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July 11, 2014

Our Petty, Psychologically Infirm President

Peggy Noonan:

No one's in charge! No one is taking responsibility. No one who wants to help has authority, and no one with authority is helping.

...

The president of course has rushed to the scene--to go, as always, to fundraisers. This is at the moment a scandal, but why? Clever people say it's an unforced error. He has to show he cares! He ought to journey to an overwhelmed border area, stand there and point to the middle distance as a local official in a hopefully picturesque hat briefs him. It's almost touching how much the press wants to see this. But why? Why do they want to see the president enact a degree of alarm he clearly does not feel?

For a quarter-century I have been puzzled by the press's emphasis on "optics," their stupid word--actually it is a consultants' word they've lamely adopted--—for how things look as opposed to how they are. Their criticism comes down to a complaint they're not being manipulated well enough. It is a strange complaint.

...

There is every sign he let the crisis on the border build to put heat on Republicans and make them pass his idea of good immigration reform. It would be "comprehensive," meaning huge, impenetrable and probably full of mischief. His base wants it. It would no doubt benefit the Democratic Party in the long term.

The little children in great danger, holding hands, staring blankly ahead, are pawns in a larger game. That game is run by adults. How cold do you have to be to use children in this way?

A progressive Bloomberg columnist admitted just this yesterday -- loud and proud, actually. Noah Rothman termed it a "slip" but that undersells it -- the truth didn't just dribble out of him. He turned the spigot with a wrench and let it gush forth.

In “Obama’s Midterm Surprise: Immigration,” Wilkinson... asserted that Democrats should be elated about the crisis on the border.

...

Appearing on MSNBC to discuss his thesis, Wilkinson went a step further than he did in his column. In this segment, he suggested that Obama “wants” the present crisis, and he wants it to be a "big" one.

"I think he wants this to be a big problem,"Wilkinson told the hosts of MSNBC's The Cycle on Thursday. "I think he wants this to be such big problem right now that Congress has to deal with it, and that the media’s focused on it, and that the American public is focused on it."

Never let a crisis of your own creation go to waste.

Via @rdbrewer4, Peter Wehrer looks at Obama and sees a mass of deep psychological flaws and tics.

Early on with Mr. Obama, I assumed his chronic finger pointing was simply cynical. It may be that in part, but it seems to me to be more than that. It’s one thread in a larger psychological tapestry.

The president is a man who has a grandiose sense of himself, a very strong sense of entitlement, and is, even for a politician, unusually prickly and self-pitying. He is blind to the damage he’s doing and the failures he’s amassed. His self-conception--pragmatic, empirical, non-ideological, self-reflective, willing to listen to and work with others, intellectually honest, competent at governing–is at odds with reality. Mr. Obama is constantly projecting his own weaknesses onto his political opponents. There are never any honest differences with Obama; he is always impugning the motives of his critics--they put "party ahead of country"--while presenting his own motives as being as pure as the new-driven snow. And whatever goes wrong on his watch is always the result of someone or something else. There's a kind of impressive consistency to Obama's blame game. It never rests, and it applies to every conceivable circumstance....

What all these things in combination result in is an inability to adjust to circumstances and self-correct. There’'s a marked rigidity, a lack of cognitive flexibility, in Mr. Obama. He has to be right, he is always right...

Yup.

Via Hot Air, the Washington Post finally notices the complete inappropriateness of Obama's latest Social Media Distraction game, #TheBearIsLoose, while the country lurches from one crisis to the next:

'The bear is loose': Is Obama breaking free or running away?


By Juliet Eilperin

Bears, beer and horse heads: What exactly is going on with the leader of the free world?

On a single day this week in Denver, President Obama scarfed down pizza and drinks with strangers, shot pool with Colorado's governor and shook hands with a guy on the street wearing a horse mask. His top staffers are promoting these stops on Twitter with the hashtag #TheBearIsLoose -- a term one of Obama's aides coined in 2008 when the candidate would defy his schedule.

More than five years into his presidency, Obama is trying to free himself from the constraints of office, whether by strolling on the Mall or hopscotching the country as part of a campaign-style tour. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer says the president "just wants to get out" and influence "our overall political conversation" by connecting with ordinary Americans.

But to some, breaking free can also look like running away.

Yes, it and it can also look like "not doing your job." Let's conduct a thought experiment: In your mind only, get up from your desks, stop doing any work, go out into the street, and shake hands with people.

Then come back and tell your boss "I just wanted to have a conversation with regular Americans" or "I wanted to influence our national political conversation by 'getting real' with the American voters."

Now, guess within one hour the number of hours it will take before your boss directs you to "influence the national political conversation" while answering Help Wanted adverts in the newspaper.

Obama’s trip to Colorado and Texas this week took place against the backdrop of a burgeoning crisis on the Mexican border, where tens of thousands of children have been apprehended seeking entry into the United States. In Dallas, Obama dismissed the idea of heading farther south for a border visit as a "photo op" -- not long after those photo ops showing him shooting pool and sipping beer in Denver.

And then she gets back on track and paints a rather more sympathetic picture of Obama and his "frustrations" with Republicans.

Eh, this last article is all rather obvious. It's stuff we've talked about for days. But I guess we mainly read the MSM now to see if they've become aware of the obvious three days after the rest of the country.


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posted by Ace at 01:07 PM

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