Liz Cheney on Obama’s speech: Unsurprisingly lame

posted at 3:25 pm on June 4, 2009 by Allahpundit

It was lame, or lame-ish, but not for the reason she gives. She wanted more tough talk on Iran to galvanize Sunni antipathy to their nuke program, but in fairness to The One, that’s not what this was about. It was a kumbaya singalong with Muslims, Shia included, and there’s no place for ultimatums in a drum circle. What made it lame, apart from didactic Mr. Rogers-esque pap like, “It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share,” was how few concrete solutions it offered, opting instead for the usual “le Change, c’est moi” persona-as-policy Obama shtick. As Andrew Bolt put it, “Of actual proposals to solve anything he has few. He’s offering not plans but himself. He is the Healer.” The NYT admitted the same thing buried 15 paragraphs in, natch. Politico actually reached this surreal depth in trying to rationalize why the speech was so important:

The 55-minute speech was remarkable and historic not so much for the delivery or even the words, but for the context, the orator, the moment. Obama included blunt talk about the United States, Israel, Iraq, his predecessor and al Qaeda.

When you’ve got the media calling you an oratorical genius notwithstanding the content or delivery of your speeches, you’ve got it made, kid.

Beyond the kumbaya, the most memorable bits were his whitewash of Islamic culture, culminating in the absurd assertion that every religion — including one that explicitly endorses holy war — is based on the Golden Rule. Gay Patriot, a conservative, wonders why The One had nothing to say about Islamic persecution of gays; Peter Daou, a liberal, wonders why the kaleidoscope of abuse women suffer in Muslim countries was ignored in favor of an endorsement of the hijab. At one point, to emphasize how both Israelis and Palestinians have suffered over the years, Obama even drew a tacit comparison between Gaza and, um, the Holocaust. Some bloggers, my esteemed colleague included, are impressed that The One did throw down the gauntlet on certain issues, like the fact that the Holocaust happened and that 9/11 was indeed perpetrated by Muslims, but to me that’s like having someone address a conference of flat-earthers and insist that the Earth is round. It takes no courage to do so, given the evidence; rather, it’s spine on the cheap, designed to give him cover as having “talked tough” to Muslims even though he didn’t talk tough on issues that really matter, like, say, the right of return. If he wanted to avoid contentious issues altogether in the name of kumbaya, fine, but don’t serve weak tea and then expect credit.

The strangest part? At one point, he lapsed into full-blown neoconservatism:

The fourth issue that I will address is democracy. I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.

That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.

That’s pure Bush, up to and including the caveat that we don’t seek to impose our values on others. Bush never couched his Iraq rhetoric in terms of bending Arabs to his will; his point was always an essentialist argument, as Obama’s is here, that human beings naturally desire to be free and to govern themselves and that he was merely giving Iraqis the chance to fulfill that desire by taking out Saddam. I.e., democracy isn’t our value, it’s everyone’s value. Is that true, though? I’d bet an awful lot of progressives and “realists” would beg to differ.

Anyway, here’s Cheney.

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What was the name of that guy who fell in love with himself while gazing at his reflection on the surface of a pond…?

Janos Hunyadi on June 4, 2009 at 4:30 PM

There was a very interesting article at American Thinker recently comparing Obama to Narcissus and the MSM to Echo–well worth reading.

JiangxiDad on June 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Never thought I’d see the day AP outflanks Ed on the Right. Good on ya old boy!

abobo on June 4, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Liz just gets better all the time.I wonder if she would consider coming to Pa. and running for Senate? Yeah,I know,—but I can dream can’t I?

DDT on June 4, 2009 at 4:50 PM

That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people.

Unfortunately, the government that 52% of Americans thought they were getting in November is not the same government that The One is molding here in June. Can he honestly say that his vision of America is a reflection of the will of the people?

Mallard T. Drake on June 4, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Better yet,Congress-12th ward.

DDT on June 4, 2009 at 4:51 PM

I’m tired of every burp out of the Obamessiah’s mouth being hailed as better than the Gettysberg Address. Nothing he said besides the raised in Indonesia part is something President Bush hadn’t said a million times before.

Speedwagon82 on June 4, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Palin/Cheney 2012

for zillionth time already.

Sapwolf on June 4, 2009 at 4:57 PM

JiangxiDad on June 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Yes, thanks, although I already know more than I want to about Obama’s self-love and de-lusions of grandeur.

I thought Bill Clinton was badly infected with this affliction, but Obama has taken It to new levels.

I challenge anyone to name ANY political leader in American history with such a bizarre and essentially juvenile Ego Putrefaction. Aaron Burr maybe, Stephen Douglas, FDR, with LBJ in the running and both Clintons getting Dishonorable Mention

but Obama Takes the Cake…………

Janos Hunyadi on June 4, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Sapwolf on June 4, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Palin/Cheney 2012
+1

christene on June 4, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Upstater85 on June 4, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Yes, but at what point do ‘contradictions’ become lies?

Everybody changes their mind–and thus contradicts a previous position–but knowingly stating falsehoods is lying. O’Bama is not brilliant but ain’t stupid: He knows that a significant amount of the information he stated is simply not true.

My fear; Obama lies, Israelis die

Janos Hunyadi on June 4, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Awesome wrap-up.

When you’ve got the media calling you an oratorical genius notwithstanding the content or delivery of your speeches, you’ve got it made, kid.

He’s such a clown.

Jaibones on June 4, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Yes, but at what point do ‘contradictions’ become lies?

Everybody changes their mind–and thus contradicts a previous position–but knowingly stating falsehoods is lying. O’Bama is not brilliant but ain’t stupid: He knows that a significant amount of the information he stated is simply not true.

My fear; Obama lies, Israelis die

Janos Hunyadi on June 4, 2009 at 5:06 PM

First, Teh One is infallible with his infinite wisdom.

Second, oh, he’s lying.

Upstater85 on June 4, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Janos Hunyadi on June 4, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Obama’s strength comes from knowing the white world from the inside, yet pretending to have the typical black experience. He has turned piggybacking the two into a source of uniqueness and power for himself, often unsettling opponents with the unexpected. He uses his mixed race heritage as a weapon. Yet he’s essentially a fraud, because he’s takes advantage of both communities for his own gain, and is nothing without both sources of strength–something he cannot admit to. I suspect that the way to take him down will be to focus on this source of his power and challenge it somehow. When he first began to run, the blacks began by questioning his authenticity. They stopped when he proved to be the best they could hope for–he looked the part at least, even if he knew nothing outside of books of the experience. I think revealing Obama’s history, something that is now kept hidden, is crucial to unmasking this fraud.

JiangxiDad on June 4, 2009 at 5:21 PM

Wow, smart, morals, the courage of her convictions, and hot … Liz would make a secretary of State.

Dukehoopsfan on June 4, 2009 at 5:28 PM

We now live in an alternate universe. The President goes to islama muslimland and quotes the Koran chapter and verse while telling us at home that we are not a Christian country but are one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. Then he tells them that we tortured innocent terrorists.

WTF? He is creating terrorists.

Nice work President Islama

Geochelone on June 4, 2009 at 5:30 PM

JiangxiDad on June 4, 2009 at 5:21 P

I agree that Obama’s career–and especially his campaign for POTUS and his presidency so far–are primarily about race. Race IS a Magic Weapon for him, and he does use it with a relentlessly clever skill.

Race makes him an Outsider who can know things that most Americans sllegedly can’t know or won’t admit.

Race gives him an Invisible Shield to deflect legitimate criticism and outrage over what he is doing, and trying to do.

Race gives him an excuse to lie, cheat, steal, etc. by giving him a bizarre variation of ‘victim’ status.

Most of all, race gives Obama a peculiar elevated status that–combined with the inherent power and prestige of the Presidency–he can exploit to dismantle the structure not only of our economy but of our society.

He’s already become the Caesar of this Republic: Pretending to preserve the system while picking it apart for his own benefit.

Janos Hunyadi on June 4, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Liz Cheney would make a way better president than Obama.

Terrye on June 4, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Wow, smart, morals, the courage of her convictions, and hot … Liz would make a great secretary of State.

Dukehoopsfan on June 4, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Dukehoopsfan on June 4, 2009 at 5:43 PM

As to the point about freedom, Tony Blair said the same thing as Bush and now Obama. Imagine that. Obama, a neo con. Sort of.

Terrye on June 4, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Liz Cheney will make a spectacular politician. I can see her, as President of the United States, in the “near” future. She is sharp and extremely knowledgeable, unlike the Kid Creole wannabe, presently holding that title.

sinsing on June 4, 2009 at 6:05 PM

I’m just an old guy, but I don’t understand why true feminists don’t bask in the pride, success and example of conservative women like Liz Cheney, Condi Rice, Sarah Palin, Laura Ingram, Michelle Malkin and yes, Ann Coulter. Conservative women seem to me to be so much stronger, articulate and intelligent. “The View” is a great example.

Star20 on June 4, 2009 at 6:06 PM

So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.

Say what?!

Systems of government certainly CAN be imposed upon one nation by another. Not only that, but that’s been a fairly routine practice thoughout the history of human civilization. Maybe they “shouldn’t” be, but they certainly “can” be.

Once again, truth and reality take a second place to a nice-sounding rhetorical phrase, regardless of its truth or accuracy.

Sheesh

Fatal on June 4, 2009 at 6:11 PM

sooo crushing on liz.
Love her. Run already and make me swoon…

Handel on June 4, 2009 at 8:43 PM

‘C mon people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now

The 70′s are calling and they want their moral relativism back.

Mojave Mark on June 4, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Liz totally hit it out of the park here.

bopone on June 4, 2009 at 9:31 PM

Not a policy speech? Everytime a President opens his mouth it’s policy.

- The Cat

MirCat on June 4, 2009 at 9:33 PM

That’s pure Bush, up to and including the caveat that we don’t seek to impose our values on others. Bush never couched his Iraq rhetoric in terms of bending Arabs to his will; his point was always an essentialist argument, as Obama’s is here, that human beings naturally desire to be free and to govern themselves and that he was merely giving Iraqis the chance to fulfill that desire by taking out Saddam. I.e., democracy isn’t our value, it’s everyone’s value. Is that true, though? I’d bet an awful lot of progressives and “realists” would beg to differ.

AP,

You completely misinterpreted Obama’s words. He’s saying that people of different cultures, heritages, and histories, as a result of those factors, prefer to live in a society where women wear hijabs or everyone lives under the rule of lifelong dictators, should have the freedom to do so, without efforts from the West to democratize them. As an American, Obama of course has a preference for open society and democracy, but he also understands that that may not be the case for Sunnis and Shias in the Middle East. A government that “reflects the will of the people” therefore looks wholly different in, say, Egypt than in America. Hence the statement about women that may rub some progressives here in America the wrong way. This indicates a profound difference between Bush and Obama. The former sought to impose his view of how people should live on a society that represents a history and culture entirely different from his own, while the latter understands that those differences must be respected, and that when they are not, there are severe consequences, like a needless 10-year quagmire in Iraq. BTW, Bush’s rhetoric regarding spreading his fashion of spreading democracy is irrelevant. His actions said enough. Your claim that having started a war of choice with a country that turned out not to be a significant threat to us was not in some way an attempt to force democracy upon a nation is laughable. If his theory was correct, why are there Iraqis still demanding that we leave?

underceij on June 4, 2009 at 10:10 PM

Liz Cheney gives me hope for change.

ndulik on June 4, 2009 at 10:58 PM

Conservative women–pretty AND smart. Libs: not so much.

tbear44 on June 5, 2009 at 12:42 AM

Michelle Obama was again, AWOL? On his second trip to a Muslim nation, Mrs. Obama was again, noticeably missing…WHY???

It’s a known fact, that Muslim dignitaries don’t travel with their wives at the their side, or like a pet poodle, following up the rear. JMHO, but I still believe, the OPrompter-In-Chief is still a closet Muslim!

byteshredder on June 5, 2009 at 2:19 AM

Just another can’t we find the middle ground speech by Bam. He’s trying to move the Arabs and other Muslims off their hard line stance, just as he tries to move Pubs off theirs. Didn’t offer them anything new just more of him. He never offers solutions just more words. Palestine was never a country, only a region in countries that came and went. Some of it is now contained in Isreal. Greenhouse gas, and Darwinism are still theories but that doesn’t make them legitimate.

Kissmygrits on June 5, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Comment pages: 1 2