It isn’t easy being a saint.
It isn’t easy being a saint.
by Victor Davis Hanson
“You readers remember that sometime around mid 2007, Obama made a Faustian bargain. Without much national name, without a legislative record in Illinois or the US Senate, but with quite a lot of Chicago baggage, Obama gambled on the hope and change new persona (soon to be followed with the soaring FDR/MLK/JFK prose, Latinate seal, Greek architraves, Victory Column /Sermon on the Mount speeches, Father Abraham’s arrival to DC by slow-moving rail car (after flying back to Illinois by jet)). For much of the campaign, he either hoped that Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger and the other assorted Dailey/Blago baggage would not surface, or, if it did, he could hope and change them all away. And he did—brilliantly . And now they are history and those who dredge them up little more cranky sore-losing has-beens.
But as President, no matter how historic a candidacy (more astounding than any in American history), no matter how calm in the face of continuous pressure, no matter how brilliant in prepared and set oratory, one can’t get away with that disconnect forever. There is a reason why a plodding Ike and blunt Harry Truman were greater Presidents than even JFK—and why in 2-3 years even George Bush will begin to seem in retropect honest, sober, and straight-talking rather than word-mangling.”
“Again, the backtracking on the issues, the tough centrist appointments, and the seeming continuance of a Bush (III?) foreign policy, once demonized now quietly embraced, are fine for Bill Clinton, Al Gore or Harry Reid, but in aggregate ever so insidiously they become finally problematic for the redeemer. As stated, even the Left-wing media won’t like looking foolish twice. And even the smug Europeans will turn on those who prod them to be reasonable and honest after serenading them with prose set to Mozart. Yes, he can halt the messiah act and we will forgive him for not being a messiah—or continue it in lieu of honest governance and I assure you in time even Newsweek and NPR will turn on him, in fear that they are not merely gullible, but looking ridiculous.
So even now, Obama need not play any longer the hypocrite and can recover if he mans up to the past hypnosis of the campaign, cools the Lincoln talk, reads about Nemesis, and admits that he is a mere mortal, an inexperienced one at that, matches his deeds with honest words, and seeks to govern in human rather than divine fashion from on high. That way a William Lynn or Timothy Geithner are just political landmines that one steps over rather than proof that the Wizard turns out to be a little man with levers and dials behind the curtain.
Americans can and will forgive almost anything other than hypocrisy.”
Read the whole thing here.