I'm glad Obama is on vacation

Frankly speaking, I never want to hear his voice again.

Many critics of his recent trips have compared his conduct out of office unfavorably with that of Jimmy Carter, a man who was given only four years to inflict his particular brand of syrupy tedium on the nation while quietly setting the stage for the Reagan Revolution, but who has now spent something like four decades admonishing not only Americans but all the people of the world — Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, as he might put it — in his futile hectoring Sunday school teacher voice on issues ranging from Israel to assault weapons to same-sex marriage to North Korea. It’s not even that he’s wrong about everything: It’s just that he’s so insufferable that you don’t want him to be right.

Many Americans have always felt the same way about Obama. His cool young teacher brand of omnidirectional uplift, his unhesitatingly smarmy optimism, his smug insistence that everyone who has ever disagreed with him is a cynical meanie-head, his obsession with getting things done at all costs and without regard for the consequences — who could miss any of this? Which is why I do not exactly relish 40 or so years of books and PBS specials and late-night TV appearances à la Carter.