August 28, 2011

Substance vs. Appearance

This is an interesting photo comparison I came across in the last few days. Trying to trace it back to its origin has been a bit like running a maze. It may have been originally posted by David Limbaugh, but apparently Limbaugh didn't know its origin and it has been posted in multiple other places. From what I can tell, Texas Gov. Rick Perry would have been about 22 years old in the photo, but I suspect that Barack Obama looks a bit younger than that. There's just no way to know for sure. If anyone has a solid lead on the origin of the photo, please let me know and I'll be glad to give proper credit.


What is fascinating is that in some cases, a picture really is worth a thousand words. On one hand, we have future Texas Governor Rick Perry, a young man with the right stuff. The Air Force does not allow just anyone to fly its jets. Being selected for pilot training says a very great deal about one's judgment, intellect, grace under pressure, courage and leadership ability. Completing pilot training says even more. Perry eventually flew C-130's--four engine cargo aircraft with amazing capabilities--all over the world. Not bad for a small town Texas kid raised on a ranch that graduated from a no-name, non-Ivy League school. Oh yes, and anyone involved in military aviation, despite its overarching emphasis on safety, is risking their life on every flight.

On the other hand, we have the young Barack Obama, future President of the United States. Virtually nothing is known about his college years. We have no idea which classes he took or his grades in those classes. All of this information is carefully hidden. By his own admission, he spent his time hanging out with Marxists and consumed at least his fair share of marijuana and cocaine. Judgment? Intellect? Grace under pressure? Courage? Risking his life? At least we know that his idea of leadership is "leading from behind," which in the real world, the world inhabited by Rick Perry (yes, and even George W. Bush) from a young age is the epitome of lack of judgment, lack of intellect, no grace under pressure, cowardice, no risks and of course, no leadership.

It is a sad commentary on contemporary America that anyone, let alone a substantial portion of the citizenry, viewing this post will almost certainly sneer at a young Air Force pilot, minimizing and denigrating his service, while simultaneously lionizing a young, Marxist doper unwilling to release most pertinent details of his past.

But Barack Obama was an Illinois State Senator and a US Senator! Indeed he was, and what were his accomplishments in those positions? I mean, apart from voting present some 130 times, including on bills he sponsored, as a means of leaving no political footprints? Apart from earning the title of the most leftist man in the US Senate, more left even than the only avowed Socialist? Apart from running for president most of his time in the Senate?

But he's the President of the United States! Indeed he is, and every one of his "accomplishments" has, in only 2.5 years, caused substantial harm to the nation. Those not yet fully implemented, like Obamacare, have been revealed to be lies and will surely bankrupt us.

But he got Bin Laden! He deserves credit for the absolute minimum any president should do? He dithered for a day on even that decision, causing an unnecessary two-day delay that could easily have allowed Bin Laden to slip through our fingers and endangered our troops. But he won in Libya! Well, if you consider constant hesitation and a complete lack of any policy for pursuing what he denied was a war or anything like a war, and having no idea who we were supporting winning, perhaps. But he has played more golf in 2.5 years than any other president in eight! Well, you got me there.

One can only hope that the Republicans use this, or something like it, in the campaign. But considering how often Republicans have pulled defeat from the jaws of victory, I'm less then encouraged.

Certainly, people change with time, and dissolution in youth doesn't automatically mean failure in adulthood. But sometimes, youth foreshadows the future. In the cases of Rick Perry and Barack Obama, this would appear to be very much the case. It's a matter of substance vs. appearance.

Posted by MikeM at August 28, 2011 06:53 PM

The SEALs got Osama and the libyans beat ghdaffy in spite of Obama's actions, not because of them.

Posted by: Phelps at August 29, 2011 12:39 AM

There's another comparison out there that brings home to me the difference between Obama and - well pretty much every one else.

When George Bush announced the capture of Saddam Hussein, he used the word 'I' only twice: "The success of yesterday's mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq . The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate 'em."

Compare and contrast with Obama's statement (which uses 'I' so many times) about the killing of bin Laden: "Shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against Al Qaeda... then last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden... I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden... finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound..."

I had a problem with several of George Bush's programs, most notably with his 'immigration reform' nonsense but he outclasses Obama in every way imaginable.

Posted by: NevadaSteve at August 29, 2011 08:38 AM

In case anyone thinks flying the C-130 on military missions around the world as Captain Perry did, here is wikipedia's list (I know, I know. abuse me for it) of C-130 accidents in the 1970's:

And Media Matters (media nutters?) challenged that Obama was 22 in that photo, but failed to provide a valid link...However, here is one from a Time magazine photo essay with Obama during his freshman year in college:,29307,1866765_1815160,00.html

So, to be fair, I would have to say that Obama is probably 18 or so in this photo.

Posted by: iconoclast at August 29, 2011 04:43 PM

Bob, the Obama photo is from Obama's freshman year at Occidental college. They are part of a series taken by fellow student Lisa Jack in 1980.


Posted by: wardogs at August 29, 2011 04:59 PM

The photo on the left portrays a competent, self-assured man. The photo on the right portrays a boy child who may have tumultuous, internal conflicts over his gender identity.

Posted by: Parker at August 29, 2011 11:33 PM