Their first concerns are about Obama the man. They know he is intellectually sophisticated. They know he is capable of processing complicated arguments and weighing nuanced evidence.This is truly bizarre. It's almost like David Brooks has been asleep the last eight years and missed watching the previous president show an uncanny ability, similar to that of a dog begging for treats, to fixate on a simple conviction. There's little I find more loathsome or puerile than the war fetish of a nebbish writer who undoubtedly spent the majority of his middle school days terrified of an unprovoked atomic wedgie attack. Until Brooks shows the kind of tenacity that involves voluntarily picking up a gun and waiting in the tall grass I'd suggest we'd all be better served by not having to read opinion pieces based on conversations he had with unnamed sources who happen to be pushing the same bullying mentality that produced underwhelming results in Vietnam. I'll let Adam Serwer take it from here:
But they do not know if he possesses the trait that is more important than intellectual sophistication and, in fact, stands in tension with it. They do not know if he possesses tenacity, the ability to fixate on a simple conviction and grip it, viscerally and unflinchingly, through complexity and confusion. They do not know if he possesses the obstinacy that guided Lincoln and Churchill, and which must guide all war presidents to some degree.This is the kind of clarity I would expect from a toddler.
We've been hearing some version of the "is Obama tough enough" argument since he started running for president, and as always, it's really less about Obama's individual tenacity than whether or not he possesses the same sterling moral qualities that led the questioner to their principled beliefs about public policy. In other words, it's not "is Obama tough enough" but "is Obama tough enough to do what I want him to do?"I wonder whether Obama is being tenacious if he decides to buck the advice of his generals and bring the troops home. Would that be tough enough?