Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Obama's Magic No Longer Works"

Via Twitter
Gabor Steingart delivers a blistering review of Obama's Afghanistan speech in an editorial at Der Spiegel.  Here is just a sample of the often eloquent but thoroughly devastating treatise that targets Obama the leader as  pointedly as his speech:

Political dreams and yearnings for the future belong elsewhere. That was where the political charmer Obama was able to successfully capture the imaginations of millions of voters. It is a place where campaigners -- particularly those with a talent for oration -- are fond of taking refuge. It is also where Obama set up his campaign headquarters, in an enormous tent called "Hope."

In his speech on America's new Afghanistan strategy, Obama tried to speak to both places. It was two speeches in one. That is why it felt so false. Both dreamers and realists were left feeling distraught.

The American president doesn't need any opponents at the moment. He's already got himself.
The New York Times does its' level best, however, to put the best possible face on the dueling messages:
If the contrasting messages seemed jarring at first, they reflect the obstacles Mr. Obama faces in rallying an increasingly polarized country that itself is of two minds about what to do in Afghanistan. For those who still support the war, he is sending more troops. For those against it, he is offering the assurance of the exit ramp.
 Buried at the bottom, the Times quotes Peter D. Fever, a Duke University specialist on wartime public opinion and former Bush advisor on the futility of the effort to assuage his base with promises of an exit ramp:
His message is “heavily laced with language aimed at mollifying his base, which is strongly antiwar, rather than reassuring the middle and those who support the war now,” said Peter D. Feaver, a Duke University specialist on wartime public opinion and a former Bush adviser. “It’s a triangulation heavy on trying to win over the people who probably can’t be won over. And a lot of that messaging could sow doubts.”
H/T: Memeorandum


  1. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. The big O is not going to help us get home. He will eventually fly off in his balloon. While America may cry about the hope and change, the lady from the North will appear in a bubble with snow machines and dog sleds around her.

    She will tell us that we never needed Oz's big government to help us get home. We have had the power to go home all along. Tap those red naughty monkeys together and repeat over and over: "There's no place like the shining city called home, there's no place like the shining city called home."

    Trust the good lady from the North. She's right.

  2. LOL, that comment was packed with Oz puns, I love it.

  3. I'm sorry I missed this speech. I was preparing for court. It doesn't sound like anyone is happy about this speech.

  4. I actually fell asleep and then watched it in a rerun. I think he should have skipped the part about the exit date. You go to war with conviction and to win, there are people who will die for the cause.


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