Skip to comments.Like Chauncey Gardiner, Obama Is Profoundly Aloof
Posted on 06/27/2011 4:14:16 AM PDT by Kaslin
Which past leader does Barack Obama most closely resemble? His admirers, not all of them liberals, used to compare him to Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.
Well, Obama announced his candidacy in Lincoln's hometown two days before Abe's birthday, and he did expand the size and scope of government. But no one seriously compares him with Lincoln or FDR anymore.
Conservative critics have taken to comparing him, as you might imagine, to Jimmy Carter. The more cruel among them, like The Weekly Standard's Jay Cost, say the comparison is not to Obama's advantage.
But there is another comparison I think more appropriate for a president who, according to one of his foreign-policy staffers, prefers to "lead from behind." The man I have in mind is Chauncey Gardiner, the character played by Peter Sellers in the 1979 movie "Being There."
As you may remember, Gardiner is a clueless gardener who is mistaken for a Washington eminence and becomes a presidential adviser. Asked if you can stimulate growth through temporary incentives, Gardiner says, "As long as the roots are not severed, all is well and all will be well in the garden."
"First comes the spring and summer," he explains, "but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again." The president is awed as Gardiner sums up, "There will be growth in the spring."
Kind of reminds you of Barack Obama's approach to the federal budget, doesn't it?
In preparing his February budget, Obama totally ignored the recommendations of his own fiscal commission headed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Others noticed: The Senate rejected the initial budget by a vote of 97-0.
Then, speaking in April at George Washington University, Obama said he was presenting a new budget with $4 trillion in long-term spending cuts. But there were no specifics.
Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf was asked last week if the CBO had prepared estimates of this budget. "We don't estimate speeches," Elmendorf, a Democrat, explained. "We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis."
Evidently "first we have the spring and summer" was not enough.
Then Obama deputed Vice President Joe Biden and congressional leaders to handle negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. Biden apparently did a good job of letting everyone set out their positions and interact.
But last Thursday two influential Republicans, Rep. Eric Cantor and Sen. Jon Kyl, left the bargaining table and said that they wouldn't return until Democrats dropped demands for tax increases. After all, if the Democrats hadn't been able to raise taxes on high earners when they had large majorities in December's lame duck session, what makes anyone think this more Republican Congress will raise them now?
Cantor said it was impossible to make progress unless Obama got personally involved. Top Senate Democrat Harry Reid said the same thing. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, fresh from making a bipartisan compromise on public employee benefits, offered succinct advice: "First, the president can show up."
Well, Obama has agreed to do that Monday. But while Chauncey Gardiner, in his befuddlement, tried to answer questions squarely, Obama has seemed less interested in the substance of public policy than in framing issues for the next presidential campaign.
That was plainly the case in the decisions on Afghanistan he announced Wednesday night. Regardless of conditions on the ground, the president promised that the last of the surge troops will be removed by September 2012, the month Democrats hold their national convention.
As for Libya, Obama pretends we're not involved in "hostilities" and has been content to "lead from behind." Another sop to the antiwar left.
Sometimes it seems he's president of the AFL-CIO, not the U.S.A. The man who said he wanted to double exports in five years has nothing to say about his National Labor Relations Board appointee's attempt to shut down a $1 billion plant being built by the nation's No. 1 exporter.
And don't forget the enviro types. Obama is releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but his appointees are barring drilling in the Gulf and Alaska and refusing approval for a natural gas pipeline from Canada.
On all these issues, Obama seems oddly disengaged, aloof from the hard work of government, hesitant about making choices.
That doesn't sound like Lincoln. Or Roosevelt. Or even Jimmy Carter. More like "then we have fall and winter."
I believe nobama is comparable to an empty sack.
Obama is not Chauncey Gardner. He’s Bill Clinton. Why doesn’t anyone suggest that? He’s the same old opportunistic, narcissistic, good-time Charlie who charmed his way into the White House, determined to milk the job for all it is worth. Unfortunately, even Clinton looks like Reagan compared to Obama.
obama has no sack and has nothing to put into one even if he did.
An empty sack? Not at all, empirical evidence indicates hims be a “blivet.”
And like a spoiled brat, everything has to go his way
Did anyone ever seriously compare Hussein Obama to Lincoln or Roosevelt?
I am a fan of neither, so it would be charming to hear those comparisons.
Chance the Gardener was not clueless. I believe that is one of the peculiar truths about his character in THE GREAT Jerzy Kosinski’s phenomenal script (which I was thrilled to discuss with he and Eric Bogosian many years ago.)
(This is one of the finest movies ever made, by the way.)
What Chance is, is honest and pure. Chance wins, and is trusted, because he is completely innocent, faithful, and devoid of subterfuge. He is truly Christ-like.
Obama is profoundly unlike Chauncy in almost every way:
Barone does not know what he’s talking about.
Obama is Chance Gardner without the homburg.
"I know sh!t's bad right now with all that starvin' bullsh!t. And the dust storms. And we runnin' out of French Fries and burrito coverings. But I got a solution. "
Like Chauncey, Hussein is a naive imbecile. The big difference between the two ‘characters’ is that Bozo read too many books about communism and how to kill capitalism.
“I like to watch TV.”
or play golf
There is no comparison between the two, as you said:
What Chance is, is honest and pure. Chance wins, and is trusted, because he is completely innocent, faithful, and devoid of subterfuge. He is truly Christ-like.
The other one is the polar opposite in each regard.
“Being There” by Jerzy Kosinski, and “Network” by Paddy Chayefsky.
“Being There” for the nothingness that is Obama.
“Network” predicted the TV and Financial world we see to day. Look at the “reality” TV and the globalization of trade.
Especially when Jenzen tells Beale about Global Trade:
“You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples.
There are no nations.
There are no peoples.
There are no Russians.
There are no Arabs.
There are no Third Worlds.
There is no West.
There is only one holistic system of systems.
One vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars.
Petrol dollars, electro dollars, multi dollars. Reichsmarks, rins, roubles,pounds and shekels.
It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet.
That is the natural order of things today.”
SPEND SPEND SPEND 1934
I used to think Obama was an empty suit but now I think he has filled his pants.
I think he is more like a puppet. A George Soros puppet
He definitely is full of it, and that is not a compliment
You are correct. It is Michelle (The Wookie) who wears the pants in this family and I believe is running the show. Zero shows up to just open his mouth and convert O2 into Co2.
Thank you for mentioning “Network” ! One of the greatest films ever, period.
I, and most of us here, are no doubt aware that people don’t speak in monologues as masterfully as they do in Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay (a frequent criticism of the film), but who cares? “Network” is one of the greatest screeplays of all time, and acted to perfection by the entire cast.
“Network” is perhaps, IMHO, the most uncannialy presceient film ever made. Who can’t picture a network (any of them, the MSM or the cable networks, FNC included), making some deal with a shawdoy terrorist orginazation for exclusive footage of some atrocity or another? Ratings and money are all that matter.
Thanks also for including in your post Jensens’ monologue about the international financial system. As true today (if not more so) as it was back in the ‘70s.
I first saw this film on VHS when I was about 13 or so. It blew me away then, and it still does. I’ve used the film with Advanced English as Second Language students in the Czech Republic, and here in Germany as well. They love it, and it always leads to great discussions about the proper role of the media in society. Simply, do you report the news of the day, or do you try to create it?
Not so much predicted that, but made note of it. The public is, at best, slow to catch on, and often it never catches on. World leaders have been focused on globalization for centuries, with substantial boosts coming in the early 1900's (Wilson's presidency), the 1940's (FDR), and greatly facilitated by promoting the fiction that the press is either objective or two sided.
Oh, and sorry for any misspellings. When I get into a subject, my fingers fly faster than spell check. :-)
'The Dog Who Caught The Car'You know those dogs. Those little yappy things that run around loose chasing cars down a street yapping and yapping as they go along - but never catch one. And if they did, they'd have no idea of what to do next.
That's Barry O'DUmmie. He ran and ran for that car - the presidency - yapping and yapping all the way. But he never gave any thought of what he'd actually do IF he caught it.
Well. He 'caught it'. And since then has had no idea of what to actually do.
Just another Network fan chiming in—on top of the great story and script—fabulous acting all around. (How many great films was Robert Duvall in??)
ROTF! Great bumper sticker material!
“I believe nobama is comparable to an empty sack.”
You vastly overrate him, an empty sack is ready to serve a purpose as soon as someone fills it.
Actually he is the worst of Lyndon Johnson, Carter and Clinton all balled up with none of the better qualities of any of them and some other really sour Mugabe stuff thrown into the mix.
Blivet works too except it is on too small a scale, raise it by a factor of 1000 at least.
Paddy Chayefsky was simply one of the greatest writers of the past century. His science fiction was as good as his drama.
“I like to watch”.
I completely disagree. Clinton was a policy wonk who knew his way around a lot of issues. Obama is nowhere near as knowledgeable. That is what Barone is getting at.
Agreed with you both. Paddy Chayefsky was one of the greatest writers of the last century, in both sci-fi and others.
And Robert Duvall; good Lord, I can’t even count. I’d say pretty much everything starting with “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Another great film of the 20th Century, by the way. Regardless of what you think of Gregory Peck’s politics (and he was very liberal), in that film, he made being a lawyer seem like a truly noble calling. Atticus Finch (as a character) is a righteous man, who will always do the right thing, even if reluctant, or against popular opinion, because the character has a well-developed moral sensibility. And frankly, I can’t picture ANYONE else in that role but Gregory Peck.
I remember a short Obama interview not long after he was inaugurated. He basically described his approach to being president. He would, he said, issue broad goals and objectives he wanted and let the underlings work out the details. Sound familiar?
I think the sh!t-for-brains is lazy, pure and simple. It’s easy to conjure up faculty lounge policies and then give a speech or two. Then it’s off to the links or a vacation while the little people do the spadework.
I don't see the comparison. Bill Clinton was not the ideologue, that was Hillary. Bill just wanted to "be the president", and was actually good at that role. When America panicked about Hillary's direction for the country and voted in the Republican majority, Hillary was blocked from radical policies. Because of that and of course the time taken defending himself from scandals, Bill settled into a nice Lazze-faire presidency, chasing women and "being the president," which made him perfectly happy.
In contrast, Obama doesn't seem to like "being the president," and is absolutely not good at it. His aloofnes from that role, and withdrawl to the golf course, is more of a sign to me that he does not like the job at all. Like Clinton, the Republicans were voted in again in a panic, and he has sort of retreated, but into a role that doesn't suit him, and he didn't want.
My favorite person to compare Clinton to is actually Zaphrod Beeblebrox, the president of the galaxy in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
The President in particular is very much a figurehead --- he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had --- he has already spent two of his ten Presidential years in prison for fraud. Very very few people realize that the President and the Government have virtually no power at all, and of these very few people only six know whence ultimate political power is wielded. Most of the others secretly believe that the ultimate decision-making process is handled by a computer. They couldn't be more wrong.
“Being There” was a 1971 novella written by Jerzy Kosinski..... the screenplay was co-authored by Kosinski.
Chance Gardner is a simpleton who works as a gardener. He knows nothing but what he sees on TV. And repeats phrases he hears there that liberals construe as something else. Gardner even becomes the confidant of a president.
Conservatives like the film b/c it makes wealthy, politically-connected liberals look stupid.......believing the simple Gardner is an intellectual——and that everything he says is politically savvy. It even stars some of Hollywood’s well-known liberals-—Melvyn Douglas, and Shirley McClaine.
Rush Limbaugh 02/13/2008
RUSH: So we just play these four audio sound bites of Obama, and you just heard them, and basically he's about "hope" and "the future." And, of course, everybody said, "Well, who's possibly against the future?"
Well, I'm not necessarily against the future, but somebody's gotta be for right now, and I am for right now. If you don't pay attention to right now, then the future could be bad. We're all for the future. I'm not necessarily against the future, but somebody gotta stand up for right now, and I am the man to stand up for right now. I want to grab a quick phone call because it sets up what's coming.
RUSH: This is Jack in Boston. Great to have you here. Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Yeah. Rush, I never would have thought that it would actually come through but you remember the 1979 or 1980 movie Being There with Peter Sellers?
RUSH: Oh, yeah.
CALLER: There was a character, Chauncey Gardiner. Now, the way people reacted to Chauncey Gardiner is the same way people react to Barack Obama. He didn't say anything! He just talked about planting the seeds and it will grow to the future and good, and at the end of the movie I think he like walked on water.
RUSH: Walked on water.
CALLER: They believed anything he did.
CALLER: It was a very, very funny movie. People should see it.
RUSH: Being There. That's an excellent, excellent suggestion, because that does nail it. Chauncey Gardiner. He's a streetwalker.
CALLER: Yeah, he was a servant. All he saw was what --
CALLER: -- he watched television; he didn't know anything.
RUSH: He got fired. In fact, he was fascinated with the television remote control.
CALLER: Yeah. What happened was, he was a servant to these wealthy people who passed away, and he never was out of the house, and he comes out -- and all he knows is what he's seen on television, and he says these platitudes that don't mean anything, and everybody thinks he's like a genius and they follow him and he becomes the president of the United States.
RUSH: Yeah, just like --
RUSH: -- messianic.
CALLER: Yeah. The movie was hysterical.
RUSH: Other wealthy people bring him into their homes for the wisdom and the guidance that he's offering. That's an excellent --
RUSH: -- excellent suggestion, Jack. Go out and rent it, buy it, whatever: Being There with Peter Sellers.
Heh——one of Chauncey’s memorable lines.
You have got him patted right down, and I agree with you one hundred percent
GREAT line! bttt
The only reason I can think of why I missed it was it was released in 1979. And back then I was busy almost every waking moment. During the week it was; work, work, work, (chasing those promotions) and on weekends it was -- Party Time! So back then I don't think I went to a movie for years and years.
I'll have to check it out now.
About the only thing more comical than Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize was the reaction of those who deemed the award "premature," as if the brilliance of Obama's foreign policy is so self-evident and its success so assured that if only the Norway Five had waited a few years, his Nobel worthiness would have been universally acknowledged.
To believe this, you have to be a dreamy adolescent (preferably Scandinavian and a member of the Socialist International) or an indiscriminate imbiber of White House talking points. After all, this was precisely the spin on the President's various apology tours through Europe and the Middle East: National self-denigration - excuse me, outreach and understanding - is not meant to yield immediate results; it simply plants the seeds of good feeling from which foreign policy successes shall come.
Chauncey Gardiner could not have said it better. Well, at nine months, let's review.
.....and James Cagney.
Although he was draft-exempt due to a physical injury, actor William Lundigan enlisted into the Marines out of patriotism and served in Okinawa during WWII. Under contract to MGM at the time he enlisted, boss Louis B. Mayer was furious with him for enlisting just as the studio was promoting him as a star and he was dropped.In 1963 and 1964, William Lundigan joined fellow actors Walter Brennan, Chill Wills, and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., in making appearances on behalf of U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater, the Republican nominee in the campaign against U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.
In 1947, Adolf Menjou cooperated with the House Committee on Un-American Activities in its hunt for Communists in Hollywood. Menjou was a leading member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a group formed to oppose Communist influence in Hollywood. Other members included John Wayne, Barbara Stanwyck (with whom he co-starred in Forbidden in 1932 and Golden Boy in 1939) and her husband, actor Robert Taylor.
Because of his political sympathies, Menjou came into conflict with liberal actress Katharine Hepburn. Menjou appeared with her in the films Stage Door and State of the Union, which also starred Spencer Tracy. Hepburn was strongly opposed to Americans co-operating with the McCarthy hearings. It was reported by William Mann in his biography of Hepburn, Kate, that during the filming of State of the Union, she and Menjou only spoke to each other when required to in the film script.
In the 1940s, Charles Coburn served as vice-president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a conservative group opposed to the Communist infiltration and proselytization in Hollywood during the Cold War.
The Hollywood blacklist was made up of anyone within the entertainment industry who supported the Communist Party and it resulted in many actors, writers and directors being forced out of their jobs. Other Hollywood supporters of the blacklist included Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, Hedda Hopper, Adolphe Menjou, Ward Bond, Robert Taylor, and Ginger Rogers.
Shortly before his death in 1961, Coburn joined the Citizens Councils of America, an organization opposed to the desegration of public schools brought about by the 1954 Supreme Court ruling on Brown v. Board of Education.
Needless to say, Sellers was brilliant in the film-—nominated for the Academy Award and got other awards.
McCarthy never held hearings concerning the infiltration of communists into Hollywood. Those hearings were conducted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
McCarthy established a bond with the powerful Kennedy family, which had high visibility among Catholics. McCarthy became a close friend of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., himself a fervent anti-Communist, and was a frequent guest at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port. He dated two of Kennedy's daughters, Patricia and Eunice, and was godfather to Robert F. Kennedy's first child, Kathleen Kennedy. Robert was chosen by McCarthy as a counsel for his investigatory committee, but resigned after six months due to disagreements with McCarthy and Cohn. Joseph Kennedy had a national network of contacts and became a vocal supporter, building McCarthy's popularity among Catholics and making sizable contributions to McCarthy's campaigns. The Kennedy patriarch hoped that one of his sons would be president. Mindful of the anti-Catholic prejudice Al Smith faced during his 1928 campaign for that office, Joseph Kennedy supported McCarthy as a national Catholic politician who might pave the way for a younger Kennedy's presidential candidacy.
Unlike many Democrats, John F. Kennedy, who served in the Senate with McCarthy from 1953 until the latter's death in 1957, never attacked McCarthy. McCarthy had refused to campaign for Kennedy's 1952 opponent, Republican incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., due to his friendship with the Kennedys. When a speaker at a February 1952 final club dinner stated that he was glad McCarthy had not attended Harvard College, an angry Kennedy jumped up, denounced the speaker, and left the event. Asked by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. why he avoided criticism of McCarthy, Kennedy said, "Hell, half my voters in Massachusetts look on McCarthy as a hero."
An idiotic assessment by Barone, and completely erroneous conclusion.
I’ll say for the millionth time, don’t confuse Obama’s evil for incompetence.
Obama is Soros’s hand-picked minion and is doing exactly as Soros orders. He is not clueless. He is not obtuse. He is deliberately installing socialism and destroying the institutions necessary to install US socialism.
Articles like this are stupid because they further the lie that Obama is incompetent. OK, maybe such articles have use to place doubt in the minds of the ignorant and weak-minded. Maybe such articles are useful to paint Obama as incompetent to the masses of sheeple who can’t accept that he is an anti-American Muslim radical socialist who is doing Soros’s bidding. To that extent, maybe it is better to propagate a useful lie than a useless truth.
But it is still a fact that Obama is evil, not incompetent. He is not clueless. He knows exactly what he is doing. While he is out golfing or goofing off or missing important meetings, he has an army of communist at every level of US government entrenching socialism by codifying policies, installing massive numbers of new regulations, and hiring socialists to key bureaucratic positions that the GOP will never ferret out.