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Brooke Shields, Barack Obama, and buyer’s remorse.
In Andre Agassi’s Open, a must read for tennis lovers, there is an unforgettable moment when the tennis star and his girlfriend Brooke Shields arrive in Paris just before the start of the 1995 French Open.
Brooke is all aflutter. Somewhat in the fashion of Jacqueline Kennedy making her triumphant visit to Paris in 1961 with JFK, the young president, in tow, she wishes to take tout Paris by storm. Andre, on the other hand, is all business. He hopes to win the only one of the four grand slam tennis tournaments that has so far eluded him and wonders how he can break it to Brooke that “this is not, even partially, a vacation.”
The denouement (apart from Agassi’s early exit from the tournament) is described in this scene:
We eat at fancy restaurants, visit out-of-the-way neighborhoods I’d never venture into on my own. Some of it charms me, but most leaves me cold, because I’m loath to break my concentration. The owner of one café invites us down to his ancient wine cellar, a musty, medieval tomb filled with dust-covered bottles. He hands one to Brooke. She peers at the date on the label: 1787. She cradles the bottle like a baby, then holds it up to me, incredulous.
I don’t get it, I whisper. It’s a bottle. It has dust on it.
She glares, as if she’d like to break the bottle over my head.
This moment — involving a 200-plus year-old bottle of wine that almost certainly turned to vinegar long ago — marks the first time that the scales fall from Andre’s eyes and he begins to see that the French-speaking, Princeton-educated starlet, who first won fame in the movie The Blue Lagoon, is not the one for him. It is the beginning of a terrible case of buyer’s remorse.
The American people are now getting the same sinking feeling in their relationship with Barack Obama. They see that they elected a president who — trusting in his own innate wisdom and mental superiority — doesn’t know or care what they think, and who seems strangely indifferent to their well-being.
With his decision to use the misnamed “reconciliation” process in Congress to ram his hugely expensive and wildly unpopular health care legislation down the throats of the American people, the president, in a metaphorical sense, is holding up a dust-covered bottle… and telling us that we must drink from it. He is doing this even though most people, after prolonged consideration of the matter, are convinced that the contents of the bottle are bad, and that it comes at a price that might just drive the country into bankruptcy.
Again, give the American people credit — as Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clearly do — for being complete imbeciles. Pelosi nailed it when she said, “We must pass the bill so you [the public] can find out what’s in it.”
To borrow the famous line from an old movie, being a progressive in the mountebank Obama/Pelosi mode is an awful lot like “love”: It means never having to say you’re sorry. With Obamacare, the president knows that he will never run out of other people to blame for the failure of his policies. He can drive up the cost of health care through a vast new entitlement program, complete with new mandates, a whole new premium subsidy program and compulsory coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and then turn around and blame the “greedy” insurance companies and the mindless pursuit of profit for the inevitable rise in premiums. Everything that goes wrong will become the rationale for more government intervention and control.
Last week Barack Obama went out onto the highways and byways to sell the impending government takeover of health care as an act of personal benevolence and great political courage. But this was not like Daniel going into the lion’s den. To the contrary, as Michelle Malkin pointed out in one of her columns (“Desperate Dems Cling to Human Kiddie Shield”), it was more like a visit to Romper Room with assurances from the teacher that all the bad kids had been sent home:
On Monday, Obama surrounded himself with a ticketed-only crowd of Arcadia University college students in Pennsylvania (sprinkled with purple-shirted officials from the Service Employees International Union). The Washington-based commander in chief traveled outside his Beltway bubble to a campus bubble to trash the political climate, which he leads.
“That’s just how Washington is. They can’t help it,” he pontificated as the idealistic young students nodded like empty bobbleheads. “They”?
You won’t be surprised by Obama’s biggest applause line in the speech: peddling a Big Nanny provision in the Senate-passed health care bill that requires insurance plans that cover dependents to provide benefits to children up to age 26. “If you’re a young adult, which many of you are, you’ll be able to stay on your parents’ insurance policy until you’re 26 years old.” Whoops and huzzahs erupted from the eager wards of the permanent, ever-expanding Nanny State.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?