Posted by: bkivey | 17 June 2010

Schadenfreude

 Mercy is the mark of a great man . . . guess I’m just a good man . . . well, I’m all right.

Malcolm Reynolds

It’s considered a bit gauche in polite circles to take pleasure in other’s discomfort but after watching the media reaction to President Obama’s speech Tuesday, it’s nearly beyond the limit of human restraint not to do so. The very same people who couldn’t praise the Great Man enough two years ago are now falling all over themselves in their zeal to show how critical and perceptive they are.  The spectacle would be almost funny if the lack of perception by these very same folks a couple of years ago hadn’t had such dire implications for the nation. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of the great awakening:

From Jonathan Chait of The New Republic:

Barack Obama did a lot of things well in his speech tonight. He had a broad theme – Kennedyesque-renewal of American vigor and common purpose – along with plenty of specifics.

29 August 2008

The important part of his speech concerned how we would wean ourselves off of fossil fuels. This portion revealed just how much Obama is operating from a position of weakness.

16 June 2010

And from Kristen Powers of  the New York Post:

What a difference a few months make: Obama has proven that he’s not just a skilled orator but a remarkable politician.

Whether he grabs the nomination or not, Obama has far exceeded the expectations set out for him, and it’s in large measure because of the team he has assembled

4 March 2008

If you missed the speech, don’t worry: Marshmallows have more substance.”

16 June 2010

And so it goes across the media. The “Hope and Change” crowd has become increasingly disillusioned that the flawed vessel that is Obama can’t contain their projected dreams. The transcendental candidate has turned out to be anything but. In point of fact Obama hasn’t changed since the heady days of the 2008 election, but the circumstances have, and he and his administration are not equal to the challenges of a messy world.

As an American I want to see any President do well, but I was not alone in 2008 as my concern for the future of the country grew in direct proportion to Barack Obama’s popularity. John McCain was probably the least appealing candidate that the GOP could have run, and they didn’t do the country any favors by choosing him. I would hope that folks have learned the lesson that presidential elections are not about what makes the individual feel good, but about what is best for the country, but I doubt it.

I am on record in 2008 as saying that Americans would have a huge case of buyer’s remorse following the election, and while I missed the time-frame by a few months, the result is the same. Electing a President isn’t like buying a car; you can’t take them back in a few months if you don’t like them. And while I will admit to some pleasure in watching the more ardent acolytes of the cult of personality squirm a bit, I am dismayed at the cause of it, the more so because I know that during the next election their ideology will blind them yet again.

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