“Let me eat shrimp,” said Barack Obama to a reporter this week as he toiled in Martha’s Vineyard. This Marie Antoinette wannabe has no intention of letting anyone get their hands on cake, I fear. Black bread and thin gruel, more likely.
If historical and monarchical metaphors are the order of the day, we might reach more readily for Nero of Rome, said to have fiddled while his domain sizzled. The state of our economy is shaky at best, while global crises whirl unabated from Tehran to Pyongyang to Islamabad and even in pronounceable places like Wall Street. The President is being flip like Wilson, recalling the apocryphal Antoinette apothegm, but more significantly he seems to be floating aimlessly like flotsam and jetting aimlessly like jetsam, recalling Nero’s neurosis.
What I’m sayin’ is that the man is hopelessly lost. He has no clue what to do next, but the show must go on. He has his game face on, but the game may be over.
THE GREEK COLUMNS FRAMED Senator Obama as he accepted the nomination to run for President. “Narcissus!” shouted some. “Hubris!” shouted others. Now after nineteen months of Greco-Roman wrestling with the big job, he seems to have decided it’s all Greek to him and it is time for that Roman fiddle.
Seeing him in this condition makes a soul feel sorry for the poor lug. The Bard of Avon is calling him “more to be pitied than censured.” He was just a regular sweet kid who was born in the U.S. of A. (Hawaii says so, Kenya believe it?) and told that he could be anything he darned well wanted to be, including the President. Gladdened by this uplifting vision, he hustled off to school in Iowa or Indonesia or wherever, cheered by the bell or the muezzin or whatever.
Then he initiated his brilliant precautionary approach, which was a harbinger of his later health plan: taking the drugs before the illness arrives. From there he began hanging around with some Commies, not because he believed in that stuff, but to broaden his horizons and see all sides of this great country. Then he went to that college in Cambridge which confusingly is not called Cambridge here in America but something funny beginning with a Har.
Onward ho to the church of the Reverend who thinks 9/11 was God’s retribution for Hiroshima. Obama prayed there, baptized his children there, and named his book after one of the Rev’s sermons, not because he believed in that stuff, but to broaden his horizons and see all sides of this great country. Next he proceeded to the U. of Chicago where he made common cause with an American radical who tried to blow up the Pentagon and regrets failing, William Ayers. Obama palled around with him not because he believed in that stuff, but to broaden his horizons and see all sides of this great country.
He then community-organized for a while, and so effectively did he organize that indeed the black community in Chicago is now in fabulous shape. He was loosely affiliated with ACORN, an organization specializing in election fraud (doing it, not stopping it), not because he believed in that stuff, but to broaden his horizons and see all sides of this great country. Afterwards, Obama had a proto-Mafioso get him a good deal on a house that fell off the truck. He was friends with this paragon of corruption. not because he believed in that stuff, but to broaden his horizons and see all sides of this great country.
As a State Senator, he courageously jumped in to make sure that the overzealous religious fanatics did not get a chance to save the lives of babies who survive abortion. Why should the poor mother be saddled with a wailing, pooping little brattinsky as a result of medical malpractice?
Thence to the United States Senate from Illinois, where he amassed the single most liberal voting record, not because he believed in that stuff, but to broaden his horizons and see all sides of this great country. Then he went on the campaign trail and managed to win a nomination without ever winning a major primary. Looking at this amazing track record of coming up from the wrong side of the tracks, how could his career become derailed?
Well, enough of this fiddle-faddle. I must go back to the Summer of Recovery and stand behind our young President. Remember, Rome was not built in a day.