The confidence man: His masquerade

For some time I have been trying to make the case that Barack Obama doesn’t know much about anything except how to win friends and influence people, and that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. See, for example, the columns “The Kennedy-Khruschev conference for dummies” and “Anti-terror oops.” In short, Obama is a bs artist. He is an extraordinary specimen, perhaps approaching the great American type of confidence man explored in literature by Herman Melville, Mark Twain, William Faulkner and Ralph Ellison.

In “Emperor Obama’s new clothes,” James Lewis invokes Hans Christian Andersen to explore the same phenomenon. Lewis does a good job with “one little example.” He writes:

On May 19 Senator Obama proclaimed Iran to be just “a tiny country.” That’s a tiny country with seventy million people, half of it covered with mountains that you can tunnel under for your nuclear hidey holes. A half-million men in the army plus the fanatical martyrs of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, a domestic terror apparatus to keep the people down, a growing nuclear and missile program, enough oil to finance it all, a strategic position at the head and the tiny choke-point of the Persian Gulf, a long, long imperial tradition, and an Islamofascist suicide ideology, thanks to Jimmy Carter’s good friend Ayatollah Khomeini. The regime of this tiny country had a habit of sending hundreds of young boys to blow up mine fields with their bodies, wearing green plastic “Keys to Paradise” around their necks. It controls the “Shiite Crescent” from Lebanon to the Gulf using its powerful alliance with Syria and Hezb’allah, supplied by our good friends the Russians and Chinese. The regime has a habit of blowing up American soldiers in Iraq with state-of-the-art shaped-charge explosives. Iran has performed high-altitude missile tests that could only be used to set off a nuclear EMP explosion, designed to cripple any modern nation by zapping its electrical and communication grids. It’s just a “tiny threat,” said Obama — until his staff told him that wasn’t quite right, and he quickly changed his tune.

Obama’s recommendation of the tire gauge and the tune-up to make up for the oil we would otherwise extract from areas in which drilling is currently prohibited is more of the same, though on this point his staff hasn’t gotten to him and he hasn’t changed his tune. Jake Tapper and Jim Geraghty find Obama reiterating his praise of the tire gauage as the overlooked remedy for our energy crisis yesterday. (What about tune-ups? Maybe his staff did say something to him.) In addition to his advocacy of tire inflation, Obama castigated his critics as “ignorant.” Name-calling is the last refuge of a bs artist.

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