Years ago, I predicted that Obama, when challenged, would either go ballistic or would fall apart at the seams. I was almost right. Rather than doing one or the other, Obama seems to have managed to do both (emphasis mine):
Max’s shout [in Where the Wild Things Are], and the trick of looking his antagonists straight in the eyes, cause the Wild Things to make them his king. But that’s unlikely to be the effect of Obama’s press conference, which was one of the most bizarre political events of my lifetime.
That’s John Podhoretz, summarizing the press conference (which I, of course, missed). Even more interesting John’s live blog comments, some of which I reproduce here:
John Podhoretz – 12.07.2010 – 2:45 PM
Well, this president is an innovator. He has called a press conference intended to announce a new set of policies that will help the economy and the American people, and he is talking as though he had to negotiate with terrorists and made the best of a bad deal. Never really seen anything like it.
John Podhoretz – 12.07.2010 – 2:49 PM
Obama believes he can beat the GOP in the coming years on extending all the Bush tax cuts when he just lost it — because we need to build roads and bridges and because we’re falling behind on math education. This has the quality of an intellectual nervous breakdown.
John Podhoretz – 12.07.2010 – 2:51 PM
So far in this press conference, Obama has compared Republicans to hostage takers, bomb throwers, and terrorists.
John Podhoretz – 12.07.2010 – 3:01 PM
Well…that was interesting…he spent the first half insulting Republicans and the conclusion screaming at Democrats and left-liberals…All in all, one of the strangest political events of my lifetime.
I don’t like Obama. I’ve never liked Obama. I understood what Rush was saying and agreed with him when he wished for Obama to be a failed president, meaning a president who was unable to push forward his agenda (an agenda that included essentially taking over one-sixth of the American economy). That didn’t mean, though, that I wished upon America the spectacle of an American president having a psychological breakdown. If we’re really witnessing the beginning of that train wreck here and now, we are in much deeper doo-doo than we ever imagined.
Of course, it may not be a breakdown at all. We may simply be witnessing the usual street theater of a Leftist thug, which is certainly a new phenomenon in the White House. J.E. Dyer sees this as a form of typical Leftist performance art:
I don’t recall Obama ever coming off in a national forum quite so much like a leftist community organizer. In demonizing his political opponents, lecturing his base, and vowing to fight on in a long struggle, Obama appeared to be channeling his political roots in radical activism. He evoked an activist street fighter on the steps of city hall more than a president of the United States. The president is our head of government but also our head of state: a ceremonial symbol of national unity. One of his chief duties is to be happy about that.