On What Planet

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn on August 1, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

… do you pass a “comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices” that does not already included drilling in the United States, offshore or otherwise?

“My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices,” Obama said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post.

If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage — I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done.”

So to pass some magical plan that’s going to bring down gas prices through Barry Dust and Hope, he’ll throw a bone to “compromise” that will do the thing that actually will bring down gas prices.

It’s not so much that I think Obama’s stupid, it’s that I think he’s deeply invested in the belief that we–both his opposition and his potential base, mind–are utterly stupid. Nobody could say these things if he didn’t believe he was talking to dolts.

Granted, the kinds of people who heckle speeches probably could use some doltspeak, but I have to admit to a little bit of flabbergast even there, at the patronizing, kindergarten-teacher way he speaks to these–black, lest we forget–shouter-downs:

Obama eventually stopped speaking, turned around, and said, “Excuse me, young men. This is going to be a question-and-answer session, so you can ask a question later. Let me make my statement. Why don’t you all sit down? Then you can ask your question. That’s why we’re having a town hall meeting. Sit down. You’ll have a chance to answer your question. But you don’t want to disrupt the whole meeting. Just be courteous. That’s all. All you got to do is be courteous. That’s all. Just be courteous and you’ll have a chance to make your statement.”

The men eventually sat down and their sign was taken away by those sitting nearby, and eventually a campaign staffer took it away.

*** UPDATE *** Per NBC’s Lauren Appelbaum, Obama eventually took a question from one of these protestors. Here’s the exchange:
Obama: I’m going to call on these young men. Just one of you. All right? And remember, I made a promise to you. But also I want you to give your mike back after you ask your question or make your comment.

If you have a four-year-old or similar-aged child, you’ll recognize this phrasing right away. It’s what you do to teach children who are just learning manners and correct human interaction. I give you something, but remember what you have to give me back, courteously. Hearing him speak this way to other adults, even clear jerks, leaves a bad taste.

Frankly, the most amazing thing to me about it is that they even cooperated after being babytalked like that. I don’t expect it to work as well on, say, Ahmadinejad.

All said, I prefer McCain’s manner of handling hecklers: “This may turn into a longer speech than you had anticipated.”

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace