Even the Washington Post seems to have noticed lately that Obama has been attacking a host of strawmen.
And the WaPo is not alone; the NY Times suggested something similar when it wrote, as part of its editorial about Obama’s West Point speech: “In some ways, that was a straw-man argument…”
Actually, Obama has been attacking strawmen from the beginning; it’s one of this favorite ploys. But something has changed ever-so-slightly. Even the left is frustrated with him, and the frustration has been growing.
Why might that be? Do they think he looks dull and disorganized rather than smart at this point?
Were they still expecting more from him in that speech at West Point? Not necessarily different content, but perhaps something more resolute-sounding, more eloquent, more firm? Are they now embarrassed about their previous fulsome over-the-top support for him?
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t for a moment think that they are changing their politics; they’re not about to come out for Republicans or conservatives. I think they have just become more and more disgusted with Obama’s weakness and repetitiveness, and his reliance on words, words, words.
Of course, that was always true of Obama. But previously they believed he could deliver in many areas, and most definitely in this one area in particular: making the world respect us, getting along well with other countries. And so when NBC’s Richard Engel says he’s “hard-pressed” to find one country where relations with the US have gotten better under Obama, you know that the disillusionment has grown so large that some can no longer pretend as well as they did before. They’re exhausted with the effort it requires.
Barack Obama’s speeches have always been composed—from the very start of his national campaign, when I first began to follow him—of some combination of these things: platitudes, self-references, outrageous statements (lies, or promises that turn out to be lies), passing the buck to others, criticizing the US, ascribing bad motives to the opposition, and attacking strawmen. Has he ever had any other arrows in his quiver?
He’s still doing all of this, but even the left seems to be getting a little bit sick of it (does that mean they’ve turned into racists?).
Oh, I suppose it would still be okay with them if his accomplishments were more obvious. But the biggest one so far, Obamacare, may turn out to be a pyrrhic victory.
That could all change, of course, if immigration “reform” passes. Ensuring a permanent Democrat majority and making the American people more and more dependent on big government would be the biggest accomplishment of all.
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]DONATE
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