Contributor Post Created with Sketch. One Lonely Job

 

What on earth must it feel like to wake up and see headlines like this: 

Dashed Hopes: How Obama Disappointed the World

I reckon the President right now has the singular distinction of having disappointed more people than any man in history–this just by virtue of global population. 

I doubt that Obama’s internal world resembles mine all that much, but when I imagine headlines around the globe to the effect of “Dashed Hopes: How Claire Berlinski Disappointed the World,” and imagine realizing that I am not dreaming, I imagine that I would feel quite murderously angry toward the world. 

It’s a bit discomfiting to think about the implications of that. 

There are 30 comments.

  1. The Mugwump Inactive
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    I imagine that I would feel quite murderously angry toward the world.

    It’s a bit discomfiting to think about the implications of that. ·

    Even more discomfiting, I think, if you believe the man in the White House is a sociopath.

    • #1
    • August 10, 2011, at 5:34 AM PDT
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  2. Scott R Member
    Scott R Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The guy thinks so little of everyone outside the Ivy League faculty crowd that he might just endure all this with complete equanimity.

    Some day soon he’ll return to Harvard and be told we weren’t good enough for him. He’ll believe it and be fine.

    Must be nice.

    • #2
    • August 10, 2011, at 5:56 AM PDT
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  3. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    Scott Reusser: The guy thinks so little of everyone outside the Ivy League faculty crowd that he might just endure all this with complete equanimity.

    He sure doesn’t look as if that’s what he’s feeling. He looks as if he’s losing it.

    But I may be projecting.

    • #3
    • August 10, 2011, at 5:58 AM PDT
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  4. Mollie Hemingway Contributor

    Claire,

    I wonder all the time what it must feel like to be BHO. For his entire life he was told he had special powers and by the time he ran for office (when, remember, he wrote speeches better than his speechwriters and did policy better than his policy shop folks, etc., etc.) he definitely believed it.

    So after taking all this credit for himself, now he’s despised. Does he then transfer blame back to his speechwriters, policy director, the average American (or global citizen)? Or what? How does he process that?

    It must be humiliating to realize that you’re not only not specially gifted but perhaps specially abysmal. Is it humbling? Infuriating? Inconceivable? I wonder.

    • #4
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:16 AM PDT
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  5. Paul A. Rahe Contributor

    I think that we can rule out humility. Obama has an easy out. The problem is America. We disappointed him.

    As an ex-President, I predict, Barack Obama will make Jimmy Carter look good. The latter has never been able to forgive his country for repudiating him, and he has made himself a thorn in the side of virtually every President since. BHO will not go quietly into that good night, like every prior to Carter. He will bide his time and seek revenge — on his successor, on Democrats less radical than he is, and on the American people. It is not until he is out of office that he will reveal himself for what he is.

    • #5
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:27 AM PDT
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  6. Paladin Inactive

    Very simple Mollie: you blame the world and consider yourself a tragic martyr. Being hated by many, betrayed by those he thought were his friends and “crucified” in the next election are more likely to enhance his messiah complex than diminish it.

    • #6
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:27 AM PDT
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  7. Dave Carter Contributor

    His is an inherently lonely job, but he has made it even more so. Through his ideology and stubborn refusal to acknowledge its failure, he has ostracized himself from American society. He was ashamed of us, and now he is himself shamed. He thought he could transcend logic, economics, and the sum total of human history. He probably longs for the echo chamber of academia, where iconoclastic theories are lauded, and nothing is stained save the paper on which they are printed.

    • #7
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:29 AM PDT
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  8. Ed G. Member
    Ed G. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: Claire,

    I wonder all the time what it must feel like to be BHO. For his entire life he was told he had special powers…..

    Like levitation or invisibility?

    • #8
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:30 AM PDT
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  9. Lady Bertrum Inactive

    I can almost understand the mania that led the elites around the world to crown Obama as their lord and savior. He’s a perfect representation of class and race and ideology. What is stunningly difficult to comprehend is his joining in with this mania. Did he really believe he was all that? This is a Field of Dreams. He doesn’t really exist but as long as folk believe he does than the fantasy is possible? Is that what modern progressive politics has degenerated into? It’s no wonder we’re destroying ourselves.

    The belief in Obama (Yes, we can!) was always a Cargo Cult.

    • #9
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:31 AM PDT
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  10. Schwaibold Member
    Schwaibold Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    Scott Reusser: The guy thinks so little of everyone outside the Ivy League faculty crowd that he might just endure all this with complete equanimity.

    He sure doesn’t look as if that’s what he’s feeling. He looks as if he’s losing it.

    But I may be projecting. · Aug 10 at 5:58am

    He’s angry because he just can’t believe a majority of the U.S. population is too stupid to understand his greatness (though he does believe they’re too stupid to understand macro economics or human nature)

    • #10
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:32 AM PDT
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  11. Ed G. Member
    Ed G. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: Claire,

    I wonder all the time what it must feel like to be BHO. For his entire life he was told he had special powers and by the time he ran for office (when, remember, he wrote speeches better than his speechwriters and did policy better than his policy shop folks, etc., etc.) he definitely believed it.

    So after taking all this credit for himself, now he’s despised. Does he then transfer blame back to his speechwriters, policy director, the average American (or global citizen)? Or what? How does he process that?

    It must be humiliating to realize that you’re not only not specially gifted but perhaps specially abysmal. Is it humbling? Infuriating? Inconceivable? I wonder. · Aug 10 at 6:16am

    An approval rating of 43% doesn’t exactly indicate that he’s despised yet.

    • #11
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:36 AM PDT
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  12. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Relevant reading: The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk. A good portrait of a man whose job requires more emotional strength than he possesses.

    Even if you’re seen the movie, there’s a lot more in the book.

    • #12
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:49 AM PDT
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  13. genferei Member
    genferei Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    That’s a fascinating article – for what it tells us about how Obama in particular and the US political scene in general is perceived in (left-leaning) mainstream German journalism. Let me beat the drum once again about the fierce urgency of a US ‘mission to the gentiles’ about the virtues of the free market, limited government and individual liberty (not licence) – the virtues of virtue, if you will…

    Ed G. has an excellent point – Obama’s personal approval ratings are positively reality-defying, being miles above what the public thinks about what he actually says, does and stands for. I fear that all he has to do for victory in 2012 is sit behind his billion-dollar re-election stash, do nothing and let the MSM carry him over the line.

    Of course, the only humane thing to do to ease the crushing psychic burden the Presidency must become on our best and brightest is to radically shrink the role – by radically shrinking the Federal Government. Do it for the children (who will have to grow up to be Presidents)!

    • #13
    • August 10, 2011, at 6:52 AM PDT
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  14. Ed G. Member
    Ed G. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Dave Carter: Through his ideology and stubborn refusal to acknowledge its failure…..

    I think it would take a superhuman to easily give up one’s ideology. When it comes to economics, sociology, or socioeconomics it’s difficult if not impossible to directly trace cause and effect from ideology to present circumstances especially given that it takes time for the effects of a policy to show up in the real world and policies are rarely implemented exactly as we’d like. Failure and less than desirable results are rationalized, e.g. “My plan was never really implemented because I had to compromise with those [insert other side here]” or “My plan will work if we give it just a little more time; after all we started in a hole caused by [insert opponent’s ideology here]”.

    I’d be stubborn about my own ideology too, even if the country were enduring bad economic times. After all, I wouldn’t have taken it as my ideology if I didn’t think it were the best plan.

    • #14
    • August 10, 2011, at 7:05 AM PDT
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  15. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Acknowledging the failure of one’s ideology….”Confirmation bias” is the tendency to search for data confirming the hypothesis one already holds. It is a concept well-known to accident investigators (“hmm, wonder why the runway lights aren’t on? Oh, yeah, I saw that they’re doing some electrical work at this airport…that must be it” rather than “No lights–are we really on the right runway?”)

    Everyone engages in confirmation bias to some extent, but it’s surely much stronger in some people than in others. I’d guess Obama has it in extreme form.

    • #15
    • August 10, 2011, at 7:39 AM PDT
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  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m with geneferei. That article is sumpin’ else!

    Here’s the drill. Whenever we speak of “the world” or “world opinion”, what we really mean is “the Left” or “the Left’s opinion”. And I suspect in the German media, as in huge swaths of the American media prior to the new alternatives, the Left’s opinion is pretty much all you get.

    Are you disappointed by Obama? I’m not disappointed by Obama. I’m getting exactly, and I mean EXACTLY, the incompetence, destructiveness, and decline I expected. Domestically and internationally.

    Obama said we’re a great country (or at least suggested) he wants to fundamentally transform. I know I’m not the only one to understand his meaning. He wants us to be . just . like . Europe! He wants us to be weak militarily so we won’t be tempted into those evil “wars of choice”, and to suckle our subjects, er.. I mean citizens, on a giant welfare-state teat.

    Meanwhile the European social democracies are in tatters wherever they’re not on fire. I’ve got news for the Left. They’re not disappointed with Obama. They’re disappointed at their colossal failure of an ideology.

    • #16
    • August 10, 2011, at 7:44 AM PDT
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  17. Yeah...ok. Inactive

    HIDE the DECLINE.

    Ed G.

    An approval rating of 43% doesn’t exactly indicate that he’s despised yet. · Aug 10 at 6:36am

    If climate ‘scientists’ can hide the decline of global temperatures, do you not believe that social ‘scientists’ will hide the decline of Obama’s approval? If the number is too low they will just normalize it to offset the racism factor.

    • #17
    • August 10, 2011, at 8:02 AM PDT
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  18. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sorry, my rant is not quite over.

    From the article:

    “Obama’s election was the self-affirmation of a nation that wanted to prove that the American dream was still alive. Not voting for Obama would have been cynical, timid and un-American.”

    This could only be written by someone who has absolutely no clue what it means to be American. Unfortunately, that includes at least 43% of Americans asked their opinion of Obama. And, hoo, the arrogance! As a German to believe you can identify un-Americanism!

    I’m not questioning anyone’s patriotism here. I just think there’s a certain American disposition which most Europeans, left or right, and many Americans, particularly on the left, do not embody. They are willing to submit to their betters, the experts, the officials.

    We know a lovely couple from the UK who moved here years ago and had their children here. They have moved to a community with a long-time building moratorium (making housing very expensive) and in which the codes and enforcement are so strict they will be forced to pay into escrow to make sure their remodel meets the standards. They are “subjects”, not free citizens.

    • #18
    • August 10, 2011, at 8:06 AM PDT
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  19. Paul A. Rahe Contributor

    When Ronald Reagan ran for office, he always got a bonus of 5% in the balloting not predicted in the polls. More people liked him than would admit it. My bet is that the opposite will prove true of Barack Obama. He is, after all, our first African-American President. More people dislike him (and his policies) than will admit it. Consider how they voted in 2010.

    • #19
    • August 10, 2011, at 8:33 AM PDT
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  20. Bolivar Inactive

    I would pity him more on the issue if he hadn’t encouraged a world-wide cult in the first place. Gotta take both the benefits and the consequences of one’s actions.

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: What on earth must it feel like to wake up and see headlines like this:

    Dashed Hopes: How Obama Disappointed the World

    I reckon the President right now has the singular distinction of having disappointed more people than any man in history–this just by virtue of global population.

    • #20
    • August 10, 2011, at 8:54 AM PDT
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  21. Trink Coolidge
    Trink Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Western Chauvinist: I’m with geneferei. That article is sumpin’ else!

    Are you disappointed by Obama? I’m not disappointed by Obama. I’m getting exactly, and I mean EXACTLY, the incompetence, destructiveness, and decline I expected. Domestically and internationally.

    Obama said we’re a great country (or at least suggested) he wants to fundamentally transform.

    Meanwhile the European social democracies are in tatters wherever they’re not on fire. I’ve got news for the Left. They’re not disappointed with Obama. They’re disappointed at their colossal failure of an ideology. · Aug 10 at 7:44am

    How true! How true! But they need a scapegoat for their adolescent rage.

    I too, liked Geneferei’s take and had already copied this for pasting when I read your rant:

    “Ed G. has an excellent point – Obama’s personal approval ratings are positively reality-defying, being miles above what the public thinks about what he actually says, does and stands for. I fear that all he has to do for victory in 2012 is sit behind his billion-dollar re-election stash, do nothing and let the MSM carry him over the line”.

    That is truly terrifying.

    • #21
    • August 10, 2011, at 9:50 AM PDT
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  22. Leslie Watkins Member
    Leslie Watkins Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Where is Maureen Dowd when you need her? Remember all her musings about the Shakespearean quality of the relationship between Bush Sr. and Jr.? Surely that relationship was far more akin to Irwin Shaw than Shakespeare, but not so the relationship between Barack Obama and the phantasm that is his father’s memory, an obviously haunting specter that clearly dominates his life. To my mind the son rules—I just can’t say “leads”—as if in his father’s absence: peremptorily, with steely affect, ego dripping from every edict. Every move he makes is a search for his father’s presence. I do not think he is capable of self-reflection. My guess is that he feels disappointed in us, not himself.

    • #22
    • August 10, 2011, at 10:53 AM PDT
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  23. grotiushug Inactive
    Western Chauvinist:

    I’m not questioning anyone’s patriotism here.

    Not to disagree with you; just wanted to say something about the matter of “questioning patriotism.” At least since the anti-war (actually anti-Bush) movement grew prominent in the decade just past, the left has more or less successfully deflected criticism of their positions by equating such criticism with denial of patriotism which is declared illegitimate in itself. It seems to me that if you want to “fundamentally transform” this country, or if you want to run up the debt so that there’s less and less money to fund the military or that you can declare some kind of emergency that requires ever greater consolidation of power to the federal government, well–it’s perfectly legitimate to question your love of country. You love it so much that you want it to be so very different than it is.

    Now, I understand very well that this might be counterproductive for conservatives to argue and therefore I don’t recommend it as a rhetorical strategy, but for the sake of clear thinking we should not be over-nice when we judge the positions of the opposition.

    • #23
    • August 10, 2011, at 10:57 AM PDT
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  24. Talleyrand Inactive

    I wonder if President Obama has selected his site for the Presidential Library yet? I hope he chooses the location wisely, or I can see the graffiti on it :. “Mene mene tekel upharsin”

    • #24
    • August 10, 2011, at 11:11 AM PDT
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  25. Talleyrand Inactive

    Duplicate

    • #25
    • August 10, 2011, at 11:11 AM PDT
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  26. RB Inactive
    RB

    Ms. Berlinski will never dissapoint the world.

    Still the first sentence of that article about how BHO ‘electrified the entire nation.’…. I guess I was off the grid, or something. Didn’t feel a thing, not even small snap of static electricity. I felt that a thin resume, coupled with an enormous ego could be a recipe for disaster….

    • #26
    • August 11, 2011, at 2:20 AM PDT
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  27. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    grotiushug

    Western Chauvinist:

    I’m not questioning anyone’s patriotism here.

    It seems to me that if you want to “fundamentally transform” this country … greater consolidation of power to the federal government, well–it’s perfectly legitimate to question your love of country. You love it so much that you want it to be so very different than it is.

    Now, I understand very well that this might be counterproductive for conservatives to argue and therefore I don’t recommend it as a rhetorical strategy, but for the sake of clear thinking we should not be over-nice when we judge the positions of the opposition. · Aug 10 at 10:57am

    Well, yeah, it’s pretty hard to square “fundamentally transform” with love of country, but somehow 54% of voters managed!! I don’t think it was malice as much as ignorance though. Most of them either didn’t know he said it, didn’t know what he meant by it (European-style socialism), or are really ignorant of the founding. The rest are leftists who voted for a leftist. Makes perfect sense.

    I’m pretty sure you can love your country and still foolishly advocate all the wrong policies.

    • #27
    • August 11, 2011, at 2:29 AM PDT
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  28. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Surely the deepest cut of all is appearing to prove that the bitter clingers were right all along?

    • #28
    • August 11, 2011, at 5:13 AM PDT
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  29. Paul DeRocco Member
    Paul DeRocco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What’s really frightening me is how apparently intelligent liberals can cling to so many beliefs that are so self-evidently false.

    How about “there is no longer any hope of reconciliation and unity, which was once the biggest and most hopeful promise of his candidacy.” The only people who felt that way were those people who so loved Obama that they couldn’t imagine anyone else not loving him. But those of us who saw through him from the start knew he’d be the most divisive president since Nixon.

    Or, “Many of his friends … are convinced that his ideal of bipartisanship is in fact detrimental to his own party when faced with the powerful, cynically calculating Republicans.” It takes willful blindness not to see the barely-concealed nastiness toward his political enemies, or the contrast with the gentlemanly Bush.

    “Compromise is the essence of democracy, but Obama’s willingness to compromise has now become a problem.” You mean raising spending to 25% of GDP, then agreeing to lower it to 24%?

    Liberals are living in a separate reality. An unreal reality. And it’s getting so widespread that it’s time to start really worrying.

    • #29
    • August 11, 2011, at 7:20 AM PDT
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  30. Elizabeth Dunn Inactive
    Paul A. Rahe: He will bide his time and seek revenge — on his successor, on Democrats less radical than he is, and on the American people.

    Aided and abetted by pals William Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn et al.

    • #30
    • August 11, 2011, at 10:35 AM PDT
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