The Soft Machine

“What did we do to make Obama hate us and want to destroy us?” Frank J. Fleming satirically asks on the PJM homepage, and proffers some suggestions on how we as a humble people can better ourselves to finally become worthy in the eyes of The Great Man:


The Barack Obama presidency has been disastrous. The economy is in shambles, and Obama’s only response has been to try and waste as much of our money as he can. Jobs are a scarce commodity, and yet Obama is trying to raise taxes. And his Department of Justice is apparently selling guns to Mexican drug cartels. All of this raises the obvious question: What did we do to make Obama hate us and want to destroy us?

Obama was elected on the promise of hope and change; he was going to make everything better by fixing the economy, ending all wars, and making every rainbow a double rainbow. As smart and capable as we all knew he was, he should have succeeded beyond our wildest imaginations. But instead, we’re even worse off than before — I don’t remember the last time I even saw a single rainbow. The only explanation is that somehow we’ve angered Obama and caused him to turn against us. It’s just that I’m not sure how.

Now, we could go to a town hall and ask Obama, “What have we done to make you want to destroy this country?” I think that is a horrible idea, though, as Obama will only glare at us and become even angrier. Obviously what we’ve done is extremely bad based on the way Obama is treating us, and it would only be worse if he knew we were ignorant of our exact slight against him.

We just need to accept the fact that we’re a bad country, and that’s why Obama is not following through on the hope and change he promised. So now what we need to do is try to figure out how to become a better country so Obama will like us and decide that he doesn’t need to destroy us. So I’ve done my best to study Obama and figure out some ideas to make us a country he considers worth saving.


Our first step of course, is stop being so soft a nation:

“This is a great great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” Mr. Obama said in response to a question about the country’s economic future. “We need to get back on track.”

Obama calling America soft is the audacity of chutzpah on an overdose mega-steroids, Jonah Goldberg responds:

Seriously, in 2008 we elected a community organizer, state senator, college instructor first term senator over a guy who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison. And now he’s lecturing us about how America’s gone “soft”? Really?

Really. But then, to build on what Frank J writes above, the complexities and contradictions of Obama’s view of America are quite remarkable when listed in series:

We know that the suburbs bored Obama in the early 1990s. And taking the train to work from the suburbs to a nine to five job was anathema to him — scary even:

“[Obama] always talked about the New Rochelle train, the trains that took commuters to and from New York City, and he didn’t want to be on one of those trains every day,” said Jerry Kellman, the community organizer who enticed Obama to Chicago from his Manhattan office job. “The image of a life, not a dynamic life, of going through the motions… that was scary to him.”

We know that he considers his fellow Democrats who live beyond the suburbs, particularly in rural Pennsylvania, to cling bitterly to their guns and religion. And while that doesn’t sound like too soft a life to me, “I said something everybody knows is true,” Obama said afterwards to the media, doubling down on his quote.


Don’t go into corporations, Michelle Obama said on the campaign trail in 2008. But if you do, prepare to watch them become demonized and/or raided by the administration or another branch of the federal government.

If you’re a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, previously some of the president’s staunchest supporters, and unhappy with the president’s recent series of miscues, “Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin.'”

If your views are too far to the left of the administration,  you’re a member of the “professional left,” a hippie waiting to be punched, as one Obama supporter replied defensively to the phrase uttered smugly by the president’s then-press secretary.

If your views are too far to the right, Obama’s vice president, at least according to the otherwise Obama-friendly Politico, considers you a terrorist.

Have I left anybody out? What part of America does the president and his staff still approve of these days?

Update: Related thoughts from Steve Green and Roger Kimball. And the Anchoress adds:

Barack Obama does not know his country. He knows his ideology, and that is all.

A president who understands his nation, and the people who elected him — or who understands them to be more than chumps who will fall for spin and illusion [would never have called America soft.]

A couple of weeks ago, Richard Fernandez explored how David Brooks, Peggy Noonan, Martin Peretz and other Beltway Elites were so easily played:


It would be interesting to study whether the same group of people who tended to view Barack Obama unfavorably in 2008 also saw John Edwards as a sharper. There was something about Edwards’ hair, the unnatural emphasis with which he delivered his messages, some oleaginous quality that hung about him that, like the burglar example in the Amazon review, stirred memories of something unpleasant in the viewer.

But these unpleasant memories were largely absent in middle class, college educated, white America. These were nice people. They didn’t routinely associate with the con-men, hucksters, pawnshop brokers, and street corner grifters. To them the perfect hair, the nice suit, and the emphatic speech were simply proof of good personal grooming and culture.  But to others these very same things were too clever by half. And just as the sight of a man climbing out of the window with a bag at night would arouse no suspicions in persons unfamiliar with burglars, neither would Obama’s papered over resume ring any alarm bells in people prepared to think the best of everyone.

Given the paucity of investigative information on Obama, given his near absolute lack of a substantial track record, it was natural for Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan to be taken for a ride. Not because they were dumb, but because they were “quality” people.

Now the quality people can see certain kinds of truth, because they are familiar with the sort of data that now alarms them.  Now that they can observe the betrayal of Israel, the lunacy of Obamanomics, and the erratic management, the full magnitude of their error becomes apparent. But they didn’t see it at the outset; lurking on the edge of his expression as he campaigned, nor in the little niggling inconsistencies the media was determined to ignore. Now the problems are as big as life: upheaval in the Middle East, the bankruptcy of the country, the scandals of the administration. Now they can use the Bayesian.  Perhaps a little late, but better than never. “Welcome back to the fight, Rick. This time we win.”

But there’s one last thing that nice people don’t know. It is that hucksters aren’t confined by the same boundaries they assume everyone else is contained by. They are capable not only of sucker-punching you, but of exceeding limits you never thought could be transgressed.  Grifters are in some sense not part of the same civilization that Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan inhabit. Maybe they don’t believe this yet.  But they will. They will.


Richard described Noonan, Brooks and Peretz as “nice people” in his headline. Which to Obama would be a euphemism for “soft.” The rest of us would simply call them rubes.

More: From veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler, “Obama’s Unpresidential Contempt for the GOP.”

Other than labor unions, which he doesn’t like so much as he needs to have any shot at reelection, who’s left that he likes?

Meanwhile, Charles Krauthammer is actively pondering how many voters will return an equal amount of level of love and respect in 2012 that the chief executive has shown for the American people.


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