Richard Cohen Serves Self Up A Softball, Whiffs Anyway

November 25th, 2009at 07:16am Posted by Eli

Because I try not to read him because he makes my brain sad, sometimes I forgot just how stupid and obtuse Richard Cohen is.  In yesterday’s column, he manages to come up with a very valid thesis (Obama has lost his moral clarity and betrayed the ideals he professed on the campaign trail) and then does an incredibly awful job of backing it up:

Somehow, though, that moral clarity has dissipated. The Obama who was leading a movement of professed political purity is the very same person who as president would not meet with the Dalai Lama, lest he annoy the very sensitive Chinese. He is the same man who bowed to the emperor of Japan when, in my estimation, the president of the United States should bow to no man. He is the same president who in China played the mannequin for the Chinese government, appearing at stage-managed news conferences and events — and having his remarks sometimes censored. When I saw him in that picture alone on the Great Wall, he seemed to be thinking, “What the hell am I doing here?” If so, it was a good question.

The Barack Obama of that Philadelphia speech would not have let his attorney general, Eric Holder, announce the new policy for trying Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other Sept. 11 defendants in criminal court, as if this were a mere departmental issue and not one of momentous policy. And the Barack Obama of the speech would have enunciated a principle of law and not an ad hoc system in which some alleged terrorists are tried in civilian courts and some before military tribunals. What is the principle in that: What works, works? Try putting that one on the Liberty Bell.

Of course, there’s a difference between campaigning and governing. There is no reality to campaigning. You want Guantanamo closed, you say you’ll close it. You want to close it as president, and all of a sudden it becomes a political crisis that costs you your White House counsel, an experienced and principled man named Gregory Craig. Governing is hard.

Okay, he’s right about the Dalai Lama and Gitmo, but The Bow? (It’s a sign of respect not submission, you pinhead)  Getting China on board with reducing carbon emissions?  Trying KSM in a civilian court?  These are supposed examples of Obama losing his moral clarity?  How about his continuation of Bush’s policies of secrecy and executive power?  His doubling down on Afghanistan?  His unconcern for the public option?  His serial betrayals of the gay community?

It’s a pretty easy case to make, and Cohen still can’t do it effectively.  Why a major American newspaper would pay him to write this inept drivel, I have no idea.

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Media,Obama,Wankers


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