Benjamin Sparrow, in his book Uncertain Guardians, cites an industry research report when he states “the people who create the public images of elected officials, those to be elected, and high ranking appointees know each other. ‘They believe in polls. They believe in television. They believe in talk, they believe most profoundly in talk television. They believe in irony. They believe that nothing a politician does in public can be taken at face value, but that everything he does is a metaphor for something he is hiding.’”
The members of the punditocracy who reign over political opinion in Washington D.C decided this weekend that President Obama was not displaying the appropriate response to the attempted terrorist act on Christmas Day. A few prominent Republicans have begun contrasting Obama’s public response to the thwarted incident aboard a commercial aircraft last Friday to ex-President George Bush’s Oval Office posturing.
The only proper response, in the minds of many of these professional prognosticators, was an immediate formal condemnation by President Obama himself of this attempt to bring harm to American citizens, one that these pundits would prefer be made from inside the White House. But if one of the aims of people who conspire to commit an act of terror against the United States of America is to embarrass or humiliate the nation’s political leadership, wouldn’t an immediate condemnation by our president play right into the terrorist group’s hands?
The public at large seems to have accepted President Obama’s decision to remain silent for the present about the attack at face value — partly because it was the most anticipated holiday weekend of the year, but mostly because the attempt was foiled.
Tomorrow, a large amount of the country reluctantly heads back to work. This is when our internal clocks measuring whether or not the president is doing his job will start ticking.