Friday, January 7, 2011

Mind the Gaffe


Even before he was elected, Michelle Malkin called candidate Obama "a walking talking gaffe machine." The president's detractors have also maintained that he can't speak in public without a teleprompter. There's even a blog devoted to supposed gaffes:
http://obamasgaffes.blogspot.com/
The most recent attack on President Obama's alleged frequent tendency to committ gaffes comes from historian Victor Davis Hanson, who wrote:
There is little presidential stature left. When Barack Obama addresses the Sen. minority leader as “Mike” McConnell or claims the US motto is e pluribus unum rather than “In God We Trust,” this is by now a non-news story — not after “57 states” or “corpse-men” or Austrian-speaking Austrians. Proclaiming that at some point individuals have made enough money raises no eyebrows either — not after “spread the wealth,” “redistributive change,” and claiming that the purpose of capital gains tax hikes was not to increase federal revenue but to ensure “fairness.”
Hanson believes Obama's gaffes and positions have created the "caricature" of a presidency. Perhaps Professor Hanson is experiencing memory loss. Both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush had their struggles putting a coherent sentence together. And then there was President Reagan. Can you imagine the Right's reaction if President Obama were to fall asleep while meeting one on one with the Pope? Or if his administration secretly sold arms to Iran?
It's obvious that we forgive the misstatements of people we like and ridicule the same sort of gaffes by those we dislike. To pretend otherwise is sheer partisanship, and any historian should know better.

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