On Obamaian Rhetoric

Another of Obama’s goals for the evening was to frame his opponents, which he did frequently. They are “playing politics instead of solving problems,” he said.

He was probably more effective in this gambit, if for no other reason than some of these quotes will be replayed over the next 24 hours. The attacks are still disingenuous, though. Obama suggests that the bulk of his opponents don’t want to do anything at all. This makes them look absurd. It’s true that some people hold this view. But the bulk of his opponents believe in some stimulus bill, just not the one he proposed. This is a perfectly standard political trick, but it’s hard to pull off if you’re a president promising a new kind of politics.

John Dickerson. See also Jay Cost. The President is very eloquent. But his political accusations are very ugly. It takes a lot of skill to lend eloquence to ugliness but at the end of the day, the President’s rhetoric has about as much intellectual integrity to it as does his stimulus package.