Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Reason To Be An Egomaniac?

Well, Abe, I think there is a semi-serious but very faulty presumption which Andrew Sullivan and other Barack Obama supporters make. They assume but do not explain why Obama has reason to be an egomaniac. (I will leave for others to debate whether there are degrees of egomania, and whether some of our greatest presidents, like Lincoln and Truman, were not distinguished by their lack of ego.) Obama himself revealed how sensitive he is on this point, when on the night of his crowning glory, he remarked with obvious iritation that, although he has recognized John McCain’s accomplishments, McCain has not recognized his. Again, what accomplishments and why the right to be considered a great leader?

This seems to be a familiar phenomenon today. The Left, whether in the media or universities, elevates words, feelings and identity above deeds. (This by the way is another of the unpleasant legacies fo the 1960′s.) But what has Obama done other than win the nomination? They respond that we are dense to even ask. His speeches have made them feel so much better so that they mistake that for his greatness. Or his racial identity shows how inclusive America is, so he must therefore be extraordinary. It is a sign, a disturbing sign, of our times that concrete deeds count for so little and emotive words and identity politics for so much.