Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On Obama´s Amusement

From Roger Kimball

"Indeed, in one sense Obama’s comments are simply natural coefficients of a basic presumption of that progressive attitude, namely, the conviction that the left-liberal view of reality is not a political view but merely the view that any enlightened, reasonable person would have. It is only dissent from that view that is political, warped by self-interest, etc. If only everyone were sufficiently enlightened, everyone would (so this fairytale goes) have essentially the same ideas about all contentious issues. Which is to say, there would in the end be no contentious issues, for to dissent from the progressive narrative would be evidence of (depending on the nature of the regime) heresy, treason, or stupidity. Ultimately, contention would not only be stigmatized as counterproductive, it would be proscribed as criminal or insane."


"But it’s one thing to have a sense of humor. It’s quite another to regard one’s opponents with amused disdain. One key difference is the presence of contempt. Obama’s modus operandi excels in the deployment of contempt. Is it part of his instinctive embrace of Saul Alinsky’s “rules for radicals“? I do not know. But in some ways Obama’s habitual expression of contempt is the most alarming component of his style of governing. Together with his evident self-infatuation and notorious sensitivity to criticism, it bespeaks a character that is volatile, heedless, and disengaged from the palpable realities faced by the people he represents...Obama doesn’t see this, of course. He really cannot twig why everyone is not lining up to thank him for being their leader. Such imperviousness is worrisome, for it betokens a disconnection from reality."