Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on May 24, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

On his tour of Ireland, Barack O’Bama hoisted a Guiness, chatted with the people of Moneygall, played with a hurling stick, and of course gave a speech. For the most part, the speech was fine — the usual blarney that accompanies interaction between American politicians of both parties and the Irish. One part, however, will have tongues wagging in London and perhaps particularly Belfast (via Daniel Foster):

“Yours is also a history of proud and defiant endurance, of a nation that kept alive the flame of knowledge in dark ages that overcame occupation and outlived fallow fields, that tramped over its troubles – of a resilient people that beat all the odds.”

Occupation?  England invaded and conquered Ireland more than occupied it; the British believed for much longer than the US has been in existence that they owned the place.  The German Army and SS occupied France in World War II, but they didn’t claim to own it.  O’Bama has the right idea — the Irish spent centuries in throwing off the yoke of British tyranny — but chose a poorly-considered word to describe it.

Put aside the semantics for now, though.  O’Bama’s next stop is London, where Queen Elizabeth is still celebrated as the monarch of Great Britain, Scotland, and Northern Ireland — a six-county region on the same island that the UK still controls.  Is Obama claiming that to be an occupation as well?  If not, perhaps he can explain just when the “occupation” in the North ended.  His hosts in London would probably love to hear that explanation.

Note: The subheader cumhact chliste is my attempt to translate the phrase “smart power” into Irish.  I’m a bit rusty in Irish, but I think that’s pretty close.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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The Israeli situation must really have him spooked, he’s got occupation on the mind.

JimK on May 24, 2011 at 8:08 AM

I can’t wait till he tells them Great Britain needs to go back to it’s 1066 borders.

VelvetElvis on May 24, 2011 at 8:11 AM

O’Bama’s next stop is London

Where he’ll scold the Normans for acting stupidly, bow to Queen Elizabeth (but not as deeply as he did to Hu) and apologize for that Revolutionary War thing, explaining that Washington clearly committed war crimes when crossing the Delaware.

trubble on May 24, 2011 at 8:12 AM

just another in a series of gaffes toward the UK
(returning the bust, the DVD set, etc)

cmsinaz on May 24, 2011 at 8:12 AM

O’Bama loathes Britain just as he loathes Israel.

This is all part of the New Diplomacy he promised us.

Laurence on May 24, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Or he tells Great Britain that America is going back to its pre-1776 borders…

albill on May 24, 2011 at 8:13 AM

O’Bama’s next stop is London

Maybe he plans this time on giving the Queen a new upgraded iPod with even more of his speeches on it, plus a couple Justin Bieber tunes thrown in for good measure.

pilamaye on May 24, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Barack O’Bama

now that’s funny!

ted c on May 24, 2011 at 8:13 AM

That meeting with Queen Elizabeth will be about as chilly as a meat locker.

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 24, 2011 at 8:14 AM

I think a better part of that to highlight is “that tramped over its troubles”.

The Troubles is the term given to the decades long campaign of terrorism carried out by the IRA and their cohorts that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people in Northern Ireland along with others in Ireland and in England.

Jay Mac on May 24, 2011 at 8:15 AM

That meeting with Queen Elizabeth will be about as chilly as a meat locker.

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 24, 2011 at 8:14 AM

I wonder if he’ll offer to update her iPod…?

ted c on May 24, 2011 at 8:16 AM

he’s got occupation on the mind.

JimK on May 24, 2011 at 8:08 AM

He’s always got “occupation” on his mind; that being his own. The manchild has been campaigning for 5 years already.

rmel80 on May 24, 2011 at 8:16 AM

I’m a bit rusty in Irish, but I think that’s pretty close

yeah, but how’s your Austrian?/

ted c on May 24, 2011 at 8:17 AM

His was a tale told by an amadán, lán de ghlór agus chlampar, gan chiall ann.

apostic on May 24, 2011 at 8:17 AM

The Obama Doctrine “Open Mouth Insert Foot” :)

philly_PA on May 24, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Guinness? What sort of message is that sending the youth of America who are overweight; beer is fattening.

Bishop on May 24, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Here’s my best attempt at Irish: Faith and Begorrah what’s that fookin fool doin here and why can’t he even get his fookin motor out of the fookin parkin lot at all, at all?

mr.blacksheep on May 24, 2011 at 8:22 AM

‘Chalaque’. Too clever by half.

petefrt on May 24, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Guinness? What sort of message is that sending the youth of America who are overweight; beer is fattening.

Bishop on May 24, 2011 at 8:19 AM

I’ve stoutly* maintained that one should have a beer that counts as its own food group.

*Yeah. Pun. Sue me.

apostic on May 24, 2011 at 8:24 AM

a history of proud and defiant endurance, of a nation that kept alive the flame of knowledge in dark ages that overcame occupation and outlived fallow fields, that tramped over its troubles

…the flame of knowledge that tramped over its troubles…what a dunce, this Ivy Beleaguered potus.

Dark Ages is the negative metaphor for the Medieval Era. The Irish Celts never succumbed to the Roman Army, whereas England fell.

If Obama’s referencing the great potato famine, the fields were NOT fallow, “resting” unused. Not at all. The English Landlords over-farmed the land, creating the blight on the earthen potato. There was yet a harvest, but the entirety of the “good” crop was exported from Ireland for the British to consume. And the British Parliament blamed the Irish farmers for their own starvation as retribution from God Almighty.

As per “occupied”, the English Landlords most certainly did occupy Ireland, using the indigenous population as serfs on their own lands, the conquerors disregarding property rights all together as Monarchs handed out plundered land as duchies, etc.

maverick muse on May 24, 2011 at 8:29 AM

The Irish love Americans and hate the British. They’re in agreement with Obama 50% of the time.

Fallon on May 24, 2011 at 8:31 AM

LOL! Can we count up how many different groups/countries Obama has offended? Hopefully he’ll keep spewing his world view right up until next November, but something tells me one of those long family vacations is coming real soon.

txhsmom on May 24, 2011 at 8:32 AM

The Obama Doctrine “Open Mouth Insert Foot” :)

philly_PA on May 24, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Eh, so that’s what they’re calling the ol’ peck-o-wood these days.

maverick muse on May 24, 2011 at 8:32 AM

When he was sipping the Guinness with the pinky finger raised he must have thought it was some chardonnay.

JammieWearingFool on May 24, 2011 at 8:34 AM

The Irish need is another Queen Boudica.

‘They are men who bathe in warm water, eat artificial dainties, drink unmixed wine, anoint themeselves with myrrh, sleep on soft couches and are slaves to the incompetent lyre player’ – On the Romans

Fallon on May 24, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Pretend that says, “The Irish need another Queen Boudica.” Coffee! More coffee!

Fallon on May 24, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Is it any surprise O thinks that Britain occupied Ireland? He loathes and detests Britain — it’s very, very personal with him due to Britain’s occupation of Kenya — so of course he would use that inflammatory word and believe it whole-heartedly.

He didn’t send back Churchill’s bust because he loves GBR, you know.

-Aslan’s Girl, God save the Queen!

Aslans Girl on May 24, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Bam says return to
1607 Borders…
Sounds reasonable.

Haiku Guy on May 24, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Yeah, that wasn’t smart. There’s all kinds of lingering badness in this situation and he shouldn’t have picked at that scab.

Let’s add a little recent history. England has suffered a century of Irish terrorist attacks largely funded by Americans. How’s that for awk-ward?

S. Weasel on May 24, 2011 at 8:39 AM

I just hope the wind stops messing up Micheles hairdo.

ctmom on May 24, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Fallon on May 24, 2011 at 8:35 AM

So they can eventually get crushed by “Nero’s Killing Machine”, the 14th Legion?

Bishop on May 24, 2011 at 8:45 AM

Having ancestors from both England and Ireland (real ones, not the Obama kind), I find myself at odds…with myself. Haven’t planted any bombs under my own car yet, but give me time and sufficient uice beatha. Thank God I don’t have an Scots in me or I’d be charging my own family picnics in face-paint wearing a kilt and swinging a Claymore. Meanwhile my German DNA sits back with a wry smile and my native American DNA hopes they don’t move over here.

SKYFOX on May 24, 2011 at 8:45 AM

Too bad a typical Irish knock-out/drag-out bar fight didn’t happen while he was sipping that Guinness like a pansy. Otherwise, he would have shown Ireland just how much of a Chicago brawler he “says he is”!

With emphasis on the “says he is” part.

pilamaye on May 24, 2011 at 8:47 AM

an = any (I use preview but it doesn’t help- Sigh.)

SKYFOX on May 24, 2011 at 8:47 AM

‘Chalaque’. Too clever by half.

petefrt on May 24, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Bloody genius I say

darwin-t on May 24, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Some words just don’t serve the narrative of whatever story is being told. “Occupation” has that forced servitude flavor to it that just screams “Victim, victim, victim!” Ø wants to link the Irish Republic experience under the English to the black experience in antebellum America as a way to relate. One of the best ways is noting a shared experience with a “Somebody done me wrong” song.
.
Now, if we could just get Ø to understand the boot on the neck of the American economy exerted by government with over-regulation, excessive taxation, unfunded mandates, and crony capitalism then he would have some actual wrongs analogous to “occupation” to correct.
.
Is it too much to ask that he get beyond his economic ignorance, political biases, and administrative ineptitude to unleash the power of the American producer once again?

ExpressoBold on May 24, 2011 at 8:48 AM

maverick muse on May 24, 2011 at 8:29 AM

He thinks that they are as stupid as the communities he organized back in Illinois.

darwin-t on May 24, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Is Bill Ayers writing Barack O’Blarney’s speeches now too? Beyond the awful, provocative use of the word “occupation”, why is it that he claims that he was there to find the Moneygall Obamas? The fact is there is nothing Irish about the Kenyan Obamas; his Irish heritage is through his mother, a Dunham.

Also note this weird stuff about appearing in a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, with the garbage-sweepers following behind him. W.T.F. is the point of including that detail in this anecdote? He’s a very strange person, and that’s about the kindest thing I can say about him.

Buy Danish on May 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Big ears is simply a national embarassment that unfortunately will not go away even if defeated next year.

More liberal unintended consequences to endure…

golfmann on May 24, 2011 at 9:06 AM

O’Bama loathes Britain just as he loathes Israel.

This is all part of the New Diplomacy he promised us.

Laurence on May 24, 2011 at 8:13 AM

And that’s a weird one, because Britain loathes Israel as much as he does.

ProfessorMiao on May 24, 2011 at 9:15 AM

If we had a “Michelle Obamateurism of the Day”, surely this would be it.

Why, it even tops her “Grinch” hairdo from yesterday!

God’s got a sense of humor these last two days, lol!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on May 24, 2011 at 10:03 AM

That meeting with Queen Elizabeth will be about as chilly as a meat locker.

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 24, 2011 at 8:14 AM

I wonder if he’ll offer to update her iPod…?

ted c on May 24, 2011 at 8:16 AM

He’ll probably get extravagant and just give her another one with the full load.

I really don’t believe that the Bammie-speeches iPods are primarily for gifts. I believe they are for him to watch over and over again. When the happy couple settles in for the night, the question is not Leno or Letterman, it’s “what speech should we watch tonight dear?” Wife and kids have to hate it. This is the nature of a narcissist.

slickwillie2001 on May 24, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Occupation?

About time for America to usher Obama into a new occupation.

coldwarrior on May 24, 2011 at 10:20 AM

If we had a “Michelle Obamateurism of the Day”, surely this would be it.

Why, it even tops her “Grinch” hairdo from yesterday!

God’s got a sense of humor these last two days, lol!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on May 24, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Holy cow! I’m beginning to feel sorry for her.

itsacookbook on May 24, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Occupation eh? Are we going to start a NATO air raid on England now, with no declaration of war?

I hope Brits , and the Irish are smart enough to see thru the Obama’s. They hate Britain, and all this trip is, is a get out of town after Obama’s heated things up tour.

capejasmine on May 24, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Our dear leader is just continuing his policy of trashing host countries while forgetting our history as well. We occupy this country that we took by force from the natives who were living here at the time. Oh, and we fought a war with the Spanish, who occupied Mexico, over the SW. Did this guy take any history classes at all?

Kissmygrits on May 24, 2011 at 10:33 AM

The queen isn’t smiling in that picture, neither is the Won. Must have been a very cool reception at the palace.

Kissmygrits on May 24, 2011 at 10:35 AM

played with a hurling stick

He makes me want to hurl…

Mr. Grump on May 24, 2011 at 11:15 AM

When he hoisted that Guinness, he said “Cheers.” That too was an Obamateurism of the Day. In Ireland, you say Sláinte.

Mike Morrissey on May 24, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Eh.

Wouldn’t be that big an issue if they didn’t push this stumbling dope as such a “Great Orator”.

Tim_CA on May 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM

I wonder if Obama ever sent money to the IRA.

Probably not, since he’s such a cheapskate with his own money.

disa on May 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

When he hoisted that Guinness, he said “Cheers.” That too was an Obamateurism of the Day. In Ireland, you say Sláinte.

Mike Morrissey on May 24, 2011 at 11:45 AM

I still wonder how he got into the Ivy League without a foreign language. I know it’s mandatory for the rest of us.

disa on May 24, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Every time he opens his mouth…

carbon_footprint on May 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Barack O’Bummer is more apt.

Schadenfreude on May 24, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Náire go dtí na Stáit Aontaithe

Mike Morrissey on May 24, 2011 at 2:29 PM