After shattering defeat, FESUS (First Empty Suit of the United States) replies with empty formulae

His first formula, reported in today’s New York Times, is that It’s All Bush’s Fault:

“Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” the president said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.” [Emphasis added.]

So, the people of Massachusetts for the first time in historical memory elected a conservative-leaning Republican to the U.S. Senate, defeating the Democratic candidate whom Obama had personally campaigned for, thus killing Obama’s signature legislative measure and setting Obama back on his heels, not out of anger at Obama, but out of anger at Obama’s Republican predecessor!

Does this sound like a man capable of grasping reality?

Obama’s second formula is that, to the extent that the victory of a Republican pledged to stop the Democrats’ most important legislative initiative was due to voters’ displeasure with the Democrats and not displeasure with a previous Republican administration, it was because of a failure to communicate. The Times continues:

That, of course, was a way of putting at least some of the blame on former President George W. Bush. For himself, Mr. Obama sided with those who saw a failure of communications rather than a flawed policy agenda.

“If there’s one thing that I regret this year, is that we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us, that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those.”

That’s coming from a guy who wouldn’t stop yakking about the health care bill. Now he’s telling us he didn’t yak about health care enough. God save us.

However, the administration’s response does not consist of just empty spin. The Times story has a revelation of a major shift in White House goals:

… administration officials, who did not want to be identified discussing internal strategy, said Mr. Obama would put more emphasis on issues like deficit reduction and job creation. He already was assembling a bipartisan budget commission and officials acknowledged that some proposals would probably take a back seat now, like a market-based cap on greenhouse gas emissions and liberalized immigration rules.

So, it’s not only the radical health care bill that FESUS is giving up on, but his two other major calamitous initiatives as well. And let us acknowledge the wonderful fact that this shattering of the Democrats’ ruinous program, this Waterloo-like defeat of the left, is all due to the providential combination of events in which America’s leading advocate of nationalized health care kicked the bucket last summer, and a gutsy Republican Massachusetts state senator had the vision and audacity to think that he could defeat a Democrat for the deceased sainted Democratic senator’s seat.

But what (according to the reasoning of FESUS, see above) was the particular insight Scott Brown had that led to this historic upset? It was the insight that voter anger at Republican ex-President George W. Bush could propel the Republican Brown into the U.S. Senate to stop the Democrats’ revolutionary legislative program.

- end of initial entry -

Rufus W. writes:

Waterloo? I would like to, but don’t think so.

Midway, perhaps.

Certain of Obama’s actions, particularly in the international arena might suggest he’s a pushover, but he could hardly have gotten this far lacking gumption entirely. I’m sure that he sees it as nothing more than a temporary setback.

LA replies:

Hmm, maybe you’re right. Is “Waterloo” an overstatement?

Let’s look at it. They are giving up on their health care bill (anything they may succeed in passing now, with Republican involvement, will be much less far reaching), giving up on Cap and Trade, giving up on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. That’s the Obama Trifecta that they’re giving up on. It’s not everyday that you see an administration—a self-described revolutionary administration—announce that it’s abandoning its three major initiatives, I think “Waterloo” is not an overstatement.

Joseph Kay, author of VFR article last year, “The empty black suit,” writes:

What is ironic is that Obama has spent more time on public relations than any past president. I recall seeing data (cannot remember where) cataloging his TV appearances, press conferences and traveling around giving speeches, and then comparing it with Bush. If anything, his manic effort “to communicate” may have detracted from him doing his boring homework.

Getting back to the empty suit. It is obvious, at least to me, that this part of “being president” is what Obama relishes. No opportunity to fly Air Force One is to be missed. He is “being presidential” just like the campus empty suit is being “professorial” when he attends conferences, serves on prestige committees, or chairs an all-star symposium on MLK’s contribution to American life.

Real professors at top research universities spend most of their time doing grunt work, everything from reading dull journal articles to endlessly re-writing papers. Totally boring for 99% of the population. They live monk-like existences and look the part. Their empty suit colleagues, by contrast, gravitate toward the public side of the job. Think Cornel West flying here and there (always first class!) mouthing the same banalities and being feted by adoring liberals. When Larry Summers said get back to grunt work West fled to Princeton where he could once more be the Big Time Professa without doing any real research.

Tom Sowell in his autobiography described how black professors are lured into being professional blacks and after a point no longer able to do demanding academic work. Obama is being “presidential” only as an empty suit would define the job. After all, he consults with experts, holds cabinet meetings and otherwise play-acts the role. When confronted by the lack of results he is genuinely flabbergasted since he is being “presidential.” So, he will now up being “presidential,” which in his mind means more trips on Air Force One, more TV appearances and so on.

It has also been my experience that blacks and whites have differing definitions of “working hard” on dull subjects. Again, Tom Sowell describes how at Harvard he considered himself “hard working” only to be asked by his white roommates “when are you going to start studying.” This came as a genuine shock.

LA replies:

You write:

When confronted by the lack of results he is genuinely flabbergasted since he is being “presidential.” So, he will now up being “presidential,” which in his mind means more trips on Air Force One, more TV appearances and so on.

That’s a shrewd insight. It’s sort of like a presidential cargo cult, isn’t it?

Stewart W. writes:

“It’s sort of like a presidential cargo cult, isn’t it?”

That is without a doubt the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time. Many things just clicked in my head when I read that.

Kathlene M. writes:

I loved this post. FESUS is a brilliant name for Obama. It makes me think of Fraudulent Jesus (Fesus) or Malfeasance.

Thank you for your intelligence and humor!

Paul K. writes:

In an amusing juxtaposition, Drudge places a link to Obama’s comment that he had failed to communicate sufficiently with the American people over a link to an article enumerating the times Obama has spoken publicly—42 news conferences; 158 interviews; 23 town meetings; and 411 (!) speeches, comments, and remarks.

As Obama explained to Stephanapoulos. he’s been so busy fixing America’s problems that he hasn’t had time to explain to the people what a great job he’s doing, which explains why they just aren’t getting it. As he put it, “That I do think is a mistake of mine. I think the assumption was if I just focus on policy, if I just focus on this provision or that law or if we’re making a good rational decision here, then people will get it.”

This reminds me of your insight, “We live in the cave below Plato’s cave, where there’s not even a simulacrum of sense.”

Obama is Plato’s Cave, looking at the distorted shadows on the wall in front of him and seeing America steadily improving under his leadership. He would love to keep the rest of us in Plato’s Sub-basement, with not even shadows to interpret, and where all we know about what is happening is what he tells us.

LA replies:

When a political leader who doesn’t stop making appearances and speeches to the public says that his mistake is that he’s not making enough appearances and speeches to the public, that’s not Plato’s cave or even sub-cave; that’s just plain delusion. He’s so immersed in self-love that he can’t see reality.

Donna E. writes:

This man is a Sunni Muslim put in place by the Muslim Brotherhood to take this nation over by spending her into oblivion. What happens at the ballot box is of no interest to him.

Joseph C. writes:

I like your characterization of First Empty Suit of the Unites States. Not only does it describe the man perfectly, but the acronym FESUS sounds like feces – exactly what I think of the man as both a person and a leader.

Rick U. writes:

I love the FESUS moniker—very funny.

If I may be so bold, can I suggest FESTUS instead? This more closely aligns with POTUS. In this way, Obama is likened to the character in the popular TV show from the ’60s, “Gunsmoke.” The character FESTUS was the deputy of the town, kind of a goof, he wore the badge but everyone knew he wasn’t the Sheriff so he was just there and epitomizes the empty suit. A caricature of the Sheriff.

This has always been my assessment of Obama, he’s the front man for a group of radicals (a progressive Politburo behind the scenes) and the spokesman of their progressive policies. He wears the badge, but he really isn’t the Sheriff.

The only problem with the comparison is that Festus was a nice guy—I’m not so sure about Obama.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 21, 2010 09:00 AM | Send

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