Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speech writer, has had an awakening to who Barack Obama is. Noonan gets on my last nerve when she says the Obama adminstration is no better than the Bush administration, as she is fond of saying. Today, she kinda gets it, but she doesn’t think Obama is a socialist. She acknowledges that he is not “genuine,” but that is because he is a socialist or worse. She has to know this if she understands policy or the Constitution. (all emphasis mine)
Maybe the most important word that described Clinton and Bush but not Obama is ‘genuine.'” He “doesn’t exude any feeling that what he says and does is genuine.” ~ Peggy Noonan
He cannot be 100% genuine about his policies, because his policies are not nearly as far Left as he intends to take them. He cannot reveal the fiscal-policy-yearnings hidden deep in his heart and his psyche.
It is that nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton’s troubles there were always people who’d say, “Look, I love the guy.” They’d often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren’t that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support. And surely this has implications.
The past few weeks I’ve asked Democrats who supported him how they feel about him. I got back nothing that showed personal investment. Here are the words of a hard-line progressive and wise veteran of the political wars: “I never loved Barack Obama. That said, among my crowd who did ‘love’ him, I can’t think of anyone who still does.” Why is Mr. Obama different from Messrs. Clinton and Bush? “Clinton radiated personality. As angry as folks got with him about Nafta or Monica, there was always a sense of genuine, generous caring.” With Bush, “if folks were upset with him, he still had this goofy kind of personality that folks could relate to. You might think he was totally misguided but he seemed genuinely so. . . . Maybe the most important word that described Clinton and Bush but not Obama is ‘genuine.'” He “doesn’t exude any feeling that what he says and does is genuine.”
In 2008, the voters went for Mr. Obama thinking he was not a Nut but a
cool and sober moderate of the center-left sort. In 2009 and 2010, they
looked at his general governing attitudes as reflected in his
preoccupations—health care, cap and trade—and their hidden, potential
and obvious costs, and thought, “Uh-oh, he’s a Nut!”
He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years, which need rebuking; his victory would provide a fresh start in a nation in which a fresh start would come as a national relief. He climbed steep stairs, born off the continent with no father to guide, a dreamy, abandoning mother, mixed race, no connections. He rose with guts and gifts. He is steady, calm, and, in terms of the execution of his political ascent, still the primary and almost only area in which his executive abilities can be discerned, he shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult, what steps to take and moves to make. We witnessed from him this year something unique in American politics: He took down a political machine without raising his voice….
…conservatives must honor prudence, and ask if the circumstances accompanying an Obama victory will encourage the helpful moderation and nonpartisan spirit these supporters attempt, in their endorsements, to demonstrate….
And there is this. The past few months as the campaign unfolded, I listened for Mr. Obama to speak thoughtfully about the life issues, including abortion. Our last Democratic president knew what that issue was, and knew by nature how to speak of it. Bill Clinton famously said, over and over, that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” The “rare” mattered. It set a tone, as presidents do, and made an important concession: You only want a medical practice to be rare when it isn’t good. For Mr. Obama, whose mind tends, as intellectuals’ minds do, toward the abstract, it all seems so . . . abstract. And cold. And rather suggestive of radical departures. “That’s above my pay grade.” Friend, that is your pay grade, that’s where the presidency lives, in issues like that.
But let’s be frank. Something new is happening in America. It is the imminent arrival of a new liberal moment.
Something new certainly did happen in America. We don’t like it.
Peggy Noonan on a Boorish Obama (video)