The Obama speech: Whatever happened to easy answers?
Me and the guys, we stop off for a quick one the other night after softball practice, and there’s absolutely nothing worth watching, so they put on Obama, and we watch Obama.
Personally, I’d rather just have it off, but it must be a rule or something—if you’re a bar, the TV’s always going no matter what—so Obama’s on, and he’s talking about Libya, and we’re all listening to him explain everything.
“The Professor” is what Joey calls him, which is exactly right as far as I’m concerned, so The Professor is talking about what we’re doing over there and why, and everybody gets quiet so they can hear.
See, that’s your first problem right off the bat: a president you have to be quiet to hear. We need a guy who can shout! And after that, you need a guy you can understand—not later, after everybody analyzes him, but right now, while he’s talking to you. But to do that, you need a guy who can say things straight up—“Gadhafi’s a murderer—we’re taking him out.” Or “Listen up, dictators—you clean up your act or we’ll clean it up for you.”
Instead, all you get from Obama is “We’re doing this, but we’re not doing that.” Or “Before we do an invasion, here’s what we have to think about.” Or—and this is the one that really burns me—“We need to consult with our partners.”
We don’t need to consult with our partners, because we don’t have any partners! We don’t need any partners! We’re the freaking United States of Freaking America!!! We do what we need to do, and everybody else is just the hired help.
See how easy that is? But Obama, he never says anything like that. It’s all this other stuff about what the “conditions” are, and what the “circumstances” are, and how these “conditions” aren’t the same as those “conditions,” and these “circumstances” aren’t the same as those “circumstances,” so how he looks at Libya, say, isn’t how he has to look at everywhere else, and maybe somewhere else he’ll decide to go in, or maybe he won’t, or maybe he’ll just go partway.
And he’s explaining all this in a speech—like we care—instead of just doing it first and sorting out the problems afterward. Or maybe there won’t even be any problems, but unless you go and do it, how do you know?
Terry, he’s our military expert—he wasn’t ever in, but he gets all these magazines—anyway, he figures Obama doesn’t really want to go to war, but if you twist his arm or back him in a corner because of some massacre or humanitarian whatever, then fine—but only after he thinks about all the nuances and stuff.
You think Bush ever thought about all the nuances? Don’t be ridiculous! With Bush, you got something you could put on a bumper sticker—maybe even a tattoo!—and that made it easier for everyone.
“Nuance”—isn’t that like a French word? I’m pretty sure it’s a French word.
Which tells you everything you need to know about this guy. An American president sends American troops into battle, he should be thinking American! And talking American!
It’s just that simple.
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.