One of the common casualties of the American Presidency is personal humility. Oh, there have been Commanders-In-Chief who were actually humbled by the gravity and scope of their responsibilities in the Oval Office, but such are a rarity. Hubris seems to be the initial prerequisite for the job in these days of “style over substance” politics. The American people are the poorer for it, because in a time where the need for true leadership is increasingly desperate, there is less and less of it to be found.
Our sitting president is establishing new standards for arrogance and destructive narcissism, at the expense of the nation. Here is a man who got elected with nothing more on his resume than personal charisma. He has no work history. He has no experience in the real world, outside the sequestered halls of Liberal academia or the festering legions of social engineering operatives. He has no background nor education in the areas essential for grasping the problems of a nation and formulating workable strategies to address them.
And, as we are increasingly finding out, no humility.
During his developmental years, Obama kept his intellectual dance card full of sexy ideals like Marxism and radical tactics for subverting stable democracies. Unfortunately, he left it utterly bereft of subjects like economics, international relations and principles of leadership. Yet, in 2008 he viewed himself as more than competent to assume the leadership of this nation, and worse, to “correct” our course so as to bring it more in line with his own enlightened vision.
Ironically, growing national dissatisfaction with his serial policy failures has led to enlisting the support of yet another fatuous ego, in the person of former President William Jefferson Clinton. Clinton’s arrogance is the stuff of legend, from his bold-faced, finger-pointing denials of actions he engaged in to his predatory womanizing. Bill Clinton has never considered himself to be the lesser man in any company in which he finds himself. It is amusing to watch him try and be a team player when he is such a compulsive self-promoter.
The latest and clearest example of Obama’s self-absorption comes in the form of the political commercial narrated by Clinton, regarding the Bin Laden extermination in Abbottabad. Clinton is called upon as one of only two other people on the planet besides Obama who can understand his soul-wrenching predicament in the matter (Jimmy Carter being the other sentient being). Apparently, conservative ex-presidents don’t count, as Clinton‘s dig at George W. Bush in the commercial reminds us.
Slick Willy narrates the commercial, outlining how hard and lonely the decision was for Obama to make. He intones with forced gravitas and his ubiquitous pointing finger that the president would have to live with the fallout of that decision.
“Suppose the Navy SEALS had gone in there and it hadn’t been bin Laden … Suppose they been captured or killed … The downside would have been horrible for him!”
For him?? For Obama?! Is Clinton inferring that we should feel deeper sorrow and pity for a failed presidential decision than for those soldiers who lost their lives carrying it out, or for their grieving families? Clearly, the man STILL loathes the military, and sees it as their job to die for the political whims of the Oval Orifice. Sorry Bill, but most of us don’t see them as expendable capital.
The semi-retired egomaniac continues, invoking the moral high road and placing himself squarely in the center of it.
“He took the harder, and the more honorable path … and the one that produced, in my opinion, the best result,” Clinton goes on to say, locking eyes at length with the camera to show how deeply sincere he’s being. Of course, if it had turned out to be a fatal boondoggle like Jimmy Carter’s “too little-too late” attempt to rescue the Iran embassy hostages, Clinton would have thrown Obama roundly under the bus.
As odious as this shameless piece of propaganda is, there is a certain delightful irony that such a small stage now has to be shared by two such enormous egos. Like twin, red giant stars locked in the binary magnetism of each other’s orbits, unable to escape and yet unable to combine into one useful whole, the release of Clinton from obscurity to center stage once again can only further diminish the ‘”little man behind the curtain” that is the Obama presidency. He came to us with nothing. He’ll apparently leave the same way.
Images: Narcissus; Gyula Benczúr (1844–1920); courtesy of Fine Arts in Hungary: public domain
Double star system SS Leporis (17 Lep), created from observations made with the VLT Interferometer at ESO’s Paranal Observatory using the PIONIER instrument. The system consists of a red giant star orbiting a hotter companion; courtesy of http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso 1148a/;Author: ESO/PIONIER/IPAG