"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Jekyll-Hyde President

Great stuff today from Victor Davis Hanson at NRO:

As the campaign heats up, one problem is that we continue to meet lots of different Barack Obamas — to such a degree that we don’t know which, if any, is really president.

I think the president believes that private-equity firms harm the economy and that their CEOs are at best indifferent and sometimes unsympathetic to the struggle of average Americans. I say “I think” because Obama has himself collected millions of dollars from such profit-driven firms, and uses their grandees to raise cash for his reelection. Cynical, hypocritical, or unaware? You decide.

I think the president is in favor of publicly funded campaign financing but against super PACs; but again I say “I think” because Obama renounced the former and embraced the latter. Are Guantanamo, renditions, tribunals, and preventive detention constitutional necessities or threats to our security? Some of Obama’s personalities have said they are bad; others apparently believe them to be good.

One Barack Obama crisscrosses the country warning us that a sinister elite has robbed from the common good and must atone for destroying the economy. Another Barry Obama hits the golf links in unapologetically aristocratic fashion and prefers Martha’s Vineyard for his vacation. So I am confused about the evil 1 percent. Obama 1 feels they have shorted the country and must now pay their fair share, while Obama 2 feels they are vital allies in helping the poor by attending his $40,000-a-plate campaign dinners.
To me, the takeaway is not just that Obama is cynical and/or hypocritical.   I think (and I've thought for some time now) that he's just not that smart.   This whole "smartest man ever to be President" stuff is malarkey.   I think he reads what gets put in front of him off a teleprompter and doesn't realize that it's different from what he's said elsewhere, or else when he actually speaks his mind it comes out as mean-spirited radical leftist cant, which naturally runs afoul of the non-partisan centrist load of crap that his handlers have gotten him to recite since 2007, but he doesn't register the difference because it's "just words."

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