Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What a small man
Mike Rappaport

When it comes to Presidents, I principally care about their policies (and their competence).  And on that score, obviously Obama's statism is anathema to me. 

Other issues matter less.  I don't really care what their personalities are like.  If they pursue good policies, then so what if I don't like them.  I am not even terribly upset about falsehoods in politics.  Both parties do it a good bit, and while some do it more, I would rather a dishonest President with the right policies than a honest one with the wrong ones.

That said, it is worth mentioning how petty a man Obama is.  His speech on Iraq provided President Bush with the minimal praise he could get away with -- which was pretty minimal:

As we do, I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.

Pathetic.  I don't expect Obama to admit he was wrong about the surge.  (And I don't hear any of the MSM asking him to admit his mistake, as they used to ask Bush repeatedly to acknowledge his mistakes.)

But some statement about the surge and its success should have been in order, especially since Obama has employed Bush's general, and his surge policy in Afghanistan. 

But no.  This small, petty man, cannot bring himself to do it.

I actually think this may hurt him.  Sure, his base wouldn't have liked it, but the independents who have left him in droves would have viewed it favorably. 

Its funny.  I know people who get their news from the New York Times and NPR, and I don't think that they realize this side of Obama.  Certainly, no one points it out at these news outlets, so the smallness, the pettiness of Obama escapes them.  But I don't think it escapes most people.  


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Mike Rappaport


Do you think it was pettiness, which suggests an intentional slight; or obliviousness? Honestly, the impression I had when I saw the clip of that part of the speech was that Obama seemed to think this was true praise.

Posted by: Tung Yin | Aug 31, 2010 11:57:30 PM

Good question. I don't know the answer. Either way, it is a problem, obviously.

Posted by: Mike Rappaport | Sep 1, 2010 12:16:46 AM

Let us recall that the Effendi is the plastic man., the shape-shifter. He is now atttempting to morph into an "American President" shape, and that may be too much of a stretch, even for him.

Remember that in Obamaworld America was nothing to be proud of before 2008. To them, their own country, not the FSU, was the Evil Empire. Oh, the poor Indians, the poor Blacks, the poor Mexicans, all rolled over by those bad, bad, old, White men.

This whole, "mission not accomplished" thing is no more that the Effendi trying to contort himself into a self-contradictory role. I've done enough trials to know what a lying sack of s**t looks like--that's what came across last night: he didn't pull it off.

Posted by: Lou Gots | Sep 1, 2010 3:41:32 AM

Policies are important but so is character. Policies may change, but character helps to predict how presidents will behave under novel or difficult circumstances with high stakes.

Posted by: Jonathan | Sep 1, 2010 5:58:09 AM

Small is as small does. And this guy's concern for anyone other than himself is so small as to require an electron microscope to see.

Posted by: Comanche Voter | Sep 1, 2010 6:31:54 AM

At least he's solved the mystery of what the "H" stands for in "Jesus H Christ!".

Posted by: dearieme | Sep 1, 2010 8:50:11 AM


Posted by: km | Sep 1, 2010 10:39:37 AM

What struck me was how embarrassed Obama seems to be at the idea of winning a war. It's one thing to say, very reasonably, that the war isn't over yet. But shouldn't it be clear that we want to win it . . . and that we've done a pretty good job of it so far?

Posted by: Michael A. Livingston | Sep 1, 2010 2:27:25 PM

Yes, if there's one thing to be proud of as an American, it's the President Bushes' willingness to wage war in Iraq, even when it's unjustified. Somebody break out the champagne! We "won" (exactly I don't know) the war we never should have initiated!!!!!

Posted by: torreysurfer | Sep 1, 2010 2:51:35 PM

If Bush deployed enough troops in the first place, a surge wouldn't have been necessary. Seems odd to give him props on his second go at it, when the first was, well, a catastrophic failure.

Posted by: Tim | Sep 1, 2010 3:48:42 PM

The founders advised us that character was the first thing to look for in a powerful politician. We haven't discovered the truth of that?

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Posted by: Nike Shox Shoes | Sep 1, 2010 8:09:13 PM

Actually if you read the to of the column the author says character and integrity don't matter as long as you got the right ideology. It makes the second half seem of the column seem pointless since if all that matters is victory admitting a mistake should only be done if it brings in votes. Admitting mistakes doesn't win supporters, if it did politicians would do it more.

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I don't care how changeable the times, Obama is always our outstanding leader

Posted by: Vkamobi | Sep 2, 2010 2:38:08 AM

I should clarify my point since some commentators are perhaps misunderstanding me. To repeat, I don't care about the character of the man (when I judge him as President). If he is an ass, well that is a problem for his family and friends. I care about how he governs, and in particular his policies. Now, some might argue that a bad character will affect his policies, and if so, then it is relevant -- because, and only insofar as, it affects his policies. The last part of the post, though, does comment on his character. I am not judging him as a politician here. I am saying, that as a man, he is behaving like an ass.

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