Friday, September 18, 2009

The Obama Persona

Would it be a violation of House rules to yell, "You elide!" in the middle of a Presidential address?

Charles Krauthammer describes the President thus in his weekly column appearing today. Enumerating the ways that Obama's recent speech misdirects attention and understanding, Dr. K concludes:

Obama doesn't lie. He merely elides, gliding from one dubious assertion to another. This has been the story throughout his whole health-care crusade. Its original premise was that our current financial crisis was rooted in neglect of three things -- energy, education and health care. That transparent attempt to exploit Emanuel's Law -- a crisis is a terrible thing to waste -- failed for health care because no one is stupid enough to believe that the 2008 financial collapse was caused by a lack of universal health care.

So on to the next gambit: selling health-care reform as a cure for the deficit. When that was exploded by the Congressional Budget Office's demonstration of staggering Obamacare deficits, Obama tried a new tack: selling his plan as revenue-neutral insurance reform -- until the revenue neutrality is exposed as phony future cuts and chimerical waste and fraud.

Obama doesn't lie. He implies, he misdirects, he misleads -- so fluidly and incessantly that he risks transmuting eloquence into mere slickness.

We stipulate that politicians by nature do not speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, with or without divine help. We call attention to the truth issue in the President's address simply to remind gentle readers that this sobering reality applies even to an impressively cool guy who makes appealing promises.

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