Obama's Malaise Speech – UPDATE

I have long-wondered whether President Obama actually understands anything about this country or the people who elected him. In 2009 I wrote:

One senses that the nation is not alone in wondering — that perhaps President Obama himself has no clue who he is, not as an American man, and not as The American President. For decades Obama has gotten by on elegance, a retiring demeanor and the ability to make people see their reflections in him. The first two are gifts; that last is a symptom of a vast emptiness, for a mirror may have width, but not depth.

If Barack Obama, who has made a great secret of his past, truly understood who he is, and who The American President is on the world stage, he would never have journeyed to Copenhagen to have his hat handed to him…Obama is an American President who is not particularly American in character or disposition. He seems not to really understand Americans, or their way -which is a way peculiar to the rest of the word, at once shallow and heroic, capable of great materialism and breathtaking self-sacrifice.

There is nothing wrong with thinking a call to prayer a beautiful thing, but someone thought Obama had revealed too much of himself in that remark, and so it has been stricken from the public record, like so much of Obama’s past. And a man without a past, like an amnesiac, is a man who knows nothing about himself, or the world in which he moves.

Even earlier than that, in a post that seems to have been lost in all of my moves, I had wondered if Obama’s presidency was going to be a “Jimmy Carter Redux, complete with malaise speech.”

Seems he is.
I am not the first or the only one to see this and think “malaise” — Jonah Goldberg thought it, too.

Barack Obama does not know his country. He knows his ideology, and that is all.

A president who understands his nation, and the people who elected him — or who understands them to be more than chumps who will fall for spin and illusion — would never say this: (Courtesy of Creative Minority Report:)

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I disagree with folks responding “Obama is the soft one!” Trust me. Obama is not soft. He’s hard as they come in terms of his ideology and what he’ll do to further it. I remember how the left (in quite paranoid fashion) demonstrated how little they really understood about George W. Bush when they started declaring that he would “declare martial law and suspend elections” (google it). If they understood Bush they’d have known that the constitutionally defined peaceful transfer of power was something Bush was sentimental about.

Obama is not sentimental about the constitution, or the peaceful transfer of power. He can’t be, because he is not sentimental about America or its past. All he sees is the future — and he only sees it one way.

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll explores how Obama has come by his understanding of our softness.

Why Obama Doesn’t Know Us!
Not Incompetence, Planned Chaos

Hot Air
Roger Kimball: Is America Soft?
Frank Fleming: How to Make Obama Like Us
Vodkapundit: To The President Who Thinks We’ve Gone Soft (via Instapundit)

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  • Greta

    I had the instant same thought of Jimmy Carter and malaise..

    I also wondered if exploring the route cause of Americans being soft would be important. Could it be 50 years of nanny state thought and victimization and blaming others for everything that goes wrong?

  • Kevin

    “He does not know his country.” I could not agree more and have thought it many times.

    Nothing but negativity comes out of his mouth about America. We’re “soft,” our Constitution is a “charter of negative liberties,” we must “spread the wealth around.”
    His view of the United States is that of the typical ivory tower leftist kvetching over all the allegedly bad things we have done throughout history and studiously ignoring the good.

  • expat


    This is toatally OT, but did you see the Richard Riordan piece on Catholic schools at WSJ today? It’s very good.

  • Romulus

    Jimmy Carter’s malaise speech was one of the best things he did as president. It’s worth a re-reading.

  • daisy

    Any day now he’s going to either get hemmorhoids or be attacked by a killer rabbit.

  • Mandy

    Oh I think he knows his country, but has always hated it. Sounds harsh I know, but does anyone really think he loves his country. He is a very dangerous man. With that said I shall force myself to pray for his soul.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Hmm. . . my guess is it will be the Killer rabbit, Daisy.

    (Or, maybe, he’ll start talking about how he’s harbored lust in his heart.)

  • fiestamom

    How sad that he doesn’t know this country, or his countrymen. I know America isn’t perfect, but c’mon. It’s pretty good, right? Why don’t he and Michelle see that? What a gift it is for their girls to get to go to the school of their parents’ choosing, that their girls even get to attend school. How many countries are there where girls can’t get an edumacation?

    He’s spent all of this time hating America, and look what he could have really done with the whole first black president thing. He could have made a difference in black American’s lives.

    Well, he may *think* we’ve gone soft, but he’s got another think coming. Obama may not know this country but he’s fighting a lot of people who know it and LOVE it. And we’re not about to let it go w/out a fight. Bring it, buddy.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Obama is political dead meat. He’s through. It’s a shame we have to wait a year for the election. In the meantime, this country just meanders to no where.

  • Elaine

    That is why Limbaugh said “I hope he fails” because of his hard left ideology.

  • kevin

    On reflection i have to agree with Mandy. All the evidence is there that wr have a president who hates the country. Hates England too because of the injustice he thinks it inflicted on his father. No one who loves this country would ever announce an intention to fundamentally transform it. Carter never did. The day he leaves office i plan on blasting ‘happy days are here again.’

  • Margaret

    I don’t think Obama likes boats, so he should be safe from killer rabbits. But didn’t President Carter also announce to the Polish people that he lusted after them? Maybe that is next…