At his post-defeat press conference, Barack Obama worked hard to project an air of somber reflection, even as his remarks revealed that he had learned nothing from the defeat.
Amidst the practiced pauses and detached narration of the crash came a litany of excuses, evasions, and arrogant denials. He more or less cast himself as the victim of a "bad economy," as if two years of sending anti-business signals to employers had nothing to do with the high jobless rate. He made sure to note that other presidents had gotten similarly clocked after two years. And he essentially blamed the American people for a lack of perception and patience.
But since he couldn't say that directly, he had to couch his self-justification in the form of patronizing blather about how he could have "accomplished" more, made better "progress," and "communicated" more effectively with the American people. He tried to make some sort of phony distinction between his "policy decisions" and his "policy outcomes," implying that the people objected to the latter but not to the former. Never mind that the exit polls demonstrated that they repudiated both.
Obama couldn't bring himself to admit the obvious, that his liberalism leaves the American people unafraid of alternatives, so instead we got the usual self-serving nonsense about how the American people like the content of liberalism but just resist it in times of distress when Democrats fall down at salesmanship and implementation. In one answer, he even had the audacity to suggest that the American people were too dumb to realize that his bailout-style socialism was only temporary and not a permanent policy. Where could they have possibly gotten that idea?
Obama was in effect saying at the press conference what Joe Biden said on the campaign trail (that liberalism is hard "to explain," but somehow wonderful to behold over time in its results) and what Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid said after the passage of the health care bill (that a patient people will learn to love all the goodies contained within it if they just wait a decade or so).
Obama received praise after the press conference for his "pensive" demeanor, but what's stunning about him is his utter lack of reflection. He either has no capacity for critical thinking or what little he once possessed has dissipated in ideological reliance upon mindless cliché and sophistry. In any case, it is scary. At the end of the day, he is nothing more than a shallow pol with little interest in or knowledge of governing. He backed into the White House through effortless luck (he ran against one of the worst Republican presidential candidates ever), and apparently assumed that running the White House would be just as easy.
His shallowness also makes him obtuse, even from a rawly political and self-interested standpoint. He suffered one of the worst defeats in decades because of his environmental, socialist, and Brave New World dilettantism, yet spent much of the press conference talking about "electric cars," gays in the military, and 26-year-olds who, thanks to his largesse, will get to stay on the health care plans of their "parents."
Obama's metaphorical "car in the ditch" is apparently an electric car which, if it ever gets out, will drive America into a glorious future by picking up 26-year-olds and depositing them at job interviews for work made possible through the "Stimulus" package.
Obama admitted that he lives in a "bubble," but that too was the fault of others. He presented himself as the passive victim of his own presidency. Near the end of the press conference, he allowed himself a particularly absurd and maudlin moment, complaining that because of the presidency's inherently insular character no one can see the depth of his concern for the people. He said that "no one is filming him reading those letters" from them which leave him so anguished and inspired. Perhaps he needs his own reality show.