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Belmont Club

Before the Speech

September 10th, 2013 - 2:17 pm

I wrote in the last comment thread “that one of recent history’s greatest buffoons will shortly mount the podium and grandly proclaim his monumental blunders to the world in triumphant tones. His head, tilted slightly upward and to one side, will swivel majestically — the better to read the ghostwritten speech projected on the teleprompter. He will gesture to the left and right. And it will be taken in the NYT for profundity.”

At predetermined points in the great oration he will pause for effect and deliver deliver a focus-group tested punchline. And then he will end, with some meaningless peroration, that neither he nor his adoring audience understand and stand forth from the lectern, not a hair out of place and not a wit in his head.

And we will clap. No … not everyone. But more than enough will rise to their feet and without quite knowing why, rhythmically bring their hands together like trained seals. You can almost hear Andrew Sullivan shout: “we have a President!!!”

But I soon realized that I had been anticipated in my themes by Peggy Noonan’s much smoother piece in the Wall Street Journal in which she describes in great detail what the mighty orator will soon set out to achieve. She writes:

So what will he say? Some guesses.

He will not really be trying to “convince the public.” He will be trying to move the needle a little, which will comfort those who want to say he retains a matchless ability to move the masses. It will make him feel better. And it will send the world the message: Hey, this isn’t a complete disaster. The U.S. president still has some juice, and that juice can still allow him to surprise you, so watch it.

He will attempt to be morally compelling and rhetorically memorable. He will probably, like Susan Rice yesterday, attempt to paint a graphic portrait of what chemical weapons do—the children in their shrouds, the suffering parents, what such deaths look like and are. This is not meaningless: the world must be reminded what weapons of mass destruction are, and what the indifference of the world foretells.

He will claim the moral high ground. He will temporarily reserve the use of force and welcome recent diplomatic efforts. He will suggest it was his threat of force that forced a possible diplomatic solution. His people will be all over the airwaves saying it was his deft leadership and steely-eyed threat to use force that allowed for a diplomatic break.

The real purpose of the speech will be to lay the predicate for a retrospective judgment of journalists and, later, historians. He was the president who warned the world and almost went—but didn’t go—to war to make a point that needed making.

Then comes Noonan’s finest line.

“Get ready for a leak war between Kerry’s staff and Hillary Clinton’s”.

This says it all, doesn’t it? Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat demands a DNA paternity test. Those of you who think the American political establishment has come to the last stage of shamelessness and degradation and who can’t top the last act are wrong. We will soon be treated to the showstopper: the spectacle of so-called “statesmen” trying to pin the rap for this debacle on each other.

Ready for my Closeup

I’m ready for my closeup

What form this will take, how many talk shows they will visit, what grimaces they are even now rehearsing before the mirrors, is as yet unknown. One thing’s for sure. It will be a doozy.  Someone once said that if you elect clowns you will get a circus. Speaking of clowns, one of opera’s great scenes is the crying clown, Pagliaccio.

Tramuta in lazzi lo spasmo ed il pianto
in una smorfia il singhiozzo e ‘l dolor, Ah!
Ridi, Pagliaccio

I wish the clowns that we are about to witness had a tenth portion of his dignity and dramatic pathos, instead of simply coming across exactly as what they are: second rate grifters. Ha ha ha ha.


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Top Rated Comments   
If the Democrats had an drop of patriotism in their veins they'd talk to the President privately with a bottle of brandy. Even a pack of smokes if it'll help and describe to him in glowing terms the attractions and charms of retirement. Paint the vermillion sunsets of Hawaii, evoke the twittering birds of a golf course in the early morning. Wax lyrical on the scent of salmon barbecuing over wood-chip embers.

Then they would pull out a draft blanket Presidential pardon, ready for Biden's signature, with the blanks left open for his nomination. And then they can open the door just slightly to the adjoining room, where Holder, Napolitano and all the rest of them can be seen waiting, with faces pinched and drawn, contemplating their fates if the President doesn't swerve the car from the cliff.

And then they'd say, "what about it Mr. President?" What about it?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Recently a college aged patient of mine had trouble with an assignment in a rhetoric course. He thought he was unable to understand the speeches and articles he was supposed to comment on and critique. When I read the assignments I told him that it was not his stupidity that was the problem, as he had feared, but the intellectual dishonesty and self-contradictory rambling of the speeches themselves that made them impossible to understand.

Indeed, the standards of rhetoric have declined so much that slick nonsense is thought to be brilliant while logical substance is found to be boring. I hear the same problem from the pulpit as I do from politicians.

Alas.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I will not watch it. I have more important, and less disgusting, things to do at our monthly TEA Party meeting. What he says is irrelevant. All we need to know is that he hates this country and wants to bring it down, and is aided by this in that he is now a wholly owned chattel of Vladimir Putin's house of negotiable virtue.

Simultaneously, the Republicans are nothing but the approving chorus to Obama's Pagliaccio. Boehner came out in favor of Obama's attempt at starting WW-III from the get-go. Cantor is putting together a Continuing Resolution that separates the vote for funding Obamacare from the main CR. That way it can be sure that the Republicans can continue the ruinous spending, keep the Sequester in place for the military, and vote to fund Obamacare, while pretending to oppose Obamacare. Show me a difference between the practice of the Institutional Republicans and Obama.

Subotai Bahadur

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (35)
All Comments   (35)
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All of our problems are not due to some complicated foreign conspiracy, although they exist. Our problems are within ourselves. They will stop when we the people say "No."
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
At first I have thought Obama the clown the American people elected twice.

Now I have concluded he's nothing but a performing monkey.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Buffoons on stage and gas warfare reminded me of Le Pétomane, refer to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_P%C3%A9tomane

The French public would actually pay money to watch this guy fart on stage.

Which would you rather sit through? An Obama speech or a performance by a professional flatulist? You might ask: What's the difference?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Everything old is new again...

From Idiocracy: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/81248452

Not particularly safe for work.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
http://twitchy.com/2013/09/10/sharyl-attkisson-john-kerry-refuses-to-allow-congress-to-question-benghazi-survivors/
Sharyl AttkissonVerified account @SharylAttkisson

Secy Kerry tells congress he will not honor the request to make Benghazi survivors available for questioning.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Make no mistakes, whatever the propaganda ministries decide 'the narrative' is going to be, 0bama owes Putin big.

I'm morbidly curious and a bit fearful to see what the payback is going to be.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just saw this by a commentator over at smalldeadanimals.

I can see Obama starting off tonight's speech "if I had a brother he'd look like Vladimir Putin".
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the pubs were a master chess player like they would attack this Putin peace deal unmercifully and rip it into a thousand shreds. It is a sellout of our interests and our allies and in the end as manipulated by Putin will to some very nasty outcomes.

Looking at this positively, scuttling this deal will put buraq in a world of hurt with the peacenik wing of the dems. Time to go for buraq's jugular- slice and dice it and leave him bleeding out politically on the floor.

We do not need to do this deal nor do we need to attack Assad without a clear objective or a clear plan that brings about a positive outcome.

Sorry for the poor grammar,typing etc- the damn iPhone strikes again.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
On the other hand, if one is attentive and has a plan, a trap can be turned back on the one who has laid it. Question: Who provided the scientific and technical advice and infrastructure to allow Syria to develop its arsenal? Obama seems intent on embracing the strategic tar baby that is Syria. Perhaps there is a way to avoid it and stick it with those who have spent 40-plus years building and feeding it. Stay tuned.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, if we are in store for a display of clowns, maybe this represents the best we can hope for. From the genius of Sid Caesar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OW7GoIl0T8&list=TLxn0wXJtde9U

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great comic actor --stole the show in Mad Mad World --the only 'everyman' in that incredible cast o comix --
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin"chemical plan only works if u.s. rejects force against damascus"

Excuse me but aren't there more than just a few problemas with this like:

A. What if Syria or iran' s proxies attack Israel?
B. what if Assad continues with the chemical attacks, particularly given the telegraph article which points out it will be damn near impossible to round up all the chemical warfare agents?
C. Doesn't this cede the war to Assad and his buddies? What if Iran or Putin steps his attacks in a big way? Are we prohibited from responding in kind?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mwa ha ha ha ha ha. It's not funny, but I can't help hearing Putin's chortle running round and round in my head.

I don't see why a UN resolution to seize the chemical weapons for The People isn't a good outcome, no matter how haphazardly we tripped across it. It fulfils the Responsibility To Protect, it focuses on the symptom and not the problem, it lets the fighting continue as long as they use merely bullets and machetes, it gives the UN something to do and the nations assembled a chance to sing Kumbaya, it involves minimal US troops or dollars, it puts some international troops and experts in harm's way, it will probably have no real effect on anything or anybody. Obambus has expressed his outrage and got an enthusiastic reaction.

It's what Obambus calls a good day.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Meanwhile any new process of setting up an international monitoring and destruction regime will require painstaking UN and wider negotiation with the Assad regime, thereby giving Assad and his state apparatus a massive boost of renewed confidence and legitimacy. Before long Washington may find itself locked on to implicitly or even explicitly supporting Assad in his civil war as the best chance to get some sort of internationally agreed CW destruction programme delivered in Syria.

How has this happened?" by Charles Crawford; retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2007. He was HM Ambassador in Sarajevo (1996-1998), in Belgrade (2001-2003) and most recently in Poland (2003-2007). He is a founder member of ADRg Ambassadors and his personal website is www.charlescrawford.biz --

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/charlescrawford/100235250/syria-chemical-weapons-and-the-worst-day-in-western-diplomatic-history/
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
In answer to Crawford's dilemma: unload the banned weapons through the muzzle!

Syria is a desert nation. She has simply no end of dead ground that is suitable for de-toxing Sarin and much else.

One need not dither about with first world procedure.

As nasty as they are, these agents don't hold up in the open air -- particularly so in a hot desert climate.

I dare say that you could pile the stuff up, then detonate the whole she-bang, having walked away. The prevailing wind would need to move the cloud 200 miles in September weather to reach a living soul.

Compared to the lives at risk as it stands: it's a snap.

BTW, nerve agents are reactive compounds. They are especially reactive to ultraviolet light and water vapor.

I would utilize a hard rock formation miles into the interior. Test with a small batch. And then scale up.

The American and Russian approach was and is a fetish. Chemical agents are the exact opposite of the Freons, let me tell you. Without victims to destroy, they just revert to harmless compounds. (More or less: HF is going to always be nasty. That's why you should let it 'get happy' with silicon in the desert.)

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Meanwhile any new process of setting up an international monitoring and destruction regime will require painstaking UN and wider negotiation with the Assad regime...

Sez who? It could just as well freeze things where they are, with all Syria divided into three parts, you know, "We're from the UN and we're here to help!"
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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