Matt Patterson, Washington Post on Barack Obama – I too have become disillusioned

Sep 14, 2012


By Matt Patterson (columnist – Washington Post, New York Post, San
Francisco Examiner)****

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Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as
an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a baffling breed of
mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they
will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so
many into thinking he could manage the world’s largest economy, direct the
world’s most powerful military, execute the world’s most consequential job?
Imagine a future historian examining Obama’s pre-presidential life: ushered
into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores
along the way; a cushy non-job as a “community organizer”; a brief career
as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly
devoid of his attention, so often did he vote “present”); and finally an
unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of
which was devoted to his presidential ambitions.****

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He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation
as a legislator. And then there is the matter of his troubling
associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades
served as Obama’s “spiritual mentor”; a real-life, actual terrorist who
served as Obama’s colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a
future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man
elected president?****

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Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz
addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be sure, no
white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of
America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers,
would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and
therefore entitled in the eyes of liberal Dom to have hung out with
protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit
extreme, he was given a pass. Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass -
held to a lower standard – because of the color of his skin.****

Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history matter
when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said)
“non-threatening,” all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the
first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?****

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama
phenomenon – affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But
certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws
and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and
especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.****

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Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on
the back. Liberals routinely ****

admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no
responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates
which follow. Liberals don’t care if these minority students fail; liberals
aren’t around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self-esteem
resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist.
Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his
skin – that’s affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn’t racism,
then nothing is.****

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And that is what America did to Obama. True, Obama himself was never
troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have
noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite
undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for
the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois ; he was told he was
good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his
life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next
step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.****

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What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every
time Obama speaks? In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive
qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama’s oratory skills, intellect,
and cool character. Those people – conservatives included – ought now to be
deeply embarrassed.****

The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clich=E9s, and that’s when he
has his Teleprompters in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can
barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from
his mouth – it’s all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over
and over again for 100 years.****

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and
everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited
this mess. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise
his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But
really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for
anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?****

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In short: our president is a small and small-minded man, with neither the
temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand that,
and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and
prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in
the Oval Office.****

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