American Elephants

The Marvelous Michael Ramirez Strikes Again! by The Elephant's Child

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Michael Ramirez’s editorial cartoons are a feature at He is a genius at the visual metaphor. You can see his past work in the archives, and order his book Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, the first collection of his cartoons. It’s great fun to look at past cartoons and remember the political situation that inspired it. Investors offers a free IBDeditorials newsletter delivered right to your inbox every day.

The Media Wants To Know What’s The Matter With Obama? by The Elephant's Child

Oh my goodness. ( Does anybody say that anymore?)  You know that the liberals are upset with their president. Who hasn’t watched the video of Chris Matthews’ meltdown? But to say they are upset is understating it. And they are desperately trying to figure out what the heck is the matter with him. It apparently is that he just doesn’t like being president. The headlines alone are interesting. Salon: Does Obama just hate his job? The New York Times, the Caucus: Obama’s Enthusiasm Gap. The Atlantic: Snippy Obama, Whose Heart’s Not in It. The Washington Post: Does Barack Obama really want to be president? Harpers: The Man Who Would Be Ex-President.

I found this collection of essays fascinating, partly for the shallowness of the analysis, partly for the sheer partisanship. They were just dying to get out there on that stage and spout off all the hatred they have for those who dare to oppose them. Kevin Baker at Harper’s:

He didn’t show a spark of anger, even when Romney slyly found a way to call him a boy, comparing Obama’s statements to the sorts of childish lies is “five boys” used to tell.

How the right’s hard-core racists must have howled at that? Mitt, at long last, has secured his base,

Here’s Garance Franke-Ruta at the Atlantic:

I suspect a more prosaic explanation: A person of his temperament cannot maintain the same open demeanor when he’s dealing with war and death all the time. As, we must recall, Obama has been for years now.  If Obama seems shut down, perhaps it is because he has to be to be who he is and do the job he needs to do day in and day out. If his heart didn’t seem in it last night, I wonder if it’s not in part because the last thing he needs to consider in his work on a day-to-day basis is his heart. It’s a long way from being a community organizer, civil-rights lawyer and anti-war state senator to running a drone war that kills innocent civilians, ordering the death of militants, overseeing a policy that’s led to an increase in American casualties in Afghanistan, and delivering funereal remarks at a ceremony honoring the returning remains of a slain American diplomat.

Their understanding of their own support of Obama is shallow. I couldn’t help but think that all those colleges and universities who have bragged so much that they are teaching “critical thinking” didn’t succeed. I think they are right that Obama doesn’t particularly like the job of being president. He likes the celebrity part.

I believe what we saw was the real Obama. Petulant, angry at having to be on a stage with Romney. His supporters have long assumed that he is brilliant; and he may be bright enough, but he doesn’t know very much. He has all sorts of talking points and attack lines, few of which are true;  but he does not have command of the facts and figures of his own administration, what it has accomplished and where it has failed. It’s all talking points, and when they are fact checked by multiple sources and rejected, he just keeps right on with the same sound bites, because they tested well as attack lines.

Romney, on the other hand, is an experienced leader, and experienced manager who understands what’s gone wrong and how to fix it. Obama went on about a law that encouraged companies to offshore their businesses. Romney correctly answered that “I’ve had 25 years in business, and I have no idea what you’re talking about.” There is no such law.

Do read these pieces. They are an illuminating glimpse into the liberal mind, such as it is. A look at how they regard their own champion, and the truly bizarre state of partisan politics in 2012.

ADDENDUM: What fun.  Here are ten explanations from Obama’s friends about why he lost the debate, as sympathetically reported by The New Yorker.

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