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The New Arrogance

Back in October, when Barack Obama told a crowd of 2,000 supporters, “We’ve had enough arrogance in this White House . . . We need something new!” did he mean we need the kind of humility that allows one to interpret a general statement about terrorism and appeasement, uttered in a foreign hall of government, as a direct attack on oneself?

When he wrote in his memoir, “[my mother] taught me to disdain the blend of ignorance and arrogance that too often characterized Americans abroad,” perhaps he meant such ignorance and arrogance are more acceptable when broadcast straight from U.S. soil?

In taking the preposterous leap that President Bush’s remarks in Israel were a veiled attack on his campaign, Barack Obama has demonstrated an arrogance of striking proportions. Supplanting national arrogance with a more concentrated personal variety is hardly a step towards global cordiality. But it does gel perfectly with the mindset of the post-Boomers who make up Obama’s base. (Pride in one’s country is so pre-Iraq.) Obama understands that it’s personal pride that counts.

He also has a way of contradicting his abstract pronouncements on utopian ideals with specific acts of uninspired selfishness. His grand gesture of embracing Jeremiah Wright fizzled when Wright proved a true liability. His claims to humility vanish when he thinks he hears his name whispered in the wind. Moreover, Obama’s supporters have a way of hanging in there with him, riding out the poetic wave until it’s a prosaic ripple. As has been noted in posts below, the New York Times and the Democratic Party wasted no time in seconding Obama’s indignation over the President’s remarks. And with that kind of unquestioning devotion, why wouldn’t he think everything uttered by every leader everywhere is about little old him.


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