One of the unintended results of the redecoration of the Oval Office was the downsizing of Barack Obama. In last week’s prime-time address to the nation, the president sat behind a massive and capaciously empty desk, looking somehow smaller than he ever has — a man physically reduced by sinking polls, a lousy economy and the prospect that his party might lose control of Congress. Behold something we never thought we’d see with Obama: The Incredible Shrinking Presidency.
This is an amazing and, to me, somewhat frightening, turn of events. The folks who ran a very smart presidential campaign in 2008 have left the defining of the Obama presidency to others, in this case people on the edge of insanity. For example, a recent Pew poll reported that “nearly one in five Americans (18 percent) now say Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009.” In other words, the longer Obama has been in office, the more ignorant people have become about him.
Luckily, there’s still hope for these crazy kids yet, and Cohen has the solution:
The president needs better speechwriters. The president needs a staff to tell him not to give an Oval Office address unless he has something worthy of the Oval Office to say. The president needs someone to look into the camera so that, when the light goes on and he says, “Good evening,” he looks commander in chiefish: big. In other words, the president needs to fire some key people. Either that, or the way things are going, the American people are going to fire him.
Yes, that’s it! Better speechwriters! Because if there’s one thing America is clamoring for, it’s yet another Obama speech! You see, the problem with Obama’s plummeting poll numbers isn’t Obama himself; it simply can’t be. So it must be that the American people just haven’t gotten the message yet. As Bert Brecht famously wrote:
After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had thrown away the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
Meanwhile, over at Chris Matthews’s increasingly desperate leftist asylum, bigdomes like Howard Fineman, Norah O’Donnell, Mike Duffy and Cynthia Tucker — all of whom pretty much agree on everything — debated the looming disaster. Echoing something she’s written previously, Tucker declared that… well, let her speak, right after some mandatory fulsome praise of Obama’s formidable intellect by the host:
[youtube PJd_NFX76Tg&feature nolink]
Obama smarter than anybody on the panel? For once, Chris Matthews may have gotten something right.