Commentary Magazine


LIVE BLOG: How Was It?

Fine, the president wasn’t trying to talk to me; indeed, he was trying to find ways to ensure that the arguments of people like me lose their purchase. And good on him for that—this is a serious matter, he’s staked his early presidency on it, and this is a vital argument the nation needs to hear expressed as pointedly as possible.

But in the end, it was nearly an hour of snake-oil salesmanship, promises that cannot possibly be kept, and false invocations of bipartisan civility even as he was trying to deliver partisan roundhouses of his own. In that sense, the message he was delivering was no different from the one he delivered in July, and it’s difficult to believe it will suddenly convince people it failed to convince in such recent memory.