It’s not just that the answer is now maddeningly long. Nor is it merely that Obama exhibits his annoying tic of stating his opponent’s case in the most extreme, over-the top way (who exactly thinks marijuana legalization is a “panacea” for solving “all these social problems?”) It’s also, again, the condescension. We know there are other sides to the issue. We know the issue is complex. We know there are slippery slope arguments about drug legalization. But either he doesn’t think that we know these things or, more damningly, he must remind us that he knows them, too.

The reason he does this, I would argue, is that he is more interested in telling us how he thinks than what he thinks. His defense of the NSA, for example, has largely rested on his statements that he and his team are trustworthy and thoughtful people.