John and Paul are both working on reactions to Obama’s speech as I type–and maybe we’ll actually have the first ever Power Line competition to post first on Obama’s latest divot, I mean pivot, to jobs in a speech about foreign policy. What was that about? (Actually I see John already beat me to it. Hey Scott: Care to play too, or is it past your bedtime?)
Someone emailed before the speech and asked if we’d live blog it, and I demurred. I decided to drunk blog it (sort of); I went to a bar and downed three whiskeys in the course of the speech. (And then went to a Bible study afterward; how’s that for peity?) It sure seemed like a three-whiskey speech, even though it was only 15 minutes.
Of course I had to spit out my (very expensive) whiskey when Obama said “ISIL is not Islamic.” Let me see if I have this straight: they call themselves the “Islamic State in Syria,” right? Does Obama suppose they chose this name in emulation of the various European “Christian Democrats,” who are fully secular? Somehow I doubt this.
This isn’t even artful. It would be worth attempting to drive a wedge in Islam, not between Sunni and Shia, but between the fanatics and the older tradition of what might be called “Islamic humanism” from, ironically enough, the Middle Ages. Aside from that unpleasantness around the time of the Crusades, this tradition could actually get along with Christians and Jews. In eclipse for centuries, it has been all but extinguished in the last 100 years. A really bold president would try to bring it back.
We don’t have a bold president. We have a JV president.