Obama as Marc Antony

Paul Shlichta
Some of Barack Obama's education at expensive elite schools seems to have paid off. The man appears to have read his Shakespeare. According to today's U.S. News & World Report:

In what media reports are broadly describing as an about-face, President Obama announced yesterday that he will fight the release of photos allegedly showing US soldiers abusing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The story generated coverage in all three network newscasts including the lead in two of them and earned front-page headlines in major newspapers. The ACLU and other groups are reported to be furious over the President's decision

Well, it could have been an honest blunder. Considering the gaffes that POTUS Obama has committed before, he might really have impulsively disclosed the existence of the photos and then, for reasons unknown, changed his mind and ineptly tried to cover the matter up.

But let's be realistic. You, I, and the POTUS all had Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in high school. And we all remember, if nothing else, Marc Antony's "Friends, Romans, countrymen..." oration in Act III, Scene 2.. Let me remind you of one of the tricks Antony used to stir up the crowd:


ANTONY...But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar;

    I found it in his closet, 'tis his will.

    Let but the commons hear this testament-

    Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read-

    And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds

    And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,

    Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,

    And, dying, mention it within their wills,

    Bequeathing it as a rich legacy

    Unto their issue.

  FOURTH CITIZEN. We'll hear the will. Read it, Mark Antony.

  ALL. The will, the will! We will hear Caesar's will.

  ANTONY. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;

    It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.

    You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;

    And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,

    It will inflame you, it will make you mad.

    'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs,

    For if you should, O, what would come of it!

  FOURTH CITIZEN. Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony.

    You shall read us the will, Caesar's will.

  ANTONY. Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?

    I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it.

    I fear I wrong the honorable men

    Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar; I do fear it.

  FOURTH CITIZEN. They were traitors. Honorable men!

  ALL. The will! The testament!

  SECOND CITIZEN. They were villains, murtherers. The will!

    Read the will!

  ANTONY. You will compel me then to read the will?

    Then make a ring about the corse of Caesar...[emphasis mine]

Well, at least it's some comfort to know that the POTUS read and remembers Shakespeare. But it's such an obvious and shabby trick that it's embarrassing to discover that the media and public are actually falling for it. However, in view of Ms. Pelosi melodramatic denials on the same topic, I suppose high school histrionics will be the norm in DC for the next few years.

Some of Barack Obama's education at expensive elite schools seems to have paid off. The man appears to have read his Shakespeare. According to today's U.S. News & World Report:

In what media reports are broadly describing as an about-face, President Obama announced yesterday that he will fight the release of photos allegedly showing US soldiers abusing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The story generated coverage in all three network newscasts including the lead in two of them and earned front-page headlines in major newspapers. The ACLU and other groups are reported to be furious over the President's decision

Well, it could have been an honest blunder. Considering the gaffes that POTUS Obama has committed before, he might really have impulsively disclosed the existence of the photos and then, for reasons unknown, changed his mind and ineptly tried to cover the matter up.

But let's be realistic. You, I, and the POTUS all had Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in high school. And we all remember, if nothing else, Marc Antony's "Friends, Romans, countrymen..." oration in Act III, Scene 2.. Let me remind you of one of the tricks Antony used to stir up the crowd:


ANTONY...But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar;

    I found it in his closet, 'tis his will.

    Let but the commons hear this testament-

    Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read-

    And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds

    And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,

    Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,

    And, dying, mention it within their wills,

    Bequeathing it as a rich legacy

    Unto their issue.

  FOURTH CITIZEN. We'll hear the will. Read it, Mark Antony.

  ALL. The will, the will! We will hear Caesar's will.

  ANTONY. Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;

    It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.

    You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;

    And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,

    It will inflame you, it will make you mad.

    'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs,

    For if you should, O, what would come of it!

  FOURTH CITIZEN. Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony.

    You shall read us the will, Caesar's will.

  ANTONY. Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?

    I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it.

    I fear I wrong the honorable men

    Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar; I do fear it.

  FOURTH CITIZEN. They were traitors. Honorable men!

  ALL. The will! The testament!

  SECOND CITIZEN. They were villains, murtherers. The will!

    Read the will!

  ANTONY. You will compel me then to read the will?

    Then make a ring about the corse of Caesar...[emphasis mine]

Well, at least it's some comfort to know that the POTUS read and remembers Shakespeare. But it's such an obvious and shabby trick that it's embarrassing to discover that the media and public are actually falling for it. However, in view of Ms. Pelosi melodramatic denials on the same topic, I suppose high school histrionics will be the norm in DC for the next few years.