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Unexamined Premises

Irish Diary: Of Playground Politicians and Their Discontents

April 25th, 2014 - 11:52 am
Obama--Biden-selfie-jpg

BFFs for, like, ever

Referring to Barack Obama’s use of the word “stinkburger” at an appearance at the University of Michigan, George Will had a column the other day, “Barack Obama, the adolescent president,” in which he made this observation about the current commander-in-chief:

Try to imagine Franklin Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower or John Kennedy or Ronald Reagan talking like that. It is unimaginable that those grown-ups would resort to japes that fourth-graders would not consider sufficiently clever for use on a playground… Anyone who has tried to engage a member of that [adolescent] age cohort in an argument probably recognizes the four basic teenage tropes, which also are the only arrows in Obama’s overrated rhetorical quiver.

Will listed the cheap tricks in the president’s repertoire — straw men, the “you-have-no-argument” assertion, the “everything is just fine” non-argument, and “my opponents are poopy-pantses.”  Okay, he didn’t exactly say that, but Obama’s unshakable belief in his own moral and intellectual superiority “is an assertion that has always been an Obama specialty. It is that there cannot be honorable and intelligent disagreement with him.”

What Will left off his list — or perhaps it’s simply implicit in everything the campaigner-in-chief says these days — is mockery. A quick Google search turns up 129,000,000 reference to Obama mocking somebody or other — Mitt Romney, Republicans, his ideological foes, the Special Olympics, you name it. Lest we forget:

Elsewhere, I’ve characterized this tendency of Leftists to treat everyone who disagrees with them with contempt as the Lefty Sneer. It’s one of their unloveliest traits, and one that goes back as far as I remember, which is to the mid/late sixties. What can’t be defeated in honest debate can be dismissed with an insult, which is what passes for cleverness in certain quarters. Did Obama really think his “stinkburger” crack was even worthy of a dorm-room bull session, much less a presidential appearance? Regarding Joe Biden’s debate with Paul Ryan in 2012, I wrote at  NRO:

In perhaps the most personally disgraceful performance in the history of debates, Joe Biden smirked, mugged, snorted, and sneered his way through 90 minutes of heckling his opponent, Paul Ryan — often aided and abetted by the moderator, Martha Raddatz, who was every bit as bad as we all feared the ex-wife of president Obama’s Harvard Law School classmate, Julius Genachowski, would be.

And the Left loved it. Why? Because in their hearts, they think we deserve it, and have it coming to us for the crime of disagreeing with them. The depths of their animosity danced across Biden’s toothy visage all evening, Ryan’s reasonable arguments, delivered reasonably, being met with sneering condescension and a wonted air of smug moral superiority. For the libs, this was a dream performance, and all the Right could do, like Ryan himself, was grin and bear it.

But don’t think such debate tactics are the exclusive province of the Left. Oh, no.  Just check out the guy atop the next page.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The "stinkburger" comment was made for the benefit of Obama's low-information voters, who, I am sure, enjoyed it. He does not say things like this simply because he is immature and snotty (which he is). Everything he says in public is planned to make an intended impression on one or another group of his supporters or to needle his enemies (which also entertains his supporters). In addition, he knows that the press will never, ever criticize him for saying stupid things the way they jump on a Cliven Bundy or a Sarah Palin quote, for instance. They will always report whatever he says as though it is either clever or profound, rather than lies or low-grade nonsense. The manner in which the press covers "news" makes way more of an impression on low-information citizens than does the "news" itself. Obama can count on this, and he does.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, I think we treat you pretty well here, Paddy me lad. If you want comforting, head on over to the Kos Kidz, Media Mutters or Demonrat Underground -- whoops, I mocked! My bad. Then again, you asked for it.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
What part of Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government was unclear?
13 weeks ago
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All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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Has anyone brought up the possibility that Mr. Boehner is enjoying his Jamison a little too much lately?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is after all president "lipstick on a pig", you can google it if you don't recall.

Just remember, there is nothing that is out of bounds in politics, if it works. As long as the Republicans don't respond effectively, whatever, dude. But yes, weepy Boehner has completely exceeded his use-by date.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Boehn of our existence should be replaced but which mock-Constitutionalist would replace him?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The #1 problem for the Tea Party going forward is the linkage with the Republican Party. Once that element is removed the Republican Party can and hopefully die out. I truly believe this country is now beyond the old 2 parry system.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agree one hundred percent. There really is no opposition party in the New American State. The entire country is now run in the same manner as a big city machine a la Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston et al. Hillary is the American president post 2016 no doubt. There it will not even be close; no matter who the Republicans nominate one can rely on CBS,ABC,NBC,NPR, CNN etc to launch a full scale attack on their personal lives and add into that the superficial so called comics like Tina Fey, Colbert, Goldberg and the other Leftists disguised as funny people. America has become the Soviet Union of the twenty first century; remember those elections Stalin used to win by at least ninety nine percent of the vote; that is how most Philadelphia wards voted for Obama last time. The American Republic no longer exists, good job Obama/Biden.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
...2 parry system.

The Pubs parry, the Dems attack.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
What weight does an oath have? If you are not a believer in God, what value or effect does an oath have? We have a crisis of morality accross the board, Republicans, Democrats, civilians. The culture is rotten to the core. Eisienhower would never make such comments as he was of a different culture, one that had respect - respect for God.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "stinkburger" comment was made for the benefit of Obama's low-information voters, who, I am sure, enjoyed it. He does not say things like this simply because he is immature and snotty (which he is). Everything he says in public is planned to make an intended impression on one or another group of his supporters or to needle his enemies (which also entertains his supporters). In addition, he knows that the press will never, ever criticize him for saying stupid things the way they jump on a Cliven Bundy or a Sarah Palin quote, for instance. They will always report whatever he says as though it is either clever or profound, rather than lies or low-grade nonsense. The manner in which the press covers "news" makes way more of an impression on low-information citizens than does the "news" itself. Obama can count on this, and he does.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly. Rank-and-file non-elite leftists (and even some of the younger quasi-elite leftists, the ones from moderately wealthy, Ivy League families, but not ungodly wealthy enough to be DC insiders) see snide, immature insults from Obama, Reid, Jon Stewart, etc... directed at the "enemy" as Manna from the Heaven that their little atheist hearts don't believe in.

Because in dragging down the level of discourse, nobody takes any of it seriously and the long march Leftward can continue unabated.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think that we on the right are waking up to the existence of the phenomenon you describe, the 'Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government'. Let's call them the 'insiders' for a minute. The person who can come along and unit the 'outsiders' on the left and the right against the 'insiders' will be unstoppable.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure that's possible, as the "outsiders" on the Left are the Black Bloc Anarchists (as much as rich Leftists claim to love them for the damage/chaos they can cause)...
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"We get elected to make choices."

No you don't. You get elected to follow the will of the people who voted you into office; or at least, that's the way it was designed. But we know you couldn't care less about that. Your comment is as telling as a gambler's twitch.

Getting rid of this guy is job 1. He's Harry Reid's twin, except that Dirty Harry has guts.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Obama and Boehner are the bipartisan embodiment of what's wrong with the American political system. "
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Yeah - but the trouble is they are both on the same side - being the elites that they are. As a Tea Party member I feel like they are both on the opposite side as I am.

I hope you weren't trying to infer that they were polar opposites, Michael. They aren't - at least in my book.

13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
What part of Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government was unclear?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
From the President on down, all politicians take an oath of office and in that oath are the words "to support and protect the Constitution of the United States". When are "We the People" going to make these lying, cheating, and stealing politicians live up to their oath, or are we just as dishonorable as they are? If so, are great country will be lost and Freedom and Liberty will die, for we are the last bastion left.
13 weeks ago
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