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A truly great phony

We’ve routinely documented Obama’s verbal and historical gaffes over the past five years. Of the historical gaffes, one of my favorites is Obama discoursing on Nuremberg during the 2008 campaign. I wrote about that one in the New York Post column “Anti-terror oops.” Another is Obama invoking Churchill’s opposition to “torture” in the course of his 100-day press conference in 2009. I wrote about that one in “Obama veers into the Daily Ditch.” John has done the honors on “the Maldives” and “the corpse-man,” to take two of Obama’s verbal gaffes that, along with his historical gaffes, suggest a larger point.

The gaffes are characteristic of a type we all met in college: the great BS artist. Obama represents the type with a twist. He combines the BS with an arrogance that is unlovely to behold. I think it is in part the combination that causes Thomas Sowell to declare Obama “A truly great phony” and to introduce the edge in his conclusion:

Like other truly talented phonies, Barack Obama concentrates his skills on the effect of his words on other people — most of whom do not have the time to become knowledgeable about the things he is talking about. Whether what he says bears any relationship to the facts is politically irrelevant.

A talented con man, or a slick politician, does not waste his time trying to convince knowledgeable skeptics. His job is to keep the true believers believing. He is not going to convince the others anyway.

Back during Barack Obama’s first year in office, he kept repeating, with great apparent earnestness, that there were “shovel-ready” projects that would quickly provide many much-needed jobs, if only his spending plans were approved by Congress.

He seemed very convincing — if you didn’t know how long it can take for any construction project to get started, after going through a bureaucratic maze of environmental impact studies, zoning commission rulings and other procedures that can delay even the smallest and simplest project for years.

Only about a year or so after his big spending programs were approved by Congress, Barack Obama himself laughed at how slowly everything was going on his supposedly “shovel-ready” projects.

One wonders how he will laugh when all his golden promises about ObamaCare turn out to be false and a medical disaster. Or when his foreign policy fiascoes in the Middle East are climaxed by a nuclear Iran.

Obama’s “golden promises about Obamacare” (a/k/a “lies”) are a subject close to my heart. On that subject, see, e.g., Paul Gregory’s “Airbrushing away the numerous false promises of Obamacare.”

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