Monday, October 15, 2012

OBAMA: Clueless on Debate Performance !

According to an article in the Daily Mail (U.K.) last Thursday, President Obama walked off the stage after his underwhelming debate performance convinced he was the winner. Against viewers and a breathlessly fawning press who winced through it he was sure he delivered the rhetorical goods. He only realized he sank like a Chevy Volt dropped in water after his senior aides broke the news to the surprised and disturbingly oblivious Commander-in-Chief. Apparently the most transparent President in history is also the least self-aware. It  does raise the question of whether Obama's political success has owed more to luck than skill.

Those very same senior aides had been wrought with anxiety for weeks that Obama wouldn't fare well since he stubbornly (read stupidly) refused to rigorously prepare: ''President Obama made it clear he wanted to be doing anything else -- but debate prep. He kept breaking off whenever he got  the opportunity and never really focused on the event.'' Obama even poked fun at his own reluctance to hunker down; ''It's a drag. They're making me do my homework." Some aides anonymously revealed that Obama's disdain for Romney runs so deep he considered preparation for the debate beneath him. His dripping contempt was palpable on the stage, as he refused to make sustained eye-contact with Romney, looking down at his shoes as if they were outfitted with a teleprompter.

In fact, it was obvious that he did not adequately prepare but now we know it wasn't the the altitude or a demanding schedule (the day before the debate he visited the Hoover Dam much to his advisors' chagrin). He shirked what would seem like a top priority duty because he couldn't muster even the duplicitous feint of respect for an opposing viewpoint, disgusted that someone has the audacity to challenge his official proclamations. We had our growing suspicions confirmed, despite all the contentless folderol about the virtue of bipartisan cooperation he spouted during his first campaign for resident, Obama loathes dissent and only begrudgingly and condescendingly tolerates being contradicted. His brand of strident confidence (read arrogance) crosses a line into elitist hubris, shorn of every follicle of humility, convinced that all who disagree with him are benighted fools or evil adversaries. See my Aug/Sept postings on Obama's Un-Holy Trinity to see how well he was mentored.

In other words, there is something at the heart of Obama's animating ethos that abhors democracy (his Marxist upbringing), which necessarily gives free reign to a spirited exchange of competing ideas. His famous thin-skinned hypersensitivity (see July posting Mr & Mrs Cranky Pants), is a symptom of a lack of self-reflection -- criticism shocks him like a personal offense since it never really occurs to him that he might be wrong. And given our persistent economic doldrums, our embassies being attacked across the globe, Iran's inexorable march towards a nuclear bomb, the increasingly bombastic assertiveness of China and Russia, and an unemployment rate that remains too high, there are good reasons for him to reconsider his convictions. But alas, he marches on into blissful oblivion, convinced he's winning the war of ideas effortlessly, assured his floundering is perceived by the world as triumph.

The Way I See It....this raises even shouts out, the question: what other issues only appear to him through the filter of happy self-deceit? Does Obama really believe our enemies in the Middle East are so charmed by his swagger that they would ever coordinate an attack on our embassies? Is he convinced we are grateful he has kept us unburdened by the crushing demands of regular employment?   Is he under the impression Americans are thrilled with debt going into the stratosphere and managed by a socialist bureaucracy?

It is hard to imagine Obama will do much better in the next debate, unless better means meaner and more aggressively mendacious. his biggest vulnerability at the podium is his dour resentment for having to be there in the first place, piqued that he should have to account for himself before the people that elected him, that he purportedly represents.Obama will attempt to feign interest but will only manage angry indifference -- debates are for disciples of democracy, not technocratic kings.

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