Excerpts: Victor Davis Hansen, Obama vs. Obama
If we do not know who Barack Obama is, that may be because Barack Obama does not know who Barack Obama is. Barry Dunham? Barry Soetoro? Barack Soetoro? Barry Obama? Barack Obama?
Is he the racial healer who called his own ailing grandmother a “typical white person”? The white middle-class prep-schooler, or the authentically African-American community organizer?
The hip, yuppie multicultural agnostic — or the devotee of the them/us wacky old-time religion of Trinity Church?
The working-class populist who ridiculed the culture of rural Pennsylvania?
The modern-day Cicero who needs a teleprompter?
The Harvard Law graduate and Chicago law professor who gets confused about everything from Cinco de Mayo to the number of states? The Chicago progressive who regularly voted present? The reformist Senate candidate whose rivals in both the primary and general elections mysteriously found their divorce records leaked?
By pleasing his immediate audience with his mellifluous rhetoric and clichés about his racial transcendence, Obama has always charmed his way up his cursus honorum. Why worry about the nonexistent record, broken promises, empty platitudes, and self-contradictions when his mesmerized audiences believed that he believed in them, and lapped up the inexpensive absolutions for their assorted past sins?
The only catch is that Barack Obama no longer navigates among gullible Ivy League deans, naïve philanthropists, and inept organizers and bureaucrats. No, he is running a country that still has millions of no-nonsense truckers, teachers, small-business owners, and general skeptics who don’t give a damn about either Harvard or Chicago. And in their eyes, after a year, the game is about up.
Yet in a weird sort of consistency, Obama remains what he always was. Whatever we choose to see in this glass mirror, he will sorta, kinda reflect our vision.
Obama is our first everything-and-nothing president.