Thursday, June 10, 2010

For your edification...

please read this essay by Dorothy Rabinowitz in The Wall Street Journal of June 9, 2010.


  1. Hello, Thanks, an interesting read. I see her point - up to a point! Obama does seem to be not one of the "people", or at least the US people we Europeans see in Hollywood films. He hasn't got that certain down-to-earth aspect that Bush, Clinton, Reagan etc had, and, as such, he risks laying down policy "in a bubble", separated from the voters' everyday concerns.
    However, (from afar!) I believe it's a risk worth taking, the US system needed a shake-up and a new approach and I for one believe Obama (if he leaves to one side the execessive political correctness referred to in this article) can provide it. It's early days!
    (Plus, I'm afraid I'm no economist but I don't think he can be blamed at all for the economic mess you/we are all in - this is thanks to years, if not decades, of mismanagement!)

  2. DOROTHY RABINOWITZ may be educated and erudite but this article only thinly disguises her redneck racism. Prsident Obama ia an intellectual giant when compared with the last incumbent of The White House who often seemed like a rabbit caught in headlights. His many Bushisms are now legendary.

    President Obama is very sensitive to the radical Islamic threat to the world and appreciates the damage that cowboy rhetoric might cause. He also understands that today's world is a world in which America cannot conduct her affairs in relative isolation - as was often the case in her bullish past - but must look outwards.

    As you know, speaking from the other side of the Atlantic, I am a committed Americophile but my lower jaw drops in disbelief to read Dorothy Rabinowitz's invasive dry rot. Of course she was an ardent McCain supporter and her political commentary has, I understand, always been narrowly conservative. President Obama, on the other hand, speaks for all Americans - from hotel cleaners to recent immigrants, from the unemployed to go-getting entrepreneurs.

    From this distance I think you are very lucky to have a leader like him in these challenging times but I fear the powerful American establishment will ultimately and insidiously destroy him and articles like this one are surely part of that process.

  3. Brian, your view is certainly shared by many, but it doesn't seem to be that of the majority of Americans currently (see link in my response to Yorkshire Pudding below).

    Yorkshire Pudding, why is it that anyone who disagrees with President Obama's policies is automatically labeled redneck and racist by liberals? I would remind you that ad hominem arguments are a tactic of those who are not able to refute the truth of points made in the essay. Your point of view is common in both the UK and Europe nowadays, but it is plain from the following link that your statement that "President Obama speaks for all Americans" is simply not true.

    Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll (June 10, 2010)

    (Note. The Rasmussen polling organization has the distinction of being the most accurate of American polls, even more so than the better-known Gallup.)

  4. Not wishing to cause conflict with our Atlantic neighbours (more on that tomorrow after the football-soccer!), I couldn't resist Wikpedia-ing Rasmussen - and they seem to say it's biassed towards the conservatives anyway ...

    But, whether that's true or not, and whatever the polls say, I still believe it is far too early to evaluate Obama, as the economic and national (international) security questions he has had to take on cannot be dealt with in a year, or even one presidential term.

    Given the difference of opinion, according to the polls, between US and EU citizens, I propose a swap - if we can have Obama as our "leader", I for one would willingly offer you Cameron, Zapatero, Sarkozy, and Berlusconi, and 99& of the European Parliament in exchange :)

  5. BRIAN - I would go for that... Make Mr Obama President of Europe where we will appreciate his vision, his fair-minded leadership and his measured sense of justice. In contrast, it would be great to see a little conservative Frenchman in The White House. Mr Brague could sing "The Marsellaise" over his croissants.

  6. Brian and YP: On both ends of the trade, that would be like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Or, put another way, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.