On Tuesday, It's All about Us

When President Barack Obama insists that "it's not about me," you can be certain it's about nothing but him. Obama still prefers a referendum on who he is rather than what he has done. But he will lose on both counts. 

Obama is loath to acknowledge his rejected ideology and destructive politics combined with incompetence at governing. The only fault he is willing to confess -- far from a grievous one, and a red herring at that-- is a failure to communicate, and that rests with his handlers solely responsible for his depleted charisma. So he says.

Two years ago, Obama represented the ascendancy of identity politics. He now represents its abrupt descent.

In 2008, Obama successfully transposed his own narcissism into hero-worship and rapturous messianic anticipation by his followers. But now his once-presumed powers of absolution and healing have proven to be so much hollow stage craft and hubris. In the meantime, he has been the vessel in which the Democrats in Congress have distilled accumulated collectivist aspirations and grievances against American exceptionalism into a corrosive legislative and regulatory acid reflux brew forced down the gullets of the American people.

With his presidency in free-fall, accelerated by wholesale repudiation, Obama wonders, What happened to the good judgment shown by the American electorate two years ago? How could such enlightened folks become so ignorant so fast?

Obama's allies, notably the ruling class elites epitomized by Sen. John Kerry, insist that the people are not paying attention, are uninformed, are "influenced by a simple slogan," and get their news from the wrong source. In other words, lazy, stupid, and gullible. Obama now suffers at the hands of dirty, money-soiled, right-wing provocateurs who have foisted their latent genome-mapped biases of racism and xenophobia on a "know-nothing" parochial electorate.

Of course, Obama's mentor and spiritual advisor for twenty years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, predicted in so many sermons that Obama's enemies would persecute him for who he is rather than what he has done. While patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, a persecution complex is the last refuge of an identity politician.

The allure of pure celebrity in presidential sweeps -- beyond the usual campaign fluff and polish -- is a 21st-century phenomenon. Perhaps Teddy Roosevelt was the most flamboyant 20th-century president whose outsized persona was shaped by myth-making publicity, following the examples set by Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison over a half-century earlier. At least all three had résumés worth embellishing.

Until JFK, most other 20th-century presidents -- Calvin Coolidge the most austere type -- were the antithesis of image-making. FDR's public face was shaped more by the need to conceal a physical disability than to project a theatrical mask. JFK was the first product of celebrity myth-making where style triumphed over substance.

We do not know if Obama has read Homer. Perhaps it's unlikely, but if so, he should recall in the Iliad where Homer tells us that Phoenix, Achilles' tutor, is instructed to make Achilles into a "speaker of words" and "doer of deeds." The words we remember best from epics to short stories are always associated with deeds. This is true from the Savior of the Christian Gospels to Chaucer's pilgrims to Shakespeare's Henry. Obama never learned that mere words are not enough.

In Lincoln's cemetery consecration address at Gettysburg, he apologizes for his own words: "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here." Lincoln rightfully dwelled on deeds of others, mostly uninterested in how others dwelled on him. Obama's words, considered only recently by those infatuated media elites Lincolnesque, are now seen to be just shallow, jarring, self-absorbed, and divisive. Obama's words will soon be forgotten, but his deeds of dishonor and demise will endure and be long remembered.

Thus, voters on Tuesday know this election is about Obama only indirectly -- names on the ballot represent either Obama's surrogates for more indebtedness, insecurity, and insult or a chance for something else. We will see voters reassert the most stubborn but noble aspects of the American character -- individualism and personal liberty. There will be no failure to communicate. It will not be about Obama, nor about any others in our nation's capital who mistakenly believe it is about them. It will be about us.
When President Barack Obama insists that "it's not about me," you can be certain it's about nothing but him. Obama still prefers a referendum on who he is rather than what he has done. But he will lose on both counts. 

Obama is loath to acknowledge his rejected ideology and destructive politics combined with incompetence at governing. The only fault he is willing to confess -- far from a grievous one, and a red herring at that-- is a failure to communicate, and that rests with his handlers solely responsible for his depleted charisma. So he says.

Two years ago, Obama represented the ascendancy of identity politics. He now represents its abrupt descent.

In 2008, Obama successfully transposed his own narcissism into hero-worship and rapturous messianic anticipation by his followers. But now his once-presumed powers of absolution and healing have proven to be so much hollow stage craft and hubris. In the meantime, he has been the vessel in which the Democrats in Congress have distilled accumulated collectivist aspirations and grievances against American exceptionalism into a corrosive legislative and regulatory acid reflux brew forced down the gullets of the American people.

With his presidency in free-fall, accelerated by wholesale repudiation, Obama wonders, What happened to the good judgment shown by the American electorate two years ago? How could such enlightened folks become so ignorant so fast?

Obama's allies, notably the ruling class elites epitomized by Sen. John Kerry, insist that the people are not paying attention, are uninformed, are "influenced by a simple slogan," and get their news from the wrong source. In other words, lazy, stupid, and gullible. Obama now suffers at the hands of dirty, money-soiled, right-wing provocateurs who have foisted their latent genome-mapped biases of racism and xenophobia on a "know-nothing" parochial electorate.

Of course, Obama's mentor and spiritual advisor for twenty years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, predicted in so many sermons that Obama's enemies would persecute him for who he is rather than what he has done. While patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, a persecution complex is the last refuge of an identity politician.

The allure of pure celebrity in presidential sweeps -- beyond the usual campaign fluff and polish -- is a 21st-century phenomenon. Perhaps Teddy Roosevelt was the most flamboyant 20th-century president whose outsized persona was shaped by myth-making publicity, following the examples set by Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison over a half-century earlier. At least all three had résumés worth embellishing.

Until JFK, most other 20th-century presidents -- Calvin Coolidge the most austere type -- were the antithesis of image-making. FDR's public face was shaped more by the need to conceal a physical disability than to project a theatrical mask. JFK was the first product of celebrity myth-making where style triumphed over substance.

We do not know if Obama has read Homer. Perhaps it's unlikely, but if so, he should recall in the Iliad where Homer tells us that Phoenix, Achilles' tutor, is instructed to make Achilles into a "speaker of words" and "doer of deeds." The words we remember best from epics to short stories are always associated with deeds. This is true from the Savior of the Christian Gospels to Chaucer's pilgrims to Shakespeare's Henry. Obama never learned that mere words are not enough.

In Lincoln's cemetery consecration address at Gettysburg, he apologizes for his own words: "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here." Lincoln rightfully dwelled on deeds of others, mostly uninterested in how others dwelled on him. Obama's words, considered only recently by those infatuated media elites Lincolnesque, are now seen to be just shallow, jarring, self-absorbed, and divisive. Obama's words will soon be forgotten, but his deeds of dishonor and demise will endure and be long remembered.

Thus, voters on Tuesday know this election is about Obama only indirectly -- names on the ballot represent either Obama's surrogates for more indebtedness, insecurity, and insult or a chance for something else. We will see voters reassert the most stubborn but noble aspects of the American character -- individualism and personal liberty. There will be no failure to communicate. It will not be about Obama, nor about any others in our nation's capital who mistakenly believe it is about them. It will be about us.

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