Monday, October 08, 2012

Obama's Mental Defects With Male Opposition

James Taranto strikes again, this time about Obozo's supposedly humorous comeback after he got his a$$ handed to himself:
According to the White House website, the rally began at 10:30 a.m. Mountain Time, which means it took Obama and his team of writers less than 14 hours to generate these comebacks. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza summed it up nicely in a tweet: "Obama hitting back today at all of Romney's attacks last night is the ultimate Costanza 'jerk store' moment." (If you don't understand the reference, you can watch the relevant "Seinfeld" clip on YouTube. And you'll know things have really gotten bad for Obama if he tries the Kramer gambit after the next debate.) But Obama's comments yesterday reflect a defect more serious than a feeble wit. They remind us of something he said 4½ years ago--on April 29, 2008, to be exact. Here's the transcript:
Before I start taking questions I want to open it up with a couple of comments about what we saw and heard yesterday. I have spent my entire adult life trying to bridge the gap between different kinds of people. That's in my DNA, trying to promote mutual understanding to insist that we all share common hopes and common dreams as Americans and as human beings. That's who I am. That's what I believe. That's what this campaign has been about. Yesterday we saw a very different vision of America. I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday. You know, I have been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ since 1992. I have known Reverend Wright for almost 20 years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church. They certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Reverend Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought either.
To be sure, there is reason to doubt Obama's sincerity in 2008 (as we did at the time). As to Romney, there is no doubt Obama did seriously misjudge him, unless one wishes to posit the unlikely theory that the president deliberately threw the debate. But for the purpose of this column, we are going to take Obama at his word. That is, we shall proceed under the assumption that what he wants us to believe about him is true. Jeremiah Wright and Mitt Romney are two of the most important men in Barack Obama's life, and for reasons that transcend the merely personal. His dealings with them are crucial to his relationships, respectively, with God and with his country. He called Wright his "spiritual mentor" and credited him with saving his soul; and Romney stands between him and his professed aspirations not only for himself but for America. In 20 years in that church, he failed to see the evil side of Wright. In four years of preparing for re-election, he saw Romney only as an ideological stick figure. In short, he misjudged both men utterly. And he blames them for it. Obama seems to lack the basic emotional skill--surely of enormous importance to any task of political leadership--of accurately sizing up other men, whether they be allies or rivals, and of adjusting his view of them to take account of new information. We are advisedly gender-specific here, for Obama does not seem to have this particular problem when it comes to dealing with women. As Richard Miniter observes in his new book, "Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him," "four strong-minded women, who intertwined their lives with him, were the most formative: his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham; his wife, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson; his mentor, Valerie Jarrett; and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton." But when Obama wrote an autobiography, its focus was not on the women who were present in his life but on the man who was absent, and about whom he constructed an elaborate fantasy. Nightmares From Rev. Wright and Mental Pictures of Mitt Romney may be sequels--or sequelae--of "Dreams From My Father." Obama's problems dealing with men in politics have been legion. Think how ineffectual he has consistently been, both with domestic rivals (Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor) and with foreign allies (Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohamed Morsi). Of course it's not Obama's fault he grew up in a broken home. That doesn't mean America deserves to pay the price for it.
Repeat After Me
"Obama Lost the First Debate, but He Will Still Win the Election"--headline, Washington Post website, Oct. 4 "Romney Wins . . . and It Won't Matter"--headline, The American Prospect website, Oct. 4 "Romney Won the Debate but It Was No Game Changer"--headline,, Oct. 4 "Why That Crappy Presidential Debate Won't Change Anyone's Mind"--headline,, Oct. 4 "[A news producer] called just before the debate and said, 'So, I guess Obama's going to win easily tonight. Do you want to come on and talk about it?' I replied that I'd love to but that Romney was actually the stronger debater and I'd be tipping him to win. 'Really?' Yes. 'Well, that is a surprise. I'm not sure people will buy it, but if you want to say that--it's up to you.' The day after the debate he rang again. I was expecting him to say, 'Hey, you were right! Can you come on to talk about how Romney won?' Instead, he said, 'Can you come to talk about how debates don't really matter?' I sighed deeply."--Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph (London), Oct. 5 Journolist Lives! The media aren't really in the tank for Obama, are they? Well, let's consider this report from the Daily Caller about a conversation Obama adviser David Axelrod held with reporters yesterday: Several reporters on the 11:15 a.m. phone conference promptly offered questions that bordered on advice. "Axe, I'm not sure you can hear me, David," said NBC's Andrea Mitchell, when she was invited to ask a question Oct. 4. "I'm wondering whether the president, whether you have rethought the strategy of not bringing up either women's issues, or the 47 percent or some of the other issues that have worked so well for you in your campaign advertising and in your stump speech?" . . . "Do you think that the President missed an opportunity to make the points he made today in Denver, and presumably will in Wisconsin, on that stage in front of a much wider audience?" said a reporter during the event, which took place at 1:15 p.m. MDT, aboard Air Force One. The transcript does not identify the reporters who asked the questions. "Is the president going to be tougher next time? Are we going to see a different--Ax talked about sort of a shift and looking at strategies. Is he going to be a little bit tougher next time?" "Was the decision not to mention either Bain or 47 percent a deliberate one? Or was it just a case where time ran out and he might well have raised it had there been another 10 minutes?" "You said some weeks ago that one of Mitt Romney's strengths as a debater was his willingness to lie with ease. Was the President adequately prepared to call him out on that last night?" "But did [Obama] go too far, the steadiness, his not being aggressive? Was that an over-compensation perhaps?" The smartest thing for Obama to do would be the opposite. That even worked for George Costanza. If he follows all Andrea Mitchell & Co.'s dreadful advice instead, Romney will know exactly what to expect, and the next debate will be another vindication of the Taranto Principle.

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