Saturday, November 19, 2016

Obama doesn't pop off

Best result of googling "Gauthier proportions". Drawing by Manon Gauthier.
Commenter bluicebank writes:
In retrospect, I have realized that David Brooks is a punching bag.
In the last weeks of the Republic, why are we not discussing someone more powerful? As in, the Prez of the usa? Word. He is a black man, and cares about shit, and was arguably a great prez.
I hear lately that one Barack Obama is running tight-end for Trump. That's cool, I guess. But what bothers me is that Obama hasn't a fucking clue that this nation faces a crisis of gauthier proportions, blithely and as smooth-as-silk, almost cavalierly tossing the baton to Trump with fucking Vangelis in the background.
I've done two pieces on Obama's relationship with Trump in the past couple of weeks, plus one indirectly about it on Thursday, and I will undoubtedly do more.

I don't think there's anything in the least blithe or cavalier about what he is doing. I think he is more aware of exactly what kind of crisis we're dealing with here than more or less anybody in the world, and working on it with all the caution and delicacy of a sapper defusing a gigantic landmine, so carefully and so without vanity that we don't really know anything about it and can only speculate, but with all his intellect and patience engaged at the maximum.

He doesn't worry about whether you like how it looks, because he can't afford to, none of us can. It's not a fucking sports competition, as you know, not a question of who's the winner and who's the loser, it's a question of the health and maybe the survival of our whole polity, and if Obama doesn't mind showing up as a graceful loser at this time and even as a kind of friendly mentor to the incoming incompetent, it's because he always keeps goals in mind that are more important than he is. That's what it takes. Obama doesn't pop off.

He did say something in a conference call with supporters and organizers on Monday afternoon that you might have a look at, including this:
Understand that I'm going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen.  But that's not so far off.  It's basically six, eight weeks away.  And I will have some time for vacation, but you're going to see me early next year, and we're going to be in a position where we can start cooking up all kinds of great stuff to do. 
It's really not over.

Of course David Brooks is a punching bag, or the metaphor I've used before is that of a five-finger piano exercise. It's low-stakes calisthenics. I do it to keep fit, it's good for my style and fluency, and fun for me, in some sense relaxing, and I post them because a lot of people like to read them. Some don't. My youngest sister, who likes a lot of what I do, sees Brooks in the subject line and skips it, and that's just fine. You should feel free to do the same.

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