I was struck by how dour and glib President Obama was in responding to the questions at last night’s news conference. Much of what he said in any given response was disingenuous at best, but understanding his lack of candor requires an ability to crack the code in which he speaks and a detailed knowledge of the subject he’s addressing. Minneapolis attorney Andrew Brehm concisely captures the nature of Obama’s performance:
He is simply intellectually dishonest. He is the master of the False Choice (pass the stimulus or do nothing & let the economy “tank”; socialize health care or “stand pat” — he said that last night), the Straw Man (the approach of putting moral “dogma” above “science”), the Scapegoat (those at the “commanding heights of our economy” (preface to his Budget) and the sly Non Sequitur (the breathtaking argument that to revive our economy and control spending, the government must take over health care and energy and expand federal spending on education). He deploys them in every argument he makes.
And did you see his response to the stem cell question he got last night? It was rich. Somebody asked him if he personally “struggled” with the morality of the decision he made. He said, yes, indeed he did. Say what? You just got done lecturing us that it was just a matter of following “science” rather than being slaves to “dogma.” He’s confused about his own moral confusion!
Obama insists that massive new federal spending on health care and education along with significant increases in the cost of energy are the key to the economic recovery, and that the economic recovery fostered by these policies will reduce the humongous budget deficits built into his present budget. These policies promoted by Obama in his remarks last night are among the “the internal contradictions of Obama-ism” explicated by John Steele Gordon in the forthcoming issue of Commentary.