Closer… Closer… the WaPo’s Richard Cohen Staggers Toward the Awful Truth About the ‘Being There’ President

Frank Ross

Richard Cohen of the Washington Post is a troubled soul these days. Having seen the triumph of the “narrative” so dear to so many liberal columnists and editors’ hearts, he and they are now forced to witness the disintegration of presidential authority even as the aggrandizement of presidential power continues apace — unchecked either by any decent Democrats or the hapless idiots who pass for the leadership of the Republican party.

His column today is another in Cohen’s occasional series of reflections along his asymptotic way to the truth: “President Obama’s Enigmatic Intellectualism.” That’s one way of looking at it:

It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama’s foreign policy is no heart at all. It consists instead of a series of challenges — of problems that need fixing, not wrongs that need to be righted. As Winston Churchill once said of a certain pudding, Obama’s approach to foreign affairs lacks theme. So, it seems, does the man himself.

For instance, it’s not clear that Obama is appalled by China’s appalling human rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia. He treats the Israelis and their various enemies as pests of equal moral standing. The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.

This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs? The president himself is no help on this score. When it comes to his own image, he has a tin ear…

…Obama is a man whose fantasy autobiography has largely set the terms of discussion: who’s Cohen or anyone else to say for certain whether he’s a socialist, a Muslim, or a lefty? As for his allegedly brilliant intellect, it would nice if he would let us all in on the secret of how he got in to Punahou, Columbia and Harvard, and what his grades there were. Certainly it’s telling that he does not appear to have many, if any, friends from those days, men and women willing to speak up and tell the world what a genius Barack Obama always was…

The entire article, with video, is at

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