Sunday, November 01, 2009

Obama On The Couch

“Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother’s milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career,” I wrote in Feb. 2008. He shares the resentment of Muslims against the encroachment of American culture, although not their religion. He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at emotional distance. That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath. The difference is that he is practicing not on a primitive tribe but on the population of the United States.” - David Goldman aka Spengler

We've seen quite a bit of this sort of thing from various people on the Right over the last year or so. Steve Sailer in particular has made an extensive study of it.

I have no particular beef with armchair psychoanalysis of political figures or prominent people in general. In many circumstances it's the only way to make sense of them. It's just that in this particular case I don't buy it, at least as it pertains to Barack Obama's performance as President of the United States.

Even if we accept that young Barack Obama was weaned on anti-Americanism, the 47-year old President Obama understands the gravity of his job and has circulated in "respectable" society long enough to render some analyses like Spengler's wrong if taken too literally. This is not just some speculation by the way, but clear from his performance through nine months in office. If Obama really intended to be the American Salvador Allende (and I for one was worried about it), he would have gone about things much differently.

No, the thing I fear about President Obama right now is that he is not just the President but also the First Groupie. Like some of his rockstar-worshipping fans, he in love with the sound of his own voice. As a consequence, he manages through atmospherics. The President's warm sonorous baritone isn't just a matter of soundbites, but serves in lieu of real engagement with America's problems.

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