I listened to Obama’s speech on my drive down to North Carolina for my talk tonight. I thought it was a breathtaking tour de force of dishonesty and tendentiousness for all the reasons covered around here. It was also just weird and annoying. A small gripe: he keeps saying “win the future” like it’s a phrase A) everybody understands and B) everyone has a positive reaction to. Neither is the case.
More substantially, Obama’s speech was just plain reactionary. It was an amazing about-face for a guy who ran in 2008 on a “yes we can” message of fundamentally “transforming” America. Now the philosophical thrust of his approach is that we must not change the America we “grew up with.” Uh, okay. I guess his 2012 slogan will be “Let’s All Go Down With the Ship — Together!”
In 2008 the guy said his chief opponent was “cynicism.” He decried the scare tactics and divisive rhetoric of the past. Now he cynically embraces them in a bitter and dishonest attempt to portray himself as a “centrist.”
Obama’s centrism has only one substantial component: He desperately desires to remain at the center of political life for another term.