Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"Obama on North Korea"


Literally engaged in "Hand Waving."

When in doubt his preference is always to lie. About the past present or future, he knows nothing or looks to kick the can down the road. There is no evidence that Obama has done any homework nor is there any evidence that he has ever sat down and constructed an argument that took more than four pages to lay out. Nor is there any evidence that he has any familiarity with the accumulated intellectual capital of Western Civilization.

novanglus,
Most American Presidents have been decently educated and met popular expectations in filling their rhetoric, both formal and off the cuff, with references that were not solely drawn from a speechwriter's clipping book. While I might not agree with Bill Clinton on most policy issues, I am reasonably confident that he is a person who genuinely enjoys immersing himself in the details before he speaks on policy and who is reasonably familiar with the basic texts of the Western intellectual and literary traditions as taught in good college preparatory programs during the 1960s and by the Jesuits at Georgetown. Reagan had a good education at a time when most did not get to go to college and his off camera work ethic was prodigious. While we have had other Presidents who were arrogant and ignorant, Jimmy Carter leads the list, I do not think that any have demonstrated the sheer lazy shallowness of Obama.

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We may never see his birth certificate or his transcripts but does anybody think that we could subpoena him to produce a ten page paper complete with index cards that match the footnotes?

novanglus,
(who decried the narrowness of Obama's education)
Yes as a transfer he would I believe have skipped out on the Western Civ course, which was still the jewel of Columbia’s BA program at that time.

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At work I am with many young people. Liberals in their teens and twenties, some in law school or college, overwhelmingly their ethical stance can be boiled down to narcissistic contempt. Obama speaks directly to them. The only way to break his grip on them will be to relentlessly ridicule him and treat him with contempt until it becomes embarrassing to be associated with him. This is hard for conservatives to do because it goes against their social instincts that honor three things, the office, the traditions of civil discourse and the dignity and liberty of all human beings.

The other day I was explaining to one of the youths what a gentleman is. My text comes I believe from Tolstoy but I am not sure if the character was Vronsky in Anna Karenina or one of the officers (possibly Prince Andrei?) in War and Peace. The working definition of a gentleman is "A man who strives never to be unintentionally rude." As a military officer you must be ready to kill people and that is a very rude thing to do indeed. When done it should be due to necessity and deliberately. It should be done with malice of forethought as opposed to carelessly or in a fit of pique.

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