No surprise there, I know--nor come to think of it, is there even any surprise in the way the endorsement, which appears in the current issue of the magazine, opens: "The morning was cold and the sky was bright....On that day in Washington—Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009—the blustery chill penetrated every coat, yet the discomfort was no impediment to joy." We're in New Yorker world, where everything sentence is oh-so-precious and every article moves oh-so-slowly.
Yet the novella-length endorsement--it runs to 3,600 words--is, in a way, perfect, presenting every argument on behalf of Barack Obama that can possibly be mustered while offering an exquisite articulation of a worldview in which reelecting Obama not only makes sense but represents a moral duty.
As I read the endorsement, I kept thinking, What is there to say to people who would write this stuff? And then--but of course!--it struck me: I'd ask you, the Ricochetti.
Herewith, the first of several excerpts I'd like to post:
Perhaps inevitably, the President has disappointed some of his most ardent supporters. Part of their disappointment is a reflection of the fantastical expectations that attached to him. Some, quite reasonably, are disappointed in his policy failures (on Guantánamo, climate change, and gun control); others question the morality of the persistent use of predator drones. And, of course, 2012 offers nothing like the ecstasy of taking part in a historical advance: the reëlection of the first African-American President does not inspire the same level of communal pride. But the reëlection of a President who has been progressive, competent, rational, decent, and, at times, visionary is a serious matter. The President has achieved a run of ambitious legislative, social, and foreign-policy successes that relieved a large measure of the human suffering and national shame inflicted by the Bush Administration. Obama has renewed the honor of the office he holds.
The question, again, is simple:
What is there to say to these people?