Thursday, December 10, 2009

Obama's Fog of Words

I was recently going through some headlines when one caught my interest. It was an article by Tina Brown titled Obama's Fog of War. I found it interesting on several levels because it really pinpointed things I think myself and other bloggers have been saying for quite some time. Obama is a great orator, but it seems he does not believe anything he says.

Tina said it well, when she said

I have come to the conclusion that the real reason this gifted communicator has become so bad at communicating is that he doesn’t really believe a word that he is saying. He couldn’t convey that health-care reform would be somehow cost-free because he knows it won’t be. And he can’t adequately convey either the imperatives or the military strategy of the war in Afghanistan because he doesn’t really believe in it either.

This statement really pinpoints the problem with Obama. Candidate Obama could make grandiose promises and foolishly could believe he could make them come true. Now President Obama makes grandiose promises but knows he is just being a snake oil salesman.

Words drip like honey from his mouth when he is giving a speech. As someone who studied communications, he is a marvel to watch and listen to. That said, the trained ear knows what to listen to and how to listen. It is what he isn't saying. Much like in Obama's healthcare speech to Congress in September, he said

...under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place...

But what he did not say, is that I will veto any plan that is brought before me that funds abortions using federal dollars. The thing is, Obama has not created or written a plan. He is letting Congress do it all and coercing those who fight it. This way, he can get credit for healthcare reform from those who want it and blame Congress for those who are unhappy with it. He new full well that abortion would be a part of it, but he wordsmithed the speech, like any good lawyer, to be as clear as fog.

It seems to me that Obama is more worried about being a politician than he is doing the right thing. Looking at past presidents, like them or not you could say the following:
  • With Carter, you had caring. He was far from the best president but he did care
  • With Reagan, you had courage of conviction. Some would say he went to far to carry out those beliefs, but he had it.
  • With Clinton you had feeling. Clinton really did have a passion for what he believed in. I disliked many of his policies, but you did get a sense that he was doing them for what he felt were the right reasons.
  • With W. Bush you had principals. There are many who do not agree with those principals, Bush always showed integrity.

What do you have with Obama? Other than marvelous words, where is the substance of character. Will Obama's legacy be one of the ultimate politician?

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