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Richard Cohen: The ignorant are defining Obama

A leading liberal attempts to understand what is happening to his President... and to the Presidency:

One of the unintended results of the redecoration of the Oval Office was the downsizing of Barack Obama. In last week's prime-time address to the nation, the president sat behind a massive and capaciously empty desk, looking somehow smaller than he ever has -- a man physically reduced by sinking polls, a lousy economy and the prospect that his party might lose control of Congress. Behold something we never thought we'd see with Obama: The Incredible Shrinking Presidency.

This is an amazing and, to me, somewhat frightening, turn of events. The folks who ran a very smart presidential campaign in 2008 have left the defining of the Obama presidency to others, in this case people on the edge of insanity. For example, a recent Pew poll reported that "nearly one in five Americans (18 percent) now say Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009." In other words, the longer Obama has been in office, the more ignorant people have become about him.

This news about the growing ignorance concerning Obama's religion came not too long after yet another poll revealed that 24 percent of Americans don't think Obama was born in the United States. An earlier poll showed that 10 percent of Americans think he was born in Indonesia, where he lived as a boy, 7 percent believe he is Kenyan and still others say (correctly) that he was born in Hawaii but do not know, a notable Elvis movie notwithstanding, that Hawaii is an American state.

The conclusion drawn, at least initially, is that the President's poll numbers can be chalked up to ignorance or insanity or both.  Which of course makes as much sense as the suggestion that racism and bigotry account for Obama's negatives.  But Cohen surprisingly goes deeper and in the end, blames Obama himself for Obama's woes:

But it is clear by now that Obama has allowed others to define him. For this, Obama needs to blame Obama. His stutter-step approach to certain issues -- his wimpy statements regarding the planned Islamic center in Manhattan, for instance -- erodes not just his standing but his profile. What we thought we knew, we do not. Like a picture hung in the sun, he fades over time.

Obama is stuck with Obama -- the good and the bad. There is more of the former than the latter, so all is not lost. But what Obama can do -- what he must do -- is get some new people.

...

The president needs better speechwriters. The president needs a staff to tell him not to give an Oval Office address unless he has something worthy of the Oval Office to say. The president needs someone to look into the camera so that, when the light goes on and he says, "Good evening," he looks commander in chiefish: big. In other words, the president needs to fire some key people. Either that, or the way things are going, the American people are going to fire him.

Actually Mr. Cohen, the President could do himself and the country better.  He could resign.  He could admit the job was above his pay grade.  He could confess that his ideology has been tried and has failed in every attempt or he and his America hating wife could lift the veil and begin an internationational tour, partnering with the likes of Venezuela's Chavez or Cuba's Castro and extol the virtues of what they deem to be hope and change.

And then we the people, so ignorant and insane, could go about the business of restoring America's preeminence and position and put this sad chapter of history behind us, hoping to have learned forever the lessons of electing an affirmative action President.


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Comments (29)

One of the full-time refrai... (Below threshold)
cirby:

One of the full-time refrains from the current administration is "you don't understand what we're telling you."

Albert Einstein had a rule:
"If you can't explain it simply, you just don't understand it well enough."

The only problem with Barry... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

The only problem with Barry Lackwit resigning is that we'd end up with President Biden, and almost certainly either the Bitch Queen (alias 'the invisible Secretary of State') or Nancy the Bitch Princess as his veep.

I realize Mr. Cohen isn't g... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

I realize Mr. Cohen isn't going to read this and it will be his loss, because I can explain the muslim-thing for him.

No, nobody has become, "more ignorant". What has happened is that over the course of the last 18 months people have discovered that the man they saw to during the campaign was not actually Barack Obama. That person was just the fictional character Barack Obama pretended to be. That person was the fictional character the MSM pretended was Barack Obama. It has only been over the course of the last 18 months that people who were fooled have come to know the real Barack Obama.

So, having been compelled to discard their illusion of who Barack Obama is, these people who were fooled during the campaign are now starting to question everything about the man. Not just his politics, everything. And the blame for all this lies with Obama, the MSM and all those who actively participated in selling the fraud to the voting public.

You just proved Mr. Cohen r... (Below threshold)
Dane:

You just proved Mr. Cohen right about the loonies and wackos attempting to define Obama.

Actually Mr. Cohen, the President could do himself and the country better. He could resign. He could admit the job was above his pay grade. He could confess that his ideology has been tried and has failed in every attempt or he and his America hating wife could lift the veil and begin an internationational tour, partnering with the likes of Venezuela's Chavez or Cuba's Castro and extol the virtues of what they deem to be hope and change.

You forgot to state that he's a Muslim intent on destroying America from within - right after he rpaes all da white girls.

The GOP has turned into a J-O-K-E - with the right wing blogosphere represented by a bunch of right wing foamers and mouth breathing racists.

Actually Mr. Cohen... (Below threshold)
Socratease:
Actually Mr. Cohen, the President could do himself and the country better. He could resign.

What, are you nuts? You want Joe Biden running the country?

The ones who are ignorant a... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

The ones who are ignorant are the ones who claim others are ignorant if they question what Obama claims, either that or they or lying. They act like people never heard that Obama claim he is a Christian or born in Hawaii thus ignorant. That is not the case, they simply don't believe him.

In these surveys they should ask if they know what Obama claims then ask if they believe it. However I suspect many on the left already knows the answer and is lying in their personal attacks in calling people ignorant.

The definition of Barry's m... (Below threshold)
914:

The definition of Barry's marxist plan is comin home to roost.

The definition of racist bigotted hatred is post #4

At this point I am willing ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

At this point I am willing to take a chance on Biden.

Rick"...He could r... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Rick

"...He could resign..."

But you dont seem to understand. Obama feels that America is the problem. Not him or his ideas. Obama feels that if America were only smart enough they would embrace his ideas. That is why he chooses people who agree with him completely. Because they are obviously smarter than the rest of the dummies. Unfortunately none of these smart people have ever produced anything that someone would buy.
They never met a payroll, answered to stockholders, or had to make decisions to keep a business running on its own merit. They think they are smarter than everyone else so they should have the right to tell us how to live our lives and spend our money while not following the same rules for themselves.

So if Helen Kubler-Ross wer... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

So if Helen Kubler-Ross were analyzing this situation, what stage of grief is Mr Cohen experiencing?

More like the enli... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


More like the enlightened are defining Obama.

Actually, I would say the i... (Below threshold)

Actually, I would say the ignorant have indeed defined Obama -- starting with the man himself and his handlers, and peaking a couple of Novembers ago with about 52% of those voting in the 2008 presidential election.

What has happened since then has been an education, but obviously not for the President and his handlers.

Nor for Dane.

I guess affirmative action ... (Below threshold)
914:

I guess affirmative action has no curve for dealing with voters final grade on Barry.

F-

My wife reported seeing a b... (Below threshold)
Bob:

My wife reported seeing a bumper sticker yesterday stating: "DON'T BLAME ME - I VOTED FOR THE AMERICAN." Should we laugh or cry?

There's your liberal concei... (Below threshold)
Hank:

There's your liberal conceit.
It can't be the disastrous policies.
Can't be the unbelieveable deficits, high unemployment, jobs moving overseas, etc. Can't be the royal life-style of the Obama's.

Nope. Once again, It's just that we're all too damn stupid to understand how great Obama is.

Libs never ever stop to consider that maybe, just maybe their grand ideas aren't. Maybe they're the ones that don't know what the hell they're doing. (Although Romer admitted as much recently with respect to the economy.)

They always have an excuse.

And as far as Cohen talking about the 18% that believe Obama's a muslim, or the 10% that think he was born in Indonesia, as he attempts to paint them as loons, maybe he can explain the roughly 20% of the population that actually approves of the job that congress is doing.

"DON'T BLAME ME - I VOTED F... (Below threshold)
914:

"DON'T BLAME ME - I VOTED FOR THE AMERICAN." Should we laugh or cry?"


Thats a great sticker! Have to get one. I voted for the American cuda. I laugh when I look at how pathetic he is and feel like crying when I see all the damage that has to be repaired.

Good news is November is fast approaching and Barry is as lame as they come.

Who's Richard Cohen??... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

Who's Richard Cohen??

The folks who ran a very... (Below threshold)

The folks who ran a very smart presidential campaign in 2008 have left the defining of the Obama presidency to others, in this case people on the edge of insanity

Let me fix a little typo he made...

The folks who ran a very smart presidential campaign in 2008 have left the DEFENDING of the Obama presidency to others, in this case people on the edge of insanity

There we go.

The president needs bett... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

The president needs better speechwriters. The president needs a staff to tell him not to give an Oval Office address unless he has something worthy of the Oval Office to say. The president needs someone to look into the camera ...

Maybe increased contrast on the teleprompter too.

Cohen seems to be making th... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Cohen seems to be making the leap that people's opinions on the irrelevant issue of obama's birth, have a significant impact on their opinion of his performance. Such is not the case.

The poll numbers that count are the ones that say the overwhelming majority think he is doing a crappy job. That has nothing to do with where he was born (if you ask him it was in a manger, during the census).

This is just more dem excuse making: "People are too stupid to understand what a great job we are doing!" "If only we could reeducate the public there would be no problem."

Once again failure of leftist ideology is blamed not on the ideology but on the public for not understanding and not allowing the policies to be far enough leftwing to succeed.

From the dick's article:</p... (Below threshold)
apb:

From the dick's article:

"The latest figures, while significantly higher than when he took the oath of office, are clearly the consequence of the monster recession-cum-financial debacle he inherited. This was in addition to two wars and a huge debt."

The problem with dicks like Cohen is they're too stupid to realize the 'financial debacle' was the result of liberal policy (CRA) - even with the load of war, deficit spending was on the decline until the Dem takeover of the House and Senate.

It's difficult for conservatives to admit screwing up - but we do it. It's IMPOSSIBLE for liberals to admit screwups - they blame everyone else.

Just like that stupid dick, Cohen.

Once again our tolerant lib... (Below threshold)
John:

Once again our tolerant liberal (Dane) injects race where no one else did. Thanks Dane for again proving that you see everything through a racial lens.

"The Incredible Shrinking P... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The Incredible Shrinking Presidency."

Yeah, Barry has been working real hard at that.

Frankly, Mr. Cohen should r... (Below threshold)
oldpuppymax:

Frankly, Mr. Cohen should rejoice. Imagine the fall in Hussein's poll numbers if the US had even a marginally honest media!!

A lot of people were still ... (Below threshold)
Stan:

A lot of people were still giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, until the Deep Horizon Well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and dumped those millions of barrels of oil in the water.

The photos and video of him out golfing as the oil was pouring out of that broken casing is what made the people angry.

Instead of immediately wading in to send out the full forces of the government to help stop and clean up the mess, he dithered for 10 days before he even recognized that was even a problem.

If he had let the people on the ground do their thing and just provided the material support help with the problem. No, he had to grab the problem with both hands and do everything wrong.

Such as, not waiving the Jones Act and let the experts from other countries do the heavy lifting, to the forced inspection of the American fleet of ships doing the clean up and the straw that broke the camel's back -- the asinine moratorium on drilling in the Gulf for six months.

Still there are those that have rectal cranial inversion to the max to see what he has done. Will these people wake up and realize that the monster they created has also turned on them? Only time will tell, but it is highly doubtful.

"the President could do him... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

"the President could do himself and the country better. He could resign."

Bang on. We don't really have to worry that the Donks will force him out before November but by January is looking promising. I'll take Biden and Pelosi-it'll get us major reshuffling of the administration.

The folks who ran a very... (Below threshold)
Murgatroyd:

The folks who ran a very smart presidential campaign in 2008 have left the defining of the Obama presidency to others, in this case people on the edge of insanity.

And a poll has revealed that the folks who voted in the Democratic presidential primary in 2008 left the selection of Obama as their presidential candidate to people on the edge of insanity ... in other words, to the majority of Democrats:

Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
.... The (pretender) needs ... (Below threshold)

.... The (pretender) needs better speechwriters ....

What absolute bloody rubbish.

The reality is that the speechwriters are a president short of a presidency.

The Manchurian has unraveled.

"Democrats" are evenly divi... (Below threshold)

"Democrats" are evenly divided on the question of whether then president, George W. Bush, knew in advance about the (Billy-Bubbah Blythe/Jamie Gorelicker Wall-facilitated) September 11 2001 terrorist attacks ....

That figgers.

After all, half of the American electorate (the half, that is, AKA the "Democratic" potty's supporter base) is of less than average intelligence.




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