Andrew Ferguson has undertaken the difficult task of wading through the collected speeches of Obama administration NEH Chairman Jim Leach. Having done so myself, as Andy kindly observes, I can say with authority that he has suffered for his readers. The Weekly Standard has made Andy’s report the cover story of its new issue, out this morning.
The appointment of Leach to the NEH represents the degradation of the arts agencies under Obama. As Andy writes: “Obama’s choice of a brassy Broadway financier [Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the NEA] and a retired professional politician to be his intellectual ambassadors reveals in the president a sensibility that is neither lowbrow nor highbrow, but no brow — a consuming political calculator working outside any consideration of the arts or the humanities at all.”
Leach is a joke, but he signifies something important — probably several things. Among them are the politicization of every damned thing in the Age of Obama and the stupefying power of liberal shibboleths.
Obama’s Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities cannot write an intelligible English sentence. Leach’s speeches make the prose specimens dissected by George Orwell in “Politics and the English Language” look like Shakespeare.
Leach also signifies the political uses to which the theme of “civility” can be put. Ferguson’s essay rightly zeroes in on this point. Leach is part of the great leftist apparatus seeking to shut conservatives up.
Reading Leach’s speeches can kill brain cells; you feel yourself becoming duller by degrees. Ferguson has survived the experience to report on what he calls “Civility, Obama style.” Please check it out.