Obama finally apologizes — to art history majors

posted at 6:41 pm on February 18, 2014 by Allahpundit

Leave it to this guy to finally uncork a mea culpa on the very least of his sins as president, in a matter where he actually had half a point. Remember a few weeks ago when he was talking up the value of vocational training and mentioned art history as an example of a college major that might render you unemployable by comparison? No, of course you don’t. It was a throwaway remark, barely worth mentioning, in service to a point everyone agrees on — college is egregiously expensive so make sure what you’re studying is likely to pay off after graduation. If you don’t want to take on fifty grand or more in debt, skip it and learn a trade instead.

Simple, and sound advice for kids who aren’t as academically inclined as others. But no offense must go untaken, so he had to pay for singling out art history as the ultimate post-graduation crapshoot. A professor at the University of Texas sent the White House an e-mail complaining (“I’m pretty sure that my email was not so much one of outrage at his statement, but rather a ‘look at what we do well’ statement”) and The One dutifully responded with a personal apology. He won’t apologize for reducing America’s health-insurance industry to chaos but show him that he’s affronted academia and he’s on the case.

Ann —

Let me apologize for my off-the-cuff remarks. I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history. As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed.

So please pass on my apology for the glib remark to the entire department, and understand that I was trying to encourage young people who may not be predisposed to a four year college experience to be open to technical training that can lead them to an honorable career.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

The reason I say he had only half a point about art history is because — here, just read Virginia Postrel, who’s written about this more than once. There’s no denying that some people would be better off skipping college but (a) most kids do major in “practical” disciplines like business and the sciences, with art history drawing only a tiny percentage of each class, and (b) if you’re dead set on the humanities, art history is arguably as effective as any other in teaching you critical thinking. (If you’re considering law or business school after graduation, your choice of major may not matter.) If anything, the most offensive thing O said in all this was implying that some significant chunk of college kids might still be clueless enough about the state of the economy after five years of Hopenchange that they’d pick a major without an eye to their employment prospects. Their age demographic has taken the economic equivalent of a two-by-four to the face since the financial crisis. Only the very dumbest (or richest) are picking their majors without weighing the job market afterward. The argument against college is just that — an argument against college, not against art history specifically.


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It was a throwaway remark, barely worth mentioning

So was his initial sales pitch for 0bamacare, and look where that got us.

CurtZHP on February 18, 2014 at 6:43 PM

I M P E A C H

TX-96 on February 18, 2014 at 6:43 PM

What could go wrong:

Stephen Crowley @Stcrow
Follow

Leaders from Civil Rights groups meeting w President Obama @ White House re criminal justice reform. w Al Sharpton.

davidk on February 18, 2014 at 6:44 PM

No, they should apologize to us for taking a major that`ll have them jobless and making me pay for their student loans.

ThePrez on February 18, 2014 at 6:45 PM

You’ve got a lot of apologizing ahead of you, buddy. Perhaps you can start with the nuns you’re forcing to pay for prophylactic services. Or the bitter clingers who believe in the Second Amendment. Or…

…I give up. Just finish your term and go away. Of course, WE ALL KNOW YOU WON’T. UNLIKE BUSH, YOU HAVE NO MODESTY. WE’LL BE HEARING FROM YOU UNTIL WE’RE DEAD.

xNavigator on February 18, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Way to stick to your guns, trying to persuade youngsters to pursue college degrees that aren’t totally worthless to the vast majority.

besser tot als rot on February 18, 2014 at 6:47 PM

i do not accept your apology… lol

Sachiko on February 18, 2014 at 6:50 PM

art history (which is pretty much what my major is) isn’t any more worthless than lots and lots of other degrees. many degrees do almost nothing to teach actual job skills. but still, lots of employers want a bachelor’s degree in something, anything. so my parents wanted me to get a bachelor’s degree.

Sachiko on February 18, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Obamalini… El Douche!

Key West Reader on February 18, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Being Barack HUSSEIN Obama means NEVER having to say you’re sorry, despite being the biggest incompetent idiot ever to walk the face of the Earth.

ConstantineXI on February 18, 2014 at 6:58 PM

I think Obama’s teleprompter wrote that apology.

albill on February 18, 2014 at 6:58 PM

…I give up. Just finish your term and go away. Of course, WE ALL KNOW YOU WON’T. UNLIKE BUSH, YOU HAVE NO MODESTY. WE’LL BE HEARING FROM YOU UNTIL WE’RE DEAD.

xNavigator on February 18, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Daily press releases from The Office of the President Emeritus, complete with creepy 0-shaped logo. Bank on it.

CurtZHP on February 18, 2014 at 6:59 PM

As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed.

Wow, what a coincidence. Not only did it bring him joy he might otherwise have missed, but it fits conveniently in an apology.

Flange on February 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM

art history (which is pretty much what my major is) isn’t any more worthless than lots and lots of other degrees.

Sachiko on February 18, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Yes. Well, that is true. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make any of them worth the money or time. I’d strongly suggest majoring in something else, if it’s not too late.

besser tot als rot on February 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM

It was a throwaway remark, barely worth mentioning
So was his initial sales pitch for 0bamacare, and look where that got us.

CurtZHP on February 18, 2014 at 6:43 PM

That!

Fathom on February 18, 2014 at 7:01 PM

I learned from my art history class that the “hope” poster was really,really bad art and was produced by a guy named Fairey.

cosifantutte on February 18, 2014 at 7:02 PM

According to Maria Mia Pope, an aquaintance of the then Barry Soetero, two years younger than he (not a classsmate) that wasn’t All he was studying in high school: Swish, swish, snow, blow.

No Niks on February 18, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Certain countries I’m familiar with are now producing more than 4 times as many engineers but only 1/8 the number of art history graduates as the US.

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 7:03 PM

I was trying to encourage young people who may not be predisposed to a four year college experience to be open to technical training that can lead them to an honorable career.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

I can’t argue with that.

I just wish he really believed it.

(he doesn’t)

Fathom on February 18, 2014 at 7:04 PM

What could go wrong:

Stephen Crowley @Stcrow
Follow

Leaders from Civil Rights groups meeting w President Obama @ White House re criminal justice reform. w Al Sharpton.

davidk on February 18, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Noooooooooo

talkingpoints on February 18, 2014 at 7:05 PM

art history (which is pretty much what my major is) isn’t any more worthless than lots and lots of other degrees. many degrees do almost nothing to teach actual job skills. but still, lots of employers want a bachelor’s degree in something, anything. so my parents wanted me to get a bachelor’s degree.

Sachiko on February 18, 2014 at 6:55 PM

It also matters what a student wants to do with that “worthless” degree that cost 50K. As grounding for something creative, art history isn’t so bad. I met a young man once who was getting a degree in ceramics or glassblowing or something. It turned out that what he was really doing was getting the skills he thought he needed to become a master craftsman. His degree choice didn’t seem nearly as loopy when it became clear he had a plan!

Happy Nomad on February 18, 2014 at 7:08 PM

art history (which is pretty much what my major is) isn’t any more worthless than lots and lots of other degrees. many degrees do almost nothing to teach actual job skills. but still, lots of employers want a bachelor’s degree in something, anything. so my parents wanted me to get a bachelor’s degree.

Sachiko on February 18, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Having two kids with BAs that started right before the crash and couldn’t easily change majors and now are working for minimum wage, I would suggest that you
1) don’t borrow any money for your degree (they didn’t, so at least that don’t have loan payments)
2) take at least some tech courses-IT and healthcare seem to be about the only fields hiring (hindsight is great)
3) do an internship at a company that might hire you after graduation.

The only people I know that graduated after the recession hit that got jobs in their major, got them through college internships. This includes engineering majors.

Good luck.

talkingpoints on February 18, 2014 at 7:10 PM

My BA in Ancient Angry Asian Lesbians has gotten me tons of job interviews. I also know how to say “Would you like fries with that?” in ten different languages.

jukin3 on February 18, 2014 at 7:11 PM

The SOB should apologize to the STUPID people who voted for him. Then resign.

GarandFan on February 18, 2014 at 7:12 PM

He’s only apologizing because he misread the TOTUS again … he meant to say Fart History …

ShainS on February 18, 2014 at 7:13 PM

As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school.

He failed to mention that it was the class after lunch when he was toking it up with the choom gang.

HotAirian on February 18, 2014 at 7:13 PM

I like the part where Obama liberated millions of Americans from their freely-chosen private insurance plans after promising them that wouldn’t happen.

Priceless.

Good Lt on February 18, 2014 at 7:16 PM

What a douche.

battalion on February 18, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Now, if O’ had just majored in Underwater Basket Weaving….

vnvet on February 18, 2014 at 7:18 PM

This should be Obama’s apology to all Americans living and dead and yet to be born, and his last one as we should never hear from him again. -

Good afternoon subjects. I mean, um, ah, my fellow Muslims. I mean, um, ah, my fellow Americans. I am hereby resigning from the office of your God, I mean, um, ah your Pharoah. I mean the, um, ah, Presidency. I will spend some of my remaining time on Earth trying to forgive myself for making Kenya, I mean, um, ah, Venezuela, I mean, um, ah, America worse off when I could have made, um, ah, America better off with the same effort and I will spend the rest of my life living in a hut with my half-brother whats-his-name in Kenya studying the Holy Qur’an. I mean, um, ah, studying golf, I mean, um, ah, studying horticulture. Allah willing. I mean, um, ah, God damn you. I mean, um, ah, God bless you.

VorDaj on February 18, 2014 at 7:18 PM

I’m not an art history major, but I refuse his phony apology regardless.

Even if he apologized to me directly, I’d just stand up and walk away without saying a word.

Myron Falwell on February 18, 2014 at 7:20 PM

He’s only apologizing because he misread the TOTUS again … he meant to say Fart History …

ShainS on February 18, 2014 at 7:13 PM

You best leave Mooch and her tamale fetish outta this discussion.

/Seriously. Mooch + Tamales + Kobe Beef + Vodka? Yikes.

Key West Reader on February 18, 2014 at 7:29 PM

I’m not an art history major, but I refuse his phony apology regardless.

Even if he apologized to me directly, I’d just stand up and walk away without saying a word.

Myron Falwell on February 18, 2014 at 7:20 PM

For you, Myron.

Caution: Absolute stupid warning from a voting American.

Key West Reader on February 18, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Leave it to this guy to finally uncork a mea culpa on the very least of his sins as president, in a matter where he actually had half a point.

I’ve known people who never thank you for anything, except when you screw something up. It’s kind of the same thing. They completely denigrate the whole process of thanking by misusing it, as Obama is doing the same thing to the process of apologizing. Apologizing is important and meaningful, and yet, Obama seems to have no clue about its value, when it’s to be used, and why.

LashRambo on February 18, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Apologizing is important and meaningful, and yet, Obama seems to have no clue about its value, when it’s to be used, and why.

LashRambo on February 18, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Obama is not an American….I’m not sure he is even human

Ditkaca on February 18, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Wait a minute…have we seen his grades yet? His LSAT scores? Honestly, I lost track, but doubt it very much…

More to the point, if high school level art history is good enough for the one, then why would anyone need to take it in college…

Entrephil on February 18, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Know who was an art history major?

Allahpundit’s squeeze – Mega Mac.

bw222 on February 18, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Obama acted stupidly.

pain train on February 18, 2014 at 8:34 PM

“As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed.”

Can we see your high school transcripts (or any transcripts) to see if you actually took art history? How nice it would be if the president opened up his transcripts for the citizens of the USA to peruse and study.

HHW on February 18, 2014 at 8:55 PM

…the POS thinks…he is a work of Art!

KOOLAID2 on February 18, 2014 at 9:51 PM

…creepy 0-shaped logo. …

CurtZHP on February 18, 2014 at 6:59 PM

I’ve always thought it was ominous and menacing. Sort of like a harbinger of pain and suffering.

I was correct.

freedomfirst on February 18, 2014 at 10:30 PM

As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school.

He failed to mention that it was the class after lunch when he was toking it up with the choom gang.

HotAirian on February 18, 2014 at 7:13 PM

I can see it now. Someone’s basement with neon posters and blacklight. Bambi’s idea of “high” art.

freedomfirst on February 18, 2014 at 10:32 PM

I can see it now. Someone’s The White House basement with neon posters and blacklight. Bambi’s idea of “high” art.

freedomfirst on February 18, 2014 at 10:32 PM

FIFM

freedomfirst on February 18, 2014 at 10:33 PM

It was a throwaway remark, barely worth mentioning

So was his initial sales pitch for 0bamacare, and look where that got us.

CurtZHP on February 18, 2014 at 6:43 PM

I’m still not buying that. This (socialized medicine) has been the Holy Grail for Libs for decades.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 19, 2014 at 1:05 AM

“Only the very dumbest (or richest) are picking their majors without weighing the job market afterward.”

I would take some exception to this statement. Some of them pick a major with their eyes set on “saving the world”. They are young and idealistic. Many of them are not thinking about a “job” at that point, as a matter of fact, they do not want a job. It will be a few years down the road, when they are too old for their parents’ insurance policy, that they realize that they are on a dead-end path. But, will they be able to make an adjustment at that point?

Techster64 on February 19, 2014 at 10:18 AM

I will donate $1,000 to the charity of Obama’s choice if he will release all his school records to prove that he even took art history.

Colony14 on February 19, 2014 at 7:07 PM