Our Talker-in-Chief…

Knows nothing else.

From George Will:

Our Demosthenes seems to regard the rule of strategic reticence as irrelevant to him. The rule: Do not speak unless you can improve the silence. He did not do that with his Oval Office speech. In it, to the surprise of no one who has been paying attention the last 17 months, he discerned in the oily waters of the Gulf of Mexico a reason for a large and permanent increase in government taxation and supervision of American life on shore. The oil spill validates his passion for energy—or is it climate change?—legislation.


Obama recently went to Wheaton, Md., a Washington suburb, to deliver a speech in praise of his health-care legislation, which has not become more popular in the months since it was passed on a party-line vote after more than a hundred Obama speeches, interviews, and other events praising it. Two Democratic Senate candidates (from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania) and two gubernatorial candidates (from New Jersey and Virginia) should be brought to the White House to conduct an intervention. They should explain to our Demosthenes that the correlation between the quantity of his speaking—now that is an addiction—and the fortunes of the things for which he speaks is inverse.

Diminishing returns from his rhetoric may reflect the public’s recoil from wretched excess everywhere. The unceasing torrent of his ill-chosen words is analogous to the unstoppable oil spill, which itself resembles his and his party’s incontinent spending. Just as congressional Democrats’ budget strategy is to have no budget, Obama’s communication strategy is to have no silence. Having no budget means, as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says, having no priorities and hence no restraints. Having no communication strategy means him being constantly in the nation’s face, hectoring incessantly, unconstrained by priorities.


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