At this stage, I would not be surprised to learn that Obama collects string, holds imaginary conversations with W.E.B. Dubois, fervently believes that George Bush is the Anti-Christ, and secretly puffs on coffin nails jammed into an extra-long cigarette holder a la FDR while he delivers the latter’s “Four Freedoms” speech in front of a mirror every Saturday night.
He is a strange fellow, this president of ours, with an outlook that is oddly alien to the American traditions and culture that most of us seem to take in with our mother’s milk, and whose forward-looking vision is, in reality, an unending gaze into the rearview mirror (shopworn leftist panaceas may be closer than they appear). And perhaps even more strikingly, he has the temperament of a loony-bin Napoleon, strutting about with a supreme (and supremely unjustified) self-confidence in his ability – an act that is wearing thin even among his fellow inmates, and that is growing positively alarming to his keepers. I mean, even something as otherwise unsurprising as hypocrisy in a politician takes on overtones of weirdness with Obama. In fact, in his abrazos with leftist caudillos, his bowing (can scraping be far behind?) to desert despots and ageing emperors, his shameful apology tours, his dog-like return to the vomit of Iranian “good faith”, the president has managed a feat unique in my experience: he has turned hypocrisy inside-out by redefining it as the tribute that virtue pays to vice.
Strange, surpassing strange. To borrow from the sentiment expressed in this excellent cartoon, I keep waiting for Rod Serling to do a walk-on and tell me what’s it’s all about.
Serling, of course, only showed up to set the stage and provide a little context and clarification for the viewers of his macabre dramas. As participants in this giant reality-Twilight Zone series that is the Obama administration, we are likely to wind up much as the characters in the TV episodes frequently did – facing our doom in a state of baffled horror, never really comprehending the how and why.