The Dorwin Award

You're probably familiar with the Darwin Awards, handed out each year to the people who do humanity the service of removing themselves from the gene pool in creative ways. I think it's time for a new one, named after one of Isaac Asimov's characters in the brilliant Foundation. Lord Dorwin comes to Terminus representing the Galactic Empire. Here's the story:

“But then,” interposed Sutt, “how would Mayor Hardin account for Lord Dorwin's assurances of Empire support? They seemed” he shrugged “Well, they seemed satisfactory.”

Hardin threw himself back in the chair. “You know, that's the most interesting part of the whole business. I admit that I thought his Lordship a most consummate donkey when I first met him – but it turned out that he is an accomplished diplomat and a most clever man. I took the liberty of recording all his statements.”

There was a flurry, and Pirenne opened his mouth in horror.

“What of it?” demanded Hardin. “I realize it was a gross breach of hospitality and a thing no so-called gentleman would ever do. Also that if his Lordship had caught on things might have been unpleasant; but he didn't and I have the record and that's that. I took that record, had it copied out, and sent that to Houk for analysis, also.”

Lundin Crast asked, “And where is the analysis?”

“That,” replied Hardin, “is the interesting thing. The analysis was the most difficult of the three by all odds. When Houk, after two days of steady work, succeeded in eliminating meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications—in short all the goo and dribble—he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out. Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn't say one @$#%^ thing, and said it so that you never noticed. There are the assurances you had from your precious Empire.”

I hereby nominate Barack Obama for the First Annual Lord Dorwin Award. A better description of his campaign will never be penned. In two years of campaigning, he hasn't said one serious, meaningful thing, and said it so the electorate never noticed.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. Please feel free to take a look around.


At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've made the same connection, but I've also beenreminded of Lord Dorwin by other politicians. Now I'll have to write them down as they occur and submit them as nominations.

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an assignment in a statistical analysis class in 1970, I once attempted to analyze one of Richard Nixon's speeches using math and logic. A master of the craft, he spoke for 25 minutes and didn't say a damned thing! The Great Messiah Obama is a cross between the master political skills and total lack of morality of Nixon, and the far left world view of Carter. What an incredibly dangerous mix.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger K T Cat said...

Dang! You've just added another set of books to the list of ones I need to read. I'm ashamed to admit I've not read these yet.

Oh yes, great post, too!


At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Foundation fondly, and always thought that was one of the highlights of the book. What a contrast even to our own diplomats. I suspect aspiration to this ideal is one reason so many politicians campaign on "change", because it's both vague and popular.

At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I've been looking at Obama for a long time now. I just haven't actually FOUND anything yet...

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, Obamamania is the political form of 'Seinfeld'?

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...


I've often wanted to be able to do that kind of mechanical semantic analysis. Robert Heinlein referred to it in "Time Enough For Love" as well, with a throwaway reference -- when a character says that wills could be tightened up that way, rephrased to make sure the customer says exactly what he means to say... and then the will cannot be challenged after death.

But mostly I wanted to use such a process on politicians. Wouldn't it be nice if laws and Congressional resolutions were, in this way, required to make sense before they could be submitted?

(The next step would be to filter out laws that are unenforceable, or un-implementable. I don't know how we'd automate that.)

Daniel in Brookline

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...

Come to think of it, wouldn't that be a valuable public service? Imagine a bipartisan blog that publishes the text of speeches, by all major politicians, along with a tightened-up version that eliminates the weasel-phrases, the meaningless statements, and the parts that cancel each other out.

I'd pay money to subscribe to that.

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame on you! You've selected Obama solely to curry favor with the leftie and affirmative action set.
In doing so, you've opted for the flash in the pan empty suit and slandered the multi-year records of mega-doofuses like John Kerry and, praise be, Joe Biden. Obama is a sniveling dorwin compared to the majestic verbal flatulence of Joe Biden!

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:45, you're forgetting that one of the qualities of Lord Dorwin was cleverness. "Slow" Joe Biden fails on that point.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger RebeccaH said...

Excellent! And that is the only vote Barack Obigmouth will ever get from me.

At 6:04 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

indeed!...it appears hes runnin for Pres in Germany now too...lol :)

At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing Obama bin Laden to Nixon is insulting to Nixon.

Whatever else has been said about Richard Nixon, I have not yet heard him accused of being an America-hating Maoist, nor did he ever to my knowledge pal around with terrorists and copkillers like William Ayres, nor was his "personal spiritual adviser" a foaming-at-the-mouth lunatic who traveled to Libya to meet with arch-terrorist, mass murderer, and war criminal Qaddafi to denounce America, hand in hand with Louis "Calypso Louie" Farrakhan.

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What?!? You don't consider "Change We Can Believe In" meaningful?


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