That Shrinking Violet, Narcissus

When it comes to self-absorption, we thought Narcissus wrote the book. Or, rather, the father of psychiatry wrote the book about Narcissus. But Dr. Freud, you never met Barack Obama!

If President Obama were not the most anti-Israel president in our history, I'd have to give him a chutzpah award. Who else in the world, in the history of the world, could try to upstage another man's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony by referring to his own peace prize?

Ah, but, I hear his defenders say: The president was showing admirable restraint and modesty by admitting that Liu Xiaobo is more deserving of this award than he was one year ago. (Hint: I won this award after only 42 days in office. Liu Xiaobo has spent longer than that in solitary confinement.)

Read the president's statement:

One year ago, I was humbled to receive the Nobel Peace Prize--an award that speaks to our highest aspirations, and that has been claimed by giants of history and courageous advocates who have sacrificed for freedom and justice. Mr. Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was.

This brings to mind the Israeli cabinet minister who kept contradicting the formidable Prime Minister Golda Meir. "Prime Minister," he would begin, "In my humble opinion..." Then, he'd lay out his objections. A few minutes later, this same politician would launch into another long diversion with "Yes, Prime Minister, but let me humbly point out..." After an hour of this, Golda fixed her eye on the dissident and said: "Enough already with your humble. You're not that great!"

Of course, another Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, knew about modesty. (Yes, the same one whose bust Mr. Obama drop-kicked out of the Oval Office into the snow when he first became president.) When told that his deputy Prime Minister, Clement Atlee, was a very modest man, Churchill impishly replied: "Yes, he's a modest man with much to be modest about."

No one could accuse Churchill of modesty. When the daughter of Prime Minister Asquith complained that young Winston had dominated the conversation at dinner the previous evening, Churchill replied: "I know we are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm."

At that point in his life, however, Churchill had taken part in three wars, had written three best-selling books not about himself, had been elected to Parliament and commanded the Navy that ruled the waves. 

Mr. Obama's glow is mostly about Obama. And even that glow is diminishing. His most loyal left-wing cohorts on Capitol Hill have spent the week saying Obama is only half a word. They seem to think his middle name begins with F. And they got upset when we said it began with H....

This week, they seem to have had a religious conversion. They haven't become born-again Christians. Instead, the leftists on the Hill have become Aztecs. They chose Barack Obama as their man-god two years ago. "He hovers over the nations, like a god," gushed Newsweek's Evan Thomas back then. They carried him up the pyramid of fame. But now they're cutting out his heart! 

Stay tuned, folks. The quack-up of the liberal Lame Duck Congress promises to be quite a show. Who would have thought that Barack Obama would be glad to see the back of them?

Illustration by Richard Terrell
When it comes to self-absorption, we thought Narcissus wrote the book. Or, rather, the father of psychiatry wrote the book about Narcissus. But Dr. Freud, you never met Barack Obama!

If President Obama were not the most anti-Israel president in our history, I'd have to give him a chutzpah award. Who else in the world, in the history of the world, could try to upstage another man's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony by referring to his own peace prize?

Ah, but, I hear his defenders say: The president was showing admirable restraint and modesty by admitting that Liu Xiaobo is more deserving of this award than he was one year ago. (Hint: I won this award after only 42 days in office. Liu Xiaobo has spent longer than that in solitary confinement.)

Read the president's statement:

One year ago, I was humbled to receive the Nobel Peace Prize--an award that speaks to our highest aspirations, and that has been claimed by giants of history and courageous advocates who have sacrificed for freedom and justice. Mr. Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was.

This brings to mind the Israeli cabinet minister who kept contradicting the formidable Prime Minister Golda Meir. "Prime Minister," he would begin, "In my humble opinion..." Then, he'd lay out his objections. A few minutes later, this same politician would launch into another long diversion with "Yes, Prime Minister, but let me humbly point out..." After an hour of this, Golda fixed her eye on the dissident and said: "Enough already with your humble. You're not that great!"

Of course, another Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, knew about modesty. (Yes, the same one whose bust Mr. Obama drop-kicked out of the Oval Office into the snow when he first became president.) When told that his deputy Prime Minister, Clement Atlee, was a very modest man, Churchill impishly replied: "Yes, he's a modest man with much to be modest about."

No one could accuse Churchill of modesty. When the daughter of Prime Minister Asquith complained that young Winston had dominated the conversation at dinner the previous evening, Churchill replied: "I know we are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm."

At that point in his life, however, Churchill had taken part in three wars, had written three best-selling books not about himself, had been elected to Parliament and commanded the Navy that ruled the waves. 

Mr. Obama's glow is mostly about Obama. And even that glow is diminishing. His most loyal left-wing cohorts on Capitol Hill have spent the week saying Obama is only half a word. They seem to think his middle name begins with F. And they got upset when we said it began with H....

This week, they seem to have had a religious conversion. They haven't become born-again Christians. Instead, the leftists on the Hill have become Aztecs. They chose Barack Obama as their man-god two years ago. "He hovers over the nations, like a god," gushed Newsweek's Evan Thomas back then. They carried him up the pyramid of fame. But now they're cutting out his heart! 

Stay tuned, folks. The quack-up of the liberal Lame Duck Congress promises to be quite a show. Who would have thought that Barack Obama would be glad to see the back of them?

Illustration by Richard Terrell

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