While I'm on the subject of Barack Obama and President Lincoln I thought I'd republish a piece on the subject that I posted on Townhall in the hours after Obama's disappointing inaugural.... where he botched his oath of office, and his mentor and kingmaker Ted Kennedy collapsed from a LEFT-sided brain tumor, casting a pall over the event and anticipating his epically awful presidency.
Real, true, authentic greatness in leaders has no need for the symbols, imagery, style and legacies of other great men-it has no need of models to imitate. Who did Lincoln imitate in his presidential campaign, or in the period leading up to his inauguration? Whose Bible did he use to swear him in as President? Who did the Roosevelts imitate and ape? Who was Kennedy's model? Who did Reagan emulate? Answer: No one. These men were among the great ones of history and walked in no one's shadow. Even George Bush as he rose to power drew strength from his principles, convictions and ideals, and little from his predecessors. But not Barack Obama. Never in the history of presidential politics, never in a campaign or in the pre-inaugural stage, had a candidate or president-elect relied so heavily on the great men of the past. Why has Obama been doing this? Is it simply out of reverence for these men and their achievements? Is that the reason? Or is it because of his great deficiencies? Is it because he's a mediocre man with an exalted self-image and grandiose purpose with a dash of charisma and charm but without exceptional qualities of intellect and character that make great leaders? Does Obama confuse the image of greatness and high flown rhetoric and promises of historic change with the substance and reality of true political greatness?
Could it be that deep down inside Obama suffers from an inferiority complex much like his wife? That like Michelle he has a much poorer self-image than he'd like us to believe which he hides behind the facade of great presidents, and especially the greatest of them all: Abraham Lincoln? I believe this is so. From the start of his campaign in Springfield, Illinois where Lincoln gave his House Divided speech, to his swearing in on Lincoln's Bible; from his gigantic rally in West Berlin where JFK gave his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech; to is acceptance speech at Denver on the anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech," Obama uses these men and their legacies to sustain the charade and show of greatness as the substance and reality are lacking in him.
Indeed, why did Obama use Lincoln's Bible to swear him in as president? What was wrong with his own Bible? Why wasn't it good enough for him and the great occasion of his inaugural? Isn't his Bible (if he has one) the same Good Book with the same four Gospels and Book of Exodus, the same Old and New Testaments with their timeless truths, inspiration and wisdom? Absolutely! But Obama is not the Great Emancipator; and using his own family Bible would do nothing for his false image as a national redeemer which means everything to him, and those who blindly adore him.
More important to Obama than the Judeo-Christian heritage, the traditions that brought the Pilgrim's to our shores and America into being and made us humanity's "last best hope," for political, religious and intellectual liberty is old Abe Lincoln, the greatest of our presidents...the closest we have had to an ideal leader and political saint. Never mind that Lincoln was a 19th century, small government, classical liberal who philosophically has nothing in common with Obama's socialist views. Never mind that Lincoln was a conviction politician who stood on principle with the courage to speak his beliefs come what may. Never mind his honesty, transparency, integrity and capacity for self-sacrifice and truth. Never mind his great valor and virtues. Never mind that Obama has none of these things and that in truth he is the anti-Lincoln (his antithesis and polar opposite), his shadow in practically everything. What the midday Sun is to a midnight star so is Lincoln to Barack Obama; and those who see him as a blazing light of salvation and hope for a new age of justice, peace and freedom will in time be disappointed.
It appears to me that Obama is a man who has never come to terms with his human limitations, limitations that he disowns and runs away from-which explains his need to be a Lincoln, a Kennedy, an FDR or Dr. King; any great man is better than being Barack Obama so it seems. As art is illusion imitating life so is this mediocre man imitating true greatness.
Obama has taken his pretense of greatness to absurd levels turning it into an object of worship with millions believing he's a messianic hero for our times, or of the ages. With help from the media he's created an empty cult of personality that exaggerates his virtues and hides his fatal flaws; a cult that would chisel his face on Mt. Rushmore if they could; or build a memorial greater than Lincoln's. If Obama were to die today with having accomplished nothing the Democrat Congress would declare his birthday a national holiday equal in importance to Independence Day. Such is the madness that surrounds this worthless, empty, radical fool.
Sustaining his false image and veneer of greatness is what obsessed Obama in his pre-inaugural stage. Beyond that is the great unknown and this must truly worry him. Unlike ex-New York governor Teddy Roosevelt who grabbed the presidency with both hands and said "Bully!" (indicating his eagerness and courage to tackle the job) Obama fears failure and leaving behind a legacy of dust. Two weeks before the election a reporter asked Obama (who has never been a chief executive of anything) if he worries about losing to McCain: "No." replied the candidate, " It's not worrying about losing that keeps me up at night. What worries me and keeps me awake is the thought of winning." No great man who is sure of himself and is fit to command would have uttered such words. As Obama in reality is unequal to the job (especially in troubled times) deep down inside he knows this and fears failure. Knows that his victory will bring catastrophic defeat and complete loss of prestige as the Obama bubble will eventually burst with millions of disillusioned supporters wondering how they could have been so deceived.
As for today's inaugural speech it was typical Obama. The most memorable thing about his forgettable speeches are the crowds. The crowds are greater than the speeches and make the occasion. They also rescue Obama temporarily from his mediocrity making him for the moment seem larger than life. It's at these mega events that Obama really shines and feels most alive, most triumphant over his self-doubts, inferiority feelings and identity problems. This is less a problem of psychology than of morality and character. If Obama had a granite core of values and beliefs, like a Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Reagan or George Bush, he wouldn't feel so empty, small and incomplete. He'd have a rock solid soul stronger than fortune fearless about the future and would have given an effective, memorable inaugural speech.
You will notice that Obama's speech was joyless and deflating lacking passion, vigor and strength; that it was uneven and unsteady, rising and falling, ebbing and flowing with no stirring moment or grace. Indeed, the inexperienced man who blindly and impatiently ran for the presidency, who raised hopes sky high promising transformational change and world redeeming leadership for a new age, has lost much of his flair now that he's president. Now that he sees the enormity of the task and the cross he must bear...he fears it will crush him and that he'll badly fail. The new president who spoke today isn't the same victorious winner of November 4th who gushed with joy and inspiration at his Grant Park celebration. That Obama is fading soon to be overtaken by an incompetent, blundering, feckless leader with an unpopular radical agenda leading the nation by lies into confusion and decline.
The selling of Barack Obama as a uniquely gifted epoch-making man, the rarest of the rare and great president to be, was one of the great political hoaxes of American electoral history. As reality must inevitably catch up to him, shatter his false image and shrink him down to size Obama is the stuff that political tragedies are made of, as his fall from grace will be as quick and great as was his precipitous rise.