Ace calls him Captain Bullshit, which is apt. But since he’s so into the totalitarian state of mind, I’m going with the simpler Dear Leader. Ace calls the Berlin speech the “Big Stupid Nazi Rally“:
“Vacuous, fatuous, and insipid like every other goddamned thing he says, and that complaint, as always, comes with the subterranean twinge of racism.”
Michelle Malkin shares an awesome poster of Obama and notes the Nazi references.
Ann Althouse synthesizes Obama’s speech for those who miss it:
“I guess we’re not supposed to think about how Obama wanted and still wants to give up on the Iraq war. Surely, if he’d been there in 1948, he would have said the Berlin airlift is hopeless. He thought the surge was hopeless.
I won’t excerpt the rest of the speech. You can read it, but I’ll summarize: Come on, people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another, right now.”
We’re not supposed to think, Ann, we’re supposed to feel.
Well, Glenn Reynolds, for one, thinks the Nazi references are misplaced and that the whole thing has a more gay, lovefest vibe. That’s fine for those in the “know”, but the average American sees a zillion adoring Germans waving flags for an American presidential candidate who has questionable patriotism credentials and Americans make a different connection. It might not be fair, but a “citizen of the world” is probably going for just such imagery. I don’t think the Obama people were thinking love-in, but maybe they were. Or maybe they weren’t thinking. I’m still wondering how on earth they decided this would be a good thing and foregoing visiting the troops in Germany would be a better thing.
Here’s the money quote from the speech: ‘People of Berlin — people of the world — this is our moment. This is our time.’
I think this speech may well be the undoing of his presidential hopes.
Best comment over at Protein Wisdom from B Moe:
“this guy already thinks he’s president”
But President of what, is what I am trying to figure out. It is starting to look like America may be too small a bushel for that bright a light.
Substantively, I welcomed his call for more support from Germany to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would make clear to Obama that there were limits to Germany’s military engagement in Afghanistan. Merkel may find Obama well-equipped physically, but this seems to be another case in which a government will not be dramatically altering its foreign policy just from a look at Obama’s magic face.
From the Anchoress:
Senator Barack Obama went to Berlin today, a place to which he had no real connection, to make a speech for no actual reason, on no special occasion, and the speech reflected it. It was a brief speech of many words and a lot of filler.
I think I disagree with the Shrink. I think Obama believes not that the actual meaning of what he says is important, but rather that the effect his words have on the hearer is important. This is the key to why he could tolerate Wright’s church for so long, because it would have sent most traditionally well-educated people out, screaming in frustration. Post-modernists truly do not believe in objective meaning.
Shrinkwrapped has a psychological analysis that you absolutely MUST read. He starts thusly and does this not say it all?:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, chapter 6 (1865).
The question is, on what day do Obama’s words mean what they mean him to mean? Shrinkwrapped continues:
Intellectuals earn the disdain of the hoi polloi honestly. They value words much more than they value deeds.
The intellectuals have been the gate keepers of news and memory. An intellectual could explain almost anything to fit his ideology and sanitize any excesses that the ideology facilitated. Thus, for example, The New York Times’s Walter Duranty could win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism for his laudatory series on Stalin’s Russia in the 1930s, while neglecting to mention the millions of deaths Stalin was responsible for by his engineered famine or offer a critical view of Stalin’s show trials. History was not only written by the victors but they could rely upon the useful idiots of the MSM to control the present news as well.
The world has changed but Barack Obama, emerging as he does from the hallways of academic excellence, sees the world through the eyes of an intellectual and apparently has ingested an unhealthy mix of intellectual arrogance and the over-valuation of language that is part of the academic culture. This may well sabotage his campaign; in the event he is elected President, it bodes poorly for his administration.
Jim Geraghty on “My New Messiah“.
Ed Morrissey makes me laugh:
Barack Obama’s campaign started off by insisting that their Berlin speech wasn’t political. Then, after Obama snubbed the troops at Landstuhl and Ramstein, they said it wouldn’t be appropriate to visit while campaigning. At the same time, Obama told a throng of Germans that he wasn’t there as a candidate at all.
Lileks on being a “citizen of the world”:
Not that anyone enforces those duties at the moment. Novel sentiments aside, “World citizen” is used as a badge of empathy that carries no responsibilities. The more it’s used, though, the more it dilutes actual national citizenship, which naturally takes second place to World Citizenship. As it did in Obama’s speech – he said he was a citizen of America and a citizen of the world, not the other way around. To say you’re a citizen of the world and a citizen of America places the latter in the primary slot, no? It’s like saying “I am a married man, and I am also a lover of women.” People would assume you’re sneaking around.
If we are all citizens of the world, then rules about national citizenship sound like archaic encumbrances. If you do not consider yourself a citizen of the world, then you must not care about anyone else but your fellow national citizens, or at least you care less, and that’s not a sentiment you express in polite company. To say that you care more about a bomb in New York than you care about a bomb in Malaysia almost sounds chauvinistic, what with the death of one man anywhere diminishing us all, and so on. It’s a perfectly reasonable sentiment for someone to hold in private, but it is difficult for an American president to say that he cares as much about displaced workers in a Chinese province as he cares about Ohio factory workers. If it’s true, then he hasn’t really grasped the nature of his job. If it’s false, it’s just more windy BS.