Monday, February 16, 2009

Eye of storm, toe of frog

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"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,

Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."

-- The second witch, Macbeth

The political humorist E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post has written a marvelous parody of the mainstream media's infatuation with The Chosen One. Headlined "Obama in the Eye of the Storm," it begins with the words, "Barack Obama senses that he's in the middle of a hurricane whose gale-force winds could blow history his way."

This guy has perfect pitch. He understands the mind of the Marxist. The forces of history, not the works of individuals and groups of individuals, determine the future. And history leads inevitably to the redistributionist triumph.
He doesn't mind acknowledging that he is learning as he goes, and he is not bitter about how little help he is getting from Republicans. But he will never again let bipartisanship become the defining test of his success.
Here Dionne is having a laugh at the desperate scrabbling of the indentured media to turn every misstep of their Divine Leader into a learning experience. And their new party line: the "bringing us together" that the Divine Leader promised a few months ago will no longer be the "defining test of his success," now that he has utterly failed in that promise. His success is that he has failed.
The president offered his thoughts to a group of columnists whom he invited to accompany him Friday on Air Force One during his first visit home since he became president. He made his way west as his stimulus was nearing final passage in Congress, and to describe him as at ease would be merely to repeat one of the reigning cliches of his short presidency.
An exemplary send-up of the media's unconscious slips. In theory, the home of the president of the United States is the White House. This president's home, as the media well know, is the Chicago where politics is played by Chicago Rules. "Made his way west" -- not at 37,000 feet, propelled by four turbine engines, but by association with the pioneers in wagons, braving the perils of the long journey through plain and mountains.

"To describe him as at ease would be merely to repeat one of the reigning cliches of his short presidency." Here Dionne is taking the mickey out of columnists who reach into their knapsack of clichés and pluck one out, then preen in their superiority by acknowledging they know they are writing clichés.
More striking was his sense that fate has handed him opportunities few presidents ever get and that his test will be whether he makes good use of his chance to bend history at one of its "inflection points."
Our humorist has caught the tone of the media sycophants who see in Obama an agent of fate, a source of power beyond the merely human. His next test -- which he will perhaps later be seen to have succeeded at by failing -- is to bend history. To the victor ...
And where might Republicans fit into all this? Obama still thinks he'll win their support someday on some issues. Because the stimulus envisioned a large government role in rescuing the economy, he said, it may have "exaggerated" the partisan divide because it played on "the core differences between Democrats and Republicans."
This is a play on one of dodgy political journalism's running jokes, the idea that there is a "core difference" between Republicans and Democrats, with Republicans being against big government, or against government "rescuing" the economy. Actually, of course, when banks or auto manufacturers are being measured for the coffin, they are first to rush to Dr. Federalismo Subsidario for an injection of liquefied dollars.

I love the tag line of this caricature of fawning religious awe:
Maybe that mysterious calm people talk about reflects the temperament of a man who can live with his mistakes as long as he doesn't repeat them.
Ah, yes, the witless struggle to find anything to say when the genuflecting crowds are outside the door and the inspirational teleprompter has gone blank, transmuted by the power of the media into a "mysterious calm." I am sure that the Divine Leader can live with his mistakes. I am afraid the rest of us will have to.

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1 comment:

David said...

Beautiful. You should send it to Dionne, who I'm sure would be very happy to see his parodic(?) skills so greatly appreciated.