Obama Hasn't Earned A Place At Berlin Gate
- From: jose <josefsoplar@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 07:47:35 -0700 (PDT)
Obama Hasn't Earned A Place At Berlin Gate
By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER | Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:30 PM PT
Barack Obama wants to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. He figures it
would be a nice backdrop. The supporting cast — a cheering audience
and a few fainting frauleins — would be a picturesque way to bolster
his foreign policy credentials.
What Obama does not seem to understand is that the Brandenburg Gate is
something you earn.
President Reagan earned the right to speak there because his
relentless pressure had brought the Soviet empire to its knees and he
was demanding its final "tear down this wall" liquidation.
When President Kennedy visited the Brandenburg Gate on the day of his
"Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, he was representing a country that was
prepared to go to the brink of nuclear war to defend West Berlin.
Who is Obama representing? And what exactly has he done in his
lifetime to merit appropriating the Brandenburg Gate as a campaign
What was his role in the fight against communism, the liberation of
Eastern Europe, the creation of what George Bush 41 — who presided
over the fall of the Berlin Wall but modestly declined to go there for
a victory lap — called "a Europe whole and free"?
Does Obama not see the incongruity? It's as if a German pol took a
campaign trip to America and demanded the Statue of Liberty as a venue
for a campaign speech. (The Germans have now gently nudged Obama into
looking at other venues.)
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?
Obama is a three-year senator without a single important legislative
achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted
"present" nearly 130 times.
As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as
legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of
scholarship? Written a single memorable article? His most memorable
work is a biography of his favorite subject: himself.
It is a subject upon which he can dilate effortlessly. In his victory
speech upon winning the nomination, Obama declared it a great turning
point in history — "generations from now we will be able to look back
and tell our children that this was the moment" — when, among other
wonders, "the rise of the oceans began to slow."
As economist Irwin Stelzer noted in his London Daily Telegraph column,
"Moses made the waters recede, but he had help." Obama apparently
Obama may think he's King Canute, but the good king ordered the tides
to halt precisely to refute sycophantic aides who suggested that he
had such power. Obama has no such modesty.
After all, in the words of his own slogan, "we are the ones we've been
waiting for," which, translating the royal "we," means: "I am the one
we've been waiting for."
Amazingly, he had a quasi-presidential seal with its own Latin
inscription affixed to his podium, until general ridicule — it was
pointed out that he was not yet president — induced him to take it
He lectures us that instead of worrying about immigrants learning
English, "you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish" — a
language Obama does not speak. He further admonishes us on how
"embarrassing" it is that Europeans are multilingual but "we go over
to Europe, and all we can say is 'merci beaucoup.' " Obama speaks no
His fluent English does, however, feature many such admonitions,
instructions and improvements. His wife assures us that President
Obama will be a stern taskmaster: "Barack Obama will require you to
work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism . . . that you
come out of your isolation. . . . Barack will never allow you to go
back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."
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 — Jesus
practiced his healing just on the sick. Obama operates on a larger
© 2008 Washington Post Writers Group
Obama exhibits narcissism carried to malignancy.
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