PJ Media

No More of Obama's Talk, Tone, or Temperament

President Barack Obama has used a variety of hypnotic tricks to subliminally control his audiences. Partial proof of his talent lies in the absurd Obamanosis reflected in liberal media sycophants, among others. Far beyond the absurdity of a Chris Matthews tingle up his leg, Obama has been able to wrap his audiences around his finger. Many attribute this to his being a “great speaker” but he is utilizing much more than speaking skills.

One of his many maneuvers involves a form of nominalization. Nominalization, in effect, takes a verb and turns it into a noun. As a consequence, an activity is — as Obama’s guru 60’s radical Saul Alinsky would say — frozen. When accomplished, Obama has been able to take important processes or means, freeze them, and then hold them out as ends in and of themselves, for which he can then be congratulated as performing better than others.

An example lies in diplomacy. Talking with one’s enemies can be a valuable means to resolve conflicts, stop them from escalating to levels undesirable to both parties, convey intentions and plans so that confusion is kept to a minimum, and facilitate articulation of interests such that creative reconciliations can be derived. Depending upon a variety of factors, diplomacy is an active process which can be successful, or not.

When nominalized, however, into the simple notion of “talks,” diplomacy becomes an end in itself. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, in his book Surrender is Not an Option, has brilliantly described this problem as deeply rooted in our State Department’s DNA. Its diplomats are more interested in talk and closing a deal than in the actual costs and benefits of the deal itself. Talk and deals for their own sake, as has been demonstrated time and again, are a recipe for major foreign policy collapse. As Obama’s entire coterie of foreign policy “elites” are quickly discovering, our enemies are not as spellbound as the Obamaites. The mere fact of talks not only does not impress Iran, Russia, North Korea, or others, it has become an advantage for them to use against us.

Another “means into end” abuse of Obama’s lies with the word “bipartisan.” Obama has used the word to suggest he is uniquely blessed with the skills to bring people who otherwise would find it difficult to “come together” to satisfying compromises. Without the approval of both sides, obviously, a result would not be bipartisan. So “bipartisan” as used by Obama is suggestive of a skill and process in which he is skilled.

Yet “bipartisan” has developed into an end in itself. And far from meaning compromise, what Obama actually demonstrates by the term is the giving to some of the opposition the ability to air their grievances and suggestions, nothing more. He is more than happy to show the cameras he has Republicans in the room but, after all, he won the election. A bill is bipartisan not if a large number of Republicans vote in favor, but rather if Republicans are physically given access to appear at some portion of the process. In a situation where Republican votes are generally meaningless, bipartisanship has devolved to refer to an invitation to a party or session. Consequently, the process of actively engaging Republicans and incorporating their positions has turned into an end signified by simple physical participation in photo opportunities.

With much of the nation under the spell of Obamanosis, Obama also catapulted the word “temperament” to center stage. Obama made his “cool” and “calm” demeanor appear to be a necessary asset for anyone who would lead the country. The implication is that our more “sophisticated” European allies, who have learned to deal maturely with their problems, require America to choose a responsible leader who is also able master those “cowboy” impulses that led the world in the wrong direction for so many years. The ability to temper speech and behavior, as with all behavioral flexibility, can be a valuable asset in many situations. Being tempered for its own sake, however, represents a limitation and, in Obama’s case, a tool for encouraging his listeners and followers to follow suit, mirror Obama, and temper themselves.

It was suggested during the campaign and following (at least subliminally if not explicitly), that these are complicated times which need the smooth touch of a tempered personality. Given that much of the anti-Bush crowd endlessly acted as enraged infants, Obama represented to them the confidently composed adult that could finally pacify their own emotions (much less those on whom this crowd projected their anger). Nothing more powerfully counteracts the messy dangers we face than the unruffled appearance of a “savior” arriving upon the scene. And unruffled is perhaps the most fostered impression he creates, in dress, talk, and manner.

Consequently, Obama has made “temperament” an end in itself. When liberal media voices sound off Obama’s qualifications for the job, the notion that “he has the temperament to …” is one of the most frequently voiced. And these liberal media “personalities” (as if they are reality show judges) continue to judge politicians favorably when their “tone” is well controlled while condemning those on the right who, with a harsher “tone,” seem to act out of anger or frustration. As a result, Obama, his front men David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, and the Democrats are deemed to be acting in a “new” and “21st century” manner when they act coolly. And they have practiced this performance repeatedly to accomplish precisely this objective. They are constantly selling the messages “we are in control” and “anyone who is against us and shows as much through anger and frustration is using the politics of yesteryear is really not suited for this wonderful new world we are ushering in.” And this works well to keep entranced those under their spell.

It is obvious Obama et al need not act any other way as they control all of the substance and votes. Hence, Obama has facilitated the media to repeatedly reward him for what flows simply from the fact that his party controls the government. The Republicans who are infuriated at the gross abuses taken by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have taken the bait and attempted to temper their own responses as if this will give them the opportunity to participate in all the rewards the liberal media is handing out.

Opposing candidate John McCain followed this same hopeless tactic. McCain has a history of bad-temperedness, which was magnified and turned into almost a disqualifying characteristic. As a result, McCain never showed his fury, never fought in alignment with his real nature, and agreed to avoid certain subjects that would certainly lead to strong emotions. He adopted a false over-reserved “tone.” And Obama won.

In addition, the new breed of Republican candidates sought to follow the Obama model as well. Attempting to “appear” as calm, thoughtful, controlled, and composed, fully capable of participating in this supposed new world of post-partisan politics, most of this batch simply wind up appearing weak and out of ideas. They mistake Obama’s carefully tuned art form comprised of tone, word choice, behavior anchors, persuasive maneuvering, and a host of other techniques for a simple adjustment in style. And, again, Obama wins.

But it was not only McCain that was swept away by the suggestion that a cool temperament is to be valued above and beyond all. Obama made this a suggestion to the population in general.  Consequently, many on the left who had previously been Keith Olbermann-esque in ridiculous rage at the Bush administration, suddenly changed their act to appear calm, sophisticatedly thoughtful, and composed. One can see this in action with Olbermann himself and other MSNBC “news” personalities. They must constantly manufacture no longer relevant stories about Bush and Cheney in order to have some content to justify their ludicrous and incredulous caricatures. When they switch to discuss Obama, Biden, or Rahm Emanuel (yes, the king of bad temper and foul language who is kept locked up as the wizard while pulling most of the strings), they adopt full Obama repose — as strained and false for them as it was for McCain and other Republicans.

The recent Rush Limbaugh speech at the CPAC conference, however, highlighted this issue of tone and temperament. Limbaugh, among many other valuable contributors, finally gave license to many conservatives and others to speak out intensely against Obama and his minions. Covered by national television news outlets, Limbaugh made it safe to angrily confront Obama responsibly and on point, in a visual medium aired to the populace. (He and others have done so on talk radio and the Internet, but those audiences mainly consist of supporters to begin with). And, just as Alinsky’s 5th , 8th, and 13th rules described in Rules for Radicals state respectively: “ridicule is man’s most potent weapon,” “keep the pressure on,” and “pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,” it is time for much of the abuse that was thrown for years by liberals at Bush to be redirected toward Obama. No longer is temperament or tone required in this “post-Limbaugh” century. To be clear, Limbaugh was extremely well reasoned, responsible, and unruffled in his presentation. It was his intensity that has opened the door for others to explore, expand, and extend.

Nominalizations are extremely powerful and persuasive. Selling the value of “talk” and “temperament” as goals in and of themselves has aided Obama in this early stage when he and Emanuel are attempting to quickly push through their preposterous programs before the majority of his spellbound voters awaken to their abuse; take while the getting is good. Keeping the opposition off balance and feeling a necessity to demonstrate excessive restraint to appear Obama-like has been a valuable tool for them. So when you hear Obama or his front men use the words such as “talk,” “tone,” “bipartisan,” “temperament,” know that you are being carefully maneuvered.

George Bush was ridiculed for his inability to express himself clearly. It seemed that Bush and his administration realized this shortcoming but believed they could work around it. That was a gross miscalculation. Obama not only expresses himself well, words are his primary tools and weapons for mass manipulation. After all, there is nothing “executive” in Obama’s history; only a history of selling himself and his rhetoric for votes. Thankfully, Rush Limbaugh has greatly paved the way for such an awakening. NOW IS THE TIME! So much for talk and temperament.