The President We Deserve? | FrontPage Magazine


In 1920 H.L Mencken wrote prophetically, “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”Like the long tradition of antidemocrats from Plato to Founding Father Fisher Ames, Mencken believed that a democratic leader would reflect the self-interested aims and passions of the necessarily mediocre mass of voters. The disaster of Barack Obama’s administration invites reflection on the truth of this proposition;Obama’s narcissistic self-regard by now is obvious to all but the most besotted of tingle-down-my-leg, smartest-president-ever, trousers-crease-bedazzled Obamaboppies, as Mark Steyn calls them. Obama’s favorite words are “I,” “me,” and “my,” except of course when he’s dodging responsibility for his failures, as he did recently when he blamed his intelligence agencies for his own neglect of the growing threat from Islamic State in northern Iraq. He’s still blaming George W. Bush for many other failures, most recently when he blamed him for the lack of a status of forces agreement with Iraq––something he really didn’t want so he could brag, as he did in 2011, “The tide of war is receding. Now, even as we remove our last troops from Iraq, we’re beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan . . . Our troops are finally coming home.” A year later he made this political calculation explicit when he said of the SOF agreement during the foreign policy presidential debate, “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down.”Dodging accountability and refusing to confess one’s mistakes are classic signs of the egomaniac. So too is seeking out audiences that uncritically accept one’s own estimation of personal greatness. That’s why the president prefers fund-raisers to governing. It’s not just about garnering money for his party; it’s also about bathing in the waves of adulation from the carefully selected audience of fans. That’s certainly more gratifying than sitting through the Presidential Daily Briefings, 56% of which he missed in his first term, and 62% in his second. George W. Bush, in comparison, almost never missed the PDB.And when someone does get by the gatekeepers and asks an even slightly challenging question, Obama gets a bit snappish

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