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August 14, 2014

You Had One Job

There's a meme on the internet, and a Twitter account, called "You Had One Job." The idea is to post some kind of ridiculous error on the part of a worker and then inform him You Had One Job.

Obama has significantly re-defined his job down to, basically, nothing. He doesn't want to do legislative work; he doesn't want to do much work at all.

He is employing a "reign, not rule" style of governance -- this being a dictum offered to British kings in more modern times. Don't rule, just reign. Be a comforting presence, not a day-to-day manager of government.

But the One Job He Still Has (by his definition) is to give speeches and act as a general pillar of reassurance for the country.

So last night, as protesters were shooting at police helicopters, and police were (in the opinion of many) overreacting in a militaristic way, a White House aide tweeted this:

You Had One Job.

Now today Obama offers a statement on Ferguson.

Note that Obama conceives himself as a powerful, charismatic speaker who can bring feuding parties together just by the force of his personality and intellect.

He loves giving speeches. No one else loves his speeches, but he does.

In the Ferguson matter, and in the Yazidi/Kurd relief matter, Obama has offered the most bloodless, perfunctory empty bromides.

Even if you're not as taken with Obama's tin-eared rhetoric as Obama is, you can tell the difference when Obama thinks he's offering lofty pronouncements and when he thinks he's offering tedious pro-forma quasi-statements.

In the former case, he uses grand rhetoric and Strawman Constructions and Stage Whispers to convey just how passionately he believes in whatever he's claiming to believe this week.

In the latter case, he goes up to a microphone and says a couple of obvious things, then makes a quick exit so he can change into his golf pants.

You Had One Job, Obama. Actually, you have many jobs, but you've made it clear you're only interested in doing one of those jobs, which is, by your lights, touching our hearts and firing our minds with your glittering rhetoric.

And yet as the Islamic State -- the new Caliphate -- slaughters the unbelievers, and an American city burns with racial animus and also fire but mostly fire, Obama saunters up to the microphone and offers a few obvious observations (people shouldn't shoot at cops, cops shouldn't arrest people for peacefully protesting, something something all part of the American family) and then leaves.

You Had One Job.

That job was at least pretending you cared, at least pretending you were engaged on both an intellectual and emotional level with the pressing matters of the day.

You Had One Job, by your own self-definition of your job.

And you're not showing up to even do that much.

Update: Seriously, You Had One Job.

Via Zombie, who notes this picture was snapped just as the heartland was burning.

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posted by Ace at 01:46 PM

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