Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tipping Point?

Probably too early, but we've detected a change in tone from a couple WSJ editorial writers.

Dorothy Rabinowitz discusses "allusions to the secret police, the East German Stasi and Orwell" in today's paper, Obama's Tone-Deaf Health Campaign:

Crusades are busy endeavors, the enlistees in this one, like those in every undertaking of this White House, concerned with just one message. Which is that the Obama administration is in possession of vital answers to ills and inequities that have long afflicted American society (whether Americans know it or not), and that those opposed to those answers and that vision are cynics, or operatives of the powerful vested interests responsible for the plight Americans find themselves in (whether they know it or not), or political enemies bent on destroying the Obama administration.
The president has a problem. For, despite a great election victory, Mr. Obama, it becomes ever clearer, knows little about Americans. He knows the crowds—he is at home with those. He is a stranger to the country’s heart and character.

He seems unable to grasp what runs counter to its nature. That Americans don’t take well, for instance, to bullying, especially of the moralizing kind, implicit in those speeches on health care for everybody. Neither do they wish to be taken where they don’t know they want to go and being told it’s good for them.
It took this battle over health care to reveal the bloom coming off this rose, but that was coming. It began with the spectacle of the president, impelled to go abroad to apologize for his nation—repeatedly. It is not, in the end, the demonstrators in those town-hall meetings or the agitations of his political enemies that Mr. Obama should fear. It is the judgment of those Americans who have been sitting quietly in their homes, listening to him.

James Taranto once labeled as "right wing nuts" those who find similarities between Gorbechov's oversight of his country's destruction with Obama's. Always above it all. Or so we thought. His Best of the Web article yesterday, Obama's Authoritarian Style, suggests a new awareness.

...a disconcerting trend: The Obama administration, perhaps out of desperation, is increasingly adopting an authoritarian style of rhetoric.

Taranto reviews several Obama'isms that help him form this new assessment. Here is one: Obama's quote below was removed from his speech transcript in the official White House transcript.

I expect to be held responsible. But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.

Just innocent revisionism, right?

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