posted by killre
I realize it's piling on at this point, but still... President Barack "Barry" Obama uttered something in the general direction of ABC's George Stephanopoulos earlier this week that is either the height of self-delusion or an hypocrisy so low that it sets a new limbo record at the least-common denominator tailgate party.
To wit: "Folks here in Washington, uh... like to grade on style. And, so, had we rolled out somethin' that was very smooth and disciplined and, um... uh... linear... uh, they woulda graded it well even if it was a disastrous policy."
First of all, Barry, that isn't true: a disastrous policy vis-à-vis Syria would not have graded well. For an increasing number of people, even a good policy wouldn't have graded well. Why? Two reasons. The first is that we Americans simply get tired of our presidents after a while. The second is that there was no good policy available. Either we'd have let thousands of people get gassed, or we'd have gone plunging headlong into another military intervention in the Middle East with its sure-as-shootin' messy geopolitical aftermath. The possibility of a good policy hasn't existed for at least a year now-- not since you choked on your vegetables one day, George W. Bush gave you the Heimlich, and the words "red line" came flying out of your big, fat mouth.
None of which is what I came here to address. What I was struck by in the above quote was the first sentence: "Folks here in Washington, uh... like to grade on style."
Also not universally true, judging by the unutterable lack of style displayed by so many congress-type-persons that to list them all at once would create a cyber sinkhole that would threaten to collapse the internet. If that happened, we might all have to go outside. Now that's a disastrous policy.
Again, though, that isn't the headline. The headline is this: Barack Hussein Obama is poo-pooing style in favor of substance.
Okay, let me get a few one-liners out of the way...
The surest way to know someone has recently puked all over the shag carpet is for Obama to point out, "Uh, look... the roof ain't leakin', so, uh... th-that's obviously a positive."
Obama championing substance over style is like Noah Webster declaring that the word impiousness has, somehow, perhaps in an alternate reality, more gravitas than the word impiety.
Hell, it's like Daniel Webster saying the same thing. (Please note: it is NOT my fault that you don't know who that is.)
"Folks here in Washington, uh... like to grade on style."
Yeah, so do the American people, Barry. You may fool yourself into thinking substance alone got you ensconced in that cushy, state-of-the-art suite of rooms in the executive mansion, but I have a news flash: You currently reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue largely because you showed more style than George Walker Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joseph Robinette Biden, John Sidney McCain, Willard Mitt Romney or Paul Davis Ryan, so you shouldn't knock it.
Sometimes, a metaphor (or an analogy, or whatever) drops into one's lap just when one needs it. For an example of style counting big time, I cite for you a recent incident from pop culture. Specifically, a round of Wheel of Fortune in which a contestant named "Paul" blew a million dollars (yes, I said million) faster than Hurricane Sandy. Paul was already on a roll when he sent the turntable spinning a final time, landed hallelujah on the skinny million-dollar space, and declared that he would Solve the following three-word Puzzle...
Paul heaved some air into his lungs and proclaimed, "Corno curro cabnit!"
Sorry. I'm back now. I fall to the floor laughing hysterically every time I think about it. I couldn't even watch the rest of the clip. I can only imagine Pat Sajak blinking and cocking his head like Data trying to fathom human emotion and saying, "I... uh... n-no, no, that... th-that's not it," and/or joking about corno curro cabnit being Latin for "the emperor doesn't need a million dollars."
Anyway... style counts, Barry. What's more, you know it.
P.S... Bud "Daniel Webster... Wasn't He That Kid From That 80s Sitcom That Was Kind Of A Diff'rent Strokes Ripoff But Not Really?" Selig must go.