Among the many astonishing claims that Barack Obama made in his recent speech opposing the Palestinian bid for statehood was that ‘peace will not come through statements and resolutions.’ This is, at best, an odd thing to say for a president whose ascendancy to power itself depended on the compelling use of rhetoric.
Isn’t it, rather, a stupefyingly obvious thing for anyone to say? Does Butler think she lives in a world where people always keep their promises and do what they say they will do? This is precisely the kind of statement that makes the average person think that academics are completely out of touch with reality. And the average person is, generally speaking, quite right.