Sunday, June 17, 2012

Washington Post Editorial on Barack Obama's Empty Narcissism

By Matt Patterson (Columnist - Washington Post, New York Post, San 
Francisco Examiner)

Government & Society:

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack 
Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a 
baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the 
Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional 
accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's 
largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the 
world's most consequential job? Imagine a future historian examining 
Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League 
despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job 
as a "community organizer"; a brief career as a state legislator devoid of 
legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so 
often did he vote "present"); and finally an unaccomplished single term in 
the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his 
presidential ambitions.

He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature 
legislation as a legislator. And then there is the matter of his 
troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who 
for decades served as Obama's "spiritual mentor"; a real-life, actual 
terrorist who served as Obama's colleague and political sponsor. It is 
easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on 
Earth was such a man elected president?

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz 
addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be sure, 
no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of 
America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill 
Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, 
and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out with 
protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit 
extreme, he was given a pass. Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass - 
held to a lower standard - because of the color of his skin.

Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history 
matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had 
said) "non-threatening," all of which gave him a fighting chance to become 
the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest? 
Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama 
phenomenon -affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But 
certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws 
and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and 
especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat 
themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools 
for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the 
inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals 
don't care if these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to 
witness the emotional devastation and deflated self esteem resulting from 
the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist. Holding 
someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin - 
that's affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism, then 
nothing is.

And that is what America did to Obama. True, Obama himself was 
never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many 
have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite 
undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for 
the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois ; he was told he was 
good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All 
his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for 
the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.

What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on 
display every time Obama speaks? In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked 
executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, 
intellect, and cool character. Those people - conservatives included - 
ought now to be deeply embarrassed.

The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of cliches, and that's 
when he has his Teleprompters in front of him; when the prompter is absent 
he can barely think or speak at all.

Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth – it's all 
warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 
100 years.

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything 
and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I 
inherited this mess. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to 
advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence.

But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been 
responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small and small-minded man, with 
neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job.

When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will 
the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense. It could not 
have gone otherwise with such a man in the Oval Office.

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