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No.

He says he listens, but I don't think he hears.

After last week's elections, President Obama accurately described his party's treatment as a "shellacking." And he was right. But then, when asked what caused that "shellacking," he said that the problem was communication -- he hadn't properly gotten his message out.

His presumption is that his positions and beliefs are so right and proper and sensible and reasonable, all he has to do is explain them adequately and we'll all slap our heads, say "oh, of course! NOW we understand it!" and get in line -- or, at least enough of us.

Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

I am reminded of a discussion I once overheard between a fairly devout person and another who was confirmed as hostile to religion. The disbeliever challenged the faithful one by noting the Holocaust -- how could God allow such evil to happen? Weren't there a lot of good people who died in that event? Didn't they pray to God for help, and didn't God not answer those prayers?

The believer's answer was remarkably simple: "God hears all prayers, and God answers all prayers. It's just sometimes God's answer is 'no.'"

(The discussion continued on for some time, and got considerably more involved, but that key statement is what I'm citing here.)

Mr. President, a great many of us don't need to be properly communicated to. We don't need to be educated to precisely what you're selling. Sir, we understand it just fine -- and we are saying "no."

We don't want it. You can gild it up, sugarcoat it, or talk about how ignorant and resistant and wrong-headed and greedy and selfish we are, and we won't want it. You can talk about how wonderful your promises are, and how great it will be, and we won't want it.

Conversely, we can simply say that we're simply failing to properly communicate our objections. You're an intelligent and reasonable man, sir -- you've certainly told us so countless times, both personally and through your proxies -- why can't you comprehend our principles and beliefs that compel us to reject your agenda?

I'm not asking you to embrace our beliefs. I know that ain't gonna happen. But by insisting that the sole problem is that you haven't properly explained yourself enough, you insult us. You are saying that principled opposition simply isn't possible, and we're just ignorant dolts who can't understand you unless you spell it out, slowly and clearly, over and over again until we finally grasp it.

Last week, a lot of Americans didn't say "we don't understand, Mr. President, and we don't like it." The message was "we understand it all too well, and we don't want it."

If you can't grasp that, Mr. President, that's OK. We'll be giving you plenty more opportunities over the next two years, repeating and clarifying and simplifying that message over and over and over until you understand it.


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Comments (26)

It's called arrogance. And... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

It's called arrogance. And many continue to 'give him the benefit of the doubt'. They are fools. He was raised by socialists. He was educated by socialists. He hangs out with socialists. During the campaign one reporter actually asked him if he was a socialist. Barry told him "No". And Barry followed up that night by calling the reporter and repeating at length that he was not a socialist. Had to. Since he was campaigning as a centrist who believed in bipartisanship. He lied through his fucking teeth. Now he wants to 'compromise'. Bullshit! For Barry there is only one truth. Only one way. The Republicans should meet with him, and when he starts his 5 minutes of babble, saying absolutely nothing, they should interrupt and say "With all due respect Mr. President, WE WON. You can come along and take the credit, or reserve your Ryder moving van now for January 2013."

Obama's only talent is spea... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Obama's only talent is speaking.

What else could he fall back on?

"Obama's only talent is REA... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Obama's only talent is READING."

FIFY

Smart thing to do might be ... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Smart thing to do might be to let the Dems go on thinking that their problem is communication and not substance. Maybe they will stay on the road they took to this disaster and they'll have a few more. The only thing worse than a dumb person who won't learn is a dumb person who thinks he's smart and won't learn.

Yup. Insult the majority of... (Below threshold)
ron:

Yup. Insult the majority of voters and they will vote for your idea right? Call them stupid and ignorant and they will vote for you. Or tell them they are too stupid to understand the intricacy's of what highly schooled are trying to do and they will vote for your stuff.
This not quite highly schooled individual will look at his paycheck or lack of it and say I could care less about the intricacy's of what you are trying to do because I cannot put a roof over my head or food on my table for me and my family with your intricacy's. I am going to come to the logical and right decision that the lefts intricacy's are wrong.
What he really just said to me is that though he has tons of education he still is incompetent as a communicator.

The reality is he is truly incompetent in his own recognisance. The public just pulled a suplex on him and his party and they are still disoriented and dizzy from the flip and slam.

Just like a boxer who has just been knocked out wakes up and says....whaaat happened?

As to Noonan and the Republicans silliness about electibility...uh...fog up a mirror fullfill the citizenship requirements of the constitution get on the ballot and say your say let the people decide. The people ought not let insiders tell the people what's what.

This country has once again reafirmed that the people rule not the elites or the insiders.


Obama was sold as the great... (Below threshold)
alanstorm:

Obama was sold as the greatest communicator ever, bar none, all during his interminable campaign. He subjected the public to endless pronouncements of his policiy preferences. And now the idea is that he didn't explain things well enough, or that we just don't understand?

Hint to Obama: It's not us that don't understand.

I wish I'd have wrote that.... (Below threshold)
Timmer:

I wish I'd have wrote that.

The majority does not want ... (Below threshold)
mag:

The majority does not want Obama or his socialism. Those are the facts. Take your ego and ideas and go back from where ever the hell you really came from and take your worshippers with you.
Don't you dare put the blame on us...that we did not understand...we understand quite well and we are rejecting you. Too f'n bad for you and your ego.

Obama critizied Clinton for... (Below threshold)
John:

Obama critizied Clinton for suggesting the need for an individual mandate, Obamacare has an idividual mandate, Obama critizied McCain for suggesting taxing health ins. benefits, he now wants to tax health ins benefits. He proclaimed Gitmo would be closed in the first year of his presidency, it's still open. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples, afterall it's commonly written that all Obama's promises come with an expiration date. I suggest it's not a communication problem it's a problem of consistency. He does not say what he means and he does not mean what he says. Add to that the lack of leadership, constant pushing blame to previous administrations, name calling, enemy lists, bickering with talk radio hosts, I won arogance and what you have is a failing presidency. I suspect given his particular talents he can save himself but he probably better get on it, the clock continues to tick.

The answer will still be No... (Below threshold)
Roy:

The answer will still be No, two years from now.

Dear Mr. President:<p... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Dear Mr. President:

What part of "Put the fucking credit card away and get your fucking fingers out of our wallet" was unclear?

Sincerely -

The Taxpayers and Voters

Odd, galoob should have com... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Odd, galoob should have come along by now to defend his Obamassiah. Perhaps he's stocking up on some new echo chamber talking points.

John, (post 9), excellent p... (Below threshold)
Hank:

John, (post 9), excellent points.

As for: "I suggest it's not a communication problem it's a problem of consistency. He does not say what he means and he does not mean what he says."

That reminded me of what he said on 60 Minutes the other night.

"."...when you're campaigning, I think you're liberated to say things without thinking about, "Okay, how am I gonna actually practically implement this."

In other words, he admits to talking out of his a**.

"...when you're campaigning... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...when you're campaigning, I think you're liberated to say things without thinking about, "Okay, how am I gonna actually practically implement this."

TRANSLATION: You lie and pander. Jerry Brown admitted the same thing years ago after he left the governor's office. Yet the dumb asses in Kalifornia voted for him again. If he was lying then, we should believe him when he says "Trust me now".

Get it thru your thick arro... (Below threshold)
914:

Get it thru your thick arrogant skull. The voters just said no.

Interestingly, the foreign ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Interestingly, the foreign press media such as PRAVDA, a Russian press media voice, sure has been highly critical of the last election results actually viewing Americans as increasingly "dumbdowned" and with little sense of memory for recent history. One critical piece noted that in just two years in the White House, the current administration certainly can't be "blamed" for the "bad economy", "record debt" or "deficit spending" that it "inherited" from the previous 8 years.

Further, PRAVDA noted that the U.S. spends more on military spending than the next 15 nations combined, or 72 times more than Iran and North Korea combined. The U.S. spends a record $1.98 million per minute on military spending. That record military spending was also inherited from the last administration as well, and hasn't slowed much due to twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by the current White House. In many ways, there is very little difference between either administration's spending policies, despite all the political claims to the contrary by politicians or their partisan supporters.

I'm certainly glad to be an entertainment writer now, and leave "the election that made no sense" up to foreign journalists like those at PRAVDA to pick apart and analyze instead. But, do I believe that it's going to be up to the U.S. to help lead the world community out of this recession, so both parties need to work together on a common recovery effort effort consensus if that's going to ever happen.

Then maybe, Paul, we need t... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Then maybe, Paul, we need to look at Germany.

They seem to have figured out what needs to be done, while Obama apparently is clueless.

So tell me Paul when does t... (Below threshold)
John:

So tell me Paul when does the state of the union belong to Obama? Is Bush going to give the state of the union address this year since Obama can't be held responsible? Will the same apply to the next Republican president because it sure as hell didn't apply to the last one.

Paul,Obama promised ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Paul,
Obama promised change. He was elected on that "promise". He failed to deliver but must be forgiven for failing to deliver because he is no different than Bush? I mean, basically that's what your saying. Do you liberals determine success by polling the voices in your heads?

And forget the rationalization that he inherited a mess. He did in many ways but he sure did everything possible to make matters worse. The problem is he more than any president we have ever had is so closely wedded to an ideology which is just not palatable to the average American. They have told him that but to accept that would make him turn his back on the only world view he has ever held and how would he function at that point. Accepting the messaging problem is his lifeboat in this aimless drifting of an administration.

First off, Paul Hooson's th... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

First off, Paul Hooson's thesis is based on an untruth. The democrat's have lead both houses of Congress for 4 years now and that includes appropriations, oversight and funding the war efforts. So, technically, Obama and his party has been in control of the money and oversight for 4 years. Under the democratic oversight, the banks failed, the car makers failed, mortgages that were awarded to people who cannot afford them came home to roose. So, I live in reality and that is the dem's much more then George W. wrecked the economy. Obama coming into office just tripled the damage.

Paul, I am surprised you are taking such a weak position. You are usually straight up with most facts. Have you been brainwashed by the Obamassiah? ww

We keep hearing from the le... (Below threshold)
John:

We keep hearing from the left that Obama inherited the mess, but as Dave has pointed out, what is he doing to help resolve it? He claimed the stimulus would solve the problem and hold unemployment below 8% that failed, he claimed we were heading for the recovery summer, not so much. What has not been tried that the voters seem to be screaming for is reduced spending, especially the wasteful spending. Everyday I see a new story about some stupid spending from DC ($136M to promot dairy products including cheese) People hear Obama talk about the worst economy since the great depression and on the next page of the news paper is some stupid spending proposal. People I talk to wonder why a country that is broke has money for the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, studies to understand the sexual habits of rats(ok I made the last one up.) We fail to understand how a reduced buget INCREASE can be considered a budget cut. I don't lay this entirely at Obama's feet but as several people here have pointed out Obama was to be different not a typical politican above all that. So far I'm not seeing it.

We elected a President that... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

We elected a President that promised 'change'.

We should have elected one that promised dollars instead of 'change'.

"...repeating and clarifyin... (Below threshold)

"...repeating and clarifying and simplifying..."

How much simpler can "NO!" get? At some point we may be forced to draft impeachment articles on the grounds of functional illiteracy.

Yes Indeedy!You go... (Below threshold)
Mt Top Patriot:

Yes Indeedy!

You got the dead nuts right. NO!

Allah inspir... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:


Allah inspired the creation of the Quoran and his perfect message is also misintepreted and misunderstood. Well, you wretched plebians could at least cut the Quenyan some slack.

#25 Is there some connecti... (Below threshold)
olsoljer:

#25 Is there some connection with a murdering, raping, pillaging pedophilic barbarian and Obama?




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