The inspirational president *UPDATED*

Yesterday, Mr. Bookworm and I found ourselves in a car heading south.  As we passed the Marriott at which Sarah Palin spoke (a speech I got to hear in person), this dialog ensued:

Me:  That’s where Sarah Palin spoke.

Mr. Bookworm:  Really?  Are you still going to tell me that she wouldn’t have been a disaster as Vice President?

Me:  I think she would have made a fine Vice President.  She certainly would have been better than Joe Biden.  Say, did you hear what he said the other day?  He said he was the best Vice President since, well, anybody.  [I mangled the quote a little bit.  This is what he actually said:  “I’m the most experienced vice president since anybody.”]

Mr. Bookworm:  That’s so not true.  He never said that.  You live in right wing fantasy world.  I defy you to find that for me.  Anyway, Palin would have been a laughingstock.

Me:  Come on.  She has more executive experience than Obama and you voted for him.

Mr. Bookworm:  That is a totally specious argument.  This is not about executive experience.

Me:  Yes, it is.  The president is the executive office.

Mr. Bookworm:  That is total B.S.  The presidency has nothing to do with being an executive.

Me:  Babe, it’s in the Constitution.  The President is the “executive.”

Mr. Bookworm:  That doesn’t mean anything anymore.  Presidents aren’t really executives.  The office is inspirational.  All the best Presidents haven’t been executives; they’ve been inspirational leaders.

This interesting conversation ended abruptly at this point when one of the kids started throwing up in the back seat, but I certainly would have liked to have pursued it.

UPDATED:  Just got off the phone from a call with another relative, a very liberal gal who lives in a liberal enclave back East.  After listening to her soundly berating Sarah Palin for being an idiot because she doesn’t speak well and lauding Obama because he does, I asked her my standard question:  “What has Obama accomplished?”  Her answer:  “He’s an inspirational symbol.  He doesn’t need to have accomplished anything.”

Are they all reading from the same playbook or have they all independently arrived at the conclusion that this is the only possible answer to cover Obama’s abysmal lack of concrete accomplishments?

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  • Danny Lemieux

    After all….being President of the U.S. is no different than being an actor or actress in “West Wing”, right? You just have to parade around and pretend the part. The Presidential ideal is now an actor and community emoter, not a doer.

    I wonder if Mr. Book would say the same about the executive at the controls of U.S. Air Flight 1549? The sheep can bestow contempt on the guard dogs because they have forgotten what guard dogs do and why they are needed. Woe unto them when the guard dogs shrug, resign or wander off to take a vacation a-la Atlas.

    We really truly have devolved into the Age of Reason, forget the Age of Emotion, it’s the Age of Oprah and Dr. Phil. We really are doomed!

  • 11B40


    Speaking of fantasy political moments, back during the Vice Presidential debate, I was hoping that Senator Biden would bring up his 36 years in the Senate and that Governor Palin would respond, “That’s a long time between promotions.”

  • Deana

    Well, if presidents are not executives and their purpose is only inspirational, why did so many leftists heap scorn on Reagan for being an actor?


  • Larry Sheldon

    Sounds to me like one of the kids _did_ pursue the discussion!

    That certainly was the incipient reaction here to the insipid nonsense there.

    I’ll bet Obama has the papers on Biden filed under “Life Insurance”.

  • kimpriestap


    All the best Presidents haven’t been executives; they’ve been inspirational leaders.

    Sorry, Bookie, but that has got to be in the top 10 most ridiculous statements I’ve ever heard. It’s also wishful thinking on his part, unless he expects the real executives to be Pelosi and Reid with Obama as a mere figurehead. In that case, God help us all.

  • Deana

    Is anyone else out there feeling like I am?

    I would desperately love to be excited and optimistic about the future of America and share the feelings of joy that apparently all of America is feeling right now but I can’t.

    I am so angry at how shabbily President Bush was treated day in and day out for eight straight years. Hatred doesn’t even begin to describe what that man has had to endure. Half of America can still work themselves in to a lather just because he is still breathing!

    Part of me would love to turn around and treat Obama and his supporters the way Bush and his supporters have been treated but I can’t stoop that low. I don’t want to turn into that kind of person. I can’t bring myself to want harm to come to Obama the way leftists want harm to come to President Bush.

    And then there is this feeling I have that half of America has taken leave of their senses. No one seems to understand that our precarious economic situation translates into our inability to defend ourselves from REAL threats. (Do Americans who voted for Obama even grasp that the same people who hated America in the past will continue to hate America even with a President Obama??)

    And here’s another thing: Where the hell are the Republicans with all of this going on? Oh. That’s right. They are standing in line waiting to voice their support for Obama’s proposals.

    My heart is just heavy. I can’t believe our beautiful country is turning its back on the principles that lead to its greatness. I’m mourning the loss of an entity I have held as dear to me as my family. But I have to be quiet about it because apparently, so few others feel this way.

    Besides, everyone’s in Washington demanding bread and circuses.


  • Bookworm

    Had the conversation continued, I might have mentioned Reagan, who was very inspirational, as well as the fact that, considering that the president is apparently just a figurehead, it makes no sense how much people hated Bush for what he did (as opposed to what he was).

    What’s sad is that Mr. Bookworm is an extremely smart man. His statements are where smart people go when they run out of real arguments.

  • suek

    Actually, I find his comments quite enlightening. I’m with Deanna on how I _feel_ about it, but it does explain a lot.

    Not the attitude towards Bush – on that, they’re still totally inconsistent…he’s in idiot, but keeps outsmarting them. He’s only a figurehead, but responsible for all sorts of bad regulations. He’s only a figurehead, but responsible for the dire economy – never mind that the Dems have had all the power in Congress for the last two years, and the economy was in pretty good shape until then.

    All in all, it’s pretty much like playing a game with a 5 year old – you have to follow the rules, but the 5 year old gets to make them up as you go along.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Smart…or intelligent, Book? It’s two different things. Funny your link about Biden – he brings more to the job than Jefferson? Teddy Roosevelt? He truly does make a fine court jester to the man who would be King.

  • Charles Martel

    Fortunately I have an 8:30 a.m. doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I’ll drag it out for as long as I can. When I get home, my wife will be watching the networks’ gushing coverage of the afterglow of the Messiah’s inauguration.

    I’ll retreat to my office and make a lot of phone calls because that’s a basic part of life as a freelance writer and it helps me take my mind off of things. I intend to avoid every second of the public worship that will be washing over the airwaves for the next few days.

    If you remember that scene in the first season of “Monk” where he is forced to walk through a sewer and endure having rats and filthy water splash down on him, you’ll know how I feel right now.

  • Larry Sheldon

    Hadn’t really thought about it.

    Dr. appointment with new-to-me and new-to-the-practice doctor that is said (by a doctor whose opinion I trust) that might have a path to relief for the pain in my foot (hope to expand that to feet).

    Then lunch with the Lunch Bunch (olde fartes from church.)

    Outside chance I can do all of that and get back home without seeing a TV set.

    Wife will be out when I get back so the ones here at home will all be off.

    Not sure what “meh” actually means, but when I think about this inauguration “meh” is what first comes to mind.

    Second thought is–Larry you spent a lot of years at ${FragmentOfWorldsLargestCorporaton} and saw lots of Affirmative Action Executives installed, and we manage to keep the dial tone working for a long time before they brought us down.


  • kali

    Several of the departments I support have booked a conference room and will be watching the inauguration during work hours. I’m happy for them, because most of them are pleasant people, but especially because they won’t be at their computers, breaking something. Which means I will have a relaxing day and may actually make some progress on my longer-term projects.

    See? Everything, even the wrong man’s inauguration, can be a positive. Such as Obama supporters revealing how little they actually contribute to the economy. 😉

  • Danny Lemieux

    Me…I confess that I will try to see the inauguration speech. It is a historic event, whatever the outcome. I will also be nervously assessing my options for capital flight and refugee status.

  • Quisp

    Well, you found the quote for us (in the NYTIMES, no less) but I’m guessing you probably just let it lie with Mr. Book. I’m a last word girl, myself, which would pretty much keep me in hot water in your situation. (Hope the kid’s feeling better.)

  • Ellen

    I have to work. I’m at a university and we haven’t started the spring semester yet, so there aren’t too many people around. I’ve got lots to do, and I’ll be busy till 4:30 pm. Then it’s home and watch DVDs for me.

  • Deana

    I think I’m going to have to get some DVDs to get through the next couple of days as well, Ellen.

    That and remember that things are going to look very, very different one year from now.


  • David Foster

    People who have executive experience generally have some concept of the “friction” (in the sense used by Clausewitz) involved in getting anything done, whereas people without this experience don’t understand the difference between pure thought, on the one hand, and action, one the other.

    As von Moltke said, no plan survives the initial contact with the enemy.

    One of the primary divides in American society is between “line” and “staff”–between the people who have actually run things and held accountability, and the people whose role is basically the giving of advice.

  • pst314

    So, does this mean that Obama is one of those annoying motivational posters? :-)

    Any nominations?

  • Zhombre

    Rush Limbaugh is an inspirational figures to an audience of twenty million each week. Does that qualify?

  • Quisp

    I certainly found Rush’s “I Hope Obama Fails” rant inspirational, Zhombre.

  • Ymarsakar

    The only time I started paying attention to the Election Politics, Book, was when Sarah Palin was nominated VP. Before, I didn’t give a damn. Meaning, I didn’t care for Obama and I didn’t care for McCain. I saw no speeches, I read no speeches, and I sure as heck didn’t watch any televised debates, youtube or otherwise.

    People might have noticed before October that whenever Book posted something about Obama, I didn’t say much of anything. I was aware of certain things going on, like Republican Primaries and Democrat Hillary vs Obama, but none of the details until Sarah Palin.

    And I’m actually hypersensitive to politics, at least when it comes to national security issues. Just imagine what regular people would have been doing. That is the untold story, untold by the Main Sewer Media anyways.

    Mr. Bookworm: That doesn’t mean anything anymore. Presidents aren’t really executives.

    I’m not sure whether you got his point or not. I would estimate that Mr B doesn’t see the President as an Executive because fake liberal ideology and dogma has imprinted the idea that an “Executive” is a highly overrated and paid “leader” that is only out to exploit people. So obviously Obama cannot be said to be an “Executive” nor can the US President be called an exploiter, except for Bush and Cheney, that is.

    This interesting conversation ended abruptly at this point when one of the kids started throwing up in the back seat, but I certainly would have liked to have pursued it.

    Poor kiddy must have had a flash back of Indoctrination Camp after hearing the argument. Must have produced that nausea feeling.

    Are they all reading from the same playbook or have they all independently arrived at the conclusion that this is the only possible answer to cover Obama’s abysmal lack of concrete accomplishments?

    It is called propaganda, Book. They think that they came up with the idea, but in reality, it was people like me, those involved in propaganda operations, that gave them the idea in the first place. For Obama, it is Axelrod and some MSM editor.

    Well, if presidents are not executives and their purpose is only inspirational, why did so many leftists heap scorn on Reagan for being an actor?

    Anybody that adopts conservative ideas or jumps party from the Democrats to the Republicans is labeled “stupid”. And since they couldn’t attack him as stupid for holding beliefs that many Americans, including Southern Democrats, held, they had to attack him based upon his “inexperience” and actor background.

  • Bill Smith


    “What’s sad is that Mr. Bookworm is an extremely smart man. His statements are where smart people go when they run out of real arguments.”

    And I have a really smart computer, but if I feed it faulty information, I get nonsense out. Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    Also, Liberals do not regard facts with much reverence, or attribute to them much importance. Their Feelings occupy the place in their brains that is designed to hold, and use Facts. Thus, feelings ARE their facts, and they regard them as such. That is why they attribute such importance to their feelings: They are misclassified as facts in their brains.

    However, and unfortunately, since feelings can only exist in the present moment, Libs can, and do believe that their labile feelings are always true, even when they are diametrically opposed. That’s why when Bush espoused a position that was identical to Obama’s — gay marriage, I think it was — Bush was WRONG, and Evil, and Obama was RIGHT, and the Messiah.

    Because facts don’t matter to them. 2 + 2 = 22 is absolutely FINE, as long as it makes them feel important, and loved.

  • Charles Martel

    “He’s an inspirational symbol. He doesn’t need to have accomplished anything.”

    Patient: Say, Nurse, I couldn’t help but notice that the doctor doesn’t have any diplomas on the wall. Why’s that?

    Nurse: He doesn’t have any.

    Patient: What? Why not? How do I know if he’s any good?

    Nurse: Well, you like him, don’t you? I mean, your friends recommended him to you, didn’t they?

    Patient: Well, yes.

    Nurse: See? He’s an inspirational symbol. He doesn’t need to have accomplished anything. You’ll understand that when it comes time for you to deal with the pancreatic cancer that his predecessor diagnosed in you last week. You’ll need Doctor’s reassuring ways and great bedside manner to get you cured.

  • Friend of USA

    Canada seems to think Sarah Palin was right on at least one thing,

    She said that Obama was pallin’around with terrorists?


    William Ayers was turned back at the Canadian border!!!

    read it at Foxnews

    read it at the Toronto Star

    Here is an excerpt of what poor misunderstood wittle terrorist Ayers had to say about it,

    I don’t know why I was turned back,” Ayers said in an interview this morning from Chicago. “I got off the plane like everyone else and I was asked to come over to the other side. The border guards reviewed some stuff and said I wasn’t going to be allowed into Canada. To me it seems quite bureaucratic and not at all interesting … If it were me I would have let me in.…”


    I work at a mixed government/private facility (although our emails end with .gov). Yesterday all employees got a message from the CEO. The gist of it:
    – The various TVs scattered throughout the facility will be tuned to CNN Headline News (as usual).
    – Incidental watching of the inauguration is fine, just as any incidental watching of news programs is always fine.
    – If you are planning to watch much of the inauguration, you should take vacation time to do it.

    Oh, I suspect the CEO is an Obama supporter, but I was very gratified with how professionally and honestly he approached the matter.

  • Earl

    You have a stronger stomach than I do, BW….I will not talk to people like your husband, lest I join your offspring in their completely appropriate reaction to such dangerous idiocy…..

    Sorry, but Yikes!

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