In a classic slice of the thinly disguised editorial called a “news analysis,” Washington Post writer Joel Achenbach established the usual obsequious narrative, rejoicing that we’ve gone from Cowboy Diplomacy to Spock Mode, from bring-it-on bravado to defiant deliberation:
President George W. Bush once boasted, “I’m not a textbook player, I’m a gut player.” The new tenant of the Oval Office takes a strikingly different approach.
President Obama is almost defiantly deliberative, methodical and measured, even when critics accuse him of dithering. When describing his executive style, he goes into Spock mode, saying, “You’ve got to make decisions based on information and not emotions.”
Obama’s handling of the Afghanistan conundrum has been a spectacle of deliberation unlike anything seen in the White House in recent memory.
An incomparable spectacle of deliberation. Achenbach may be implying that Obama’s dithering isn’t indecision. It’s calculated to underline how much more thoughtful he is than President Wanna Piece of This?
Achenbach does nod to “news analysis” by allowing the mention that some people thought Obama was simply “dithering,” and allowing how he’s bound to disappoint the Left, who thought they were voting for someone more Ramsey Clarkish. This quote was refreshing:
Sean Wilentz, a history professor at Princeton, says Obama has suffered from unrealistic expectations among those who put him in office. “They kind of were sold Utopia, and they bought it, and it didn’t happen,” he says. “People were comparing the candidate to Abraham Lincoln before he served a day of his presidency. Nobody can live up to that.”
Wilentz only leaves out that it was Obama that was comparing himself to Lincoln, not just “people.”
(Hat tip: MadRat)