Monday, April 04, 2011

Obama's judgment

Okay, so critiquing comments posted on blogs is the lowest form of commentary, but -- but! -- this one is just too perfect to pass up, embodying every caricature of the Good American Liberal that I had to check twice to make sure I didn't post it myself.

The background: last week Mother Jones' Kevin Drum wrote that, while he was conflicted over the U.S.'s intervention in Libya, he trusted that President Barack Obama, Constitutional Scholar (TM), knew more than him about pretty much everything, so in the end he would just defer to his judgment and hope for the best -- after all, who's he, a mere citizen, to form his own opinions about little things like war and peace?

The key graf:
I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he's smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted. I voted for him because I trust him, and I still do.
After being called out by Salon's Glenn Greenwald, among others, for being, you know, a big fucking tool indistinguishable from the rightly maligned Bush "30 percenters," Drum penned the predictable follow-up post where he feigned offense at the idea that anyone could think he was some sycophantic intellectual cripple.

Enter "Matthoboken" to offer some words of support:
Count me as thinking Kevin was, if anything, understated in his original post. (And I know the next several sentences will portray me as thoroughly unlikeable.) I'm full of self regard. I'm certainly in the top 1% of the distribution for general intelligence (given the usual imperfect metrics). I was born into middle class circumstances (middle middle class), but got myself into the best schools on scholarships, and got all As without really trying. I have an elite, intellectually satisfying job. I'm well into the top 1% of the income distribution, even though I've made no effort to make money. Obama is smarter than me. Harder working than me. Clearly a better and wiser person than me. Far more emotionally astute than me. No, I don't always agree with him. Yes, I trust his judgment. 
To make a banal point: this, my friends, is what liberals are voting for -- someone who, like them, fashions themselves as a smart, cosmopolitan, over-achieving (i.e. corporate ass-kissing) elite who, unlike that nasty Bush character, probably doesn't make fag jokes in the Oval Office while watching NASCAR.

Obama, of course, is far too dignified -- too "emotionally astute" -- for that. He, by contrast, just jokes about killing innocent people with Predator drone strikes. Like an adult.


  1. Anonymous11:01 AM

    Obama Loses Nobel Peace Prize!!!

  2. [slaps forehead]

    Oh, for-- !! Dude, April Fools Day was three damn days ago!

  3. This is statism at its most vulgar: pure, blind faith. Personally, I've never fully understood why people get like this over their favoured politicians. The whole point of democracy is we understand that rulers often have different interests to those of who they rule and the little accountability it does ensure is predicated on a society willing to criticise the government. No radicalism is required to appreciate this point. Taking a "well they're all smarter than me so I wont bother questioning them even when I disagree with them" position is just plain dumb and irresponsible.

  4. Brian M1:25 PM

    run along, Good Little Germans...err Americans. Your betters know what to do. Just look at how well things have worked out!