A rare Oval Office address,” last week’s contribution to the lexicon of formulaic journalism, seems destined over time to reveal itself as shorthand for the mainstream media’s desire to make vacuous presidential pronouncements appear weighty.
For the hundreds of millions of Americans in no mood to do penance and who therefore passed up the opportunity to take in Sunday evening’s rare Oval Office address, we can report that President Obama told the nation, in essence, two things:
He doesn’t intend to change anything about his approach to terrorist threats in this country or globally, and anyway, what happened in California last week is largely our fault for not adopting tougher firearms laws that will do nothing to clamp down on people who aspire to commit mass murder.
But peering out from behind the familiar sanctimonious condescension (one suspects Obama’s persistent references to “ISIL” are calculated to emphasize that he knows what the “L” stands for even if you don’t,) was the face of a man who has suddenly realized he’s in deep trouble with the American people.
That fate will almost surely befall Democrats in next year’s elections if Islamist terrorism rears its head in this country a time or two more, and who dares presume it won’t? In coverage leading up to the rare Oval Office address—since disappeared from the New York Times web site—prominent Democrats were clearly thinking along those lines.
Regrettably, it’s taken seven years for time to run out on Barack Obama. Sunday evening’s indelible impression is that even if he believes what he said, Americans have written him off.