Obama Wants a Monument
It figures that a narcissist would want to make a physical impact on the landscape.
In a previous column regarding Obama's tax and spend policies, I suggested that Barack Obama suffered from an "edifice complex," suggesting there was a stark desire to leave a physical manifestation that would endure decades and be associated with Barack Obama.
What might be the next big thing on Obama's radar (we know that a Russian bear on the prowl and Islamic extremism are certainly not)? How else could Barack Obama's edifice complex manifest itself?
A trivia question might give us a clue. What do most Americans come across every day that is the legacy of one President? One more clue: think Dwight Eisenhower. Bingo! The highway system was created and promoted by Eisenhower and has outlasted his mortal self. Does Obama want to create a monument to his own Presidency, miles wide and sprawling across the nation for all of us to behold?
Now Ryan Lizza's column in the New Yorker regarding Obama's second term plans support the view-Obama wants to create a lasting legacy to honor himself and will use his second term a9nd tens of billions of our tax dollars to do so.
Several White House officials said that the issue that Obama seems most passionate about is infrastructure. (One insider Democrat joked that Obama's passion for infrastructure is matched only by that of the Vice-President, who loves trains.) Obama wants to spend an extra hundred and fifty billion dollars on infrastructure during the next six years and reform the process by which projects are awarded, so that it's more about merit than about patronage. In 2009, he was aggravated when he was told that none of the money from the stimulus would be spent on a signature project, a modern-day Hoover Dam or Interstate Highway System. A bold infrastructure package has all the hallmarks of a major Obama policy: it would create jobs, it has a government-reform component, and it could establish a legacy in the form of an upgraded power grid or a high-speed train, with which Obama might forever be associated.
Wonderful! There is no room left on Mt. Rushmore and he has to wait to die before his image appears on currency. But as president he can use all the powers of the office to build a monument to himself.
But shouldn't he limit himself as most presidents do to presidential libraries funded by private donations-or are those just too small to assuage Obama's overwhelming ego-an ego that has costs America so much already?