Sunday, July 24, 2011

Attacking The President With Star Trek Metaphors

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal is his usual insightful and humorous self in this piece, responding to a Boston Globe column that attacks Republicans and fellates the president by saying he has "Spock-like rationality and sober caution":

And of course everyone remembers the episode in which Spock said: "Imagine Captain Kirk drivin' the Enterprise into a wormhole"--Vulcans always drop their g's when they're trying to sound folksy--"and it's a deep wormhole. It's a big wormhole. And somehow he walked away from the accident, and we put on our boots and we transported down into the wormhole--me and Bones and Scotty and Hikaru and Nyota. We've been pushin', pushin', tryin' to get that starship out of the wormhole. And meanwhile, Kirk is standin' there, sippin' on a Slurpee"...

Green's entire account of Obama's presidency is as removed from reality as "Star Trek." By what conceivable standard can one claim that the president has "governed in a manner largely consistent" with the "ideal" of "a postpartisan era"--much less that he has been "unlike Bush" in doing so?

Consider the two most controversial legislative initiatives of George W. Bush's first half-term: the 2001 tax cut and the 2002 authorization to use military force against Iraq. Both had substantial bipartisan support: The former passed with "yes" votes from 28 House Democrats and 12 Senate Democrats; the latter had the backing of 81 House Democrats and 29 Senate Democrats.

By contrast, Obama's two biggest legislative initiatives, the so-called stimulus and ObamaCare, had the support of a grand total of three Republicans in both houses combined (all senators who voted in favor of the stimulus).

Now, Obama backers might argue that these were just "practical, long-term reforms," which the Republicans were partisan for opposing. One's own side, after all, is always principled where the other side is partisan. But the majority of voters did not seem to see it this way. The most modest interpretation of the 2010 election results is that Americans thought Obama had gone way too far and wished to restrain him from going further.
I don't recall President Bush ever denigrating Democrats as a group, but Obama's attacks on Republicans (car in the ditch, drinking Slurpees, etc.) jump instantly to mind by people on both the left and the right. The fantasies that the president's supporters choose to believe in just don't stand up in the light of day.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

I think the comparison of Obama to Jello is apt. He seems to be engaging in a typical lawyer trick where they promise one thing, but commit to none of it on paper so they can't be held to it. That's no way to run a negotiation. In the meantime, it's worthy to note that Obama went on TV twice threatening seniors with no August social security checks. How is that going to play out against the backdrop of his $38K a plate birthday fundraiser gala?