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Whirling Disease

17 December 2009

It will take three more years to pick the bones clean.  It will take eleven months just to subdue the beast.  Declaring victory is obscenely premature, to say nothing of any smug triumphalism.  But there are signs of hope that the liberal Leviathan conceived in 2006 and hatched in 2008 is floundering vulnerably under the adolescent leadership of a certifiable Narcissus, who looks up at the surface of his turbulent world and sees only his own hologram peering down on it.

George Will has fired a second harpoon at the hologram’s teleprompter, and he has struck the vitals:

And the president pushing this agenda has, with his incontinent hunger for attention, seen his job approval vary inversely with his ubiquity.  Consider his busy December – so far.

His Dec. 1 Afghanistan speech to the nation was followed on Dec. 3 by his televised “jobs summit.” His Dec. 8 televised economics speech at the Brookings Institution was followed on Dec. 10 by his televised Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, which was remarkable for 38 uses of the pronoun “I.”  [remarkable?  nay:  characteristic. -qb]

And for disavowing a competence no one suspected him of. (“I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war.” Note the superfluous adjective.) And for an unnecessary notification. (“Evil does exist in the world.”) And for delayed utopianism. (“We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes.” But in someone’s.) And for solemnly announcing something undisputed. (There can be a just war.) And for intellectual applesauce that should get speechwriters fired and editors hired. (“We do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected.” If the human “condition” can attain perfection anyway, human nature cannot be significantly imperfect.)

Then on Dec. 13, he was on “60 Minutes” praising himself with another denigration of his predecessor, a.k.a. “the last eight years.” (Blighted by “a triumphant sense about war.”)…

This president shows signs of a fatal attraction.  To himself, and to a form of governance unrecognizable to this proud nation’s great-grandfathers.  With his ruthless determination to remake America in his own image, he and his brood have begun to swim in the insular eddies of a stubborn messianism.

Patience on the Pequod, Cap’n.  Keep a steady hand and a watchful eye, and perhaps your time will come.


One Comment leave one →
  1. 18 December 2009 1:40 pm

    Well, call me Ishmael,

    But you are really getting in touch with your inner Ahab.

    Now child, I know you can’t help it. But when you reflect upon President Obama, the economic marketplace, foreign policy, and the founders, your eyes glaze over and your speech intensifies in inflated ideological jibberish and neo-conservative psychobabble. Just don’t hold your breath until you pass out. Counting to ten sometimes helps.

    And by the way, where was George Will (of whom I expect better) and his Pharisaical parsing when Bush, Cheney, and Rummy were insulting the English language, turning loose the running dogs of capitalism, and engaging in military adventurism and mercenary privatizing in Iraq?

    Sniping and meanness, my brother.


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