The Reasoned Review

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More SOTU Reactions

with one comment

The Economist:

An understandably domestic-focused speech could have used more on Iran—probably the biggest issue in American foreign policy and one where a signal from the president in a speech at this level would be huge. Where was an acknowledgment of Iran’s protestors, and the regime’s brutal repression?


The New Republic:

A good defense of the bank bailout, plus an assault on the banks. Obama’s winning smile and sense of humor give his explanation a likeable sheen. He should have done more of that by now. (Geithner still looks, in a friend’s words, “like he got hit by a truck.”)

The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder:

I thought it was… good. It think it helps President Obama. I don’t know if it will help his party. It was a speech about the democratic process — a very effective one. It was a speech that challenged his own party as much as it challenged the Republicans. It had little in the way of policy, and a lot in the way of trying to leverage the character traits that Americans see and like about Obama to persuade them to accept that his way is still the right way.

Ezra Klein:

All in all, it was a good speech. But it was a good speech because it told the story of a good presidency and an able president. I expect Obama’s poll numbers will be up for a few days, but if he wants them to remain there, he needs events to bear out his narrative. And that starts with passing the health-care reform bill.

Does anyone notice what all these “reactions” have in common? They don’t refer to the substance of the speech. It’s all a question of whether or not it “helps” the “Democrats” in 2010, whether or not Obama was ‘likeable’, if his smile is ‘winning’, if he’s got a ‘sense of humor’, what kind of “character traits” he has. Not one word on the patent falsehoods or willful misrepresentations of data in the speech. And thus is the public’s consent manufactured.


Written by pavanvan

January 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

One Response

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  1. Turns out its about politics, not substance. Didn’t you hear?


    January 28, 2010 at 11:46 pm

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