The BIGS have spent a lot of time on “The Vetting” of Barack Obama, doing the job the mainstream media failed to do four years ago. I confess that at first I was underwhelmed by the revelations. However, as time as gone on, I see Andrew’s wisdom. It isn’t any particular smoking gun, large or small, but a character portrait of Barack Obama that is emerging.
I think every reader will agree that who we are today is a function of who we were in the days before. Each of us carries the influences of parents, friends, colleagues, mentors, peers, teachers, and even chance encounters, in our psyches. Events also play a crucial role. We are each of us a mosaic, formed from the individual moments of our lives.
And our actions reflect these influences.
One thing I’ve learned from decades as a writer, storyteller, moviegoer, TV-watcher, and reader is that Occam’s razor usually applies when it comes to figuring out what someone is all about. Just as most crimes come down to a few simple causes (passion, greed), it’s not too difficult to string together someone’s personal narrative. I often think of Marcus Aurelius, channeled via Hannibal Lecter, when I assess someone’s character.
Hannibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?
Clarice Starling: He kills women...
Hannibal Lecter: No. That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does? What needs does he serve by killing?
Clarice Starling: Anger, um, social acceptance, and, huh, sexual frustrations, sir...
Hannibal Lecter: No! He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.
Clarice Starling: No. We just...
Hannibal Lecter: No. We begin by coveting what we see every day.
So what is the narrative of Barack Obama? What is Barack Obama, himself? What is his nature? What does he do? What needs does he serve in his actions?
These are my humble observations of Barack Obama. Others may differ.
What does Barack Obama do? Now, let’s not kid ourselves. Politicians don’t really do anything, but when I think of a given President, what associations come to mind?
President Reagan led. President Clinton listened. President Bush II was decisive.
Barack Obama…does what?
He apologizes for America.
He lacks vision.
He has never submitted any of his own legislation, letting Democrats do it instead.
He pays back cronies with favors.
He chose a man who can’t communicate in Jay Carney.
He talks about “fairness” but not personal responsibility.
He obstructs progress by regulatory fiat.
He plays golf. His wife takes a vacation every ten weeks.
He does not lead.
Now I shall converse with Dr. Lecter. Let’s see what happens.
Hannibal Lecter: First principles, Lawrence. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?
Me: He talks. He regulates.
Hannibal Lecter: No. That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does? What needs does he serve by talking and regulating?
Me: To sell himself?
Hannibal Lecter: No! He wants to be liked. That is his nature. And how do we begin to be liked, Lawrence? Do we seek out people to like us?
Me: No. We just…
Hannibal Lecter: No. We begin by doing what we are told. We please. We follow.
Barack Obama follows.
I think Barack Obama was told early on that he was being groomed. He did what he was told all along the way, about how to do all the right things to move up the ladder. He was told the only way to reach success and then keep it was to let others run interference for him while he walked into the halls of power. He would get to be likable by not doing anything controversial or, better yet, not do anything at all. And then one day, a door would open and his good looks and charm would sell him.
“Just do what you're told and you’ll succeed”.
He was always told: stay quiet. Do nothing. Let others take the heat. Let the Democrats introduce legislation, not you. Let Democrats push the health care bill, not you. Don’t submit a budget. Don’t draft legislation yourself. Get foreign governments to like you by apologizing for America. Do the most politically expedient thing in any given moment so you either look good or at least you won’t look bad. Once you are President, you can do anything you want.
That’s the message I believe he was delivered.
Along the way, he was trained in radical thought, and bought into all of it because there were no competing voices. Contemporary black leaders with the broadest audiences were Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan and his own 20-year-pastor Rev. Wright – who all preach that blacks are victims, that racism holds them back, and that they cannot succeed without things like Affirmative Action. Consequently, Conservative thought was never introduced to Barack Obama. Only Liberal and radical thought made it into his head. He sat in a church for 20 years with a pastor who hates America. He associated with a domestic terrorist in Bill Ayers.
Notice how he literally cannot communicate without some kind of guidance, like a teleprompter. All he can do is parrot what he’s been told, but he knows that all the radical thought he’s been taught may not be what most Americans wants to hear. So in these stuttering moments he’s grasping to find a way to translate the radical thought into something vague and palatable.
Why He’s Struggling Now
Something else happened once he got into the White House. Despite all these radical and Liberal advisors telling him what to do, other more moderate voices remained from the previous administration, particularly military ones. I think it’s possible that this was the first time in his life he was exposed to some important, intelligent, accomplished people telling him that maybe, just maybe, all those radical ideas weren’t going to work.
Maybe that’s why Gitmo is still open. Maybe that’s why he stepped up the drone program. Maybe that’s why he extended the Bush tax cuts.
Furthermore, all the people who got him into the presidency expected payback. Now he had to follow their orders and the only way to do that was to trod upon the Constitution via regulatory fiat. Hence the crony capitalism. Hence the “stimulus”. Hence the environmental payback in the form of Solyndra.
And so, Barack Obama continues to do what he’s told. He continues to follow.
I want a President who is a leader. Do you?