Obama: 22 million Skidoo
Viewing the brief but revealing video clip of Obama yesterday momentarily asserting his having created 22 million jobs, I am struck by two things. First, by his manifest detachment: but not because he made a mundane, ordinary, forgivable, human mistake. Rather, for his not balking at once at his own voice speaking its very jarring-sounding wrongness, and for drifting mindlessly along with it for some 22 -- I mean, three seconds. (He's improving: he never hiccuped at the "57 states" enigma of 2008.) And because he's so obviously not on top of the issue, even though he says he "cares."
But, you see, it's all just so many words to be read, and some number to claim. When you are detached to his degree of detachment, there's no need for mental vigilance or acuity: they'll just tell me what I need to say when I get there. But for crying out loud, the auctioneer, the air-traffic controller, the short-order cook, the croupier, the matador, and the bicycle messenger, all pay more attention to what they're doing than this mannikin. They have to. And it's not even like he's really created any jobs at all anyway, is it? (Parenthetically, he looks tired and heavy-lidded. He's chosen the grey hair again today. Isn't the next vacation here yet?)
And second, by the easy nonchalance with which he recovered, to replace the cosmic, galactic, inadvertent "22 million" lie -- which he wasn't planning to tell -- with the merely whopping, colossal, deliberate "three million" lie, which he was. (Unless the faux pas was deliberate, to make you sigh, "ah, that's better." You never know.) In any case, both numbers are hopeless fabrications. Yet, he took the trouble to get the lie right, because after all, he's about "economic fairness." So, never say he's incompetent. Our Ethical President made sure to replace a putative ordinary, verbal stumble with the proper pathological, intended falsehood. Now, that's gotta be worth 10 days on a beach, somewhere.
Richard Kantro may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.