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Sunday, October 10, 2010


Donald Pay

And I suppose you think you're oh so clever for your little discovery. Well, congratulations to you, you have just joined the Left, which concluded this very same thing in 2008, during the primaries. The problem with Obama has always been that he is a technocrat. When the right made it impossible for him to govern in a bipartisan, technocratic way, he had no answer.


Still, an empty suit is vastly, vastly preferable to the lobbyist chic we see so clearly being worn by Republican Party pretenders.


"Timothy Johnson, co-founder of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a group that helps promote black Republican candidates, told me that Obama was not scrutinized properly in the 2008 election because of his race.

"The election wasn't so much about what Obama brought to the table," said. "People voted for him because they wanted to feel good about themselves, that they weren't racist."

An election defined by "Bush Fatigue" and a weak GOP candidate almost guaranteed a victory for the Democrat candidate for the Presidency, regardless of who it was. The initial charisma displayed by Obama reading his prepared speeches, an adoring MSM and his vague message of "Hope & Change" was enough to allow him to win an election to an office he had no demonstrated qualifications or competence for.

Obama is an empty suit, the public just liked the way it looked on him in 2008.

Bill Fleming

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." — Ghandi
Is a "laughing" or a "fighting" essay, KB. I'm just trying to keep track of where awe are in the process here.
Obama is a community organizer. Sometimes in politics that can look like an empty suit.

Or in Gandhi's case, no suit at all.

Your whole point here seems to be that while Obama is a good communicator, he doesn't have as much "rhetorical force" as Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan did. I suppose it wouldn't make much difference to you if I reminded you that both Reagan and Clinton's job approval ratings were lower than Obama's are going into the third year of their first term in office.

What I'm really trying to anticipate is whether you will just ignore me, laugh at me or fight me with some more intelligent reasoning than you have presented here. I'm guessing you actually might put up just a little bit of a fight. The GOP and the Tea Party certainly has been.

Gandhi would be happy about this, I'm thinking. He might even tell Don Pay to be patient. He might say something like "time is on our side," like Cesar Chavez and MLK used to say to us when we would get frustrated that the change we were hankering fafter wasn't coming soon enough.

Good post, KB. I very much enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

Bill Fleming

(...well, I certainly could have typed and proofed that better... sorry prof. If you like, I will submit a cleaner draft. ;^)

Bill Fleming

I really do have to at least fix my first sentence above, after the Gandhi quote.

When my typing is so bad even I have trouble understanding what it says,
it's time to just suck it up and type it over. So here goes The sentence should read:

Is this a "laughing" essay or a "fighting" essay, KB? I'm just trying to keep track of where we are in the process here.

(Okay I feel better now.)


Senator Barbara Boxer in the first session of Congress will--FORCE--upon us a massive Amnesty for all illegal aliens and President Obama will sign it. The democrats want to enact the President Bush's Totalization treaty for Mexican illegal workers, so they can access our Social Security benefits. This means SSI for old disabled American will be at risk as well as retirement pensions for every citizen and legal resident. The costs to pay for this bill will be the taxpayers burden, as its always been. Every amnesty that follows will bring millions more poverty stricken people and their children, that will smother our education system. Just look at good examples in border states, were classrooms are crammed with illegal alien children and as a cause citizen children are receiving poor schooling.

Low income Senior Citizens in many emergency rooms must sit for hours, while foreign parents with four to six kids are waiting for treatment. As there is no disclosure of the painful amount of money, as no administration has had the backbone to tell the absolute truth. That for decades each president and his incoherent representatives have ever found nerve to release any true accounting. Senator Boxer, Reid will doom this country to unimaginable overpopulation, expenditures even while we have 15 million legal workers, cannot find a job. What you decide in November, will either be the success of the Tea Party who will not entertain any type of Amnesty whatsoever and demand that Washington secure the open border. We could pay for the Afghanistan war for a year, with the just the federal cash spent to support the illegal alien welfare.


Bill: as far as typos are concerned, you have an unlimited line of credit here at SDP. I greatly appreciate your participation. You make this blog a much better thing than it would be if it was only me.

As for fighting, lets be clear what we are fighting about. No, Obama's approval rating isn't all that low across the board, compared to other Presidents. I did note that the almost universal approval among African Americans skews those numbers in his favor. I don't have numbers to compare for Reagan or Clinton, but I still think the approval ratings in the thirties among White voters in general, and among senior citizens, are probably uncharacteristically low. Of course, it is the situation of the Democratic Party in general that might be unprecedented. Expectations for Democrats this year are so bad that anything short of a 1894 catastrophe will look like a moral victory.

My point here was something different. I read recently that Paul Begala spoke glowingly of Barack Obama's great skills as a communicator. I can't find the quote just now, but I think he thought that Obama could somehow turn the tide if only... In fact, Presidents can rarely turn the tide with rhetoric. My point, however, is that I just don't see any evidence of great rhetorical skills on the part of the President. He reads a speech well from a teleprompter, but even Dubya could do that. Modern Presidents don't usually (if ever!) write their own speeches. But they do guide the writing. On several occasions we have waited with hushed breath for a great Obama speech at a pivotal moment. It's almost always a disappointment.

A few days ago I heard someone on NPR say "we all know that the President is a very intelligent man." I have heard that over and over since Obama rose from obscurity. I just don't know of any evidence that it's true. He isn't stupid. I don't know that he knows much about history or the larger world. Intelligence is at least this: the ability to put one idea together with another and come up with a third on your own. I can't think of any examples where Obama has demonstrated that ability. What you get from him, inevitably, is a more or less sophisticated expression of the talking points that the Democrats and their allies in the media have in their playbooks. That's not terrible. It's what most Presidents do. It's just not impressive.

None of this would matter much if Barack Obama was at least an effective leader. George W. Bush was terrible at defending his own administration's policies; but when there was a general loss of confidence among his advisers at the beginning of the invasion of Afghanistan, Bush was able to bring resolve to the table. Everyone thought this was a good idea a few days ago. Let's give it a few days more. That's all it took.

By contrast, when the Obama team was trying to formulate an Afghanistan policy, Obama seemed completely helpless. It dragged on for months, with one deadline for a policy announcement giving way to another. It only ended when his advisers realized that they had to unanimously agree on something, anything, to get a policy. I am guessing that a lot of White House policy, maybe all of it, gets made this way.

In my post I offer an explanation for the phenomenon of Barack Obama. It explains a lot. I'm not the only one who sees the problem. All year Democrats have been crying out for Obama to do... something. This has created a deep frustration, because they all seem to believe that there is this great man, this modern day Lincoln, somehow hiding behind the President we all see and hear. Maybe there isn't. Someone had to say it. I did.


Donald: poor Barack. Conservatives frequently despise him because they think he is a socialist. You despise him because he isn't a genuine commie. I don't despise him at all. I just think he isn't all he is cracked up to be by the right or the left.

If Obama is a "technocrat," precisely what tech does he crat? As for bipartisanship, Obama's idea of that is pretty much everyone's idea of that. It means the other side giving up their objections and agreeing with us or me. The fact that Obama is still blaming Fox News for his troubles means that he can't really accept the legitimacy of dissent. I have offered an explanation for this.

Stan Gibilisco

In my opinion, Barack Obama is an intelligent, eloquent, charming, dry-witted, good-hearted human being with a sincere desire to positively influence the United States of America.

That's not enough to make a good President. Heck, all of us on this blog have the aforementioned qualities. Would we make good Presidents?

In an interview prior to the 2008 election, someone asked Barack Obama, "What's your biggest weakness?" He replied, "I'm a little too awesome." How right he was. This response did not reflect arrogance; those of us who appreciate dry humor got a good chuckle out of it. Who made him so awesome? Those people who imagined him as their Messiah. His response to the reporter's question told me that Mr. Obama knew such hero worship could be dangerous!

We know what happens to all Messiahs.

When I was a little kid, I had a dream that caused me to wake up laughing. It might apply here. Someone said, "There was once a man who would have made a great ship's captain, except for one thing: He didn't know how to run a ship."

Bill Fleming

So, "laughing" then? That's probably right.
The "fighting" will come after the next congress is seated, no doubt.
I see DADT, Immigration Reform and Alternative Energy as being key battles.

In fact, I can hear Brittanicus up above me right now, doing pushups.

Donald Pay

No, I don't despise Obama, but he is too much of a triangulator for me. Making deals with the worst profiteers in the health care industry, and taking any public option off the table, to enact Bob Dole's health care plan is exactly the sort of Republican behavior I had hoped was over when we elected Obama.

So, we got a Republican health care mandate and a few necessary reforms that will help some families have basic health care. It's better than the current Republican alternative, which is for people without money to die. If the Republicans want to ditch the Bob Dole plan and support single payer, I'll be on board. But they won't. There's too much money in it for them to continue with their "die now" health care alternative.

The real empty suits are the Republicans. They have had nothing to offer for two years, and their Pledge is just a continuation of their failed corporate welfare policies and offers nothing for the average person.

Robert Speirs


How about if you just learn how to spell Ghandi's name, since you like him so much? And then learn the consequences of his awesomeness - tens of millions of dead South Asians. But that would spoil the narrative, wouldn't it?

Then you could explain what "I'm guessing you actually might put up just a little bit of a fight. The GOP and theTea Party certainly has been ... " means. Has (have) been what? Right all along? Now you're making sense. And what did Obozo ever communicate successfully except for "I'm not Bush, and I'm black!"? I'm not asking for any time he communicated anything that was true. I know better than to expect that from a Democrat. Just anything else at all. You must be away from your TelePrompTer.


Mr. Fleming,
Your post quoting Gandhi is interesting. Not too much sense in it though unless you believe that Obama, the President of the United States, is a seemingly powerless and downtrodden individual who is fighting the entrenched powers ruling his country. If that is indeed your belief of our president and Commander-in-Chief...the leader of the nation's dominant political party...a man who grew up in an affluent household and who somehow attended the 'best' schools in this country...
then you are either weak-thinking, a partisan hack or a racist who categorizes Mr. Obama's status and position based on his skin color.
I suspect all three.


I very much enjoyed your thoughtful post. I, and probably several million others have been thinking the same thing, but you put it very well. I am forwarding it to my friends.

One thing you did not speculate on was how Obama is likely to react when he is directly confronted by a newly constituted House with real power. A Republican House will not be an easy target like Fox News. They can bite back by denying funding and by investigating incompetents like Holder and Napolitano.

Obama is a man who has never been told 'No'. Now he is going to be told it a lot. I don't think he is going to react well at all.


Obama was elected President of the United States, but he is governing as President of the Faculty Lounge. He has no idea where the political center really is in this country, or how to drag it to where he wants it to be - or perhaps he doesn't care what people want and simply tries to jam down their throats as much as possible of what he thinks is good for them, and fie on the "we the people" stuff.

What America voted for in 2008 was the idea of Barack Obama: intelligent, post-partisan, post-racial, moderate in tone and policy. But whereas Obama represented this idea for a while, he never embodied it. Slowly, people have caught on, and now almost everyone realizes it was all an optical illusion. We can only hope to get through the next two years without real damage. At first I agreed with those who thought that this would be "Jimmy Carter's second term." Now that looks like a best-case scenario.

tom swift

Obama ain't no Gandhi. He ain't much of anything.

I made the empty suit comparison before the election, with the elaboration that the suit was inflated with nothing more than hot air. That was when all we ever heard from him was the "hope and change" mantra. In office he turns out to have been even less capable that I'd thought then. His naive approach to foreign affairs has been just what I anticipated, but domestically, I'd expected some show of competence. His political clumsiness and incredible tin ear have been surprising. I had really thought that anyone who had arisen through the worst cesspool of corruption in American politics would at least have some superficial political skills.

He won't change after the election. He'll be the same pedestrian intellect with the same high school-level, doctrinaire opinions on all the pressing problems of the day. His only tactic will be to double-down on what he's already doing. He isn't equipped to do anything else. He CANNOT change or improve - it just isn't in him.

The Republicans are a pretty crappy party, but they aren't the helpless babes in the woods that Obama has shown himself to be. O. probably has no conception of what's going to hit him after November. He may start throwing tantrums which in comparison will make Nixon look like a reasonable man.


"Obama isn't stupid, to be sure; but neither has he shown any evidence of an intellect that is above average."

Well Hallelujah - someone has finally said it. It has been obligatory since 2007 for anyone writing a piece about Barry O to include an amazed comment about his startlingly high intellect. At first it was because most of the writers believed it, and were so openly tilting the field in his favor that I expected to see "This Ad Paid For By The Committee to Elect Barack Obama" tagged on the end of their articles. Even non-believers would include the intellect blurb out of sheer self-preservation, knowing that if they didn't, charges of racism could soon follow.
It became tiresome in the year after the inauguration: "The economy lost another 3 million jobs this month, as the most intelligent President in American history took his mighty brain to the golf course today to struggle with the problem that stumped Einstein." But then the mask began to slip. Oh, the true believers still cranked it out like manure: for them it was The Eternal Sunshine Of The Obama Mind, 24/7.

But those white liberal pundits with a shred of intellectual honesty left (there were a couple), started wondering whether they had been victims of the greatest Man Crush the world had ever seen. Awash in guilt (their default position) most white liberals continued commenting on the beautiful mind of the nation's greatest leader. They did it because, as white liberals, they were also convinced that blacks were intellectually inferior, and needed their intellectual and moral betters (the white liberals of course) to take care of them. And so those white liberals continued over-praising El Uno, and thus demonstrated their "soft racism of low expectations".

But now it has finally been said: "Look, we're not saying he's a retard, but, Jeez Louise man, will you STOP with the 'Genius!' talk?!" What we've learned in the last 18 months, is that instead of a staggeringly high IQ, Obama had staggeringly good handlers and speechwriters, along with press people who could spin the next day's headlines like Rapunzel's golden hair. Obama himself was more like Miss South Carolina Teenager: "57 states"; "Austrian language"; "corpse-man" (meaning "corpsman", a Navy/Marine medic); "10,000 people killed by a tornado, and a Kansas town destroyed" (12 killed, town still there); etc., etc., etc. In the last couple of weeks he's started ad-libbing jibes at Tea Party marchers and Congressional Republicans, and he came up with these Churchillian gems: "If I said fish live in the sea, they'd say no. If I said the sky was blue, they'd say no."

Dear God, I cringe for the man out of simple human feeling. A 3rd-grader could extemporize more memorable turns of phrase. It is a sign of how far The One's intellectual star gas fallen that Bill Clinton took these most pedestrian come-backs as an opportunity to say Obama was "getting his game back". Egad! There's that soft racism of low expectations again. But we have come to so expect it from liberals that we don't even notice anymore. What a shame. And what an insult to blacks.

Well, not I. For I declare Barack Obama to have a very, very....normal intelligence. And that is something that not even Albert Einstein himself had. black President we've ever had.


I don't think that this article is much of a revelation, nor a stretch. However, there is one attribute of this human that goes beyond the empty suit: his only weapon - to attack with smear. I foresee heavy handed attacks coming. After all, these people see us as a country defined by its [huge] government; the rest of us as a great country that has a government.

Dark Jethro

Barak Obama is a genius like Wile E. Coyote - in his own mind. Constant failure of his overcomplicated, ineffectual, schemes does nothing to deter him from believing in his awesomeness.

Our first loony tunes president.


Obama is an empty suit and Biden is a stuffed shirt, so there's a kind of symmetry there ..

david boone

Congrats to self - said it first time I saw him at his California primary victory speech. I don't agree that the President is a gifted speaker, but then I have read FDR and Churchill. As for W's rhetorical skills, he always resignated best when he spoke from his heart. I don't get that feeling, ever, from Obama.


Remember the Scott Brown election and how for a brief and shining moment we thought healthcare was dead?? For any normal politician a republican elected to Ted Kennedy's seat should have been a huge indication that the public didn't want that particular health care reform. Obama pushed on anyway. I absolutely cannot see him triangulating. He would really rather only be a one term President than compromise with the republicans. To Obama, being president should get you what you want when you want it.

Rich Vail

Excellent post sir...instalanche.

I've read several of your blog entries and have added you to the blogroll on my blog. Thanks.

Rich Vail
Pikesville, MD


It's not just the right that's realized this. Many of my "very far left" friends have become disgusted with Obama, both for his inability to follow through on his commitments and his increasingly obvious condition as a mental lightweight, dullard and poseur unable to mumble the least coherent sentence without a script or teleprompter.

Obama not only failed to end Guantanamo, but he's expanded the state of exception to include global drone attacks, making the world his panoptic theater. He's not only rejected capitalism, but embraced and radically advanced state capitalism in proper progressive national socialist manner. He loves shock doctrine, utilizing every good crisis to his benefit. To a well studied student of communism, Obama's more repugnant than Bush given that he ought to know better given his upbringing. Islam marginally tolerates non-believers, but has terminal consequences for those raised in the religion that willfully leave, and subsequently I've seen an increasing frequency of those on the far left to turn from hope to hatred for the man.

Bill Fleming

Yes, KB, definitely still in the "laughing" phase. But if some of these goons here
are in the front line when the fighting starts, I think it's pretty clear already what
the outcome will be.

Such tempers.


Obama was literally ordained a genius and Messiah during his campaign. Well, if he is so smart, why won't he release his college records?

And I am going to say something here that no one has been brave enough to say. He won because he is half black and all the Blacks voted for him (95%). And no, I am NOT racist. This is a fact and it's time it was admitted.

I have a relative who heard him speak at the Iowa straw polls and who stated that he was an empty suit. But once nominated, all the Dems rallied around him even though many knew what he was.

Also, I feel that O was picked by the powers behind the throne (Soros et al) as someone who could win because of his race partly, someone whose political philosophy influenced by his lifelong associates were in sync with said powers, and someone that they could manipulate once in office. Pretty much this has been proven true.


Cling to your self-importance and your vanity Bill Fleming. Cling bitterly.


Instead of addressing the valid points refuting your posts Mr. Fleming, you just smugly continue your masturbatory fantasy of your own perceived wisdom. That's all that is left when your arguments dissolve like cotton candy in a rain storm.
If Bupa Gandhi's aphorism can be applied anywhere in today's political environment it would be the Tea Parties vs. Obama and the Democrats. That puts you on the goon side of history Mr. Fleming.
To loosely quote Truman - I don't give them hell, I just tell them the truth and they think it is hell.


The childishness of the "x is better than Republican y" is really offensively stupid.

The Left could clone Hitler and Democrats would happily vote for him.

Grow up.


Bill: I still don't know what you mean by the "laughing" thing.

Josh Reiter

Obama thinks he can sway people to agreeing with his ideology through flowery speech and overwhelming personality. This is the problem with people who are not only narcissists but also adhere to the principles that people are fundamental constructs of their environment. Leftists believe that people can be fundamentally transformed and influenced from external sources and made to align with a common set of goals and beliefs. If the person you are attempting to transform doesn't fit the preconceived mold -- you pound harder. Obama thinks he can sway the Ahmadinejad's of the world with enough teleprompter speeches and out stretched hands. Obama is incapable of understanding that there are innately evil people in this world and have a system of beliefs and interests that will never align themselves to his own. In other words, he's never developed a true grown up understanding of reality and the ways the world really works.


Every Democrat candidate for President in living memory has been billed as highly intelligent, and every successful candidate as the most brilliant man to ever hold the office. To a man, Republican candidates are said to be stupid and ignorant, except for Nixon whose clear intelligence won him the accolade of "tricky" from the left. Going back only a few terms, Bush demolished the snotty (Kerry), the delusional (Gore), and Obama polished off the senile (McCain). Not a genius or even an educated man in whole goddamn bunch, and that includes the current affirmative action President. What the hell did you expect?


> How about if you just learn how to spell Ghandi's name, since you like him so much?

That guy's *gotta* be a troll or a moby.


Thanks to all for the comments. I have been very gratified by this "instalanche"


My 13 year old son likes to run around in the woods with his aiforst rifle so every other weekend he goes out in the woods for these aiforst games where they wear protective gear and shoot plastic pellets at each other lots of fun, right? I like the idea of him being out in the fresh air with men of ages 12 to 60 forming brigades and playing soldier great stuff.This past weekend I was disappointed to hear that the organizers put a man in a suit and Obama mask as a target to play a round of Kill Obama . He ran around and all the guts n glory guys took shots at him for fun. At first I was disappointed then I thought I'd lodge a complaint (I mean this is my president, right?), in the end I just decided that my son is old enough to make up his own mind about what kind of person he wants to be. His half-brother Junie is black and his best little brother.What's wrong with America? I can't fix people, but I can damn sure help to create a great man my son. This weekend he's back at it again with his rifle learning from the stupid adults.


I’m not sure what the big to do is about his winning the eeloticn. Color does not make you a better president. Color does not help you stop war, greed, killing, starvation. People can do that. I don’t see how you can call it “Historical” because he got in, there just haven’t been to many black americans running, is the reason one didn’t get in sooner. Red, yellow, black, or white, all controlling governments are bad. They're the ones who ruined it for everyone since the beginning. They're the ones who introduced money, greed and death because of it. Ty for that? No matter what color you are. If we actually had a good government with really good people, we wouldn't need money, but we are so brain-washed we couldn't even fathom that.


The truth is they will do what every it takes to take Obama down, even at the expense of our ctoruny. They simply cannot accept the fact that a black man is president, and it would be imposible for them to accept a black man as president being successfull!!!The birthers , teapartarian, are rascisit plain and simple


This is such great news! I was going to email you back but I will just leave a comment here. Thanks for the carema advice and I am sooooo bummed I will have to wait EVEN LONGER to have a session with you! Someday we will have some E F originals gracing our walls! Until then, take care! I'm so excited about baby #5 for you guys!!! What an adventure:)

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