"The way I think about it," Barack Obama told a TV station in Orlando, "is, you know, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft."See also Jonah Goldberg on The Corner; Alexandra Petri at WaPo.
He has a point. This is a great, great country that got so soft that 53% of electors voted for a ludicrously unqualified chief executive who would be regarded as a joke candidate in any serious nation.
One should not begrudge a man who seizes his opportunity. But one should certainly hold in contempt those who allow him to seize it on the basis of such flaccid generalities as "hope" and "change": That's more than "a little" soft.
"He's probably the smartest guy ever to become president," declared presidential historian Michael Beschloss the day after the 2008 election. But you don't have to be that smart to put one over on all the smart guys.
"I'm a sap, a specific kind of sap. I'm an Obama Sap," admits David Brooks, the softest touch at the New York Times. Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek, now says of the president: "He wasn't ready, it turns out, really."
If you're a tenured columnist at the Times, you can just about afford the consequences of your sappiness. But among the hundreds of thousands of your readers who didn't know you were a sap until you told them three years later, soft choices have hard consequences.
If you're one of Obama's core constituencies, those who looked so photogenic at all the hopeychangey rallies, things are really hard: "Young Becoming 'Lost Generation' Amid Recession" (CBS News). Tough luck, rubes. You got a bumper sticker; he got to make things worse.
But don't worry, it's not much better at the other end of the spectrum: "Obama's Wall Street Donors Look Elsewhere" (UPI).
Gee, aren't you the fellows who, when you buy a company, do something called "due diligence"? But you sunk everything into stock in Obamania Inc. on the basis of his "perfectly creased pant leg" or whatever David Brooks was drooling about that day? You handed a multitrillion-dollar economy to a community organizer and you're surprised that it led to more taxes, more bureaucracy, more regulation, more barnacles on an already rusting hulk?
(via reader Doug)