Say What, Mr. President?

Three posts is too many to dedicate to SOTU, but I happened to just read Conrad Black's column on the topic and wanted to point it out, especially since he highlights something I've noted before and noticed again Tuesday night but let it slide until now.

I always accuse Obama's speechwriters of thinking like sophomores. His texts are filled with glittering cliches, maudlin appeals to emotion and --always-- "examples" from history that actually cut against the point he's making, as if the authors had skimmed the wikipedia article while writing their term paper.

I'll give you the column opener for its amusement value:
From the terminal platitude that all are “part of the American family,” to the likelihood that a girl in Tucson may “have dreams like the rest of us,” which “is what sets us apart as a nation,” it was a groaning farrago of clich├ęs and unlikely undertakings.... I do not believe that Mr. Obama thinks the United States is the only nation on earth where young people in one region of the country are likely to have similar ambitions to those in other sections of the country. 
But my point is the misuse (or is it actually ignorance?) of history:
The president fantasized that “throughout history, our government has provided cutting-edge scientists with the support that they need.” It has done nothing of the kind, apart from some World War II military activities. Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers, the only inventors the president actually named, did not receive one cent from any government, any more than NASA “created millions of new jobs.”
That's bizarre, and rather like last year's SOTU in which he talked about the country joining hands and moving forward together and used the civil war and the civil rights marches as examples (howzat? war is not hand-holding).

Which reminds me -- that failing school he highlighted for righting itself? It did so by being granted a waiver from district and union rules and firing most of its faculty. It was not an example of teachers working together to save their own schools. 

In fact, most everything the President said in favor of the country was an argument against what he wants to do to it. I don't get the vibe that this is "lying" on the part of his speechwriters; I really do think it's a sophomoric failure to think things through. It's typical of most student writing I see these days -- the supporting material doesn't logically support the topic sentence, and there's a failure to understand the distinctions between connecting words such as and, moreover, similarly versus words that draw distinctions such as but, yet, however.... I think the generation with a tenuous grasp of logic and the power of language has come into power.