The reviews from Obama's Kansas speech are in. People who heard what they wanted to hear loved it. Everyone else . . . eh, not so much.*Yes, I borrowed that joke from Dave Barry. I have excellent taste and little shame.
The consensus among those who loved it was that Obama has finally "found his voice." Here's the Newark Star Ledger: "In Kansas, Obama finally found his voice to make that case." By the way, the "case" the editors are referring to is the same case we've heard for a long time: spend piles more money on education, infrastructure, etc., and tax the wealthy to pay for it. You know, the same "new ideas" liberals have been touting for more than ten decades now.
Howard Gleckman -- yes, that Howard Gleckman! -- of the Urban Institute agrees that Obama has found his voice. He tells Politico, "It is hard for me to believe Republicans are still making a fight of this. This is a total political loser for them. President Obama has finally found his voice on this. It is even hard for Democrats to screw this up."
Yes, absolutely! Now that Obama has found his voice, it's like he's found the One Ring to Rule Them All and nothing can stand in his way!
Tom Brokaw -- who, as we all know, spends his days slipping sawbucks to his vast network of shoeshine boys, newspaper hawkers, drifters down at the docks, soda jerks, and other snitches to keep his finger on the nation's pulse -- saw all this coming. He said on Meet the Press way back on October 30, "I think he's beginning to find his voice. For the last nine months or so we have not known which Obama would show up from week to week. Now they seem to be on track to what the campaign strategy is going to be." So that was it. After all, Brokaw is always the first to spot a political trend. I believe it was just days after the Tet Offensive that he was saying how public opinion was moving against the Vietnam War.
But . . . whoah, what's this? U.S. News on September 20, 2011: "Obama appears to have finally found his voice in terms of dealing forcefully with the Republicans."
And it appears that U.S. News was simply echoing the Washington Blade, which proclaimed in a headline five days earlier: "President Obama finally finds his voice." That blade cuts deep!
Now, hold on, this is strange. Margaret Carlson announced in Businessweek in April that "Obama Finds His Voice on Cuts That Matter."
April? Feh! Historian H. W. Brands noted that Obama had located his political chi back in January, after his speech in Tucson. "Barack Obama has found his voice again," he announced on CNN.com.
This is getting ridiculous. Maybe Michelle should pin Obama's voice to his sleeves like a little kid's mittens, because that guy apparently loses his voice more than Jon Corzine loses billions of dollars.
On October 26, 2010, the Washington Post, reported that "in the final weeks leading up to Election Day, Obama has found his voice." This voice was going to turn around the midterms -- you know, the ones that turned out to be an electoral hot-tea enema that psephologists are still marveling at and which even Obama conceded was a "shellacking." Ah, yes, but as Alec Baldwin might say, "Imagine how much worse the shellacking would have been if he hadn't found his voice."
More than a month earlier, Will Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute was sure that Obama had already found his voice. On September 24, 2010, he proclaimed: "Obama Finds His Voice -- And America's." Twelve days earlier, the St. Petersburg Times spotted the same trend. "President Barack Obama found his voice last week," the editors insisted. "In a speech in Cleveland and at a news conference Friday, he fought back against Republican demands to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts and resisted election-year pandering to antsy voters."
I mean, who among us can forget Obama's famous Cleveland Speech? Barely an hour passes on cable news without someone referencing that watershed moment in American politics.
But that's not where the trail begins in the hunt for Obama's voice. "So Julie," NPR host Jackie Lyden began a conversation with health-care reporter Julie Rovner, "a lot of people are saying Barack Obama has found his voice on [Obamacare], quite a shift in strategy."
Who was saying that? Susan Estrich, for one! "Democrats like me steeled ourselves for the bloodbath to come, wondering only how truly bad it would be," Estrich wrote twelve days earlier. "But something seems to be happening on the way to disaster: Barack Obama has found his voice again."
Okay, you get it already. All this represents a fraction of a fraction of the times the press and liberal pundits have proclaimed Obama has "found his voice." (I didn't even include David Gergen's bold proclamations in this regard!) It's amazing how hearing what you want to hear amounts to proclaiming everyone else has heard the same thing.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
This week's Goldberg File (named for its author, Jonah "Goldberg" File)* is exceptionally good. I'll post a long excerpt from it because 1) the excerpted passage deserves wide distribution, 2) it might induce readers to subscribe (free) to Goldberg's newsletter, and 3) it's way better than anything I could write.