The Spectacle Blog

Re: Who Said This?

By on 7.10.09 | 1:45PM

Wlady -- good quiz. I aced it.

Only I have a problem with the second question. You present the quote out of context. Yes, it's an over-the-top, unwarranted pean to Obama. But it can't be really understood without noting that it was an article arguing that none of our public figures could live up to George Washington's level of dignity, except for Barack Obama. So in the passage you excerpted, he is arguing that Obama's personal comportment measures up to Washington's!

What a monumental failure of perspective. George Washington is the American example of dignity, whose self-mastery is literally the stuff of legends  -- "I cannot tell a lie." He was at worst estimable and at best legendary as a businessman, farmer, soldier, and president. Barack Obama was a failed community organizer and then an undistinguished lawyer. At age 20 George Washington was a major in the Virginia militia; at age 20 Barack Obama was just figuring out that weed and cocaine weren't doing him any favors.

When it comes to dignity, there's just no comparison between Barack Obama and George Washington. I don't know what Brooks is thinking.

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