Sunday, March 15, 2009

Obama- can he do four years in this job?

Its probably a good idea to read this whole article before reading my comments- if you don't want to, Mr Krauthammer is discussing President Obamas announcement of the change of Federal Government policy regarding the use of cloned embryos for research by harvesting their stem cells.

'The other part -- the ostentatious issuance of a memorandum on "restoring scientific integrity to government decision-making" -- would have made me walk out.

Restoring? The implication, of course, is that while Obama is guided solely by science, Bush was driven by dogma, ideology and politics.

What an outrage. Bush's nationally televised stem cell speech was the most morally serious address on medical ethics ever given by an American president. It was so scrupulous in presenting the best case for both his view and the contrary view that until the last few minutes, the listener had no idea where Bush would come out.

Obama's address was morally unserious in the extreme. It was populated, as his didactic discourses always are, with a forest of straw men. Such as his admonition that we must resist the "false choice between sound science and moral values." Yet, exactly 2 minutes and 12 seconds later he went on to declare that he would never open the door to the "use of cloning for human reproduction."

Does he not think that a cloned human would be of extraordinary scientific interest? And yet he banned it.

Is he so obtuse as not to see that he had just made a choice of ethics over science?'

When he says obtuse, is he really thinking stupid?

This brings me to a topic I have not really wanted to discuss much. How smart is President Obama? How smart is he really? Is he a highly intelligent man, or does he just play one on TV?

Last night, being bored, I managed to watch President Obama discussing things with the President of Brasil for the TV cameras. What struck me instantly was the formers unease. Famously, the TV camera always reveals most when the people in front of it are trying to hide the most. Why would President Obama be uneasy? He has the top position in US government, the most powerful office in the world. I immediately thought 'He is out of his depth'. Every single word you say when you are US President is important- sometimes breathtakingly important. If you are not up to the job, if you got the job due to your acting skills and a sad lack of real-world nous on the part of the voting public, what do you do when you have to talk about real things to real people? What if you commit the US to something absolutely ludicrous? What if you piss off people whose help you need? What if the people you are talking to suss out what a sham you are, and immediately get the better of you?

If you need a teleprompter ALL THE TIME, what does that say about your ability to think (literally) on your feet? What does that say about your mental dexterity? What does that say about your real level of native intelligence and learned knowledge?

These must be worrying times for President Obama. Can he keep all the plates in the air for four more years? It must seem like forty...

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