Wednesday, June 16, 2010

criticize substantively, please

I'm getting tired of people citing Obama's supposed lack of emotion, especially in the midst of crisis. Having weathered a crisis of my own over the past year, I can tell you without a doubt that the ability to retain one's equanimity when everyone else is running around squawking (or in denial) is a virtue. I don't begrudge Obama his calm at all.

There may be plenty of other reasons to criticize Obama: lack of conviction, for starters, and lack of direction. People on the opposite side of the ideological aisle might take Obama to task for cleaving to liberal ideals perceived as detrimental to the country's health. That's all well and good, I think: such critiques are substantive, and there's a worthwhile dialogue to be had in that area.

But this obsession with Obama's supposed detachment or emotionlessness is completely beside the point, and not worth anyone's time. It's an obsession rooted in nothing deeper than externals, and reveals the embarrassing superficiality of the critics who grouse about how Obama looks. My advice: focus on actions and issues. Don't psychologize.



Nathan B. said...

Kevin, you're the first person to say what I've been thinking for some time about the so-called passionless Obama. I think a lot of criticisms of him are unfair and frankly childish, and I say that as someone who disagrees with him on several major policy issues.

John said...

Yeah, but did you hear Obama was raised by wolves?