Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Deification in Context

Over at Newsweek, Evan Thomas, in a piece titled “The Perils of Punditry,” is unhappy because he thinks he’s being treated unfairly. According to Thomas, “Appearing on Hardball With Chris Matthews on June 5, I compared President Obama with God. Or at least that’s how it seemed to some bloggers [I was the one quoted by Thomas; my original post is here] and talk-show hosts [Rush Limbaugh], who made me a poster child for the argument that the liberal press is hopelessly in love with Obama.”

Maybe the reason it “seemed” Thomas was comparing Obama to God is because, well, he did exactly that. Thomas, in speaking to Matthews about Obama’s speech in Cairo, said, “In a way, Obama’s standing above the country, above-above the world, a sort of god.”

Ah, but Thomas avers, “I was not being literal.” To which one might ask: Does it help Thomas’s case a great deal if he was being figurative? I would add that if you listen to Thomas throughout the interview, he was definitely being worshipful.

Thomas then writes, “I could complain about being ‘taken out of context’ this time, but I scoff when politicians do that.” So Thomas is complaining about being taken out of context while at the same time trying to get credit for not doing so.

There’s a story in which William Simon, Treasury Secretary in the Nixon Administration, called the Shah of Iran a “nut.” Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was not happy and spoke to Simon, who told Kissinger that his comments had been taken “out of context.” To which Kissinger is reported to have said: “Mr. Secretary, in what context can you call the head of state of an American ally ‘a nut’?”

So I would ask: Mr. Thomas, in what context can you call Barack Obama a “sort of God”?


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.