Tuesday night President Barack Obama addressed the nation about Iraq, but he said almost nothing surprising, newsworthy, or ready for prime time.
Obama also spoke of the need to improve our economy, but his vague political boilerplate rhetoric offered no specifics, compromises, or fresh ideas.
He said nothing to resolve the many uncertainties in his radical policies that have made business owners too frightened to invest and hire.
His reason for taking network prime time for this speech was apparently to rescue of his plummeting job approval poll numbers, now in the low 40s and still falling.
Had he genuinely cared about the economy he would not have pre-empted airtime that on some networks costs advertisers many tens of thousands of dollars per minute and stimulates commerce, i.e., the economy.
It's hard to imagine anybody buying what he was selling. We have learned the hard way that his talk is cheap but his snake oil is astronomically expensive.
Three tidbits in President Obama's dull speech merit deconstructing.
"Americans across the political spectrum supported the use of force against those who attacked us on 9/11," said Obama.
Many Americans of the right and left did, indeed, support such use of force — but not all.
It is more than a quibble to remember that many on the left, including some of Obama's political allies, railed against American action from the
This antiwar activism demoralized our troops. It also gave encouragement to our enemies that they might be able turn public opinion in America against the war as the North Vietnamese communists and their U.S. media comrades did in the 1970s.
Perhaps the oddest thing President Obama said Tuesday was this: "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 can doubt President Bush's support for our troops or his love of country and commitment to our security."
Did this statement come from the journal "Huh?"
It has never occurred to anyone (this side of the institutionalized looney left) that President Bush's support for our troops, love of country, or commitment to our security was in any way in doubt or questionable.
President Obama's strange statement seems to have been carefully crafted to give the impression that his predecessor needs defense against such doubts and accusations.
A worldly cynic could easily hear these words as Obama's tawdry attempt to re-write history by innuendo.
Truth be told, in recent decades it has been those on the far left such as Obama himself — ranked during his brief career in Congress by the centrist National Journal as the most liberal U.S. senator — whose support for America's military, patriotism, and commitment to our national security has been questioned.
But now, because of Obama's cunning turn of phrase, thousands of inexperienced 18-year-olds paying attention to politics for the first time in their lives might on Tuesday night have been spun and duped into having doubts about President Bush's patriotism and devotion to our soldiers and America's security.
This might seem a small thing, but President Obama planted it at the center of a small speech devoid of any new doctrine, grand strategy, vision, hope or passion.
Barack Obama, a once-charismatic superstar of American politics, on Tuesday night before our eyes made himself smaller and smaller and then began to disappear, deconstructing into pixels as he dissembled, like a character being beamed away in a dull special effects movie.
As President Obama's image faded, one could sense millions of no-longer-mesmerized Americans shaking their heads and wondering what they ever saw in him.
The spell has been broken. People are reawakening. And November's elections may bring morning again in America.
Goodbye, President Obama.
More Posts by Lowell Ponte
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