Skip to comments.Victor Davis Hanson: Obama’s Target List - While calling for civility, Obama demonizes...
Posted on 10/27/2011 9:27:33 PM PDT by neverdem
Obama's Target List
While calling for civility, Obama demonizes everyone in sight.
What with exhaustion, overexposure, and the temptation to comment on just about anything in the news, presidential candidates and presidents alike naturally often slip up. Given their hectic speaking schedules, they frequently mispronounce words (“nucular,” “corpse-man”), engage in the trivial (inflating tires and tuning up cars in lieu of drilling for more oil), and simply get things wrong (57 states). “Bushism” was coined about 2001 to refer to all the various ways that George W. Bush mangled the English language. There are, of course, just as many “Obamaisms,” though they are rarely commensurately lampooned by the media.
FDR unfairly and often demonized his political opponents. Truman could be coarsely blunt; Nixon far more so and in paranoid fashion. Jimmy Carter’s beatific façade seemed to hide all sorts of inner mean streaks. But what seems somewhat different from past presidential sermons, malapropisms, and flat-out wrong statements is the tendency of Barack Obama to lecture, talk down to, caricature, or even insult various people and groups — even as no other president in recent memory has reminded the nation so often of the need for civility, unity, and tolerance.
After only one year plus of campaigning and three years of governance, there is already a sizable corpus of Obama’s targets. The common theme is less ideology, politics, race, class, or gender than a sense that many groups and people simply don’t measure up to Obama’s high standards. Some are deemed lazy, stupid, greedy, fearful, or clinging; others are too affluent, of questionable ethics, and ill-informed and ill-intentioned — and thus are culpable for our current problems.
Where did the president pick up this habit of hypercriticism and easy caricature? Who knows? Michelle Obama showed similar tendencies during the campaign, when she labeled the U.S. a country that is “just downright mean,” until recently not worthy of pride, and variously talked about unnamed persons who perennially “raise the bar” on those struggling to get ahead.
Yet lecturing, demonizing, and caricaturing are not just symptoms of narcissism or being socially dense, but are also a revelation that Obama feels that he can say almost anything he wants, with the expectation — always borne out in the past — of few consequences. Still, his handlers worry about this habit, which explains both the serial use of teleprompted scripts even for the briefest of commentary and the almost lightning response from the White House, either that the latest target had it coming, or that the president’s critics themselves were suspect in noticing such insults, or that the remarks were meant only in jest. Note as well that while almost everyone else is culpable, the president himself rarely is — at least not as much as ATM machines, George W. Bush, tsunamis, the European Union, the nine-month-old Republican-controlled House, the Arab Spring, and skyrocketing oil prices. Others err; but the president has made all “the right choices.”
Here is a tiny sampling of those who have been on the receiving end of the president’s disdain:
African Americans: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’.”
Americans: Are “not a model for the world” and have a “tragic history.” Also, “we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared,” and, more recently, we have gotten “a little soft” and lost our “competitive edge.”
Bankers: “Fat cats”
Border enforcement: Its overzealous adherents want “alligators and moats” on the border and would arrest children on their way to get ice cream.
The Cambridge, Mass., police: “Acted stupidly” and, like law-enforcement officers in general, racially profile
Corporate-jet owners: “Are you willing to compromise your kids’ safety so some corporate-jet owner can get a tax break?”
Democratic base: Must “shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up . . . if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.”
Doctors: Needlessly chop off the limbs of diabetics and take out tonsils to increase their own profits
Donald Trump: A “carnival barker”
Grandmother: “Typical white person”
Las Vegas: Where you are likely to “blow a bunch of cash when you’re trying to save for college”
Millionaires: They don’t pay their “fair share” and are synonymous with those who have 1,000 times more.
Nancy Reagan: Don’t “get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any séances.”
Rural Pennsylvanians: “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment.”
Sarah Palin: “You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.”
Special Olympics: Comparable to the president’s dismal bowling scores
Super Bowl: Where you go “on the taxpayer’s dime”
Supreme Court: Would “open the floodgates for special interests”
Supreme Court Justice Thomas: “I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don’t think that he, I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation.”
Tea Party: “The teabag, anti-government people”
The target list grows weekly. By the end of 2012, those on it may outnumber those not.
I look forward to him saying “Michelle and I are very happy back in Chicago now”
This is a war and, so far, we be keeping it civil.
If by "rarely" he means "never."
I look forward to him saying “Michelle and I are very happy to see each other during the prison’s visiting hours.”
This man goes unceremoniously out with the weekly District of Columbia trash on one lovely November morning a year from now.
This may well be the dirtiest political campaign ever, and that includes the Lincoln election. Obama learned long ago that the best way to be elected is to destroy the political opponent long before the election, so he has never had to run against "first tier" opposition.
Huey Long did this, too. One eminent senior legislator -- a fellow Democrat, of course, since in those days all Louisiana officeholders were Democrats -- Long routinely abused, since he couldn't find anything worse to say about him, as "old whistle-britches". He had to demean and defame the man because he was an opponent of Long's numerous corrupt, illegal, and unconstitutional schemes.
Eventually, that style of governance caught up with the Kingfish. My aunt always thought Roosevelt was behind it somehow; but history has provided adequate evidence that it was a homegrown affair involving Dr. Weiss's family and their abuse by Long.
Actually, I think this was a sly shot at Hillary -- reminding people that Hillary once talked about having "conversations" with the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt.
It makes sense that he would dig at her, if I'm right that she's going to bolt the traces and mount an insurrectionary candidacy next year. She has the look of a candidate, and her energy level is up. She sure smells like a candidate to me.
“I look forward to him saying Michelle and I are very happy back in Chicago now”
And I look forward to the wookie telling him “no” when he asks for a conjugal visit in prison.
This coming from a half term senator.
While the punk has this on his resume:
Can you imagine being a white citizen of Chicago going into a government office seeking assistance and encountering a congregant of reverend wright who greats you with discriminatory intolerance and little or no assistance with your problem?
“And I look forward to the wookie telling him no when he asks for a conjugal visit in prison.”
Are you sure that it wouldn’t be “the ballerina” or one of his other “man friends” saying no to a prison sex date?
“Are you sure that it wouldnt be”
The only thing I’m sure of is that there is that the Bamtard has something to hide. Something important.
1 out of 20 isn't a particularly good score.
I would like a kodak moment of the wookie when the new president of the united states is announced on election eve.
There is a seat being kept warm for the emperor at the UN where all parasites feed from the world host
Not really, as there are a number of folks that believe they truly are moderates and real independents who swing with the breeze.
Using the internei, I've been finding stories about Fast and Furious all over the country. Real Clear Politics has a link in its left sidebar, the eighth down, called "Pressure Mounts on Holder."