The great detective writer Raymond Chandler’s final Philip Marlowe novel is titled “The Long Goodbye.” Perhaps Chandler was looking forward to Barack Obama’s look-at-me-I’m-still-important address Tuesday night. It was a dirge that went on at No-Doz length.
Unfortunately, I missed the address in real time because I had a conflict. I had to flea-powder the cat. As for addresses, it was sufficient for me that Obama’s will soon no longer start with 1600. But I learned Wednesday morning that Obama established a new NCAA record for adios speech length, speaking longer than Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton combined as these former presidents headed toward the door marked exit. (Talking longer than Billy-Bob on anything is impressive in itself.) I abused time this morning reading the transcript of the speech.
Predictably, most in the leftstream media were enchanted by the performance, as they’ve always been with anything and everything their philosopher king has said or done. “President Obama’s farewell speech was a remarkable pep talk on democracy,” a Washington Post headline declares, remarkably. “Obama’s faith in nation unshaken,” the reliably leftist Tampa Bay Times croons. And I’m sure standing O’s were heard in faculty lounges across the fruited plain. Hollywood wept.
But let’s get a grip here. The speech also set records for irrelevance, delusions, false trails (see George Neumayr’s fine catalogue of these), and vacuousness. But stats are not kept in these categories, though they should be.
His Glibness also spent a good deal of time taking credit for successes, most of which he had to make up. The Daily Caller reports that in doing so he referred to himself 75 times during the speech. My White House sources tell me that after the speech presidential physicians had to treat Obama’s left arm, which he nearly dislocated patting himself on the back. In a pre-speech blog trying to whoop up interest in the speech, Mr. Humility said that, “for me, it’s always been about you.” For those who didn’t laugh at this remarkable assertion, I refer you the great real estate deals available in Aleppo.
Obama is now what in the military, at least in my day, we used to call a short-timer, that is someone with just a little time left on his enlistment. As I heard many times, “I’ve got 30 days left — hell, I could stand on my head that long.” Obama may as well do this. He has stood everything else on its head (or tried to).
Our short-timer-in-chief has only a few days left in office, but he’s not de-fanged yet. He can still do more damage. Consistent with his philosophy of a place for everyone and everyone in his place, he may well spring more soldiers of Allah from Guantanamo to get them back on the battlefield where he clearly believes they belong. He may also extend his other NCAA record, that being presidential pardons, most of which have gone to convicted drug dealers whom he apparently wishes to see back on urban street corners where they belong.
But look on the bright side. Even if the speech was dreary, tendentious, and dishonest, the occasion of it reminds us that it’s not only good things that must come to an end. Michelle Obama is wrong. There still is Hope. And this time it’s not from Arkansas.
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