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Birds of a Feather

Charles Krauthammer has had it with the holier-than-thou act from Obama:

Not that Obama considers himself divine. (He sees himself as merely messianic, or, at worst, apostolic.) But he does position himself as hovering above mere mortals, mere country, to gaze benignly upon the darkling plain beneath him where ignorant armies clash by night, blind to the common humanity that only he can see. Traveling the world, he brings the gospel of understanding and godly forbearance. We have all sinned against each other. We must now look beyond that and walk together to the sunny uplands of comity and understanding. He shall guide you.

It is not merely the condescension to which Krauthammer objects, but the simple-minded falsification of reality to suit the trope of moral equivalence:

For all of his philosophy, the philosopher-king protests too much. Obama undoubtedly thinks he is demonstrating historical magnanimity with all these moral equivalencies and self-flagellating apologetics. On the contrary. He’s showing cheap condescension, an unseemly hunger for applause and a willingness to distort history for political effect.

Distorting history is not truth-telling but the telling of soft lies. Creating false equivalencies is not moral leadership but moral abdication. And hovering above it all, above country and history, is a sign not of transcendence but of a disturbing ambivalence toward one’s own country.

No wonder the media revels in this president — no parochial loyalty, no crass patriotism, no American boosterism. Obama’s media cheering section embodies the worst of  academic elitism — a disdain for country and indeed for the West. And Obama acts accordingly, shaping narratives that don’t match up to reality. Women’s rights receive infinitely greater protection in the West than in the Middle East (excluding Israel), yet the president is forced to fabricate and the media to avert its eyes. No stoning stories of accused Saudi women made it into the Cairo speech and few if any will make it onto the front page of the New York Times. Palestinians, unlike enslaved American blacks, have repeatedly been offered their own state. But to say so would suggest that the partiess conduct in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not equal, and therefore cannot be resolved so easily by a “let’s get along” admonition from the American president.

But the question remains: if Obama isn’t going to take sides don’t we need an American president? After all, all the other countries have advocates, defenders, and boosters. It seems we could use one too. We already have quite enough liberal media pundits willing to excoriate American for distant and slight sins, a UN bubbling over with anti-Americanism, and legions of snooty academics and Europeans to finger-wag at America and the West. We don’t really need the U.S. President for that, do we?



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