Pas Plus, S’il Vous Plaît

 

Look, I don’t like ganging up on anybody. Seems like there has been a bit of group pummeling on David French.

I like David French, mostly; I often enjoy hearing his perspective whether I agree with him or not. He is gaining a bit of a reputation for scolding Trumpians over principles he lets slide with the progressive left. Fair? Unfair? I don’t care enough to delve into the matter.

But, he concluded a recent essay on NR thusly:

It’s time for everyone to grapple with reality. Obama wasn’t as wonderful (or terrible) as you remember, the Trump administration isn’t as terrible (or wonderful) as you think, and the true story is far, far more complicated than the facile narratives partisans would have us believe.

What? The Obama administration wasn’t as terrible as I remember? Would this be the Obama administration that:

  • Slaughtered hundreds of innocent Mexicans (and more than some less-than-innocent, I’m sure) and an American Border Patrol agent through the auspices of Operation Fast and Furious?*
  • Weaponized the IRS (and other nuggets in the interagency) to disrupt, denigrate, and deny Americans organizing to pursue a perfectly Constitutional political agenda. God bless those little American Davids that stood up against the imperious Obama Goliathon.
  • Unleashed the Gruber mendacity upon the American health care system, propagating the biggest con ever committed against the American people. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Right. How’d that work out?
  • Pulled us out of Iraq at the cusp of victory, and made every American life lost there a life lost in vain, and sowed the seeds of that irascible JV team ISIS to wreak mayhem on the peace and stability we had expended so much American blood and treasure to achieve.

And on. And on.

The Obama administration wasn’t as terrible as I thought? How dare you, sir. Pull your head out of your tweeter and look about.

* I know more than a little about introducing (up to and including lethal) materiel into an illicit network in order to illuminate and map it. Fast and Furious was an abomination. Period.

There are 54 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Boss Mongo: But,

    Everything before the but…

    • #1
  2. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo: But,

    Everything before the but…

    Is dross.

    • #2
  3. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    I agree with you. I’m a fan of David French, but when he writes that Obama wasn’t as terrible as I remember, all I can say is, yes he was!! Obviously people’s ideas about what constitute “terrible” is going to vary, but I don’t think it’s an exaggeration for someone having the values I have to conclude that Obama was terrible. Can I think of some nice things about him? Sure – he seems like a good husband and father, and those are very, very important qualities to me. That’s about it. 

    • #3
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Actually, the FBI scandals are leading us to the realization that Obama was even worse than we remembered.

    • #4
  5. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Actually, the FBI scandals are leading us to the realization that Obama was even worse than we remembered.

    Or, was even worse than we had feared…

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I was more thinking worse than we knew. It wasn’t a matter of memory when the data had not come out.

    • #6
  7. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I was more thinking worse than we knew. It wasn’t a matter of memory when the data had not come out.

    Concur.

    • #7
  8. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    Well, my last post was one all about disagreeing with David French, so my contrarian nature requires that I now defend him. I didn’t read what he wrote as saying there was nothing bad about the Obama administration. Your list is just a start. There is no shortage of valid criticism conservatives can make. But there are some people who make mountains out of molehills and treat even the most innocuous differences as huge scandals. At the same time they refuse to give any credit where it’s due. Just because there were some genuine disasters over Obama’s terms, not everything was a disaster. Swap the word Obama for Trump and conservative for progressive and the same thing is happening today. All French is saying is that partisanship shouldn’t take precedence over reality.

    • #8
  9. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Nick H (View Comment):
    All French is saying is that partisanship shouldn’t take precedence over reality.

    But a slavish devotion to rational objectivity should not impute a sense of disdain for a certain partisan perspective.

    Nick H (View Comment):
    Swap the word Obama for Trump and conservative for progressive and the same thing is happening today.

    Disagree.  Wholeheartedly.  Can you point to Trump programs/policies that are anti-constitutional? 

    I’m not a Trumpist.  I’m a Constitutionalist.  I’ve been more than pleased at what this administration has wrought, thus far, fully in accord with the Constitution; nothing is setting off alarms.

    • #9
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    This is what I keep saying — the Trump critics on the Right do not recognize the danger on the Left. Yes, yes, Jonah G wrote Liberal Fascism, and then, like a kid on summer break, he tipped his head to the side (Trump was elected), and everything he had learned fell out.

    I also think Prager is right about David French, et al. They’re in love with style, and Trump doesn’t have it. Or, at least, doesn’t have the acceptable, preferred style. It’s the Brooksian creased pant fixation.

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Nick H (View Comment):
    But there are some people who make mountains out of molehills and treat even the most innocuous differences as huge scandals.

    This is not what he said, though.

    Boss Mongo: Obama wasn’t as wonderful (or terrible) as you remember, the Trump administration isn’t as terrible (or wonderful) as you think

    See that part right there? That is second person. And that is just wrong in most cases. My memory is just fine, Mr. French. Thank you for your concern. Have you had yours tested lately? Trump has.

    Boss Mongo: and the true story is far, far more complicated than the facile narratives partisans would have us believe.

    This is the part you are talking about, Nick, and it alone would have sufficed and been true, but tacked on to the other gratuitous insult to our cognitive function, it matters much less.

    Good day, Mr. French. I said good day, sir.

    • #11
  12. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    The Boss is right. (Isn’t that the first thing you learn the first day on the job?) Generally I like David French and I’ll also defend, if not agree with Kevin Williamson most of the time. 

    But I think Nick has a point too. Unlike many people here, I don’t think Obama was an extreme radical leftist, but a plain-jane ordinary Chicago machine politician with a cynical grasp of the right language, the right words to use to present a more centrist image. His benign image, even in the mainstream press, weakens day by day the more we learn about Libya, to say nothing about everything else Boss lists. But I don’t buy Mark Levin or Stanley Kurtz’ view of his extremism. 

    We’re 85% allies, not 15% enemies on how history may treat Obama. 

    • #12
  13. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    But I think Nick has a point too. Unlike many people here, I don’t think Obama was an extreme radical leftist, but a plain-jane ordinary Chicago machine politician with a cynical grasp of the right language, the right words to use to present a more centrist image. His benign image, even in the mainstream press, weakens day by day the more we learn about Libya, to say nothing about everything else Boss lists. But I don’t buy Mark Levin or Stanley Kurtz’ view of his extremism.

    We will disagree on this.  I’d draw a distinction between Obama’s inclinations and his accomplishments.  I believe him to be a very serious leftist (and, as an aside, an anti-Semite) who is only not seen as such because he was ineffectual.  If one looks at the rare instances where he “succeeded” (health care, Iran agreement, open borders), his inclinations were clear.  But he did lack the proverbial “fire in the belly” to really wage a serious political “war,” and we’re the better for it.

    • #13
  14. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    We’re 85% allies, not 15% enemies on how history may treat Obama. 

    I do believe that the crease in Obama’s slacks will take umbrage at the verdict that is rendered.

    • #14
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I think you gents misunderstimate leftism. There isn’t anything to “accomplish” as a leftist. It’s all about destruction, not building up. Obama was quite successful at that. Personally, I believe his election tipped us over onto the path of our ultimate demise. Trump is a temporary reprieve.

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I think you gents misunderstimate leftism. There isn’t anything to “accomplish” as a leftist. It’s all about destruction, not building up. Obama was quite successful at that. Personally, I believe his election tipped us over onto the path of our ultimate demise. Trump is a temporary reprieve.

    You’re young, Sweetie. That was what we thought about Carter, too. Give Trump enough time and come up with a real champion after, and maybe we can put it off for another generation.

    • #16
  17. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I think you gents misunderstimate leftism. There isn’t anything to “accomplish” as a leftist. It’s all about destruction, not building up. Obama was quite successful at that. Personally, I believe his election tipped us over onto the path of our ultimate demise. Trump is a temporary reprieve.

    You’re young, Sweetie. That was what we thought about Carter, too. Give Trump enough time and come up with a real champion after, and maybe we can put it off for another generation.

    (Pssst… Arahant!  She’s my age.)

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    (Pssst… Arahant! She’s my age.)

    On you, it’s old. On her, it’s young. 😜

    • #18
  19. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Personally, I believe his election tipped us over onto the path of our ultimate demise. Trump is a temporary reprieve.

    Do I draw breath?  Yeah?  Then not happenin’.

    • #19
  20. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    (Pssst… Arahant! She’s my age.)

    On you, it’s old. On her, it’s young. 😜

    This is the kind of diplomacy America needs!

    • #20
  21. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Personally, I believe his election tipped us over onto the path of our ultimate demise. Trump is a temporary reprieve.

    Do I draw breath? Yeah? Then not happenin’.

    The truth is that all we can ever hope for is one more generation’s length of reprieve, one more generation of a Constitutional republic, one more generation of the rule of law instead of the rule of man. It’s a fight with each and every generation. Our job is to to pass it on intact to the next generation, if we can.

    • #21
  22. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Personally, I believe his election tipped us over onto the path of our ultimate demise. Trump is a temporary reprieve.

    Do I draw breath? Yeah? Then not happenin’.

    The truth is that all we can ever hope for is one more generation’s length of reprieve, one more generation of a Constitutional republic, one more generation of the rule of law instead of the rule of man. It’s a fight with each and every generation. Our job is to to pass it on intact to the next generation, if we can.

    “A republic, if you can keep it.”

    • #22
  23. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    I like reading French, Goldberg, and Williamson.    They think well and write well.    However, the job of a pundit is to get attention,  sell web ads or newspapers or magazines or books.   To sell the merchandise,  it is more effective to provoke, to offend, to outrage than it is to be right.   Keep this in mind particularly for financial and investment pundits, but also for political pundits.    Read and listen to pundits, but think for yourself.

    Obama was worse and more evil than humans are capable of imagining.   The difference between Obama and Stalin was matter of strength and effectiveness, not intent.

    • #23
  24. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):
    Obama was worse and more evil than humans are capable of imagining. The difference between Obama and Stalin was matter of strength and effectiveness, not intent.

    Concur.  Wish they’d not aim their provocations, outrages and offenses at me, though.

    • #24
  25. Mate De Inactive
    Mate De
    @MateDe

    Obama was worse than we think, in my humble opinion. Also you forgot Bengahzi in that list there Mongo.

    I don’t know why I haven’t heard more about Peter Schweizer’s new book, Secret Empires. How folks in the Obama administration, and others he goes after McConnell as well, were using their positions of power and our relationships with foreign governments to enrich themselves. Obviously this started with the Clinton’s but it seems that once the Obama administration realized that they could do whatever they wanted and the press would never expose them, they went into hyper drive in the corruption department. Without the scrutiny of the press corruption abounds, which is why it is VERY unlikely the Trump administration will ever fall into a corrupt mess the way the Obama administration did because the administration gets a proctology exam on a daily basis.  

     

     

    • #25
  26. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I think you gents misunderstimate leftism. There isn’t anything to “accomplish” as a leftist. It’s all about destruction, not building up. Obama was quite successful at that. Personally, I believe his election tipped us over onto the path of our ultimate demise. Trump is a temporary reprieve.

    You’re young, Sweetie. That was what we thought about Carter, too. Give Trump enough time and come up with a real champion after, and maybe we can put it off for another generation.

    I’m glad we settled that in the comments above. Right answer, @arahant

    But, Obama was way worse than Carter. Carter didn’t corrupt the IRS, FBI, DoJ, MSM… He didn’t extort massive “settlements” from corporations to hand out to his preferred “winners” (Solyndra). He didn’t have an enemy of America whispering advice in his ear on foreign policy (Jarrett). He didn’t use his skin color to shield himself from criticism…

    And, the American people are different today than in the 1970’s. The Left has been working on our kids through the education establishment for a couple generations now. Public schools actually used to teach that communism (socialism) is bad, if not outright evil. Today, young people prefer socialism to the system that allows them to live in such prosperity and (relative) freedom.

    Obama was a socio-political perfect storm. We will not see his like again. God willing.

    • #26
  27. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Nick H (View Comment):
    All French is saying is that partisanship shouldn’t take precedence over reality.

    But a slavish devotion to rational objectivity should not impute a sense of disdain for a certain partisan perspective.

    Nick H (View Comment):
    Swap the word Obama for Trump and conservative for progressive and the same thing is happening today.

    Disagree. Wholeheartedly. Can you point to Trump programs/policies that are anti-constitutional?

    I’m not a Trumpist. I’m a Constitutionalist. I’ve been more than pleased at what this administration has wrought, thus far, fully in accord with the Constitution; nothing is setting off alarms.

    That’s not what I’m saying at all. I don’t think any significant accomplishment of the Trump administration has been unconstitutional. It’s the left that is calling everything that Trump does the most evil and unconstitutional ever. When everything is the worst and there’s no discrimination, then rational discussion is impossible.

    • #27
  28. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I was more thinking worse than we knew. It wasn’t a matter of memory when the data had not come out.

    Concur.

    At the time, I thought that Fast & Furious was the biggest political scandal in the history of the United States.  Intentionally giving weapons to foreign organized crime syndicates hoping to create enough murders of American citizens to create popular support for a policy initiative that you support and your opposition does not.  Holy cats.  What a way to play politics.  That’s just incredible.  That should have been instant impeachment and imprisonment for Obama.  The trial should have taken a week and a half, tops.

    It may be in second place now, behind using government agencies to spy on opposing political campaigns. 

    But I really don’t think so.  Fast & Furious should put a lot of politicians behind bars forever.  Just horrifying…

    • #28
  29. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    I don’t think Obama was an extreme radical leftist

    Wow! Why not consult people who would know? Have you heard or read anything by David Horowitz on this topic?

    • #29
  30. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    The turn of events described in the OP is unsurprising given the realignment described in Concerned by Trump, Some Republicans Quietly Align With Democrats. The Federalist has an interesting take on this. 

    • #30

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