Skip to comments.Victor Davis Hanson: America Rides Off into the Sunset - The only people excited about the...
Posted on 02/04/2010 9:03:08 AM PST by neverdem
America Rides Off into the Sunset
The only people excited about the change in America's foreign policy are the worlds bad actors.
>>Obama may give soaring Wilsonian speeches abroad<<
I have no idea why even his critics keep repeating this meme. His speeches are pedestrian at best, full of low expectations and empty and vague promises. And if the TOTUS has even the slightest glitch, he goes into “um, er, uh” stammer mode (since he has nothing in his own head).
Even as a speech READER, he does no better than a High School drama student.
His speeches remind me of ( but are not as compelling as ) the spiels of a three-card-monty dealer. Churchill would roll over in his grave.
This is a beautiful article. VDH is terrific at putting into words the real picture of what America’s place has been in the world of the Twentieth Century.
Long, long ago there was a period termed the “Peace of Rome”. It was after Rome had basically conquered the “known world” and no one was left to wage war.
To an extent the second half of the last century could be termed the “Peace of America”. While there were truly short violent “wars” between neighbors, the might of America was able to prevent another WORLD WIDE Conflagration.
Today’s world is more dangerous because there may not be a power able to keep the cork in the bottle. The American people may well have not been happy in their role as world policeman, but they and their government did recognize the need.
None would like to live in a neighborhood without police, but we are in a world that has such a lack. Oh Oh
He used TOTUS at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning. He cannot even pause in between head swings to look straight ahead at the audience in the center of the room - or the tv audience.
GWB did not like using the teleprompter, but he could do it with more feeling and sincerity than the 0 can.
...”Obama may give soaring Wilsonian speeches abroad”...
Please, Dr. Hanson, stop repeating this patent falsehood. Barack Obama is not a great speaker. He apparently can read someone else’s words from a TelePrompter but on his feet without his crutch he makes GWB sound like Sir Laurence Olivier.
Furthermore, it’s to the point that the tone of his voice, the cadence of his speech, affect me like the sound of fingernails on a school chalkboard. It’s become Pavlovian - I get nauseated and angry with the fools of this country who did this to all of us.
The more astute members of the European press are already beginning to ask these questions.
Obama is clearly a lame-duck, barely one year into his presidency. How is America (and the world for that matter) going to survive three years of a lame duck presidency?
Worse scenario is that populist outrage leads to a Ross Perot-like 3rd. party resurgence in 2012. This would most assuredly lead to Obama being re-elected on a 40-42% plurality, likely with a GOP Congress. How will America and the World function for four additional years like that?
How can we in the EU continue to live in our cushy little Socialist Nirvana if the US withdraws from it’s role as global policeman, and all of us have to [-gasp-] start picking-up the tab for our own defense?
I guess the critics feel compelled to have one “nice” thing to say about Barry Soetoro - but I agree with you that nothing could be further from the truth about his speech-giving talents. Barry gave one good speech in 2004 at the Dem National Convention (consider his competition there). That is it. All play acting back then - now we’re seeing the face behind the mask (for those who didn’t figure this out long ago).
“Even as a speech READER, he does no better than a High School drama student.”
I’ve always thought the same. The endless accolades as to his alleged articulation have always seemed to be the cornerstone element in this “up is down” chant we’ve been subjected to for > 1 year. I’m always left with “what the hell are they thinking, are they listening to the same audio track as I am?”
I think VDH is making a dig here. He doesn’t think much of Wilson.
Was Wilson a “great” speaker? Or did he soar on the wings of his own hot air?
A regular contributor to a local radio talk show is a basically conservative professor of Rhetoric at a local university. He continues to insist that Obama is a great speech maker.
Besides not listening to Obama, I can no longer listen to this “expert”, but I did glean from his comments that good rhetoric includes, apparently, being able to present both/all sides of an issue.
Well, Obama has been good at saying nothing in such a convoluted way, that a large number of listeners believe that they are hearing a message that they want to hear.
If that is good “rhetoric”, then give me passionately bad rhetoric from a speaker who has a true message to give, not a three-card monte game of words.
Furthermore, its to the point that the tone of his voice, the cadence of his speech, affect me like the sound of fingernails on a school chalkboard. Its become Pavlovian - I get nauseated and angry with the fools of this country who did this to all of us.
You never get lonely though, do you?
There’s the rub with people wanting an eloquent leader. Bedazzled by words and delivery that never match up with the actions. Thinking back to people like Winston Churchill, who cared deeply about what words he spoke, you knew that he believed what he said, and he followed through. No surprises. His words weren’t used to hide the truth about his values and character regarding how to lead the country. If Barry told people straight out what he truly believed about leading America, it would be so terrifying, he would never have been elected. There I go stating the obvious again.
Just a partial list: http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/victordavishanson/index:
Just a partial list. Much more at the link: http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/victordavishanson/index
Mr. President, Words Matter. Obama, the rhetorician, forgot that people might actually take seriously what he said Our Obama Saga [Victor Davis Hanson dissects Obama, painfully, again] The Obamarang. [Victor Davis Hanson dissects, deconstructs, ridicules and demolishes Zeros lies] Trashing the Job Makers. The Obama administrations tax-talking frenzy has left business owners feeling uncertain The Usual Straw Men. Obamas half-hearted pivoting was quite transparent As Predictable as Clockwork the Obama three-step [Victor Davis Hanson continues to ridicule Zero] Obama versus Obama (More classic VDH slapdown of the ONE) Obama in Free Fall Obama And Campaign Financing (Victor Davis Hanson On Obama's Hypocrisy Alert) Post-election Thoughts (Liberals do not understand populist outrage. Bloodletting will Continue) Our Philosopher-King Obama. He doesnt mind pushing noble legislation that most people oppose Why The Great And Growing Backlash? What Scott Browns election portends for the Obama agenda "Let me be perfectly NOT clear" & "Make lots of MISTAKES about it" [Victor Davis Hanson on Obama's lies] Our Sorta, Kinda War on Terror - President Obama has not signed up for a serious effort against radical Islam Truths We Dare Not Speak. Five propositions that simply have become taboo When Conservative Felonies Become Liberal Misdemeanors 2010: Our Year of Decision Beating the Dead Terrorist Horse. September 11 taught us many lessons. To our peril, we have forgotten them Bush Did It! And, Really, Bush Did It! And Bush Really Did It! A Humpty-Dumpty View of the World 2009 Chickens and Their 2010 Roost Where Did These Guys Come From? The Origins of Obamism The War Against the Wannabe Rich. Why attack the productive classes who want to be rich? The Long March From California to Copenhagen [Hanson on debate between capitalism and socialism] The Palin Wonder Why Are We Tiring of Obama? Change, Weakness, Disaster, Obama: Answers from Victor Davis Hanson If Iran Refuses To Cooperate, Block Its Ports Resetting the Reset Button [Victor Davis Hanson dissects 0's pathetic diplomacy] Riding the Back of the Tiger [Victor Davis Hanson on Obama not understanding What Causes Wars...] What Bush Inherited, and What He Left Left Behind Who Are They? To Obama, they are responsible for all our troubles. Problem is, they are most of us Afghan Mythologies. We have everything we need to defeat the Taliban. The Discreet Charm of the Left-wing Plutocracy Truman and the Principles of U.S. Foreign Policy. Jimmy Carter rejected the postwar consensus. President Obama appears to be following a similar path Dr. Barack and Mr. Obama - The backlash is sharp as voters learn that Obama is not the man they thought he was Obama and "Redistributive Change". His real agenda The War Against the Producers President Palins First 100 Days. Imagine if Sarah Palin had Obamas record Thoughts About Depressed Americans Our Battered American [gets angrier - Must Read Rant]
Let me know if you want in or out.
FR Index of his articles: http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/victordavishanson/index NRO archive: http://author.nationalreview.com/?q=MjI1MQ== Pajamasmedia: http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/ His website: http://victorhanson.com/
Countries act in their own self interest. When their national interests and the US national interests aline, they are our good friends. When national interests diverge, the country’s foreign policies diverge. Apparently, Obama has not figured this out - an the war came.
Yet another good one from VDH.
I think you're right. His point would be that both Wilson and Obama had/have the knack of making grand idealistic statements that, in an ideal world, sound wonderful.
The problem with both men is the same as well: those grand statements don't account for how real people and real situations behave.
And, like Wilson, Obama seems unwilling and/or unable to put in the long-term effort even to approach the desired results.
For both men, it is enough to Proclaim -- it is for the lesser functionaries to put the Grand Statements into action.
I agree. I just read a biography of John Pershing. It showed just how out of touch with reality Woodrow Wilson was. He reminded me very much of Obama. He thought he was really, really, smart. But he simply looked at everything through an ideological filter that was very fuzzy and not aligned with reality. He did enormous damage to the United States.
First by Wilsonian, VDH means that the rhetoric is untethered to reality, idealistic and empty.
Second, actually Obama is a pretty good public speaker by most measures.
We may despise what the man says (or doesn't say), but his delivery is polished and fluent.
There is nothing wrong with his use of a teleprompter. He generally uses it very well.
He pauses for dramatic effect, varies his vocal inflection and gestures naturally.
He is with out a doubt the best public speaker we've had as president since Reagan.
Not that I can stand to listen for long without screaming about the appalling contradictions and manipulating devices.
For proof of my defense of the O man, imagine a Martian coming to earth to study public speakers. He gets to listen to Obama, Hillary, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. Based on fluency of delivery and occasional eloquence of expression, the Martian would pick Obama as the best.
We have to put up another two years of this garbage.
I agree with your point (contrary to many freepers’) that Obama is a master of speech delivery. We are not talking about the substance here. But, on the matter of delivery: I am amazed that not Obama, not his handlers, reacted to the very specific critique of his style that is now, when the charms worn out a bit, draws fire not just from the opponents, but from sympathizers as well.
I mean the chin up in the air, looking left and right and never straight into your eyes delivery. I understand that there are suckers out there for above the crowd godlike figure of legend. But most of normal Americans regardless of their politics are irritated by “I am so far above you” stance. Obama’s team was very good during the election campaign, polling attitudes, finding just the right words to play different groups of people. And they are remarkably tone deaf on this “I am above you” irritant. I am not complaining really - it works in our favor.
You say that the delivery is good, but the god like lack of direct eye contact is annoying. OK. I have never watched him in person. I wonder if he looks like this because of the camera? His followers used to faint in his presence. I kind of think that in person he must be magnetic.
Still generally he comes off well. Confident, fluent, dramatic in delivery. Substance is almost all rubbish. But, more meaning is non-verbal.
Not that there are other public speakers who are far better. Reagan was the best of all.
Speaking about Reagan. I could not stand listen to Bush senior, Clinton, Hillary, W, Kerry, Gore, Obama. If I have to know what they said, I better read. But I love to listen to Reagan’s speeches. Sean and Mark were playing quite a lot of them on the radio. Here is the sad thing: his speeches going back to 1964 still sound current.