Obama: Narcissus Unbound

The Daily Caller‘s description of post bin Laden White House celebrations as “Obama Administration takes victory lap in clown car,” cannot be improved upon. In the rush to capitalize on a P.R. boon, the administration’s amateurishness was on full display, with the narrative changing constantly to suit the president’s re-election prospects. And when it comes to grabbing credit, no one does it better than Obama. Despite years of intelligence work and detailed operational planning and preparation that went into the raid, the president’s speech to the nation was riddled with the personal pronoun. Wait… that’s every speech. Sorry.

One wonders if the president is able to reflect on anything without a mirror, especially on the fact that a superb American military, a culture and institution so alien to him, has saved his bacon arugula several times now. Obama’s campaign notoriously benefitted from the surge in Iraq, despite his vocal opposition. When he travels abroad, the president walks with the power of the United States and its global reach, a capability meglomaniacs can only dream of. And now that Obama got Osama, a supine media is more than happy to portray this waffle eating, mom jeans wearin, girl’s bike riding, metrosexual as an action figure.

What the White House should have done after we got bin Laden was – nothing. No news, no conflicting streams of consciousness, no strutting for several weeks. That would have given our intelligence analysts and operators time to exploit the information found with bin Laden and roll up the vulnerable parts of his network.

No, not this president. Killing the people responsible for 9/11, for the loss of personal liberty and for malignant and brutal jihad, takes back seat to his own re-election.

But such nation killing narcissism is age-old. In Richard II, John of Gaunt warns of the newly ascended king; a young man, with regal bearing but wasteful in personal habits and discipline, unwise in counsel and detached from his people. The parallels with our 44th president are striking:

His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.

Amidst the doom and gloom of a dying man’s last testament come some of the finest words of patriotism ever written, and a speech that’s become a cognate for greatness among English speaking peoples:

This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!

Obama, who famously removed the bust of Churchill from the Oval Office and let everyone know the U.S. and the United Kingdom have no “special relationship,” doesn’t get Shakespeare. Quaint concepts like God, love of country and national greatness ‘fork no lightning’ in so petty and magisterial a temperament:  where there is more in his dreams than in heaven and earth. It’s no wonder that so many Americans nurtured in the Anglo-Saxon heritage and steeped in the Judeo-Christian ethic, find Obama strange.

Come 2012, Americans must insure that this ‘dear dear land’ is not leased out to Bozo the 44th.


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