The Audacity of Opacity


Andrew Ferguson's column at Bloomberg News takes on Barack Obama's best-selling memoir/epistle The Audacity of Hope.

Unfortunately, Obama doesn't bother to point the way with any real specificity. He's appalled at the budget deficit, for example, and he's determined to fix it. But beyond that—well, let him explain the details.

"We know what to do," he writes. "We can cut and consolidate nonessential programs. We can rein in spending on health care costs. We can eliminate tax credits that have outlived their usefulness and close loopholes that let corporations get away with paying no taxes."

The book is filled with passages that follow the same pattern: belaboring the obvious on the assumption that no one has ever had dared speak such bromides before, and then concluding the discussion with a rear-guard blast at those cynical politicians who "refuse to make the tough choices."

This echoes, albeit with more analysis, the other reviews of Obama's book. Sen. Gary Hart gushed over the book in the New York Times but made sure to huff that the book is "missing" the "strategic sense, an inherent understanding of how the framework of their thinking and the tides of the times fit together and how their nation's powers should be applied to achieve its large purposes." As if that would stop it from selling.