Friday, June 04, 2010

The "present" president

Incompetent, arrogant, left-wing redistributionist, lazy with a strange mixture of iron-willed ambition.

All nice things Roger Kimball says about the former Illinois state senator who voted "present" the majority of the time. Excerpts:
I believe that Obama is unique in the annals of American history. It’s not any individual quality — if “quality” is the right word: perhaps “attribute” would be better — that sets him apart. It’s the combination of attributes.
The man can pose. He can preen. He cannot, judging by his performance these last eighteen months, govern. His handling, which is to say his ostentatious mishandling of the BP oil spill, is only the latest evidence that he is wildly out of his depth. That episode is shaping up to be the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history. What has Obama done to address it? What would he do were we confronted with another sort of existential calamity? How would he react?
His notorious reputation for being “thin-skinned” (I googled “Obama thin-skinned” and the search engine turned up 93,000 hits in .21 seconds) is a coefficient of his arrogance. It is amusing (sort of) to watch his reaction to criticism: generally, it starts in incredulity and ends in disdain. I suspect he is genuinely surprised to find himself called to account: it interferes with his sense of election.
Add to arrogance Obama’s left-wing, redistributionist agenda — it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of his “spread-the-wealth-around” philosophy, his ambition (as he put it a few days before the election) to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” As we look around at the trillions of dollars of wealth that has evaporated under his watch and contemplate what he is doing to the U.S. military, American health care, immigration, and a host of other issues, it is difficult not to conclude that he is well embarked on that course of fundamental change.
But there is another feature that has been often but obliquely noticed. It hovers in the air when it is announced that Air Force One is ferrying the first couple to New York for a date and a night on the town. You sense it when you read, as you are always reading, that Obama is about to embark on, or about to return from, another vacation. You feel it as an unstated premise when you hear (as you are always hearing) about Obama’s latest round of golf.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Obama is lazy. He loves the perquisites of high office. He just doesn’t have much time for the demands.
[W]hen it comes to achieving his left-wing agenda, Obama is, if not quite tireless, at least dogged and uncompromising. But when it comes to serving the interests of America, he reverts back to his old Senate habit of voting present. (Come to think of it, when was the last time you heard Obama talk about, and endorse, especially American interests? They just don’t figure very prominently on his scale of values.)
Ouch. This was going to be the "post-partisan" president. Interesting how he arouses such strong animosity. Read the whole thing.


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