electoral parrot and was reduced to looking at the particular chicken and eagle on offer to see which was more parrot like.

      It’s still true. Obama’s problem is that Obama campaigned like a great parrot but is governing like a chicken. No eagles are currently on offer so wishful thinking is taking hold that the eagles, this time, will finally be more parrot like. And who knows, maybe they will be. If it happens though, it will be by coincidence because there is no institutional shift in the GOP to produce more parrot-like eagles in a sustainable way.

    6. Shannon Love Says:

      I find it disturbing that a lot of people seem to expect the President to be the Emoter in Chief. Worse, they seem to believe that the people are easily swayed by such emotional displays. It’s rank elitism.

      They forget that Bill “I feel your pain” Clinton suffered the same catastrophic loss of popularity and for the same reason. Clinton too ran as a moderate and then governed far to left, squandering his first year in office on socializing health care. He could blubber with the best of them but it didn’t matter because the people didn’t like him because of his deception and his bad policy choices.

    7. Tatyana Says:

      Shannon: Clinton himself learned no lesson from it; he seems to continue thinking in terms of pigs and corn.

    8. Percy Dovetonsils Says:

      I think it’s that they sincerely, fundamentally believe that the benefits of central economic planning, an expanded welfare state, and the nationalization and subsequent bureaucratic allocation of health care are so self-evidently good, no one of good faith or intelligence could possibly be against them.

      They literally cannot conceive that people of sound mind and moral fiber could oppose these items. So if they are being rejected by the lumpen masses, the only explanations are:

      a) they aren’t being explained clearly enough, in language simple enough that even the lowest commoner can understand, or;

      b)the masses are too stupid, or too evil.

      I’m guessing that in a few months, we’re going to see outright hatred being expressed by the Beltway crowd for us peasants.

    9. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Wasn’t it someone in the Democratic party who once expressed a desire to change the voters, not the Congress ? No wonder Tom Friedman likes China so much.

    10. onparkstreet Says:

      Thank you all for the comments. Wonderful discussion!

      The SOTU address should be interesting, if only to see if the President doubles down on the self-delusion. Some of my friends to the left of me are unhappy with the troop escalation in Afghanistan, some of my friends kinda sorta in the middle are unhappy about the economy, and my friends on the right (and me here on the right, too) just think he is spending too much and shoving the country in an unacceptably statist direction. And then, to have the types excerpted above not even discuss specific concerns, but discuss the problems in a personality driven TMZ/Reality television way is completely bizarre.

      The above transcript is notable for very little discussion of specifics in terms of policy, budget numbers, poll numbers etc. It is so loosey-goosey that even Charlie Rose becomes visibly flustered. “But what should the President do,” he asks plaintively, to be met with vapid chatter.