Friday, January 23, 2009

Our Hallmark Greeting Card President

A notable article I ran across today.

Here's the meat of it:

For all of the emptiness of Obama's speech, however, he did express one central
idea: he is against ideas.

"On this day," he declared, "we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics." He went on to expand by what he means about rejecting "worn out dogmas."

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them--that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works--whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified....

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control--and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.

It is basic choices between opposing principles that Obama is telling us are "stale" and "no longer apply." And if you think that ideas and principles still matter, you're a cynic!

Thus, Obama begins his administration by declaring that he will run the government while rejecting any overarching ideas and principles regarding the proper role and scope of government action. He starts by telling us, in effect, that he has no idea what he is doing.
This actually followed another telling paragraph in the article:
There is a great irony in the respective reputations of Bush and Obama when it comes to giving speeches. Bush is viewed as an inarticulate dolt, but he hired excellent writers who frequently produced good, thoughtful, substantive speeches, which he then marred with a flat and uncomfortable delivery. By contrast, Obama has a great reputation for eloquence--because he is adept at giving a smooth, charismatic delivery to the oratorical equivalent of Hallmark greeting cards.

No comments: