Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama's World Tour: Ozymandias hits the road

Krauthammer once more takes Obama's measure -- and finds it wanting:
Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself. There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?
For the first few months of the campaign, the question about Obama was: Who is he? The question now is: Who does he think he is?

We are getting to know. Redeemer of our uninvolved, uninformed lives. Lord of the seas. And more. As he said on victory night, his rise marks the moment when "our planet began to heal." As I recall -- I'm no expert on this [Note: Krauthammer is Jewish] -- Jesus practiced his healing just on the sick. Obama operates on a larger canvas.


Read the whole thing.

My allusion to Ozymandias? The title of a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


Blogger Garry Wilmore said...

I read that article over lunch in today's edition of the Arizona Republic, and my reaction to it is entirely consistent with yours. Krauthammer is always good, but this column was unusually so, with an extra bite to it. You don't mention this in the blog entry, but I particularly liked the comparison he drew between Obama and King Canute, which weighed rather heavily against Obama and in favor of the ancient king. I remember Obama's speech about this -- his nomination, but also, impliedly, his election -- being the moment when the seas began to recede, and I wasn't any more impressed by that presumptuous rhetoric than Krauthammer was.

In this connection, although he is no longer in the race, there is no way I could ever vote for John Edwards for anything, not even dog catcher. I was never impressed with him in the first place, but he REALLY repelled me back in the '04 campaign, when he gushed about how paralysis victims such as Christopher Reeve would be able to walk again if only John Kerry were elected President. Would Kerry also be able to revive the dead after four days in their sepulchres? Edwards stopped short of making that affirmation, but he seemed to imply that there are no limits to the miracles that can be accomplished by a Democratic president.

Now, if only we can all "come to Obama" and vote for him. I don't think I am going to be able to do either. The more I see of the man, the less he impresses me.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Garry Wilmore said...

BTW, I propose introducing a new acronym into the English language, to-wit, "cycbi," pronounced "sickby." It would be used nearly always in an ironic or sarcastic way, or as a way of expressing skepticism. The letters, of course, stand for "Change You Can Believe In."

2:59 PM  

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