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December 22, 2011

New York Times: Look At All These Arrogant Presidents And Candidates Who Are So Smitten With Themselves*
*By The Way: Not Obama

This has been bugging me for days. See if you can spot hackery.

MARVELING over a presidential candidateís arrogance is like noting that a hockey player wears skates. It states not just the obvious but the necessary. You canít zip across the ice in Crocs, and you canít thrash your way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue if your confidence doesnít bleed into something gaudier. Arrogance is the grist, and arrogance is the given.

Thatís where candidates ó and the presidents that some of them become ó differ, in ways that shape the sorts of messes theyíre likely to make. And thatís where Newt Gingrich provokes real concern. You have to take another politicianís ego, double it, and add cheese and a side of fries to get to Gingrich. An especially heaping, unhealthy diet of self-regard slogs through his veins.

His 1990s nemesis Bill Clinton had (and surely still has) no small amount of his own vanity, and it lay largely in his conviction that his charm and cunning enabled him to wriggle out of jams and get away with indulgences that would doom a lesser mortal. He fancied himself an escape artist extraordinaire.

...

George W. Bush was in love with his own gut instinct, which he valued far above actual erudition....

Barack Obamaís arrogance resides in his eloquence ó as a writer, thinker, symbol and story. Heís in thrall to the lyric poem of himself, and that accounts for his aloofness and disinclination to engage as deeply as some of his predecessors did in the muck of legislative politics.

Barack Obama's arrogance resides in his eloquence?

This seems to have been written by committee, and written into a consensus sentence that pleased everyone because, being senseless, it didn't mean anything.

They have to acknowledge the elephant in the room. They can't avoid noting that Obama might just maybe deserve mention in a piece about presidential arrogance.

But apparently they flinch from uttering such a heresy, and have come up with "his arrogance lies in his eloquence" as a way to say it without saying it. Or as away to turn the insult of calling someone arrogant into, yes, an outright compliment.

Also, his chief flaw seems that he refuses to lower himself into the "muck" of dirty politics, which is the Industry Standard liberal fashion of backhandedly complimenting the president.


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posted by Ace at 08:20 PM

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