American Elephants


Barack Obama: Is He “The Alien in the White House?” by The Elephant's Child


The most noted “must read” piece of the week is titled “The Alien in the White House,” and comes from Dorothy Rabinowitz, a national treasure found at the Wall Street Journal.  Many have struggled to understand just what our president intends.  He has seemed to me not to understand the office of the presidency, and Ms. Rabinowitz, gracefully, agrees that he is “wanting in certain qualities citizens have until now taken for granted in their presidents:”

For it was clear from the first that this president—single-minded, ever-visible, confident in his program for a reformed America saved from darkness by his arrival—was wanting in certain qualities citizens have until now taken for granted in their presidents. Namely, a tone and presence that said: This is the Americans’ leader, a man of them, for them, the nation’s voice and champion. Mr. Obama wasn’t lacking in concern about the oil spill. What he lacked was that voice—and for good reason.Those qualities to be expected in a president were never about rhetoric; Mr. Obama had proved himself a dab hand at that on the campaign trail. They were a matter of identification with the nation and to all that binds its people together in pride and allegiance. These are feelings held deep in American hearts, unvoiced mostly, but unmistakably there and not only on the Fourth of July.

A great part of America now understands that this president’s sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.

It is an important article, for it clarifies the intent of the administration, and from whence that intent comes. You will find it interesting even if you disagree, for the debate is  useful for us all.  Do read the whole thing.




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