July 22, 2018


This conservative would take Obama back in a nanosecond (Max Boot, July 20, 2018, Washington Post)

All of his faults, real as they were, fade into insignificance compared with the crippling defects of his successor. And his strengths -- seriousness, dignity, intellect, probity, dedication to ideals larger than self -- shine all the more clearly in retrospect.

Those thoughts are prompted by watching Obama's speech in South Africa on the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth. I was moved nearly to tears by his eloquent defense of a liberal world order that President Trump appears bent on destroying.

The first thing that struck me was what was missing: There was no self-praise and no name-calling. Obama has a far better claim than Trump to being a "very stable genius," but he didn't call himself one. The sentences were complete and sonorous -- and probably written by the speaker himself. (Imagine Trump writing anything longer than a tweet -- and even those are full of mistakes.) The tone was sober and high-minded, even if listeners could read between the lines a withering critique of Trump's policies.

Obama denounced the "politics of fear and resentment," the spread of "hatred and paranoia and propaganda and conspiracy theories," and "immigration policies based on race, or ethnicity, or religion." Gee, wonder who he had in mind? He rightly noted that "we now stand at a crossroads -- a moment in time at which two very different visions of humanity's future compete for the hearts and minds of citizens around the world." He then rejected the dark vision propagated by Trump and the dictators he so admires. [...]

Can you believe that an Obama-era scandal was that the president wore a tan suit or put his feet up on the desk? (Actual Washington Times headline from Sept. 4, 2013: "Obama's foot on Oval Office desk sends shockwaves around the world.") Oh, to have those days back again -- before we had a president who was involved in indecent relationships with a Russian despot and (allegedly) a porn star.

What was supposedly the worst abuse of power committed by the Obama administration -- the IRS investigations of conservative organizations -- has been revealed as "fake news": It turns out that the IRS was also investigating liberal organizations. 

In an excellent episode of EconTalk, Russ Roberts and Jonah Goldberg surprise themselves by how much it turns out they agreed with the UR about and Mr. Goldberg ends with a soliloquy that would not be out of place at BrothersJudd.

Posted by at July 22, 2018 11:20 AM