The Corner

But Sérieusement, Folks . . .

Last we heard from our old comrade Christopher Buckley, he was insisting to Peter Robinson that he had no regrets over his Obama vote. A week or two on, and there’s a distinct whiff of buyer’s remorse:

Let me lead with my own chin and ask: Are we a serious nation anymore? Are we becoming, finally, silly?

I voted for Barack Obama largely on the basis of his temperament, which I thought superior. He is only 47 years old, but to me seemed older than that: a man of precocious aspect and judgment. In the French wording, un homme sérieux.

But, hélas, the President seems increasingly pas sérieux. The Hyacinth Girl comments:

He’s questioning whether we are a sérieux nation and I’m questioning whether he’s a sérieux writer. Since November, Buckley’s been doing a hell of a lot of hoping. And since January, he seems incapable of indulging in even the slightest bit of self-reflection . . .

A bit of self-reflection might not go amiss. There were various theories on the enigmatic O in the run-up to his election: a) he was a post-partisan intellectually sérieux centrist with a totally awesome temperament, as Messrs Buckley, Brooks & Co argued; b) he was a doctrinaire leftie statist, as his choice of friends and associates suggested; or c) he was a man completely unqualified to be president, as his wafer-thin resume made plain. We’re still debating over whether it’s b) and/or c), but any homme sérieux ought by now to be honest enough to acknowledge that a) was a fantasy projected on to Obama by doting admirers. It might be useful for the smart set to ponder why they made this error, what it says about our political culture, and whether it might be in America’s interest to avoid this mistake in the future.

Oh, and the Obamacons ought to give up on all the cooing over his ”temperament”. It makes these hommes sérieux sound like Tiger Beat reporters.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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