January 26th, 2011

Obama’s playing 3-D chess again

You may not have noticed it, but Obama’s tepid SOTU speech was actually a cunning trap cleverly set for his enemies, according to Ed Kilgore in TNR.

Did you think it boring and devoid of good ideas, re-circulating tired slogans and a pastiche of ineffective and worn-out solutions—if you could bear to listen at all? Well, think again:

…[T]hat’s the beauty of Obama’s address. He basically put together every modest, centrist, reasonable-sounding idea for public investment aimed at job creation and economic growth that anyone has ever uttered; and he did so at the exact moment that the GOP has abandoned the very concept of public investment altogether.

Only Noam Scheiber’s latest, also in TNR, can match the breathtaking cynicism of the following paragraph of Kilgore’s [emphasis mine]:

Moreover, Obama’s tone—the constant invocation of bipartisanship at a time when Republicans are certain to oppose most of what he’s called for, while going after the progressive programs and policies of the past—should sound familiar as well. It was Bill Clinton’s constant refrain, which he called “progress over partisanship,” during his second-term struggle with the Republican Congress. During that period, the Republicans being asked to transcend “partisanship” were trying to remove Clinton from office. And Clinton wasn’t really extending his hand in a gesture of cooperation with the GOP but, by creating a contrast with their ideological fury, indicating that he himself embodied the bipartisan aspirations of the American people and the best ideas of both parties. It was quite effective.

So, similarly, Obama will pose as a bipartisan, contrasting his tone with that of the angry GOP. Brilliant! And this is from a supporter, who seems to think it’s not only okay but remarkably clever and bound to succeed.

Only problem is that, if the American people have any smarts at all, they will recall that Obama’s outstretched bipartisan hand has only come on the scene after the Republicans won back the House. Funny timing, that.

One more thing: Clinton had the personality to pull it off. Obama does not.

Oh, and GOP “fury” much more clearly matches the mood of much of the country right now than it did in Clinton’s time.

25 Responses to “Obama’s playing 3-D chess again”

  1. Hong Says:

    There was little strategy involved. Obama played it safe last night giving little and offering lots of platitudes. He’s on defense hoping the GOP overplays itself. It may work if people stop paying much attention. Unfortunately, the noisy Left on MSNBC and the blogosphere never got the memo. I’m waiting for the sinking to begin again.

  2. Oldflyer Says:

    Those Leftist mouthpieces are so predictable that they have become too boring to notice.

    Typically, in totalitarian societies everyone lies about how positive everything is, even though everyone understands the template, and recognizes the lies. But, they have to do it. Otherwise they will be out of step; and if you get out of step… We see many of the same characteristics in our Obama apologists.

  3. vanderleun Says:

    One can only hope that “that Obama’s outstretched bipartisan hand” will, when pulled back, be a stump.

  4. Curtis Says:

    No angry mother defiant against all those not equally in love with her Johnny could match Kilgore’s reality defying dive into fancyland. Kilgore’s the kind of guy who would lead children to Micheal Jackson’s den so they could live their dreams. Cuckoo, bananas, nutjob. . . take your pick and spit on the ground afterwards.

  5. Occam's Beard Says:

    At this point, if Obama broke wind the MSM would comment favorably on the bouquet and musicality thereof.

  6. Libby Says:

    Once again we’re told that we commoners just cannot grasp the genius of The One. We are sol lucky to have such a brilliant, dear leader.
    On a side note, are we still in the U.S.A.?

  7. Paul_In_Houston Says:

    They will never give up on the idea that he is some kind of Machiavellian genius in everything he does or says.

    “I did NOT fall! Everything I do is carefully planned.”>/i>
    ~Inspector Jacques Clousou, “A Shot in the Dark”
    -

  8. expat Says:

    Occam’s

    What say we put all them in a small unventillated room for a few days and give them a diet of beans? Or is that too violent?

  9. Curtis Says:

    Love Scheiber’s confabulated version of the relations between business and Obama: the White House was giving in to months of mau-mauing from the business community.

    Made me go back and retrieve the origins of the term “mau-mau.”

    From Wiki: Wolfe describes hapless bureaucrats (the Flak Catchers) whose function was reduced to taking abuse, or “mau-mauing” . . . from intimidating young Blacks and Samoans, who are seen as reveling in the newfound vulnerability of “the Man”.

    So here we have the original mau-mauer himself, Obama, turned into a Flak Catcher.

    Well, welcome to Whiteyville, Obama. Hapless Bureaucrat and intimidating black man all at once. You certainly did become that “I am what you want” canvas, didn’t you?

  10. Occam's Beard Says:

    What say we put all them in a small unventillated room for a few days and give them a diet of beans? Or is that too violent?

    Works for me!

    So here we have the original mau-mauer himself, Obama, turned into a Flak Catcher.

    The ironies abound in this intellectual Moebius strip, since Obama’s paternal grandfather had, IIRC, some murky connection with the Mau Mau Rebellion.

  11. Terrye Says:

    The thing is people have come to expect such high flying oratory from Obama, that the usual political pablum is a real let down. Say what they will, the speech was anti climatic at best.

  12. Parker Says:

    I didn’t listen, instead I read a text of the SOTU early this morning. Yawn, same old same old.

    I must admit that except for Reagan, I have always grown weary of a president’s voice after a couple of years. RR had a great voice, was a real charmer, and truly had the ‘common touch’.

    During the ’08 campaign I found Obama’s halting cadence annoying and could not understand why so many people were enthralled with his oratory. His voice has inundated the airwaves since he won the election which caused me to stop listening to his speeches and interviews back in April of ’09. In fact, I turn down the radio the moment I hear his voice.

    To quote Jerry Seinfeld, “Yadda, yadda, yadda.”

  13. SteveH Says:

    Politics has to be the only endeavor where what you do pales in comparison to how well you talk about what you’re going to do.

  14. Mike Mc. Says:

    I did not watch the speech (I cannot bear the sight of the man let alone hearing him), but I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the bullet points and then summaries and clips.

    It looks like he basically said, “You guys take the agenda. I’m done. There’s a platitude sale in aisle 5 and I’ll be over there for the next two years’.

    I thought this was a huge opening for any Republican who had courage and could speak clearly and with conviction about that he/she would do, how to do it, etc.

    America does not want to vote for Obama again. They did it the once and it’s been very painful and very very tiring. But they don’t want to vote for some feckless R, or a RINO, or an ‘evil corporation republican’ either.

    I heard Dick Morris say much the same thing on the radio today. He said he was breathed a sigh of relief when the speech was finally over because Obama had blown it. There is nothing in it for anyone to rally to his side for. All it takes is for some R to grasp the reins…etc.

    I think he is right. If we don’t get courage and conviction from Rs now, we never will. Big, Bold, Brave, Daring, No debt limit increase cut the dickens out of everything we are signing no checks at all type tough.

    Good News = It’s now or never. And that’s the bad news too. All we need is for a real person to step up to the plate.

    I know who that isn’t – Romney, Huckaby, Pawlenty, and a few more.

    Not sure who it could be, but Palin, Ryan, Christie and a few more are possibles.

  15. SteveH Says:

    “”Politics has to be the only endeavor where what you do pales in comparison to how well you talk about what you’re going to do.”"

    Well there is pro wrestling.

  16. jms Says:

    During the ‘08 campaign I found Obama’s halting cadence annoying and could not understand why so many people were enthralled with his oratory.

    Read this.

  17. jms Says:

    During the ‘08 campaign I found Obama’s halting cadence annoying and could not understand why so many people were enthralled with his oratory.

    Read this

    http://www.pennypresslv.com/Obama‘s_Use_of_Hidden_Hypnosis_techniques_in_His_Speeches.pdf

  18. jms Says:

    I’m having so much trouble embedding the link. Just google it.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    jms: for some reason the link isn’t working, even though I tried to fix it.

    This link leads to the same article, I believe.

  20. Parker Says:

    jms & neo-neocon,

    Thanks for the link. I started reading the document but after a while I fell into a trance and began to have visions of Obama dividing fish into loaves and healing zombies. Fortunately, my wife found me staring into the void and whacked the back of my head.

    Seriously, I know from history that at certain times and in certain places people will follow a charismatic figure to a very bad end. The 20th century provides ample evidence of this phenomena. Yet, for some reason I’ve heard nothing in Obama’s rhetoric that gives me a clue as to how he has pulled the wool over so many eyes. To me he wears a sign around his neck that says: Caution, the emperor is naked.

    I’ve bookmarked the document and will read it when I have more time give it the thorough reading it deserves. Who knows, I might learn something.

  21. RickZ Says:

    I have a chess trophy from high school. I’ve attempted to play 3-D chess; I was given a three level board back in the late ’60′s thanks to Star Trek. I can assure you Obama could not play 3-D chess even if his kids’ lives depended on it.

  22. Good Ole Charlie Says:

    RickZ:
    HBO would have trouble with 2D checkers…
    Old Maid is more his intellectual match.

  23. br549 Says:

    So, anybody know what’s up with ACORN these days beside the name change? Didn’t think so.

  24. Occam's Beard Says:

    HBO would have trouble with 2D checkers…
    Old Maid is more his intellectual match.

    Nah. Tic-tac-toe.

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    “President Obama’s second State of the Union address contained enough recycled ideas and lines lifted from speeches of others to make historians wince,” writes Felzenberg. “Had the president submitted the text of his second State of the Union Address in the form of a college term paper, he would have been sent forthwith to the nearest academic dean.”

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