As a great strategist once said of another, “What did he mean by that?” Two hundred years ago, the “that” was a reference to the expiry of the sly Talleyrand. Today it merely expresses wonder at our president’s frank admission that any strategy he may have had toward Isis has been put on ice. Nothing new there, of course. Our guy is the President of Cool, a position reinforced a day earlier when he turned down an opportunity to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. There would be no pouring of ice water on that cold heart of his — lest the ice kelvinize and talk of absolute zero ensue, not something one risks at a time of falling numbers. Still, for someone with a near blind belief in science, it was a strange form of denialism.
Perhaps he’s confused. On the one hand, he’s willing to give the United Nations cart blanche over America’s climate policies. Perhaps if he spent more time in Washington he’d be wondering what happened this year to its normally tropical summer. Not to mention that for all his cool he thinks he’s very hot. There he was, reportedly all set to attend Monday Night’s Emmy Awards in Hollywood, only to prove a no-show. There was enough disappointment there to ruin one’s golf game. And it was no consolation that many rallied to his side in defense of his right to an endless summer break and all the golf that weather will permit. There was even a self-professed Democrat whose defense of our president’s natural right to foursome play may have permanently undermined the White House’s chronic blaming of all bad things on our president’s predecessor. Wrote the bloke:
I don’t remember, but I assume that I was one of the many Democrats who gleefully took shots at President George W. Bush for the time he spent at Crawford — and if so I regret it. Presidents are better for having time out of Washington, even better for time away with their families.
Or as former Clinton Solicitor General and the Wall Street Journal’s Mad Men blogger Walter Dellinger put it in a special delivery letter to the New York Times, “The criticism of President Obama’s golfing vacation at a time of tragedy is misguided. If we want sound decisions from our presidents, we need to allow them some relief from their crushing responsibilities.” Sound decisions, crushing responsibilities — this guy’s good. Mad Men hasn’t been wasted on him.
In other ad copy from our Democrat friends, a particularly winning campaign has them arguing that losing the Senate will be short term — a “silver lining” consisting of a strange assurance that contested Senate seats in 2016 will this time affect seven GOP incumbents in states won by their president in 2012. It might be a “miserable” next two years, but come 2016 liberation is guaranteed. You’d think progressives would be capable of something more compelling than static thinking.
Then again, whenever they try they end up defending marijuana as the cause de jour, as with the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize seeking editorial series, which is now being rivaled by the Washington Post’s multi-part editorial war on global warming. The paper’s certainty is such that it happily dismisses arguments to the contrary, as in this passage:
The complaint that scientists did not predict a slowdown in warming lately does not contradict this [the finding that “There is now no doubt that the world is warming”]: Climate change is a long-term phenomenon; the line will go up and down here and there, but the general direction will be up.
In other words, they’ve seen the future and how it will work. Just in case, though, these same Post editorialists have announced that they “will no longer use ‘Redskins’ for the local NFL team” —though readers are free to use it in letters to the editor. “We’re not going to stop you.” There’s got to be a Pulitzer in there somewhere. And declining circulation. To speed the process along, we’ve raised funds to endow our beloved Post editorial crew with this week’s EOW prize. In the end, greenhouse gases will be all they have left. But no air-conditioning, no trips to the beach, no Redskins. The time will be right for the Post’s own defense of marijuana. Or attacks on marijuana carcinogens. You never know what hot topic will keep them cool.