Joe Klein recounts a scene with Obama at a recent Q&A session after a speech in Pennsylvania:
I noticed it during Obama's response to a young man who remembered how the country had come together after Sept. 11 and lamented "the dangerously low levels of patriotism and pride in our country, the loss of faith in our elected officials."
Klein then tells us that it was understandable that Obama used this “to go after George W. Bush”.
What? Oh, yes, understandable in that it’s a Pavlovian response, and we certainly would not have expect anything else from Obama.
Klein records the response from Obama thusly:
"Cynicism has become the hot stock," he said, "the growth industry during the Bush Administration." He talked about the Administration's mendacity, its incompetence during Hurricane Katrina, its lack of transparency.
Isn’t the talk “about the Administration's mendacity” itself cynical?
Isn’t the talk of the Administration’s “incompetence during Hurricane Katrina” a prime example of “the loss of faith in our elected officials”?
Isn’t Obama feeding, rather than, oh, I don't know, say transcending this young man’s lamentation? Or put another way, did this young man leave this speech more or less cynical about the lack of patriotism, pride in his country and faith in government after hearing Obama answer his question?
Isn’t it Obama who is peddling cynicism as the "hot stock", "the growth industry"?
And as long as we’re using stock market terminology, isn’t Obama simply engaging in a pump and dump scheme? Can we see where he stands to profit if people cynically believe the Bush Administration is mendacious, incompetent and lacks transparency?
Why, yes. Yes We Can!