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All About Obama

I’ve refrained from commenting on President Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly because the speech made me angry. And most postings -- or letters, or e-mails -- written while angry are better discarded or deleted.

But this address grows more disturbing on further reading. Some major presidential speeches deserve to be remembered, quoted and celebrated. Some deserve to be forgotten. A few deserve to be remembered and criticized, because they dishonor the history of presidential rhetoric.

Obama’s rhetorical method in international contexts -- given supreme expression at the United Nations this week -- is a moral dialectic. The thesis: pre-Obama America is a nation of many flaws and failures. The antithesis: The world responds with understandable but misguided prejudice. The synthesis: Me. Me, at all costs; me, in spite of all terrors; me, however long and hard the road may be. How great a world we all should see, if only all were more like…me.

On several occasions, Obama attacked American conduct in simplistic caricatures a European diplomat might employ or applaud. He accused America of acing “unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others” -- a slander against every American ally who has made sacrifices in Iraq and Afghanistan. He argued that, “America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy” -- which is hardly a challenge for the Obama administration, which has yet to make a priority of promoting democracy or human rights anywhere in the world.

The world, of course, has its problems, too. It has accepted “misperceptions and misinformation.” It can be guilty of a “reflexive anti-Americanism.” “Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world’s problems alone.” Translation: I know you adore me because I am better than America’s flawed past. But don’t just stand there loving me, do something.

I can recall no other major American speech in which the narcissism of a leader has been quite so pronounced. It might be compared to Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s “I shall return” -- which made it sound like MacArthur intended to reconquer the Philippines single-handedly. But MacArthur, at least, imagined himself as embodying his country, not transcending it. He did not assert that while the Japanese invasion was certainly excessive, America had been guilty of provocations of its own -- and now, in the MacArthur era, things would be finally different.

Twice in his United Nations speech, Obama dares to quote Franklin Roosevelt. I have read quite a bit of Roosevelt’s rhetoric. It is impossible to imagine him, under any circumstances, unfairly criticizing his own country in an international forum in order to make himself look better in comparison. He would have considered such a rhetorical strategy shameful -- as indeed it is.

At the United Nations, Obama set out to denigrate American goodness so he can become our rescuer. The speech had nothing to do with the confident style of Democratic rhetoric found in Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy. It insulted that tradition. And no one is likely ever to quote the speech -- except to deride it.

By Michael Gerson  | September 26, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Gerson  | Tags:  Michael Gerson  
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It's about time to see the WaPo finding the 'handle' on Mr. Obama. A pity you didn't find it during the campaign last year! But, of course, you didn't look for it.

Posted by: Mecarswell | September 26, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Bush style coercion and bullying around the world must end. Not because USA wants to but the reality is they have to. American delusions they can ride roughshod over other countries with their vulgar use of military might is something any American with morals should reject. Obama at least have tried to repair some of the worst excesses of Bush's era and that saved America in the eyes of the world. The world sees a greedy, racist and immoral USA trying to repair itself.

Posted by: juzsmart | September 26, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Its always ALL ABOUT OBAMA !!! Where have you been sir ??? Didn't you realize he was THE ONE you have been waiting for? Apparently the magic carpet rode right by you but it will return to pick up more zombie members..all are welcome..just ask ACORN- they got Mickey Mouse to join the Obama cult members club..Wonder how Disney felt about that ??? Mr Obama contnues to show us what a huge mistake we made by letting the media pick and promote Obama as their golden boy instead of backing the more qualified candidate - Hillary Clinton. At the very least we know where Hillary was really born and she is QUALIFIED.

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | September 26, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Ever so pleased to have you translate these words for us so we can despise our president as much as you.

In Afghanistan, we specifically left NATO nations out of the initial stages of the fight so we could act rather unilaterally. In Iraq, we made up evidence of WMD and ties to al Qaeda and beefed up the "Coalition of the willing" with payments to their governments so we could act rather unilaterally in opposition to near-unanimous world opinion that we should not go to war. In global warming, we denied science and a near-unanimous world opinion that action was needed. In the Middle East, we practiced benign neglect of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, ignoring world opinion the United States must lead in the pursuit of peace. We demanded elections in Palestine, ignoring concerns of Israeli leaders and other Middle East nations. In the fight against AIDS, we put cash in but demanded condoms not be part of the solution, ignoring science, common sense and world opinion.

And I almost forgot the blind belief markets would always be self-correcting because of capitalist's "enlightened self-interest", a view the world had given up on long ago but had to follow the US lead.

This is simply a quick list.

Perhaps you have forgotten how your leader's administration behaved. I imagine much of the world is still hoping we will never forget.

Posted by: kcbob | September 26, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

I guess some of us believe past administration significant missteps should be forgotten. Let's pretend we're perfect. Good luck maintaining credibility without acknowledging major facts.

As for claims of narcism and "me, me, me", I detect nothing unusual. At his level (heck at any level) it's good to be confident and pragmatic. The author needs to re-evaluate his associates if he or his friends lack these attributes.

Posted by: bcs2k | September 26, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a psychotic narcissist, as was his Democrat predecessor, Bill Clinton. however one of the significant differences is that Clinton is undeniably American, whereas Obama is undeniably not. Obama and his supporters hate America,plain and simple. They think it is greedy,selfish, too powerful,capitalist, a bully. Fine. They should form their own country. We really, really need to let the liberal fascists split off before they create a situation where real Americans are forced to deal with the consequences of their self-hatred. They can take the national debt along with them, and as they deal with it,they can also work through their hatred of Bush.

Posted by: doctorfixit | September 26, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I just want to thank the Washington Post for being part of the propaganda machine that put the Marxist in the White House.
All this was known about Obama BEFORE the election and the Post let the country down.

Posted by: sj121387 | September 26, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

What could one expect from a parishioner of the 'Rev.' Wright? He is a Marxist and is willing to denigrate his country for personal gain. One doesn't have to hear his words, just look at his actions, his Marist 'Czars', and his scramble to pass onerous legislation before people can read or analysis it. When will the Senate call these people to testify?

Posted by: fjf1329 | September 26, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Dear heavens, the name calling will never end.

Those who seem to fear President Obama so much really fear America. They don't like the direction America is taking in the wake of the elections of 2006 and 2008 but seem to forget the dire situations were there before those elections - the massive deficit spending, the sad decline of healthcare, the underfunding of Medicare, the decay of the infrastructure, the badly fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the unquestioning belief in markets, tax cuts and deregulation that led to the meltdown of the economy.

Now, with all these problems finally being addressed, those in the GOP resort to childish name calling and pretending they really can make their philosophy of hating government into something that will make government work. It didn't work. Now please refrain from the unpleasant, offensive and inaccurate hurling of insults that seems to be all that you have left.

Posted by: kcbob | September 26, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Of all of the desperate, crazy criticisms of Obama from the right this one takes the world class award on outright silliness. It is clearly a critique based not on any substantive policy disagreement with Obama but on frustration and anger at Obama as a person, as a human being.

I have heard some pretty silly things coming from the right but this new tack of Obama the Narcissist is enough to make one gag. For 8 years we had a President whose strutting, arrogant attitude really did make a statement about his own narcissitic perception of his macho persona. Even today, one of the most laughable images of Bush is that Rovian contrived image of him prancing across the deck of the carrier, the Abraham Lincoln in full military flight regalia as though he had just singlehandedly won the war on terror.

No Mr. Gerson. It just won't work. You have all tried the tactic of trying to question Obama's legitimacy with all of the questions about his birth certificate. You have tried to characterize him as a socialist, a communist, a reverse racist--even a secret Muslim terrorist. Now comes this new silliness. My God! Haven't you been listeing to the preening, self adoring claptrap being preached by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

If you are looking for narcissism Michael, you would do well to begin in your own conceitied ranks of pious conservatives who have been badgering the public for decades with their fake family values claptrap! Quite honestly, your feeble expressions of anger are not all that impressive.

Posted by: jaxas | September 26, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Btw, author Gerson was a speechwriter for GW Bush

Obama's stance is me, me, me and scorn for everyone else. That is why bipartisanship is a pipedream. He didn't talk about it, anyway. He called for unity.

His initiatives are premised on lies. There are not 47m uninsured; global warming stoped 10 years ago; that crumbing infrastructure vanished when stimulators couldn't find shovel ready projects. Is propaganda alone sufficient to political success?

Posted by: clairesolt | September 26, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Insightful column, Michael! Everything about the Rockstar years are going to be dangerous. Why? Because this crowd loves to denigrate America and everything it stands for.

A lot of this comes from very liberal classrooms where people who couldn't get or hold a job decided to teach. They resent business, free market economy, American pride in being the best, competition, and traditional American Values - Why? again they couldn't function in it. So, what they can do is besmirch America and Capitalism and embrace European Socialism. Michael Moore will certainly benefit from Capitalism with his new movie slamming America's Free Market economy.

Obama is young, inexperienced and narcissistic - a combination that is particularly disconcerting in a world where nuclear ambitions are rampant and terrorist victories swell mid-eastern aspirations. Obama consistently expresses callow apologies for America. Enemies know this President will not back up anything he says because they know his Party is one of appeasement. This sophomoric stance in foreign affairs makes our nation vulnerable to treacherous and foolhardy attempts by enemies bent on harming America out of some uncurbed religious fervor.

Our Rockstar will certainly get more and more celebrity time here and abroad for his popular anti-American stagecraft - but at what cost. His crowd may hate Bush but know they enjoyed eight years of peace domestically and prosperity. Obama is frivolously dismantling America both weakening our nation and making it vulnerable to malevolent actions to others that hate the United States of America.

Posted by: 2009frank | September 26, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I have to snicker at all of these angry right wing nitwits with all of their cranky charges of Marxist, socialist, yada, yada.

Look, you imbeciles wouldn't know a Marxist from a mule's a$$. The truth is that both lazzez faire capitalism and socialism are irrelevant products of old 19th and 20th century thinking. Both Marx and Adam Smith are dust in their graves and their ideas are no more relevant to our modern times than is the telegraph.

That is the problem with you righties. You're living in a mythical America that no longer exists, fighting old ideological wars that the vast majority of the people on this planet are no longer interested in, yakking about obsolete "isms" that long ago lost any meaning or relevance in this unimaginably and rapidly changing technocracy we live in.

You retro-thinking morons use such obsolete terms cavalierly for only one reason: There are still enough ignoramuses in that mythical place you falsely believe is the "heartland" that you can cobble together a sort of "astroturf movement that mimics a grass roots movement. But, the sad truth is that there is no such thing as a grass roots movement anywhere on this planet. It is not even possible in a world where with the slight movement of an electronic mouse, one can get anything they want, need, desire or lust after.

Get off it. There are no socialists nor capitalists left. In fact, in the not too distant future we may not even need politicians or parties at all. Just efficient technocrats.

Posted by: jaxas | September 26, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

According to the recent NBC/Wall St Journal poll 78% of the American people like Obama. Even those who question some of his policies indicate that they like him and believe him to be a pretty decent fellow.

And there is really nothing in Obama's background to warrant the sort of froth that this angry, frustrated minority consistently express about him.

Look. The truth is that for that minority, any democrat, any moderate or independent, or even any conservative who talks rationally and intelligently about policy, is going to get this sort of froth at the mounth reaction. Why? Because these are not serious people. They have no interest in policy or government or even the problems of the world.

They are the sort of people I grew up with in the South who have this old "Revival Tent" mentality. They imagine this mythical America that once existed at the very beginnings of the Republic, before we even had a Constitution. They didn't even want that. They were quite content under the old failed miserable Articles of Confederation which amounted to no central government at all.

That's what this miserable little narrowminded bunch of cockroaches really want--an absence of government, an absence of order.

Posted by: jaxas | September 26, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Good article. With that said, let's be frank. This is what the people who elected Obama, want to hear. The Dubya backlash, is alive and well. As I noted in the Australian press. Eveyone loves Obama, no one fears Obama.

Posted by: dangreen3 | September 26, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

We will not be cowed by this administration. Americans are citizens, not subjects - big difference! We will not pay a $2,000 tax for not having government-mandated ObamaCare, nor will we go to jail & pay a $25,000 fine! If ObamaCare is such a great idea, why doesn't Congress test it out for a few years as a "demonstration project" and get back to us? He goes to the UN and denigrates this great nation, appoints communist czars, releases terrorists from Guantanamo and we just sit back?

Posted by: sandbear | September 26, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is: Obama will be re-elected. Even if he loses his majority in the House and Senate. Why? Because like Reagan, most Americans like him. Reagan's policies were not all that well received. And like Obama, Reagan had to suffer the slings and arrows of a frustrated, angry pack of haters. He prevailed because of his sunny optimism in a world beset by dangers. So too will Obama.

The people know that much of what ails Obama was inherited. And they know that generally, he will implement policies that in the end do no harm because he governs mainly from the center as did Reagan. Reagan actually got more criticism from the right in his second term because of his overtures toward Gorbachev and his retreat from Lebanon. Obama will get it from both sides just as Reagan did but in the end he will prevail.

This particular article by Gerson is petty, puerile, juvenile and has all of the hallmarks one finds in high school from jealous jocks who have their "manhood" threated by the handsome popular newcomer all the young girls are swooning over.

Posted by: jaxas | September 26, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Well dangreen3, fear is something all you right wing dingoes would know about since you tend to peddle it like some carny con artist trying to sell snake oil.

Look. Fear is a poor way to run a railroad. Trust me. These old archailc attitudes reek of this macho claptrap that if we just swagger, strut and threaten and bellow like Bush did, the world will come around to adopt the "American way". Yeah right. That really worked out well for us didn't it?

Posted by: jaxas | September 26, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Sandbear, you're a moron. Look. You've got nothing. Yelping like bawly little brats who have had their toys taken away by their parents just isn't working out for you.

If all you can do is stand on the sidelines anf throw wads of your own stinking feces at this great man, little wonder that 78% of the people like him and think the republicans are nothing but a bunch of pugugly dwarves.

Pugugly dwarves--an apt description of Beck and Limbaugh.

Posted by: jaxas | September 26, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Let me give you a piece of sage advice folks: Be wary of any website, any political group or any orgainization that has the name "freedom" or "liberty" in it because that is the last thing the people who belong to such silly, extremist groups really, truly want. In fact, what they want is quite the opposite. Most of them are interested in imposing their narrowminded philosophies upon the rest of us from the barrrel of the pistols they holster around their beerbellies.

Posted by: jaxas | September 26, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have WAPO right, they pay a White, Red Neck, Trailer park trashy preacher to tell us what a Black, uppity , well educated President thinks and how we the ignorant masses should view it all. That about right? What a White Trashy paper the Wapo has turned into.

Posted by: frluke | September 26, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I have long been tired of the Democrats "Blaming America first" attitude. Obama is now taking this rhetoric to the international forums... and our esteem and prestige (not to mention 'respect') has gone downhill even more than before.

Maybe Obama should leave America. And, he can take Billionaire socialist/democratic financier George Soros with him. If we're lucky, Reid & Pelosi will pack up and leave too... maybe go to Canada where they tolerate socialists better.

Listen up, UN: Obama does NOT speak for me! I am sending money to the Republicans, Independents, whomever opposes these bozos in the whitehouse.

Posted by: wilsan | September 26, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Mike Gerson,

You either don't read U.S. history or read it selectively. It was the U.S. in the late 1950's(1958-59)that aided Fidel Castro against Batista exchanging a freedom fighter soon to be dictator for another. It was America who helped assassinate an African leader Patrice Lamuba. And Lord help those mothers in Birmingham who had to wait over thirty years for justice after the bombing of a church on Sunday morning in September,1964 where is that remembrance of those little girls during the struggle just to vote in your conservative country. Shakespeare's put one way "... the fault dear Brutus is not in the stars but in ourselves (if memory serves) and the best book ever written puts it another way, "... it is not in man to direct his steps.." or for all you out there who are perfect "... what is man that thou art mindful of him..." I love this country with all of its flaws, but I dare any conservative to act like Obama is wrong on the dark history of this country. We either learn from history or we repeat it. I dont own a gun but if I thought that sons and daughters of the sickness that killed many have died in this country because the stupidty of my idea or else. Gerson who gave you the right to gage a sitting President with less than a year. While your President Bush was on vacation most of the first year. also, to call a sitting President names really shows how little Obama is respected by the minority who voted. Under Bush you Bushies walked goose stepped while Haliburton profitted in the billions while soldiers died without kevlor and Humvies unequipt to protect their precious cargo. And other soldiers were electocuted due to faulty contractors. Funny you did call Bush a Fascist or Socialist or call for Haliburton to be replaced. When Bush said you either with me or with the Terrorist were you applauding or rejecting this. I for one was sorry the Dems gave him a blank check. Where was your outrage then. I guess Cheny was RIGHT deficits dont matter if Your Bush or Reagan.

Posted by: wvgoody | September 26, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

President Roosevelt always spoke in the name of his country. Those of us who heard him never got the impression that it was about HIM. What a contrast to this latest Democrat to occupy the White House. Obama's narcissism is beyond belief. Clearly he believes that his gifts alone are enough to do what must be done. I haven't prayed for my country in many, many years. I do believe the time has returned.

Posted by: mhr614 | September 26, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson, if you‘d just attach a generator to that squeaky old treadmill you’re traveling, the the Republic would attain at least some benefit from your manifold perigrinations.

Posted by: stevestone88339 | September 26, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to the Dark Side, Mr. Gerson. You'll like it here: we have pie.

Posted by: orionca | September 26, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Gersen, along with the small but loud minority of Obama haters are so obvious in their tactics and their dishonesty, hypocrisy and lack of patriotism, that's it's pathetic and laughable. The whole "Obama as the anointed One" subtext that runs throughout the right wing is disturbing and deceitful. The Republicans brought this country to it's knees and during a time of decay and crisis, brought on by their failed policy of greed and violence, all they can think to do is try to sabotage an elected(not selected) President. It's obvious that the Republicans hate Obama and will try to trash anything he does and says. What isn't obvious, is just what exactly would they do that they haven't already tried. They've already given everything away to their wealthy friends and accomplices. They've pretty much looted everything they can. The republican and conservative party is bankrupt of ideas and devoid of any heart or soul. They are now using tactics meant to inspire hatred and fear and don't care if they bring the whole country down along with it's elected leader.

Posted by: dondau1 | September 26, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Of course it's all about Obama, especially for Obama. That is the nature of Nacissistic Personality Disorder. People who suffer from this mental disorder are usually just irritating but are truly dangerous if they become the leader of the free world. Symptoms of NPD include writing 2 autobiographies before doing anything worth writing about.

Posted by: Jarbo1 | September 26, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Bush was stupid, acted stupidly, and nearly wrecked the country. (Ah, the good old days, huh, Mikey?) Obama is smart and patient and word is responding well. (Sorry that disturbs you so, Mikey.)

Posted by: wbgonne | September 26, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Mr Gerson must be a racist? How else could he criticize Obama lilke this? Only racists disagree with Obama on anything. If Mr. Gerson has any children he needs to get them into one of the schools we saw this week where they are forcing the children to sing the praises of Dear Leader Obama! Indoctrinating the next generation into Obama worship is the left wing/Democrats plan to stamp out the scourge of racism and all individual thought critical of our Dear Leader. In the meantime Mr. Gerson, surely Obama is opening an adult reeducation camp somewhere?

Posted by: valwayne | September 26, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Jaxas, Im sure I know from your views what that stands for. I am quite happy being so far behind the times as to be sneered at. I am a mid west Ohio, Cleveland to be exact, real died in the wool HICK. A person who you would be able to run rings around in a debate. I would wager to bet there are more of us then you. Many of these people you sneer at voted for this man. Now they have buyers remorse. You talk down to us as Obama has, and is doing, but he is now transparent and irrevelant. Jaxas is also irrevelant and needs to get off his behind and get a job.

Posted by: janranch2 | September 26, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama is insane. His speech to the UN, his hiding the knowledge of the second nuclear plant in Iran, his health care tax that is not a tax in his twisted mind, all of his actions lead to the conclusion that he is insane. He must be impeached !

Posted by: cmvairin | September 26, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama's foreign policy is one of preening, posturing, and apologizing. Increasingly, "Barney Fife" comes to mind when observing these performances.

Barney Fife Obama.

Posted by: lfk67 | September 26, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Where did smirking cowboy diplomacy and sneering disdain for our allies get us? Disrespected, in weak bargaining positions, embroiled in two wars and a country perched on a cliff after 8 years of reclessness, that's where. Winston Churcill once said that the only thing worse than having allies is having none. As much as the right likes to spin everything Obama says, he doesn't run down our country. Clean the wax out of your ears.

Posted by: creatia52 | September 26, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Sarkozy is the new leader of the free world,
I'll do the art work,
you teach the kids the songs,
mmmh mmmh mmmh Sarkozy of france, mmmh mmhmmh he has a freedom stance hmm hmm
Hows that going to work out for us?

Posted by: djmelfi | September 26, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Jump in Yesus , Joseph and Mary got a sidecar , Did Gerson get a gonadal implant ?

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | September 26, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

This is one of the worst pieces I've read from a Washington Post writer. The spelling errors alone made for a frustrating read (acing alone). Spelling aside, Gerson misses the point of Obama's address to the U.N. The President was not speaking to the American people, he was speaking to world leaders. After George Bush told the world that you "are with us or against us" and alienated longstanding allies, disregarding and playing Cold War games with Russia and antagonizing others -- the speech Obama gave was needed to regain credibility and trust. He got the Russians to sit down and agree to impose sanctions on Iran, something that few thought possible. Instead of giving Israel and others who receive billions of dollars in U.S. aid a pass, Obama put them under the spotlight. In the tight-rope that is foreign policy and diplomacy, you saw a master at work. To disregard it because of the means he used to achieve these ends is foolish. Your views would be better suited on FoxNews where you would also likely have an intern to do your spellchecking.

Posted by: wilderallen1 | September 26, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr Gerson says: "Twice in his United Nations speech, Obama dares to quote Franklin Roosevelt. I have read quite a bit of Roosevelt’s rhetoric. It is impossible to imagine him, under any circumstances, unfairly criticizing his own country in an international forum in order to make himself look better in comparison."

There are two problems with these statements. The first has been addressed by others, the president is not speaking simply for himself, but for the whole nation and its' policies.

The second problem are the words "unfairly criticizing". Is it unfair to be critical of an administration that characterized our historical allies derisively and disdainfully as "Old Europe"?

Is it unfair to obliquely recall that the Bush administration chastised and ridiculed any country that did not follow lockstep behind them when the administration was using flawed and probably purposely overblown "facts" (and then using THOSE criticisms as proof that we would "go it alone".)

Saying that our country can and will do better is not simply being critical but is showing that we can think critically and can find better solutions.

If better, honest ideas makes Mr. Gerson angry, then he will fit in well among the astro-turf anti-patriots of the summer.

Posted by: frjim | September 26, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The Prime Minister of Isreal was the only world leader who spoke with moral clarity.

I say to you Mr. Obama -- Have you no shame?

Posted by: carkrueger | September 26, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse


Pg 22 of the Health Care Bill MANDATES the Government will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Pg 30 Sec 123 THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get

PG 50 Section 152 Health Care will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Pg 58 Govt will have real-time access to individual's finances and a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

Pg 59 lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access to your banks accts for electronic funds transfer!

Pg 95 Lines 8-18 The Govt will use groups i.e., ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt Health Care plan

PG 85 Line 7 Specs of Benefit Levels 4 Plans. AARP members - Your Healthcare WILL be rationed

PG 102 Lines 12-18 Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice!

PG 124 lines 24-25 No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No judicial review against Govt Monopoly

PG 127 Lines 1-16 Doctors/AMA - The Govt will tell YOU what you can make

Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE!

Pg 146 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for Health Care for part time employees AND their families

Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Employer with payroll $400k and above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll

PG 150 Lines 9-13 Business with payroll between 251k and 400k who doesn't provide public option pays 2-6% tax on all payroll

Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable Health Care according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)

Pg 195 Officers and employees of Health Care Administration (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans financial/personal records!!

PG 425 Lines 4-12 Govt mandates Advance Care Planning Consultant. Think Senior Citizens end of life

Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!

PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Govt provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program for orders for end of life. The Govt has a say in how your life ends

Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An advanced care planning consultant will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates

PG 429 Lines 10-12: advanced care consultations may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from government!

Pg 429 Lines 13-25 - The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order

PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life

Posted by: sandbear | September 26, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

It gets tedious to read analyses, such as they are, like those of Mr. Gerson. If anyone were to take the time to review his other comments, it becomes clear that he is a Barack Obama attacker without fail. His critique of President Obama's UN speech is nothing more than yet another in a long series transparent exercises of name-calling. Such diatribes invalidate all of his opinions. I suggest that Mr Gerson, and the Post which publishes this and other such adolescent, angry anti-Obama diaries, save the space and time, and report some news.

Posted by: vitaletti101 | September 26, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama has kicked Acorn to the curb because he needs a larger more world wide and corrupt organization to reach his goal of the New World Order. What better than to use his community organization skills joined with possibly one of the most corrupt community organization on Earth, the UN. Watch as massive amounts of money now pour into the UN. Soon it will be renamed to Unacorn and Obama will be its new Emperor.

Some background and perspective:

"Obama's "Global Poverty Act" bill (S. 2433)--our taxes to pay the UN?
This Bill, sponsored by none other than our "President elect" Sen. Barrack Obama, with the backing of Joe Biden on the Foreign&n bsp; Relations Committee, and liberal democrats in Congress, is nothing short of a massive giveaway of American wealth around the world, and a betrayal of the public trust, because, if passed, this bill would give over many aspects of our sovereignty to the United Nations.

The noble sounding name of this bill, "The Global Poverty Act" is actually a Global Tax, payable to the United Nations, that will be required of all American taxpayers.

If passed in the Senate, the House has already passed it, this bill would require the U.S. to increase our foreign aid by $65 BILLION per year, or $845 BILLION over the next 13 years!

That's on top of the billions of dollars in foreign aid that we already pay out! In addition to the economic burdens this potential law would place on our precarious economy, the bill, if passed in the Senate, would also endanger our constitutionally protected rights and freedoms by obligating us to meet certain United Nations mandates.

According to Obama, we should establish these United Nations' goals as benchmarks for U. S. spending.

What are they? The creation of a U.N. International Criminal Court having power to try and convict American citizens and soldiers without any protection from the U.S. Constitution. A standing United Nations Army forcing U.S. soldiers to serve under U.N. command. A Gun Ban on all small arms and light weapons...which would repeal our Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The ratification of the "Kyoto" global warming treaty and numerous other anti-American measures. Recently, the Senate Subcommittee on Foreign Relations (where Sen. Joe Biden sits) approved this plan by a voice vote without any discussion!

Why all the secrecy? If Senators Obama and Biden are so proud of this legislation, then why don't they bring it out into the light of day and let the American people have a look at it instead of hiding it behind closed doors and sneaking it through Congress for late night votes?"

We now have Harold Koh inserted as the legal head of the State Department. Mr. Koh endorses the proposition that foreign treaties can trump the Constitutional rights of American citizens, and also wants to gut the second amendment on the right to bear arms.

These are dangerous times for the Constitution and our Nation.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | September 26, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama has made the point to the international community that he's "not Bush" dozens of times now.

In fact I think the world got the message about a few dozens "tellings" ago. Time for Obama to come up with new rhetoric.

Posted by: lithium452 | September 26, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Better late than never, Mr. Gerson. But did you consider an even worse possibility, namely that he didn't write this speech?

Posted by: redmanrt | September 26, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

another blind spot created by anger (particularly when it is irrational and unjustified) is that it magnifies a predisposition for denial...

campaign 101 when delivering a message...say it once, say it twice, say it thrice and say it again all over again at the next opportunity...

does anyone really believe that we are going to get out from under the legacy of Cheney/Bush with a few speeches? it is going to take a lengthy intense campaign, the kind that President Obama has demonstrated great capacity for.

I suspect your anger comes from the recognition that it is becoming clearer and clearer that it is very likely that our great nation's next great leader of a generation and perhaps the very young century will be a Democrat and one that is anathema to much of what you believe.

What you are angry about is that President Obama, is proving to be effective and that, on domestic policy as well as foreign policy, is what angers what passes for self-identifying Republicans these days.

I rather think that William F. would approve of much of what President Obama has done and know for a fact that the machinations of those claiming the mantle of conservatism and the Republican party these days have him spinning in his grave and for those that share William F's spiritual faith know he is weeping in heaven for what the likes of Lush Rimbaugh, Glenn Beck, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.

Posted by: teoc2 | September 26, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't have said it better than Mr. Gerson, so I won't even try. He said it all and said it well.

Instead, I will suggest the next appropriate step in American history - division of America into an Obamanesque social democrat America and a free America and, no, we won't need a revolution to accomplish an amicable divorce from our socialist neighbors.

While I won't pretend to have even explored the sweep of possible monkey wrenches a populace determined to regain its freedom can devise to throw into the works of a social democratic government, I have no doubt that American ingenuity can devise obstructions to bring even the most determined social democratic state either to bargaining table to arrange separation or to its knees, as necessary.

Posted by: RUKidding0 | September 26, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It is always very interesting to see the widely divergent comments on Post articles.
I do wonder, however, why so many of the commentators seem to hide behind phony names. Are they afraid to stand behind their comments ?

Posted by: tjmacdonald | September 26, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

As usual Gerson is only interested in denial. "We did what?" It really is pathetic. He reminds me of a German after WWII.

Posted by: cat001 | September 26, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama lovers: keep loving on your guy. He is so incompetent, so absolutely STOOPID, it is astounding to me that liberals continue to give him a pass. Those stickers on your cars. Keep those in place, that way we can easily identify the foolish ones.

Obama worships HIMSELF on Sundays, I am sure of it.

The difference between the 2 is that God doesn't think he is Obama.

Posted by: rdb2 | September 26, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse


where were you when chicken hawk 2 "landed" a recon aircraft on the Abraham Lincoln 30 miles off the coast of the San Diego theater of operations.

Closer to any combat than when he so distinguished himself during his National Guard career during the Viet Nam war.

There he was in Top Gun drag standing in front of the banner
"Mission Accomplished"

In the spirit of full disclosure Mr. Gerson was your hand in that piece of fiction?

Ego?...your capacity for brazen mendacity is breathtaking.

Posted by: teoc2 | September 26, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Of course, it's all about Obama. This is a man among whose principal achievements before running for president was writing two books. Both about himself.

He engaged in "community organizing" in Illinois not far from where I live. His "community organizing" amounted to siphoning taxpayer dollars to favored constituencies. Most, if not all, the projects funded by this money failed to create meaningful results.

While a legislator in Illinois, he was mostly known for voting present.

While president, he is now known for two things.

First, he is already the biggest government overspender in the history of the United States. The world's markets are, for the first time, systematically searching for alternatives to the dollar as the default global currency, all because of Obama's planned torrent of deficit spending. Obama is destroying our currency.

Second, his ego has now demonstrably caused a serious threat to national security with respect to his coverup of his knowledge of the second Iranian nuclear facility. Obama knew of this second facility's construction as he postured, hat in hand, for negotiations with the thugs known as the Iranian government. Yet it is clear that this facility obliterates, once and for all, any idea that Iran is (a) not serious about building nuclear weapons or (b) will give them up.

The Iranian threat is not the speculation of "neocons" or "right-wing" zealots. It is a fact. It is matter of record that his allies won't face, but will instead throw up a cloud of irrelevant comments about former presidents.

It appears that Obama, apart from giving speeches or asking for pointless UN resolutions, will do nothing about it. Because to do something about it requires that he admit his error and change his policy.

Obama says Iran having nuclear weapons is "unacceptable." Well, if it is really unacceptable, what does he plan to do that will, for sure, stop them? Or is his mouthing the word "unacceptable" merely a tough-looking pose that he adopts as he, in fact, prepares to accept them?

A serious leader would prevent a declared terrorist enemy of the United States from developing nuclear weapons.

Obama is not that man. A man who thinks, in his own words, that American democracy should "just shut up" and let him do what he wants on heathcare and the rest, is probably not a man with sufficient character to do the right thing at a mortal moment in history. Obama cares about Obama. If you disagree, then point to one enduring attachment in his own life for which he has risked all.

I hope I am wrong, but nothing in Obama's whole life gives any shred of comfort to those looking for steel in his spine.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 26, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey KCBOB... you wrote:

Dear heavens, the name calling will never end.

Those who seem to fear President Obama so much really fear America. They don't like the direction America is taking in the wake of the elections of 2006 and 2008 but seem to forget the dire situations were there before those elections - the massive deficit spending, the sad decline of healthcare, the underfunding of Medicare, the decay of the infrastructure, the badly fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the unquestioning belief in markets, tax cuts and deregulation that led to the meltdown of the economy.

Now, with all these problems finally being addressed, those in the GOP resort to childish name calling and pretending they really can make their philosophy of hating government into something that will make government work. It didn't work. Now please refrain from the unpleasant, offensive and inaccurate hurling of insults that seems to be all that you have left.

I find it funny that you talk about crazy deficit spending, cutting medicare and badly fought wars... In 9 months, Obama has tripled spending - all deficit, offered up "health care reform" which he's saying will cut 500 billion from Medicare over 10 years and he's waffling so badly on Afghanistan that the military is wondering about a lack of leadership from the oval office. Yeah...we're in much better hands... what a joke.

Posted by: icob | September 26, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Few people are so angered and hate obama that they really cannot think straight. We in America did indeed act unilaterally and selfishly in most cases, specifically described by the 4th comment.

It is really amusing how/why even intelligent people fail to get the problematic policies in the last few years, IRAQ war/Climate change and everything. They are doing disservice to the nation and the world.

Posted by: Sps101 | September 26, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I can't pile on Obama too much today, he has managed to make himself look so stupid (not to mention his ineptness is beginning to get downright frightening) over this Iran issue in the last two days that if he still thinks he is all that he is crazier than Ahmadinejad.

Posted by: no_USSA | September 26, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SARileyMan
...probably not a man with sufficient character to do the right thing at a mortal moment in history...
I agree, and according to his own wife who had to go to plan B instead of counting on him to help raise his own kids.

Posted by: no_USSA | September 26, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse


In 9 months the deficit and spending is huge to clean up the mess left behind by earlier years. It may be little early to say if we are in good hands or not, but we were definitely in really bad hands, and anything other than that is going to be good - I mean can it really get worse than near economic collapse, complete loss of credibility internationally, unneeded wars, huge deficits for unnecessary reasons...

Posted by: Sps101 | September 26, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama the next great leader? Teo, what drug are you on? Obama has been an embarrassment. Selling out allies to try and appease enemies isn't the road to success. Rampant spending and increasing government involvement in private sector functions isn't going to get you remembered as one of the greats. What a joke.

Posted by: hawks596 | September 26, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse




President Obama is,


Now for our next indoctrination song....

Posted by: ahartnack | September 26, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson was much to kind to Barry. I've never heard an American use "I" more than obama. What undeserved arrogance.

Posted by: carlbatey | September 26, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson you can be disappointed in the president, that's ok. It doesn't mean that you supported Bush and it doesn't mean you don't like Obama. It just means that you have finally seen what others of us have seen. It's all about him and that seems to be what his supporters require of him.

I'm troubled that he seems very comfortable criticizing the US, particularly to other countries. It's not that the US is perfect or doesn't need to change, but I want a president that is actually proud to be the American President, not just hold a job that is located in the White House.

I also wonder why he now wears that flag pin on his lapel all the time, something he resisted for so long? I'm not questioning his citizenship, but somehow it seems like a part of the costume of being POTUS since it was originally worn under duress.

Posted by: annetta3 | September 26, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse


Barack Hussein Obama.
Camelot, now it’s come back,
Only better, ’cause he’s black!


Barack Hussein Obama!

Posted by: Tarheelz1 | September 26, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

It's important to understand the main point that Michael Gerson is making here. He's not saying that Obama is an egotist. That's self evident, and not exactly unusual. Many political figures are infatuated with their own sense of importance. But narcissism is not synomous with egotism. It is a personality disorder -- something profoundly wrong, a psychological illness. If Gerson is correct, and I suspect that he is, then it poses quite a serious problem for our nation, especially with regard to foreign policy.

How would a narcissist respond to a general who asks for more troops when the narcissist doesn't want to send more troops? He'd declare the general wrong, even though the narcissist has no comparable experience in military affairs. We may see this very scenario play out before us in the next few weeks. If it happens as outlined here, it will profoundly reduce America's credibility as the world's sole superpower. It is almost tantamount to unilateral disarmament.

Posted by: ColinHanna | September 26, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

mmm mmm mmm

Obama came to save the day but all he does is take our money away

mmm mmm mmm

He thinks he can sweet talk Iran but he only looks like a girly man

mmm mmm mmm

Global warming gives him a thrill, so he’ll add $1700 to your electric bill

mmm mmm mmm

He really loves the terrorist because he is a communist

Posted by: Tarheelz1 | September 26, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Gerson is a rightwing conservative, folks, who never has a good thing to say about President, because like all of them, he is desperate for Obama to fail. Actually, Obama's UN speech was the best from a president in a generation, demostrating leadership qualities evident to all.

Posted by: dudh | September 26, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

It's about time some in the MSM are waking up. It's a shame this wasn't prior to the election.

Obama is going from bad to worse in every facet of his presidency.

If his spectacle this week wasn't bad enough, he is now giving $400,000 of the taxpayers' money to Qadhafi's children's foundations. No wonder Qadhafi called him "son."

This is just stunning!

We are almost bankrupt (or we actually are) and he's giving the taxpayers' money away like a drunken sailor, now it's to Libya.

And Qadhafi's son was the one who arranged for the hero's welcome of the Lockerbie terrorist.

Just like the $32 million re-payments from banks on their TARP loans, he gave to a profitable Brazilian Oil company, to do off-shore drilling exploration for Brazil.

He won't let us drill off-shore because he says it's bad for the planet, but he gives away our money to do it in another country.

Absolutely astounding!

What a narcissitic hyprocrite!

Posted by: janet8 | September 26, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

It's quite interesting to read the comments of Obama's remaining supporters in forums like these.

They are redefining the term "left-wing dupe."

Obama campaigned to end secret prisons for terrorists. He has now defended that practice in federal court.

Obama promised to close GITMO. We all know he won't close it.

Obama announced he would not raise taxes for "95 percent of Americans"--yet the terms of his healthcare and other proposals absolutely require that Congress impose large new taxes and fines on Americans in all income levels.

Obama campaigned against forcing healthy or young Americans to buy health insurance. Now a centerpiece of his healthcare proposals is requiring Americans to buy health insurance or be exposed to criminal prosecution.

Obama campaigned against Bush's horrible deficits, and then proceeded to QUADRUPLE their size and embark on such an orgy of new spending that he would, if allowed, double the US national debt in less than ten years.

Obama sold a "stimulus" plan as a measure to get the economy going again, but he failed to mentioned that most of the spending under that plan won't even be spent for at least 18 months. So, was it a plan to stimulate the economy, or a plan to grow government for the benefit of his party?

Obama criticized Bush on Afghanistan, and with great ostentation, Obama hired a new general and adopted a new strategy. Now, when that general is calling for more troops to implement the strategy that Obama said himself wanted, Obama wants him to be quiet as he contemplates what to do. Either Obama has heretofore hidden military talent, or he simply wants his commanding general in war theater to leave him alone so he can placate the anti-war left during his domestic policy troubles.

Obama, time and again, has promised new programs that he claimed won't add to our debt only to have the CBO and others correct him. Most famously, Obama admitted his 10-year budget plan was off by TWO TRILLION dollars.

Obama may be the first human being in history to be off by $2,000,000,000,000 in doing the math on his own spending plans!

Is Barack Obama just consistently wrong, or is this stellar graduate of the School of Chicago Politics just plain dishonest?

The question answers itself, unless you're part of the Obama Cult. But that cult is dwindling because, eventually, even feverish partisans cannot deny the facts and come to understand that parroting the party line only makes them look foolish.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 26, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Yep,your betcha it's also "Too Damn Much Barack Hussein Obama and his 24/7 phony BS
and endless lies. It is time to Impeach
this phony baloney incompetent idiot and
return Barack Hussein Obama back home to
Kenya here and now. Obama makes me vomit.
And I am a Registered Independent Arizona Voter and damn fed up with endless Obama.

Posted by: KathyAnn09 | September 26, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

The Messiah is all about himself. it is interesting that even though he knew about the Iranian nuke installation he chose not to bring it up in his UN speech because he might have lost some applause.

This guy's ideal of foreign policy is what he learned from his marxist friends and anti colonial professors.

Posted by: peteinny | September 26, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The analysis rings true. Our President has had no opposition, no real problems. The fiscal crisis could be blamed on his predecessor, the failure of the immediate passage of "healthcare reform" blamed on a congress not good enough at marketing -- or Fox News, the action in Afghanistan on the prior action in Iraq or incompetent military. But now comes mideast troubles that is a heartbeat away from WWIII and it is time to grow up. It has to happen during every Presidency -- the facts and terror of the office catch up with the election rhetoric and the joy at being able to impose whatever personal philosophy you "know" will solve all the problems the jerks who have occupied the Oval Office before you have bungled.

When the "growing up" happens, the Administration begins administering and the President becomes the President of ALL the people rather than just those who elected him. He becomes America. That still hasn't fully happened to our President, but when it does, he will know because lots of real things will start happening, those who elected him so they could "get theirs" or "get even" will get upset -- and Fox News will lose market share because their criticism will ring hollow.

I pray that he grows into the job, because the alternative is too gruesome to contemplate.

Posted by: tommariner | September 26, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Of course it is all about Obama. Too bad you WAPO guys couldn't see that before the election, when such insights actually count. He is an empty suit that enjoyed a meteoric rise straight to the top, all in do-nothing legislative positions. Other than his first race, he never had a setback. He has never lost. I want to see him face a REAL crisis, where his kunucles and face go white with fear and he is quaking in his nicely polished boots. Something that will knock his ego down about 20 notches from its current olympian heights.

And as for Hillary, forget about her. She may have been more competent, but she is evil to the core. I just rewatched "Hillary The Movie", which reminded me of just how evil she is. I'm glad she lost the election.

Posted by: andrewp111 | September 26, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse


FOX News has, on a busy evening, about 3 million viewers at any given moment. That's less than 1 percent of the American people. If a handful of FOX News conservatives on a sparsely-watched news channel can defeat Barack Obama's plans, this provides compelling evidence that those plans are horribly flawed.

(Talking about FOX News also ignores the palpable truth that the mainstream media has, with a few exceptions, spent the last two years writing love letters to Barack Obama in the form of their adoring, if not sycophantic, news coverage.)

In general, the obsession the left-wing has with right-wing opposition is both ridiculous and revealing. In a democracy, your ideas either sell or they don't.

Barack Obama's ideas are not selling. They are not selling because, by and large, they are bad ideas, or naive ideas, or ideas being sold on obvious false pretenses.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 26, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse


It is a long established fact that treaties can trump the constitution itself, if they are explicitly written to do so. This fact comes from the clear text of Article V of the constitution, and that is why the founders required a 2/3 vote of the Senate to ratify a Treaty.

"We now have Harold Koh inserted as the legal head of the State Department. Mr. Koh endorses the proposition that foreign treaties can trump the Constitutional rights of American citizens, and also wants to gut the second amendment on the right to bear arms.

These are dangerous times for the Constitution and our Nation.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | September 26, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse "

Posted by: andrewp111 | September 26, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse


You wrote: "It is a long established fact that treaties can trump the constitution itself, if they are explicitly written to do so."

This is not really correct.

If, for example, a treaty negotiated by the President and ratified by the Senate was to bar publication on the Internet of anti-Muslim or anti-Christian writings, this treaty would not invalidate or at all modify the First Amendment right to publish anti-Muslim or anti-Christian writings.

By the same token, if the President negotiated and the Senate ratified a treaty that imposed on US citizens an income tax increase, this would not invalidate or modify the core constitutional principle that consent of the House of Representatives is required to tax citizens.

Having said that, it is indisputable that certain sectors of government, media, and academia would welcome the transfer of at least some American constitutional sovereignty to remote and unaccountable foreign bodies.

Almost all proponents of this sovereignty transfer are in the Democratic Party, and they deserve a very close watch.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 26, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

You're right. Postings made while angry are better left deleted or discarded. Next time, trust your initial judgment.

Posted by: costaricajc | September 26, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama hates his country. He believes that it is he, and only he, that can correct its inherently flawed nature. Quite frankly, he makes me want to puke. Does he ever stop talking?

Posted by: sombreropoint38 | September 26, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama wanted to be president because he wanted a cause smaller than himself.

Posted by: NAuchi | September 26, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

From now on, all disputes with any nation will be settled with war-of-words.

With a natural talent of whipping up finest speech on any topic at a moment's notice, Obama is poised to lead us to swift war victories using only calming words.

"Can't we all get along?" famed Rodney King would fit perfectly as our Ambassador of Peace.

I propose that we get rid of out Nuclear arsenals. Use the unused Nuclear fuel to produce CLEAN electric energy.........

Posted by: vatodio | September 26, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

For all you left-leaners out there - I have some interesting info. for you.
Did you know that Presidential elections are always determined by the voter's pocketbooks? Remember 1992 - "It's the economy, stupid"? Well, Obama was elected because the economy tanked on Bush's watch, and he was a Republican.
So, how do you think the election of 2012 will turn out, hmmm? Who's going to be tired of their pocketbooks being robbed by Obama's socialist agenda? You guessed it! Keep in mind, ACORN will no longer be around to "help", either. You all are going to lose big time - in 2010 AND 2012. Sneer and thumb your noses all you want at the rest of us "uneducated" hillbillies. We will have the final word.

Posted by: ldenton1 | September 26, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

People lets forget about the United States B.O... Before Obama.

There is a new reckoning...We are now it the year 0000 A.D...Anno Domini Nostri Barack Obama!!!

Posted by: caper29 | September 26, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Oboobma is a contemptible, dangerous and ignorant fool with serious daddy issues. He despises America and sincerely wants to destroy her.

Posted by: thebump | September 26, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how people are now shocked by Obama's speeches. Doesn't anyone recall the "Citizens of the World" speech in Berlin one year ago last spring? How about the "lowering of the seas" acceptance speech in St. Paul?

And, lest we forget the DNC greek columns...

America, we got a problem.

Posted by: Captain_Universe | September 26, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Obama is a disgrace. It would have been great for the country to have had a first African American president that was not a narcissistic America hating Hope and Change salesman.

Posted by: sombreropoint38 | September 26, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Barak Obama and Progressive Liberals alike believe that their brains are a little larger than that of the average American. And for this reason they believe that they must be our caretaker and save us from ourselves.

This fight is between Progressive Liberals and the rest of America(Democrats, Republicans and Independents united).

Posted by: pjean | September 26, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama's stategy of trying to "make nice" with the rest of world by apologizing for America's transgressions isn't working.

Our enemies see this as weakness to be capitalized on, while our erstwhile European "allies" see it as an opportunity to offload their colonial guilt on the U.S. and weaseling out of helping to pay the price for policing the world's problems.

Yeah, we've done some horrendous things; so have many other countries, and you don't see their leaders genuflecting before the altar of world opinion.

Mr. Obama has started to show some spine in his recent appearances before the UN and G20; I hope he backs up his words with solid policies.

Posted by: EddietheInfidel | September 26, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't run down our country? Are you serious? He's the only President in memory who makes a point, especially overseas, of apologizing for American mistakes or wrong policies.

Granted, Bush, as well as Clinton, George Bush Sr. and Jimmy Carter all made a lot of mistakes and were responsible for wrong policies.

But, only Obama goes around apologizing as if that will make everything all right. And, what he has gotten for it so far? Nothing. Except read Sarkozy's speech at the UN. He took a few rhetorical pokes at Obama.

And, while Bush had good relations with the UK, Obama does not although they're not as bad as some think. And, don't forget that Bush's second term was very different in terms of multi-laterism vs unilateralism.

Finally, Obama is, indeed, still personally popular even though many of his policies are not.

Posted by: vrytix | September 26, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Finally the media is beginning to recognize Obama's narcissism. Anyone in the mental health field has recognized it as a narcissistic personality disorder. After Obama's interview with George Stephanopoulus last weekend, along with his consistent lying, he is also showing characteristics of a sociopath. For those doubters, google these disorders. Along with his radical ideology, 2010 and 2012 can't come soon enough. By the way, the treatment prognosis for these people with narcissism and antisocial behavior is very poor. We are in for a very bumpy ride.

Posted by: bethmack | September 26, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Only the ONE would promise to cut healthcare spending by billions while signing up millions of people not in the system-- INCLUDING illegals! All that came before him cast a blind eye on health care spending and we are to believe this light weight bureaucrat that floated to the top of the Illinois cess pool in record time will make the system run like a German train at less cost...hahahahahah tell me another one!

Posted by: BUMPA1705 | September 27, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Knee jerk libs who claim Gerson is knee jerk in support of Bush and anti-Obama are flat out wrong. Gerson is a middle of the roader, and he is to the left of many of us commenters and millions of Americans. Obama's speech was no less outrageous than he claims it was.

Posted by: yourstruly1991 | September 27, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

You need to cut our President some slack. It's a tough and demanding burden to be the Messiah...carrying the hopes of all mankind

A far more appropriate response would be to join those New Jersey schoolchildren carolong their President. Or perhaps you should follow the Department of Education teaching plan to consider what you can personally be doing to help our President.

But no, you gloomsters and purveyors of negativity choose to look to the negative. And it is you who are responsible for the sorry state of our country today.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | September 27, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I've got several things to say to some of you basement dwellers who spout off idiotic memes that other people with BDS suffer from. 1. When you ride in a Navy plane called the S-3, in the cockpit you HAVE to wear a flight suit and a flight helment. It has EJECTION seats and without this gear on you would DIE if the engines were to fail. So GWB did not swagger onto the deck dressed like a pilot because he is a pilot. 2. One of the symptoms of narcissism is the frequent use of badly flawed statistical data to make one's image better than it is. BHO has done this so many times its hard to keep count. 3. If you basement dwellers are luck enough to have wives or husbands try taking them to a large party and telling everyone there that THEY have significant flaws but that you are trying to correct them. I hope you know the name of a good divorce lawyer because you will need it. Yet this bumbling fool of a president has done just this, numerous times to the American people and to our great nation. 4. Anyone who is stupid enough to believe that by spending our national net worth on pie in the sky health insurance, pork filled stimulus, TARP, GM and Chrysler bailout, cap and trade and now the UN poverty fund, that it will some how make us whole again has never met a payroll. Economists have already figured that we owe more than $50,000 for every man, woman and child in national debt NOW. This is above normal taxes owed. Where the hell is it going to be in 3 more years? Try to imagine paying off your share if you have a family of four.
Be proud of the man you voted for but don't be blind!

Posted by: inspectorudy | September 27, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Until eight months ago, America was a benighted place, but now Obama has redeemed us from our history. We are more popular than ever all over the world, and even Gaddafi and Castro have noticed the amazing difference.

No longer do we hector others about our archaic values of liberty and democracy. No longer do we see ourselves as the indispensable nation. Now we acknowledge that others are right to hate us, but that our Dear Leader is busy changing us to be more like them. We'll be a third world hell-hole before we know it.

Ahmadinejad, Putin, Hu, Kim Jong-il and Chavez have taken Obama's measure and are licking their chops. Obama's a thug's dream -- narcissistic, delusional and so weak.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 27, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Free OxyContin to all Republicans!
The need is obvious and urgent.

Posted by: osservatore_americano | September 27, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

The MSM got Obama elected but I have noticed over the last month that more and more of it has finally recognized the monster that it created.

Just take a look at the list of articles at Real Clear Politics, and how many are now critical of Obama.

It would be too much to expect journalists to admit that they made a terrible mistake but at least they are writing differently.

There are a lot of comments on this and other talkbacks about Obama's narcissism, and it might be interesting to imagine how much practice went into perfecting his Hollywood smile.

Posted by: redmike | September 27, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse


Thank you for your thoughtful and concise comments. I agree. Gerson's comments may have some merit, but that's just a detail (for me, anyway).

In my retirement years I have started paying attention to political things; never had much time to that as a business manager, owner, and eventually consultant for a global organization. I long for those days in one sense: the more time I have to mull over the political and government scene, the more discouraging it gets. A born optimist and "doer", I'm now quite pessimistic and frustrated by what I have observed in the public sector. I doubt it has changed much in recent years, but now I find myself actually paying attention and wondering about the seeming absence of focused leadership and "performance improvement" principles.

Early on, because of the history of a couple of business organizations I worked in, I learned that when things start to go "south" it is very important to have deep understanding of what had made the organization successful, skill in mapping out strategies and action plans to get things back on track, knowledge based on experience re: executing those steps get "better" (however that is defined in the circumstances) ultimately to the benefit of various stakeholders.

For years now, I haven't seen much to inspire belief that "we" have a clue about those things in the public sector at the national level (or state level for that matter).

I saw, up close and personal in the '70s and '80s a couple of once-great business organizations essentially flush their futures down the crapper because of leadership that I'd characterize as "management by thrashing around". Now that we, as a country, are essentially competing on many fronts on the world playing field, I have this sinking feeling that I am living through that kind of demise all over again?

Hope and change? Well then, show me the details.

Posted by: TerryOtt | September 27, 2009 3:15 AM | Report abuse

I have been noting, on this board and elsewhere, that liberal supporters of Obama are dangerously out of touch with reality. The economy is a shambles, and people are hurting, badly, because the gang that can't shoot straight in power has no clue. And, don't give me the old, "but, but... it's Bush's fault!" It is not. The rest of the industrialized world is in recovery. We are not.

The reason is because the people with the money and the ideas are taking a powder, because they are tired of being demonized, and they have no idea how much of their effort will be confiscated by arbitrary decree, like it was for the bondholders of GM and Chrysler. That, and the fact that we are printing money like it is going out of style (and, the US dollar, very literally, is).

We are on a path to wreckage and ruin, and the clueless idiots on the Left think they can make it work by finding new and more creative ways to insult the American peoples' intelligence (yes, that is a double entendre). People are angry, more so than I have ever seen them since the early 1970's, and there is massive buyer's remorse in the land. It is a foregone conclusion that the next election is going to be a bloodbath. A lot of incumbents are going down in flames. The only remaining question is how much more damage these fools in the Administration and Congress can inflict before the cavalry can ride to the rescue.

Posted by: Bartemis | September 27, 2009 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Evidence of your points is: there are those who, in a serious manner (as if they actually believe what they are saying) utter words about the actions of government "creating jobs".

I'm here to confess that I, and many like me, are "destroying jobs" (by the millions, I project). How? By cutting back on our spending of all kinds --- goods, services, entertainment, travel (cancelled a cruise), dining, furnishings and clothing and appliances (and cars -- we just decided to buy "used"), pet boarding, haircuts and salons (space them out), housekeeping (only for special occasions), maintenance of income properties we own (now it's do-it-ourselves) etc. That new sound system for our condo we planned to put in this year? Nope.

Why? Because of the creeping increase of taxes, soon to become a gallop, including property taxes as well as income taxes, and the inevitable inflation that is waiting in the wings to erode our savings and investments. Government tells me that I have a target on my back, and there is not much I can do to take it off or cover it up. But somehow "government" doesn't seem to understand that our world will change as a result.

We'll figure out ways to cope, we are resourceful in that regard, and step one means cutting back in many many areas; the impact of that is lower income for numerous others, and fewer jobs overall. Last year, we'd take things to the tailor for alterations --- this year, we learn to sew all over again. Some things we used to dry clean we now wash by hand and hang and touch up with an iron. Like that. Detail the cars? Nope, that was last year; now we use our hand vacuum, and "pass the Windex". It's not a big deal to us, but it IS a big deal to others that used to benefit from our disposable income.

Do we HAVE to go into a shell in terms of spending? Not really, not yet anyway. But the higher priority is to make good on a promise to pay college expenses for our grandchildren, so we have an austerity program in place.

People in government and those who elect them, few of whom seem to fully understand finance and economics go on blithely about taxing incomes and investments, redistributing wealth, and the fictitious notion "creating jobs". Like lots of things the public sector messes around with, there are unintended consequences, and often that "brilliant idea" turns out to be just "one more set of problems".

So, yes, we are destroying jobs that we used to support with our spending patterns.

Posted by: TerryOtt | September 27, 2009 5:26 AM | Report abuse

I see plenty of rhetoric in Gerson's post. In fact, I see plenty of propaganda-like manipulation of language. I'm no Obama worshiper, but I don't see analysis by Gerson that comes close to implying the conclusions he arrives at: "me, me, me at all costs", "narcissism" etc. I guess, in order to come to these conclusions, you have to know in advance what interpretations you want to put on words before you actually see or hear the words themselves. Then, again, Gerson has been a professional speech writer who has invented some very "effective" phrases, so I presume he knows more about these things than I do.

Posted by: twm1 | September 27, 2009 6:05 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how happy Michelle is, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: egoist | September 27, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Finally someone in the WaPo is starting to see the light. Can you all see what danger Hussein Obama has steered us into?

Posted by: aloysius1 | September 27, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

jaxas - you sound pretty angry yourself. fyi not all B.O. critics are from the right. i'm lifelong democrat myself and can't stand the guy. also not all republicans loved bush. so lighten up.

this is you:"I have to snicker at all of these angry right wing nitwits with all of their cranky charges of Marxist, socialist, yada, yada.

Look, you imbeciles wouldn't know a Marxist from a mule's a$$."

Posted by: driveshesaid | September 27, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Silly Obama. He doesn't realize that it's THE REV. MIKE GERSON'S GOODNESS that will rescue us all. Especially the fetuses!

Posted by: misterjrthed | September 27, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and good news. SS is bankrupt too. Official 5pm Friday release...

And a quote from the associated press:

"Social Security is projected to start generating surpluses again in 2012 before permanently returning to deficits in 2016 unless Congress acts again to shore up the program"

"shore up"... bail out... whatever. The govt that invented the problem... has used it to buy votes for 50 years is gonna fix it? hahaha

Posted by: docwhocuts | September 27, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

This is George W. Bush's speechwriter talking about narcissism.

Posted by: ottoparts | September 27, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

If the Washingtom Post is writing about Obama as the shallow, egocentric man he really is, the wheels are coming off the Obamamachine. With his popularity in near freefall, he is left with only chest thumping anti-American rants to boost his spirits.

Maybe next time the voters will demand to know more about the person before they pull the lever. In 2008, the voters wanted to know one thing - Obama was not Bush. Sadly, we needed to know who he was, not just was not.

Posted by: wkerch | September 27, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

It would seem that author has a rather convenient case of amnesia pertaining to the "decider", the last eight years, and "political capital".

That's not to say that I'd expect any less, of course.

Posted by: johnceeking | September 27, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

JUNGLEJIM123 wrote: "the media pick and promote Obama as their golden boy". Let's hope Maureen Dowd doesn't read your comment lest she accuse you of really meaning to say "black boy". Remember MoDo knows your "racist" heart. After all, you must be "racist" if you do not kneel to "The One".

Posted by: spidermike | September 27, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Silly Obama. He doesn't realize that it's THE REV. MIKE GERSON'S GOODNESS that will rescue us all. Especially the fetuses!"

What a mixed up statement. How do the words apply to Gerson's article?

Are you inferring that Obama's goodness will rescue us all.

Let us forget about the fetuses for a moment. What about babies. Obama, while a state senator, refused to let the Born Alive Infant Protection Act be debated. And he abstained from voting on the federal equivelent in Congress. Even NARAL agreed that if a live baby resulted from an abortion then all appropriate medical care should be provided.

Inate goodness - ?

"When this occurs, the small, pre-term baby drops out of the uterus, oftentimes alive. It is not uncommon for one of these live aborted babies to linger for an hour or two or even longer. One of them once lived for almost eight hours.

In the event that a baby is aborted alive, he or she receives no medical assessments or care but is only given what my hospital calls "comfort care." "Comfort care" is defined as keeping the baby warm in a blanket until he or she dies, although even this minimal compassion is not always provided. It is not required that these babies be held during their short lives.

One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down's Syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him. I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. He was 21 to 22 weeks old, weighed about 1/2 pound, and was about 10 inches long. He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy he had trying to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet that I couldn't tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his heart was still beating through his chest wall. After he was pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, wrapped him in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of our dead patients are taken...

We look the other way and pretend that these babies aren't human while they're alive but human only after they are dead. We issue these babies both birth and death certificates, but it is really only the death certificate that matters. No other children in America are medically abandoned like this."*

Where is Obama's inate goodness.

*Testimony of Jill L. Stanek, RN, before the United States Congress Hearing on H.R. 4292, the "Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2000" July 20, 2000

Posted by: davod1 | September 27, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Look, you imbeciles wouldn't know a Marxist from a mule's a$$."

That's because only a handful of experts can distinguish the two.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 27, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson,

Your article was well written, and I might now begin to read the Washington Post again. There is another article on several newspaper web sites about Bill Clinton saying that "right wing" conspirators are trying to get Obama as they tried to get him when he was in office. They have lumped all Americans (and there are million and millions of us) that want to know if this man has deceived the American public and stole the Presidency through fraud---as he is not a "natural born" citizen. If he does qualify he will have the nation behind him, because Bill Clinton is wrong. We are not "right-wing" conspirators; we are Americans that feel no man is above the law; we are those that believe in America and feel the Constitution should be protected; we are those that have had family members that have fought and served this country proudly and protected our Constitution and our values.
Thank you for your efforts and your article and I applaud the Washington Post for printing it.

Posted by: MaxforAmerican | September 27, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This from the man who aided BushCo in invading and occupying a fourth-rate military power that posed no danger to us. Some of the blood of a hundred thousand innocent Iraqis and thousands of our soldiers is on your hands, Mr. Gerson. Good luck scrubbing it off.

Posted by: blogenfreude | September 27, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

To see the rouge bullies of the world embrace obama, while they continue their evil agenda with no fear of reprisal from the American apologist, should give pause to all. Obama and the ones pulling his strings scare the hell out of me. Pres. Bush was not perfect, but the world feared him. They are laughing at obama.

Posted by: genepoolbooboo | September 27, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

TerryOtt: A very thoughtful exegesis. You are so right. The cumulative effect of those individual decisions is diluvian. The disciples of Keynes bandy aggregate measures and velocities as if the economy were a continuous cloud of negative charge spinning about the positively charged Government nucleus, with deterministic behavior such as prescribed in the laws of classical physics. But, as in that field, there is an irreducible quantum, the individual making nanoeconomic decisions, which renders the classical picture null and void.

emmet1: that was sublime ;-)

Posted by: Bartemis | September 27, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Compared to the lies, deceptions, and fear mongering and war mongering of Bush and his administration, Obama may not set well with those who would prefer belligerence and bullying to intelligence and persuasion; "I'm right and you're wrong" over mea culpa; "my way or the highway" mentality over cooperation....

Obama is imperfect as we all are.

But compared to the lies and fear that the Bush administration fed not only the UN but also the US, Obama is refreshing....

Of course, the "righteous-reich" folks won't see it that way because they prefer the lies to the truth.

Posted by: abbydelabbey | September 27, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

abbydelabby, do you really think "mea culpa" and "intelligence and persuasion" will work with Khamenei, Kim Jong-il, Putin and Hu? Maybe if they were well-intentioned but muddled-headed liberals, but they're not.

Our adversaries are cold-eyed thugs probing for weaknesses. Like Stalin, they keep pushing when they find mush, but they stop when they encounter steel. I wish there were some steel in our commander-in-chief's character.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 27, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Yep, speeches sure were a lot more meaty and satisfying when George W. Bush was president, weren't they, Mr. Gerson? And Bush could quote Roosevelt all he liked - after all, was Roosevelt black? I don't think so!

Over the years, you've written enough twaddle to sink a container vessel, but rarely have you managed to find this level of foolishness. There's nothing about Obama that you like, and there was nothing about Bush that you didn't like. That pretty much sums you up.

Posted by: marknesop | September 27, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing about this latest talking point from the right, "a slander against every American ally who has made sacrifices in Iraq and Afghanistan" is that right-wingers are the only ones repeating it. You won't hear this from our allies, whether they deployed or they didn't. The allies can speak for themselves. Notably, the author doesn't quote a source which is a clear indication that he pulled the statement from his arse.

This is just another step in a long series of right wingers pissing and moaning over every moment of Obama's term.

You lost, get over it.

Posted by: ericclone | September 27, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

markesnop, three things Bush never did in his speeches: (1)praise himself at his country's expense; (2)praise himself at his predecessor's expense; and (3)say anything as idiotic as, "No nation can or should dominate another nation". I agree with the "should" part, but only a naif could believe the "can" part.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 27, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama: narcissist, cocky, uppity, arrogant, self-centered.
Bush: confident, swagger, bold, courageous, fearless, self-assured.

This is the Republican projection of both men, though both are confident and pretty self-assured, it's fine for one to be that way and not the other.

1. One of the guys is a Democrat.
2. One of the guys is non-white.

Sorry, not trying to play the race card, but if you think race has absolutely nothing to do with Obama's perception by some on the right, I think you'd be mistaken.

Posted by: hardcore_2369 | September 27, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama actually said, "I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust. Part of this was due to mis-perceptions and misinformation about my country. Part of this was due to opposition to specific policies, and a belief that on certain critical issues, America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others."

What Michael Gerson said about this: "He (Obama) accused America of acting "unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others" -- a slander against every American ally who has made sacrifices in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Does Mr. Gerson know how to quote people? Did he read the line before and after this quote to know Obama was reflecting a critical viewpoint expressed by others? Does President Obama need to fear being misrepresented by people who should, by profession, know how to quote people?

This should have been vetted by editors. Do your jobs, please.

Posted by: egrenier | September 27, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I'll say one thing for Mr. Gerson: he has the ability to draw every nutcase out from under their rocks to post idiocy in ALL CAPS.

The right wingers are drawing from the bottom of the barrel again -- saying Obama is not a "true American," that he was born in Kenya, and the fact that his middle name is Hussein is somehow to be held against him. What vicious twaddle.

Posted by: chuckbarb23 | September 27, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

chuckbarb23, what people are starting to hold against Obama is how he always rhetorically separates himself from America's traditional values and role in the world. Many of us are justifiably proud of our country and wary of a president who is so eager to appeal to those who hate it. Obama has been called the first post-American president, but is he also anti-American?

We're not impressed that Gaddafi wants Obama to be, like him, a president-for-life. What do Gaddafi, Castro and Chavez see in Obama that appeals to them so? I suspect it's the same thing those of us see who are repelled by him.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 27, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

"the massive deficit spending, the sad decline of healthcare, the underfunding of Medicare, the decay of the infrastructure, the badly fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the unquestioning belief in markets, tax cuts and deregulation that led to the meltdown of the economy."....Oh kcbob, you slay me. You probably didn't get the memo, but libs are now forbidden from complaining about Bush's deficit spending ever since Barry quadrupled the deficit in less than one year. Seriously, you ladies embarrass yourselves when you bring that up, so just stop it. As for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...well, we're winning in Iraq and Afghanistan (aka the good war) is now being lost by your guy Barry. The war NEVER bothered you guys anyway, despite all your talk about "supporting the troops" and "the Iraqi people" because the anti-War movement died on Jan 20, 2009. It was all about hurting George Bush. You America-hating unpatriotic femmes don't give a crapola about the troops or liberty. Also, the collapse of the financial markets was because of the housing crisis, which was brought on by Democrat policies pushed by "banking queen" Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. And, BTW, tax cuts generate revenue and stimulate the economy. Just ask David Patterson. And our health care is the BEST IN THE WORLD. EVERYONE who can afford it comes to this country for healthcare. Look, I understand you femmes are upset that your metrosexual ball-less president's poll numbers are tanking as his signature issues (Government take-over of health care, Cap and Global Warming Tax) are dying on the vine. But, really, you need to get back into reality. You are going to lose badly in 2010 and Barry Ozero is going back to Chicago in 2012 to hang out with his terrorist buds and that racist nutcase pastor of his. Just accept it. You'll be much happier.

Posted by: WarEagle1 | September 28, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed your comments. You missed one point though. I am a stupid man and not very intelligent but I have noticed the world
does not take Obama seriously and some have berated him as a world leader. So, in all due respect, who gives a damn what he says!!
He is quickly becoming a joke and that is a

Posted by: truckeegumshoe | September 28, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Gosh. The allegation, even sad suggestion, that Americans rule this tiny portion of our universe, is mind-boggling.

You realize that Yankees are way out of whack, right ? Deeply in debt ? Bigtime ?

Yup (checking), the USA is majorly mortgaged. 10 Trillion dollars + and that's just from the previous administration, hidden under a Bush. (If the world reluctantly recalls ... surely it will).

Some whackjob you had there, spinning and spiralling; send the vitriol backwards.

Ergo: Grow some cajones.

Get behind your present President. He has inherited a mess and seems strong, smart and decent.

From a foreigner: Stand By Your Man.

Posted by: AlphaCentauri2000hotmailcom | September 28, 2009 4:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh WarEagle1, didn't know you were so easily slain!

You forget, we're still spending on Bush's last budget. How quickly you folks on the right forget that your own heroes, Bush, Paulson, Greenspan, and every sane economist on the right has said the bailouts were necessary, markets failed because the underlying premise was flawed and deregulation didn't work. Tax cuts have never paid for themselves but do add some stimulus in bad times. In the good times in this century, they overheated the economy as did the low interest rates. They did the same for Reagan, producing a massive deficit and commercial housing bubble. Tax hikes came in the final years of Reagan's reign.

Our healthcare isn't, "best in the world," even with the highest spending. You can jack with the stats all you want, but we're well down on the list and kill tens of thousands a year prematurely from lack of care.

Oh WarEagle1, you simply have to quit reading just the ditto merchants. Go back. Read Stockman and Weidenbaum. Or simply look at the 11 trillion you guys built up with unneeded tax cuts and not near the spending cuts to pay for them. Look at what you did to Medicare prescription drugs.

Or keep blaming Democrats for all that went wrong and keep the GOP out of power interminably.

Posted by: kcbob | September 28, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

America's unilateralism had to end.


Let's be honest. If we could afford it, we'd still be doing it, but the fact is we can't afford it. If we're going to rule the world, we need help from the major countries in the world, at least significant contributions from the top 20 nations in the world.

All Obama is saying is this. He's saying to the countries of the world that if you don't like America doing it alone, well, it ain't happening anymore, but now, stop criticizing America as we're not doing it alone. We're doing it with other countries or not at all.

Now, how the hell is that criticizing America? I thought he was too kind to the mis-leaders of America who have bankrupted America on the altar of anti-American free trade globalization.

No, sir, Obama wasn't critical enough of those previous mis-leaders who destroyed America. Not critical enough.

Posted by: santafe2 | September 28, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Gersen's statment of the obvious is all well and good, but the MSM fed the maws of THE ONE's narcissism all through his campaign, and many continue to do so in spite of the fact that he's a socialist buffoon with a penchant for anti-Western claptrap.

Posted by: killer_85 | September 28, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

The truth is that large shares of those of us who did not vote for Obama like(d) him and want him to succeed - hence, approval ratings far in excess of his margin of victory. But this writer has a point about presidential narcissism and discrediting of his country. If Mr Obama truly meant to stand behind his own rhetoric about healing divisions, he could point to the many things that he now implicitly acknowledges that his predecessor did right. It would bring a great deal of healing to his own country. The list is long, starting with the Iraqi surge. How about saying, I was wrong, Mr. Bush was right? It is the truth, and it would be courageous simply to say the truth. But when anything pre-2009 is utterly discredited, by someone with so many self-referential and self-regarding tendencies, we lose our basis for hoping that he is hope we can believe in, and more of a basis to believe he simply can't stand his own country.

Posted by: lukeliberty | September 28, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

To see this silly little pink twit
practically exploding with fury

over the world hailed speech and actions of OUR President at the UN

is to understand exactly what Gerson is.
He who put much of the ridiculous words in the disasterous Bush's mouth
cannot stand to see this coutry righted by a
widely praised leader...versus the detested
laughed at Bush.

And of course, Obama won't do whatever Israel wants. THAT's the real problem for Gerson.

Posted by: whistling | September 28, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Who takes a former Bushie seriously - I surely don't.

Pres. Obama is doing what anyone who came after Bush had to do. Mend fences so that we will have allies, if and when needed.

Everyone knows that Gerson only has hateful and untrue things to say about Pres. Obama. The majority of Americans agree/like the president even the ones who don't agree with some of his policies. Gerson is just pi$$ing in the wind. Get over it you lost.

Posted by: rlj1 | September 28, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Well written article outlining the literate man's snapshot of a narcissist. Obama had practically no prior experience when he was handed the keys to the US treasury and given the chair of chief executive officer of the nation. That he really believes America would be lost without him is not surprising because he needs this delusion to function as the emporer he believes himself to be.

Posted by: drzimmern1 | September 28, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"It is impossible to imagine him, under any circumstances, unfairly criticizing his own country in an international forum in order to make himself look better in comparison" -- criticizing the Bush administration, which instigated a military invasion that led to the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocents on false pretenses, and which instigated torture, and which prioritized huge tax cuts to the richest before the welfare of the nation, is not unfair.

You, sir, are losing it.

Posted by: sembtex | September 28, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The subordination of our national interests and security to "global security" and the "global community", which is what Obama did in his speech, is treasonous in and of itself and a violation of his oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States...".

Posted by: JoeDon | September 28, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Obama should stop making speeches every day and talk to his generals. General McChrystal says he has talked to Obama ONCE in the six months since Obama put him in charge of the war in Afghanistan. Yet Obama can jet off to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago getting the Olympics.

What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by: emmet1 | September 28, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Bush in 2004 (a choice I'm happy with) and Obama in 2008 (another choice I'm happy with). I can see why it seems like he's tooting his horn and being dismissive of Bush. But there's a defensiveness in you too that’s blinding you. O’s use of personality is primarily pragmatic and not narcissistic. Why did Bush get hammered way out of proportion to his sins? It wasn't about policy – O’s international policies aren’t that different – witness his Secretary of Defense. It's about the fact that Obama is black, working class and labels himself a liberal. Bush was a huge defender of the little guy, but he was rendered ineffective, because he was white, Republican, cowboy and Brahman. That's it. If he had said and done precisely the same things, but been a black Democrat, he wouldn't have gotten as hammered. Compared to the US, the world is very racist (i.e. prone to hate and dismiss people who are different), and this makes them extreeemely defensive (not like the small potatoes I’m accusing you of -- you'll get over it, they won't). Bush is ineffective, because the world is defensive. It's unfair. The accusations laid on W were incredibly unfair – but as your fellow Republican Mr. Lincoln recommended – stand by your truth and have faith that God is just. I’m a woman. There are a gazillion jobs in the world (like Ambassador to Saudi Arabia) that the most brilliant woman can’t execute effectively through no fault of her own, but because most of the world assumes women are not competent, the way they assume Texas cowboys are power-mongering, stupid and greedy. We women have been patient for 6,000 years, and so must you – give it 8-20 years to come around. Your day will come, because these legions who are finding some relief from their self doubt in Mr. O are essentially social and political conservatives. In the meantime, the Republicans have better things to do with their emotions than feeling miffed about this little stuff. And if you want the world to like you, find a dark-skinned male with simple roots and real gravity. Steele isn't enough, and Palin certainly won’t do. Or does the costume your representative is wearing matter to you too? ;-)

Posted by: hvete | September 28, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick of obama apologizing for America. I'm sorry for one thing: this narcissistic socialist, who certainly has benefitted from this wonderful nation that he denigrates, is in the White House.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | September 28, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh please. George W. Bush started more sentences with "I" than any other in history - that phenomenon was actually studied (wish I could cite the source, but it was a while ago). And who was the guy who couldn't name a single mistake he had made?! Finally, the reality is that Obama has a little more credit with the rest of the globe, at least for the moment. He knows that, and he knows it's useful. Promoting a new openness and willingness to engage, which is inextricably linked with his presence in office, without sounding like The Great Savior, is a delicate balancing act. Maybe he didn't pull it off perfectly - but let's see whether the rest of the globe has as much trouble with his "narcissism" before writing off the speech. My guess is Obama will do better at building genuine, and more far-reaching coalitions. Iran, of course, will be the test, and exam day is now.

Posted by: Philosophe | September 28, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

And I AM SO SICK OF HEARING (oh dear, all caps) the word "socialist" used by people who have clearly never met any real ones!!! Drop it, will you?! It's an empty, meaningless bogeyman. The only true "socialists" in this country are a few cosseted folks on college campuses. In Europe, however, where I did live for a time - there are many, many real socialists. Obama is Barry Goldwater compared to them. NAME-CALLING IS NOT A VALID ARGUMENTATIVE TECHNIQUE - except on the elementary school playground. Grow up!

Posted by: Philosophe | September 28, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson, it is not all about "him" as you state. It's all about damage control due to Bush/Cheney, and we need it. The US did act unilaterally under Bush, hell the administration even lied to it's own citizens in order to invade Iraq while you cheered them on.

I am so happy to have a president who is looking to create true coalitions and lead rather than Bush who talked about a coalition of nations when none existed. And Mr. Gerson, you might be more believable if you actually supported anything Obama is doing. But you are on the same page with Beck and that blogger Michelle, just nasty, flat out BS over and over again.

Posted by: datdamwuf2 | September 28, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

datdamwuf2, Obama's efforts to define himself as the anti-Bush and to demean Bush in every speech is truly pathetic. Was Reagan obsessed with Carter, or Lincoln with Buchanan? Hardly. They weren't small men like Obama. GWB, while not a Reagan or Lincoln, was always gracious to the Clintons, even though Bill had not been at all gracious to Bush Sr.

Manners are not as valued today as they were in pre-Boomer generations, yet they remain a fairly good proxy for character.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 28, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm not certain what words in President Obama's speech before the General Assembly Mr. Gerson is looking at, but if we read the first paragraph of his speech we see:

"I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust. A part of this was due to misperceptions and misinformation about my country. Part of this was due to opposition to specific policies and a belief on, on certain critical issues, America had acted unilaterally without regard for the interests of others.

And this is has fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism which, too often, has served as an excuse for collective inaction.

Now, like all of you, my responsibility is to act in the interests of my nation and my people. And I will never apologize for defending those interests."

"Misperceptions and misinformation about my country!"

Nowhere does the President accuse the United States of errors or poor policy decisions, but "acting in the interests of my nation." Nor does he come off as being the "Messiah" as Mr. Gerson presupposes.

The President simply says that regardless of the world's beliefs, we need to get past that and work towards a more peaceful community.

One that Gerson can't accept, because it's all about...him!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | September 28, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"...SO he can become our rescuer." Uh oh, there goes Gerson assigning motives, one of the oldest (and most diabolical if easily reputed) rhetorical tricks in the book. Next, and hopefully one presenting a greater challenge?

Posted by: daphne5 | September 28, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

daphne5, a major theme of Obama's speech was how much American policy has changed in the "nine months" (actually, eight -- the little twit can't subtract) since Obama became President. He was telling all those leftists who have hated America -- justifiably in Obama's eyes -- to give us another look.

Gaddafi, Castro and Chavez were impressed. Gaddafi called Obama his "son", which is true on a certain level.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 28, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

My European and Asian colleagues laughed after reading Gerson's latest rant of phony outrage. When I told them that this guy was GWB's speechwriter, the laughter turned to astonishment (and then more laughter). When they learned that Gerson was a columnist for the Washington Post and not the Washington Times, their astonishment turned to disgust.

GWB was reviled by much of the world. This included our allies - the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Australia. Undoubtedly, the words that Mr. Gerson put in his mouth via his dreadfully written speeches contributed to this international disgust. Mr. Obama has the toughest of jobs to try and change the perception of the US, but he is loved, liked, respected or at least tolerated by much of the world. In his speeches, the world sees a US that isn't an insular, arrogant nation filled with geographical and historical know-nothings.

Posted by: jaysit | September 28, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

jaysit, check back in a year and let us know how much your European and Asian friends like living in a post-American world, where no one need fear America and where we no longer see ourselves as the indispensable nation.

Maybe France and Japan can lead the defense of freedom, or maybe the bad guys will turn nice now that we are no threat. Putin, Hu, Khamenei, Kim, Chavez and al Qaeda surely won't take advantage of Obama's weakness. No, they'll sense his good will and kindred view of the world and they'll become our friends. Ya think, chump?

Posted by: emmet1 | September 29, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Obama will reach a level of maturity soon where he learns to listen, rather than just assume everyone else are idiots.

Most people reach that stage in their late teens, but Obama seems to be emotionally stunted - probably due to abandonment by his father.

Posted by: pkhenry | September 29, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

So. Obama telling the UN we need to work together sucks, but the following speech is a great way to convince other countries to work together.:

"...A George Bush 2002 speech to the U.N. General Assembly, where he told the nations of the world that they would make the U.N. irrelevant if they didn't believe him on Iraq and agree to a resolution leading to war. The United States, through its face to the world, the President, told the world, "You will now only be judged by a simply choice."

Oh yeah. The speech was written by the brain-dead writer of this column.

Posted by: Schweinsbiber | September 30, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

The lies and cries of the dim witted and barely human rightwingers on this board is all that you need to explain the dire straights that we are in!The very "people" that have sewn the seeds for all of Americas crises are again slandering good men that are trying to repair their failed, disgusting policies that led this country to derision,two failed wars,torture ,bankruptcy(economically and morally)and the road to Third World status!Humility,hypocrisy,introspection,idiocy,prejudice and traitorous are words that have escaped their vocabulary!

Posted by: sjo123452000 | September 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The sad thing is JC was right, and I'm not speaking of Jesus Christ...but he would have noticed the racism too!

Posted by: madcap72712 | October 1, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

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