Obama at Fort Hood

November 10th, 2009 at 5:31 pm David Frum | 42 Comments |

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A fine eulogy, with a deftly written condemnation of the alleged shooter’s presumed radical Islamic motives. It almost makes up for the president’s weird “shout-out” preface to his first statement on the shooting.

George W. Bush was never able to fake anything. When he was sad, it showed, and when he was mad it showed, when he was bored, it showed.

Bill Clinton by contrast was like one of those Las Vegas magicians, who show you how the trick is done – then fool you with the trick -then again show you how it was done – then fool you once more. He would wink and weep, and weep and wink, and somehow please both those who liked weeping and those who appreciated ironic winking.

President Obama is a man of artifice, self-created, self-disciplined, self-sustained. One never knows what he really thinks and feels. Which was truly him – that ghastly shout-out, or this solemn remembrance? How does one begin even to guess? But although we always say we want it, the presidency is not the place for authenticity. It is a place for dignity, and this president’s dignity rarely if ever fails.

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42 Comments so far ↓

  • balconesfault

    When he was sad, it showed, and when he was mad it showed, when he was bored, it showed.

    And when he was absolutely clueless as to what the responsibilities of the President of the United States was …
    it showed.

  • Oldskool

    “It is a place for dignity, and this president’s dignity rarely if ever fails.”

    His dignity and smarts have been obvious since the campaign. Even the rest of the world likes him for those things which makes hysterical detractors seem more odd and more out-of-place than they normally do. That’s not to say they aren’t effective, there will always be people anxious for someone to stoke their anger. But to evicerate this president day in and day out makes them look petty. Make that more petty.

  • teabag

    Bush never went to ONE fallen heroes funeral. Not one. He never once visited the bodies being returned to Dover, not once. He just did not care.

    As a draft dodger he was just as scared about facing the reality of his actions, so he just kept away. Coward.

  • MI-GOPer

    Ahh, the old circle jerk of our Village Idiots and usual suspect of Democrat trolls just can’t stop themselves from turning the echo chamber into a Bash Bush Fest. It never stops with these echo chambered trolls.

    The Obama was wrong to give Chicago-styled thug “shout out” from da Chief of the Hood… these moments mean far more than a transitory ego boost to the Obama psyche in need of connection with someone more honorable, more serious, more brave than our dithering president. But the Obama just couldn’t resist. I swear, the Obamas’ involvement in this memorial was more staged, more phoney, more insincere than the last stage-crafted Dover “visit” with the dozens of attending correspondents, hot lights and fake salutes by the Obama… and that’s saying a lot.

    At least in this event, the Obama didn’t push out the grieving military families to capture the limelight… I guess for a pathological liar and ego-hot dog, that’s some small progress. Small progress.

  • txanne

    I cant believe I am wrting this, but I agree with MI-GOPer on one narrow point. This would have been a much better post without the Presidential compare and contrast. It was just a set up for bashing Bush.

    Once in a while it would be nice if we could just say something good about one without bashing the other. This subject would have been a good place for that.

    I think President Obama’s remarks were very moving today. I hope they helped to bring some measure of comfort to the families.

  • BoolaBoola

    Yes, it’s very touching and all that but:

    Is President Obama gonna be expected to speak in person every time a religious looney, or an extreme-political looney, or an extreme-ideological looney, or whatever, shoots a bunch of people? If yes, then where will the President find the time to get anything else done? And won’t the prospect of seeing their work acknowledged by the Prez in person motivate more loonies?

    “Creature of artifice”–you mean he *gasp* EARNED his fortune, rather than inheriting it like the Right Man? How DARE he!

  • balconesfault

    Is President Obama gonna be expected to speak in person every time a religious looney, or an extreme-political looney, or an extreme-ideological looney, or whatever, shoots a bunch of people?

    A number of US soldiers killed on a US base by a fellow serviceman is not “every time”. This was not simply a personal tragedy for the families and friends of the men and women killed – this was a national tragedy.

  • MI-GOPer

    BlankHead tries to recover from post #1 and his usual Bush Bashing by stating: “this was a national tragedy”.

    Wrong-o BlankHead. This was a massacre by a jihadist living in plain site of an overly concerned, overly-wrought military leadership enfeebled by political correctness.

    It’s too bad the Obama couldn’t call it for what it is… but then, that’s what you get when you do the WorldWide Apology Tour to Muslims and ban the phrase “War on Terror”. The Obama was as bad, if not worse, than the pre-massacre military leaders in shirking his responsibility as CIC at the Memorial. He should know better –but then, like lots of liberals on this site, the Obama still thinks OJ was innocent of the brutal murders of Ms Brown and Mr Goldman… that’s a national tragedy, by the way.

    Ft Hood was a massacre by a pre-meditated, ruthless jihadist.

    Oh, and a shout-out to my “just-this-time” homie, txanne, who agreed with me in part. Dewd, you rock! (Credit to the Obama for showing us the proper way to begin a memorial address… imagine if Lincoln had only started the Gettysburg Address with a little war-time ‘hood chatter?)

  • balconesfault

    BlankHead tries to recover from post #1 and his usual Bush Bashing by stating: “this was a national tragedy”.

    You’re an idiot, and a childish one to boot, as evidenced by your predicating discussions with childish name calling.

    Beneath response on something like this, which would actually require giving your opinion a manner of respect.

  • teabag

    Mi-GOPer,

    Are you a parody?

  • teabag

    Because you make me laugh.

  • sinz54

    teabag: Are you a parody?
    Gee, I was thinking the same thing about you.

    You’re practically a Chomsky-worshipping far leftist right out of Central Casting.

    If I were creating a parody of such types, I would be writing stuff just like you’ve been writing.

  • Independent

    i think that the democrats here are upset that mi-gop actually called them out for what they are –in balcones case, he did start off the thread with his usual gratuitous bashing of bush. when called on it, balcones tried to spin it into some pathetic victim-hood act. pathetic.

    i agree with others here that the ft hood slaughter isn’t a “national tragedy” and it should not be spun into some kind of defense attorney’s dream ticket by making the cold blooded killer a victim of an unjust society.

    it was a massacre.

    it was done by a jihadist.

    he was premeditated.

    it was a terrorist action just like a car bombing in a public square –only to the liberals here, it’s ok because he “only killed some military type action figures who are unjustly occupying afghanistan and brought this on themselves because their unwarranted in their invasion and rape of iraq”. shame on these trolls.

  • Independent

    could tea bag just be oldskool in drag?

  • Raider1

    Only the lefty loons could turn this into a Bush bashing. Are you guys like absolutely obssessed with W? Is there some sort of psychological term for your fixation for a man almost a year out of office now?

  • balconesfault

    it was a terrorist action just like a car bombing in a public square –only to the liberals here, it’s ok because he “only killed some military type action figures who are unjustly occupying afghanistan and brought this on themselves because their unwarranted in their invasion and rape of iraq”. shame on these trolls.

    LOL – “Independent” creates the mother of all strawmen, and then accuses others of being trolls.

    As for “Bush Bashing” … it was not me who brought Bush into this discussion. I was simply commenting on … or rather adding to … Frum’s in my opinion incomplete description of his previous boss.

    Yes, this is a national tragedy. Although I appreciate seeing Republican Independent commentators trying to argue that Americans should not grieve for this tragedy. The American people will appreciate that.

  • teabag

    Only the lefty loons could turn this into a Bush bashing. Are you guys like absolutely obssessed with W? Is there some sort of psychological term for your fixation for a man almost a year out of office now?

    WOW!!! Read your posts about Obama. Hypocrite.

  • Raider1

    teabag…Obama is a SITTING president. You are obsessed with FORMER-president Bush in a way that I will never be with ANY chief executive — even one as horrific as “O”. I still respect the office and the man. I just find his policies to be the opposite of what this country needs.

  • Raider1

    Balcon. You did not bring Bush into the discussion (Frum did). You brought Bush-BASHING into the discussion. That clear it up for ya?

  • balconesfault

    Balcon. You did not bring Bush into the discussion (Frum did). You brought Bush-BASHING into the discussion. That clear it up for ya?

    Raider. If Obama were to sit for 7 minutes in a room of school children after being informed that the US was under attack, what would be your description of him. Would you limit yourself to the adjectives that Frum provided … “sad” … “mad” … “bored” … or would you search for some other terms. Extra points for honesty.

  • sinz54

    In his eulogy, Obama specifically referred to murdering innocents in the name of God.

    By doing so, Obama dispensed with the political correctness theory that Hasan murdered because of PTSD or some other pop psychology interpretation. Obama accepted what could no longer be denied: The guy was enough of a religious fanatic to be willing to carry out murder in the name of his God.

    Now if liberals don’t want to single out Islamic fanaticism for whatever reason, I understand that. But can we all agree that religious zealotry married to the power of modern weaponry can be exceedingly dangerous?

    We can’t do anything about the weapons–weapons are as ubiquitous as toothbrushes. But we can do a lot of useful things to contain the zealots.

  • balconesfault

    But can we all agree that religious zealotry married to the power of modern weaponry can be exceedingly dangerous?

    Yes, we can.

  • balconesfault

    Or in the words of Physics Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg:

    With or without religion, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.

  • teabag

    “I still respect the office and the man.”

    It’s patently obvious that you don’t. So you are deluded as well as being a hypocrite.

  • LauraNo

    I don’t see why so much is made of Husan’s religion. Charles Manson did horrible things and MADE UP reasons for doing it. Florida just had a mass-shooting because the guy was disturbed. Schools have had mass-shootings committed by disturbed people. What is the difference? People are dead and families are grieving. When someone is that unhinged, they look for some ideology to cloak themselves in as an excuse to do horrible things. Dr. Tiller’s murder was motivated by a man’s religion but I don’t hear all this hand-wringing about it. In fact, I hear none. Pick and choose, much?

  • balconesfault

    I don’t see why so much is made of Husan’s religion.

    For those tasked with making sure things like this aren’t repeated, it is important. Because culturally, Hasan was American. His career gave no reason to suggest that he was not patriotic as the next guy who has spent most of his adult life in fatigues or dress uniform.

    Now, what I don’t understand is why people would make a big deal of Husan’s religion, and not be concerned about the mysogeny that’s still formented in our culture that can breed a Sodini, the anti-government lunacy that can motivate a Poplawski, the white victim rhetoric that empowers a Von Brunn, or the Christian fanaticism that turns a Roeder into a killer and celebrates the murder he carries out.

  • mymy

    people want to know the reasons for Hasans horrific act.The reason may have a whole lot to do with his religion

  • balconesfault

    Mind you, from the perspective of a true terrorist, a jihadist – a strong anti-Muslim reaction by the US military is the best case scenario.

    If we have Muslims serving alongside Christians, Jews, Mormons, and Secularists in our military as they try to stabilize the Middle East, it damages the narrative that the terrorists would like to cultivate – that America is waging a Crusade that the Islamic world must unite to repel. I have no doubt that a smart careerist like Hasan, who studies psychology, was fantasizing that his act of violence would drive the military to marginalize if not drive Muslims out of the service altogether. We must make that effort fail.

  • Independent

    “As for “Bush Bashing” … it was not me who brought Bush into this discussion” –balcone.

    sure it was, balcone. in the very first comment in this thread. then your troll pals (old skool and tea bag –who are probably the same people) jumped on the pile just like the good underground democrats trolls you and them represent.

    it is funny to see you try to spin your way out of something we all know you did… and you got called on it not once, not twice, but three times balcones. and still you deny? what an inveterate liar. with that, you’ve passed your democrat loyalty test. want the job of white house communications director… that fellow-liar was tossed under the obama bus recently… move over van jones, rev wright, bill ayers, et al.

  • Independent

    “the Christian fanaticism that turns a Roeder into a killer and celebrates the murder he carries out” –balcone.

    sorry to note for the record, balcone, responsible christian leaders denounced the murder within the news cycle… you just can’t keep telling lies here that you read on your lunatic liberal fringe websites. roeder has a long history of mental illness,was -at most- and anti-govt type and executed tiller because, in his mental illness, thought tiller’s death was justified if it meant keeping more innocent unborn children, viable children, alive. when asked by the ap reporter if god told him to kill tiller, roeder responded “no, not god, it was the all the screaming murdered babies”. roeder killed tiller inside a church of christian worship.

    you keep telling the lies; we’ll keep knocking them down.

    also for the record, hasan was pulling the trigger while shouting islamic prayers and he acted after completing his morning prayers at the masque that day. it’s just a bit different.

  • balconesfault

    sorry to note for the record, balcone, responsible christian leaders denounced the murder within the news cycle

    And responsible muslim leaders in the US have denounced the Hasan killings.

    It is nice to be able to define “responsible”, as “conforming to my standards of behavior”.

    And irresponsible Christian groups celebrated Roeder, just as irresponsible Muslims are no doubt celebrating Hasan.

    It is a shame that you are oh so sensitive about Bush. Frum introduced Bush as a comparative to Obama. Bring it up with him. Meanwhile, you might answer the question I posed to Raider:

    If Obama were to sit for 7 minutes in a room of school children after being informed that the US was under attack, what would be your description of him. Would you limit yourself to the adjectives that Frum provided … “sad” … “mad” … “bored” … or would you search for some other terms. Extra points for honesty.

  • sinz54

    balconesfault: If Obama were to sit for 7 minutes in a room of school children after being informed that the US was under attack, what would be your description of him.
    Stunned.

  • balconesfault

    Stunned

    Really? No talk of how that would be proof positive that a liberal is constitutionally incapable of being able to respond in a way that protects our nation at a time of a real threat? No greater extrapoliations to this representing a failure of liberalism and the Democratic Party to have nominated and elected someone this psychologically unprepared to respond without briefing and scripting to a new existential challenge to America?

    I’ll take your word for it.

  • mymy

    Obama knew for an hour and half of the horrific act at FT. Hood.When he did go before cameras Obama first priority was to give “a shout out “.What did you want Bush to do jump up and start screaming “we’re all going to die”.Maybe he was composing his thoughts,maybe he didn’t want to scare a bunch of little kids.After 7min.Bush was much more appropriate than Obama after an hour and a half

  • Demosthenes

    President Obama’s speech was moving, not too long, and correctly targeted on the heroes killed at Ft. Hood. It was also dignified. Rather than bashing any other president, I think it is best to leave it at that. Do we always have to be partisan? Just like I admire some of President Bush’s finer moments, I also do with President Obama. Regardless of what the partisan idiots out there say, we have one president at a time, and all Americans should admire each and every one of them, regardless of ideology.

  • sinz54

    balconesfault: If we have Muslims serving alongside Christians, Jews, Mormons, and Secularists in our military as they try to stabilize the Middle East, it damages the narrative that the terrorists would like to cultivate – that America is waging a Crusade that the Islamic world must unite to repel.
    I absolutely agree.

    But Hasan was different.

    Time Magazine has found witnesses who assert that Hasan was vocal about upholding the Islamic law of Sharia over the U.S. Constitution.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1937334,00.html

    No matter how tolerant we are, no matter how important the public relations of having Muslim-Americans in the army, we cannot allow such men to be army officers. A U.S. army officer swears to uphold the Constitution, without reservation.

    If there are any more Muslim-Americans in the army who believe that their loyalty to Sharia overrides their loyalty to the Constitution, they have to be given the choice of resigning their commission or a dishonorable discharge. That’s mild, given the circumstances. In Afghanistan, it’s the Taliban who are far more faithful to Sharia than the U.S. An army officer who sides with Sharia is in effect, siding with the enemy.

  • MI-GOPer

    Independent writes: “sorry to note for the record, balcone, responsible christian leaders denounced the murder within the news cycle… you just can’t keep telling lies here that you read on your lunatic liberal fringe websites. roeder has a long history of mental illness,was -at most- and anti-govt type and executed tiller because, in his mental illness, thought tiller’s death was justified if it meant keeping more innocent unborn children, viable children, alive. when asked by the ap reporter if god told him to kill tiller, roeder responded “no, not god, it was the all the screaming murdered babies”. roeder killed tiller inside a church of christian worship.

    you keep telling the lies; we’ll keep knocking them down.”

    Independent, the facts and the truth are immaterial to balcones and his kind. He’s got the usual far Left hard-on for “Christianists” and Roeder was, to balcones twisted partisan mind, working for the far Right religious zealots. Nothing Roeder says matters. Of course, he wasn’t paid by any Christian fundamentalist groups, was he? Of course, he wasn’t screaming out Islamic prayers as he blasted away at innocent people, was he? He just killed a baby butcher in a Christian house of worship. For balcones, that constitutes an infringement on abortion rights in the US.

    Of course, for a Party that believes in Death Panels, killing a few babies is a tolerable consequence in the fight to extend abortion “rights”.

    Obama milked the Ft Hood event just like he milked the Dover event. Unfortunately, the military families at Ft Hood didn’t have the right to exercise their veto over Obama being there for political manipulation… like they did at Dover and stayed away in protest. It was the base commanders and the army corps leadership who allowed Obama to be there… it was those same leaders that allowed Hasan to foment his hateful message, promoted him and failed to kick his butt out because they feared the political repercussions of our pro-Muslim president in the White House.

    Who said Obama’s WorldApologyTour wouldn’t undercut American troops? Oh yeah, our Village Idiot and the far Left trolls who populate this conservative site.

  • MI-GOPer

    sinz54 says: “No matter how tolerant we are, no matter how important the public relations of having Muslim-Americans in the army, we cannot allow such men to be army officers. A U.S. army officer swears to uphold the Constitution, without reservation.”

    US Armed Forces Oath

    I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    True faith and allegiance to the Constitution? I doubt some of the trolls on this site could even take that oath. So help me God.

  • balconesfault

    Sinz: If there are any more Muslim-Americans in the army who believe that their loyalty to Sharia overrides their loyalty to the Constitution, they have to be given the choice of resigning their commission or a dishonorable discharge.

    I’m with you. And I don’t care if it’s the Gospels, the Talmud, or the Koran, or the books of Ayn Rand – once you take the oath, it trumps all else.

    Meanwhile –
    Army Regulation 601–210 Personnel Procurement Active and Reserve Components Enlistment Program

    6–18. Administration of oath of enlistment
    A commissioned officer of any service will administer the Oath of Enlistment in DD Form 4 orally, in English, to each applicant. Make a suitable arrangement to ensure that the oath is administered in a dignified manner and in proper surroundings. Display the U.S. flag prominently near the officer giving the oath. The words “So help me God” may be omitted for persons who desire to affirm rather than to swear to the oath.

    In his rush to offend others, Mi-GOPer once again shows himself incapable of fully researching the law before sticking his foot in his mouth.

  • MI-GOPer

    BlankHead jousts at tilting windmills, again… sigh.

    BlankHead writes: “In his rush to offend others, Mi-GOPer once again shows himself incapable of fully researching the law before sticking his foot in his mouth”.

    Not at all, BlankHead. Your distinction is one that has neither application nor merit. The oath is the oath which can be affirmed minus the last sentence. I wrote that true faith and allegiance to the Constitution was the critical part instructive for those who think Islamic Law trumps the oath.

    I sometimes think you are more about divisiveness and spreading rancor than in honest, serious debate. Like other far Left trolls commneting on this conservative site, you’re mostly here to inflame and incite –not inform.

    And that’s the best of your special contribution in life, I guess. The only mouth with a foot squarely placed in it is your mouth, BlankHead. Again, you neither advance the debate nor aid the discussion –just more heat, no light. It’s you in a nutshell.

  • balconesfault

    Your distinction is one that has neither application nor merit.

    Ahh – so you weren’t just atheist baiting with your conclusory line … “so help me God” … to your post? Then I misunderstood your intent.

    Instead you were just railing against strawmen, as usual, if your claim here is that others here could not swear or affirm their true faith and allegiance to the Constitution.

    In fact, this accusation makes you a scoundrel of the lowest form.

  • MI-GOPer

    BlankHead jousts at tilting windmills, again… sigh.

    You often misunderstand even the simplest of ideas and concepts on this conservative website, BlankHead. You would have to start at that point in order to get so many things wrong, so often.

    Of course, putting words into other people’s mouth is another cute little far Left debate trick you and your troll pals here like to play with.

    The point, which you sidestep with a very large leap out-of reality, is that Hasan couldn’t –nor can any Muslim– take the oath and still believe that Islamic law is supreme to the US Constitution. There’s nothing wrong with Brit muslims thinking that Islamic law is supreme to the Magna Carta, for instance… but then, Brit soldiers swear an oath to Queen and country not to their founding documents.

    There’s no straw man here, BlankHead. That’s another fiction you create over and over here without just application or merit.

    It’s your thing, babe. You do it, girlfriend.