Zuckerman’s Scalding Critique Of Obama

June 19, 2010

There's a great deal of substance in this critique of Obama, much of it hard to argue against, unfortunately. If he doesn't soon grow up – and get some serious adults around him, he'll go down as something of a political mirage. The far Left had wandered in the desert so long under Clinton and then Bush, they dreamed Obama up and the media packaged him for the masses. Certainly, he'll be reclaimed, just as was Carter. But at this rate, in just over two years, he will disappear back into the political ether from which he sprang.

… Another journalist put it differently when he described Obama as an "NPR [National Public Radio] president who gives wonderful speeches." In other words, he talks the talk but doesn't know how to walk the walk. The Obama presidency has so far been characterized by a well-intentioned but excessive belief in the power of rhetoric with too little appreciation of reality and loyalty.

… America right now appears to be unreliable to traditional friends, compliant to rivals, and weak to enemies. One renowned Asian leader stated recently at a private dinner in the United States, "We in Asia are convinced that Obama is not strong enough to confront his opponents, but we fear that he is not strong enough to support his friends."

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  1. anon says:

    Fade into the ether? Are you high on ether yourself?
    Unless the GOP can field a non gaffe prone candidate he’s going to get re-elected to a second term no matter how ineffective he is. Good lord, stop with the wishful thinking already, this is like the dummies who thought the GOP would retain the house in 2006 when it was obvious to everyone who wasn’t Karl Rove or had their head in the sand that the Dems were taking the House by a landslide.
    Obama’s ace in the hole is the media, they created him and because they broke all that remained of their rules of conduct as proessionals in order to deify him, they are NOT going to abandon him. Just because a tiny bit of criticism has come his way does not mean that when push comes to shove the media won’t back him all the way, and so will the Democrats. They will never admit they got snowed and that Obama is nothing more than an empty suit who gives a decent speech. They will double down, just like the Right doubled down on Iraq because the idea of having supported a pointless war was too painful. The Dems & media will never be able to admit they supported a doofus who couldn’t manage his way to the head of the line at Wal Mart. The GOP is still in total disarray. Stop dreaming.

  2. Neo says:

    The G20 are about to make life miserable for Obama as they break away from economic “stimulii” and move to fiscal responsibility.
    Meanwhile Kuwait has rounded up a bunch of Iranian spies, so it’s about time for that “Spine of Steel” to show itself or not .. the choice politically is lose the Left or lose the Right and independents.

  3. Hugh says:

    Daniel Larison sums up this nonsense succinctly:
    “it is already pretty clear that the only incompetence and amateurism Zuckerman has demonstrated here is that of his own criticisms. It’s just another reminder that Obama continues to be extraordinarily lucky in his critics and opponents. Obama has made his share of mistakes, and a more capable, honest opposition could do a lot of damage to him between now and the next presidential election, but his hawkish critics seem to prefer dwelling in a fantasy world and like to attack Obama for things he didn’t do or blame him for things for which he is not responsible.”

  4. anon says:

    Obama is indeed a very lucky guy, and his critics are indeed mostly lame and seem to focus on yesterday’s news instead of today’s mis-steps. I should be reading every day about the wastes of the stimulus…but, the GOP seems less concerned with proving that the stimulus was a waste of money than in slamming Obama for bowing too low…they don’t seem to get that the ‘we’re better or terrorism’ message is just not going to work anymore, its done, exhausted its usefulness. I should be reading every day about how the march of info. showing that HCR is not going to do what it said it would–even though it has yet to be implemented –I mean how bad is that, your house of cards is already falling apart before implementation–instead, HCR has higher approval ratings now than it ever has.
    I can’t even imagine what kind of chaos will ensue if Obama gets a second term and god forbid Kennedy either retires or dies. I cannot imagine what happened to the Republican Party during the Bush years that they now appear so totally incompetant on every level. The press has always been biased so there is more at work than Obama worship by the media.
    Maybe among the many things that George W. Bush destroyed during his presidency was the GOP itself.

  5. Shimmy says:

    I’m not even kidding anon, but with Comcast taking over NBC, that is 1 less propaganda channel to worry about… So that will help.

  6. All of this was evident long ago. It’s just that now the rubes are starting to awaken to the fact. But the proof was in front of us no later than his failed bid in Copenhagen to get Chicago to host the Olympics. That fiasco revealed his is a Mae West Presidency (http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/2009/10/mae-west-presidency.html)
    But I also have to say that the growing conviction of overseas leaders that Obama is shrinking from the leadership role, while accurate, misses the point. Obama does not lead because (a) he does not know how but also because (b) even if he knew how he wouldn’t.
    Obama has made it plain as day over the last 19 months that he does think America should not play a strong role in the world and that America’s influence in world affairs is for ill, not good.
    So I say that Obama would read Zuckerman’s column as an encouraging affirmation rather than a devastating criticism. Zuckerman writes of an Asian leader who said, “We in Asia are convinced that Obama is not strong enough to confront his opponents, but we fear that he is not strong enough to support his friends.”
    Obama does not want to confront any opponents and thinks that the whole idea of America identifying another nation as an opponent is a fundamental flaw in American policy.
    As for supporting “his friends,” who would they be? We already know Obama has kicked Britain to the curb and has no affinity for Europe. Who are Obama’s friends? Easy: the ones who used to be called opponents – the oppressors of human freedom in Syria, Egypt, Iran and so forth.
    But wait, you say – aren’t those countries anti-American? Well, yes, but so is Obama.
    Zuckerman may think he penned a razor-sharp broadside against this president, but all he’s really done is identify how things are going to plan.

  7. anon says:

    Nah, there is no real plan, there was never a plan beyond “I am a cookie cutter liberal Democrat who supports every single program that every other cookie cutter Democrat has supported since 1965″ Obama has no dastardly plan to cave into the Muslims, he is Not Smart Enough to be operating in two levels, this is why he can’t get anything done. Please remember that he had a veto proof majority in Congress and only by the skin of his teeth was he finally able to pass HCR after months of failure to lead a huge adoring majority. Why do you think he now can’t get any of his mimi stimulus bills through? Because the lifers in Congress, even if they won’t say it, already know that Obama is incompetant at worst and brutally naive at best…he squandered his massive political capital on HCR and did such a bad job of it that it became less and less popular as time went on.
    Obama is the polar opposite of Bush, where Bush wasn’t afraid to make any decision he thought was right and who would stick with his decision even when facts showed he needed to change Obama does EVERYTHING he can to forestall any decision, and once he’s made whatever wishy washy decision, any brief breeze through the room will cause him to change his mind…. he’s not the thoughtful professor who is weighing the facts, he’s stalling, hoping that events will remove the need for any decision at all.

  8. Sissy Willis says:

    I still don’t get the “gives wonderful speeches” bit. To this anti-collectivist ear his bombastic, finger-jabbing rhetoric has always sounded like the conman’s purple prose that it is:

  9. anon says:

    It’s another example of his luck…Bush and McCain are both very poor speakers, they look uncomfortable, Bush especially with his tortured syntax…when you compare Obama to those two or even to Hillary who is stiff as a board he comes out as better.
    Of course when you compare him to somehow like FDR or JFK….not so great, nothing to write home about…in hindsight people will see his inauguration speech and be like “WTF was up with those people thinking this was some kind of speech for the ages…”
    The really trick of Obamas speeches is that there is something in there for anyone….the David Brooks of the world could pick and choose and believe he was a pro business centrist social liberal…the Kos Kids could believe he was a card carrying socialist lefty….there was enough in there that if you chose to, you could believe he was at least open to almost any position out there…slick indeed

  10. buckjohnson says:

    That quote looks a little suspect.

  11. Lightwave says:

    “he’ll go down as something of a political mirage.”
    That would be nice if he just vanished for a decade or two like Carter did.
    Unfortunately the very real consequences of another 30 months of Empty Suit is an attack on the US homeland that will kill potentially tens, maybe hundreds of thousands. Our enemies believe we are weak. Even worse, our friends and allies believe it too.
    The old alpha lion on the rock in the savannah no longer has fangs. And the younger lions are circling.