By Geoff Metcalf
April 28, 2008
“Never, never, never, never give up.” --Winston Churchill
Hubris is a Greek word for excessive insolent pride. Once upon a time it described the epic (albeit usually earned) arrogance of warrior kings and battle tested Generals. Leonides of Sparta who stood with his 300 against the vastness of Xerxes Persian army at Thermopylae, Ulysses, Odysseus, and Agamemnon were all men of monumental egos. However, unlike contemporary trash talkers, they walked the walk along with talking the talk.
The recent public fratricides of the Rev. Wright fueling the spitting match between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry’s ego infused myopia, Al Gore’s serial selective memory losses, Hillary Clinton’s revisionist view of the way she ‘disremembers’, all suggest America is suffering from the toxicity of a hubris epidemic.
General Charles Krulak, former Marine Corps Commandant, once observed, the Roman Army Legionnaires, during the time of the 12 Caesars, used to strike their chest with the right fist and shout “Integritas”. Integritas means material wholeness, completeness.
When the Praetorians (Imperial Bodyguards) grew in power they abandoned the “Integritas” proclamation and replaced it with “Hail Caesar”, to indicate their heart belonged to their king…not their unit or a code of ideals. General Krulak’s entire speech
Wright’s recent Press Club rant (arguably the worst thing to impact the Obama dream quest), is a classic example of the worst in contemporary hubris. Despite a 20 year relationship, which depending on circumstances, the situation, and phase of the moon, was symbiotic, Wright apparently was more concerned about his own ego than the potential of his flock, and for sure his Presidential wannabe sheep.
If Wright had taken a vacation, stayed out of the limelight (which he apparently craves like a crack addict does drugs) and not risen to the bait, the controversy would have abated and the news cycle would have moved on to the next campaign gaff through natural inertia. Instead, Wright ripped the scab off the new wound poured a $4-dollar gallon of gasoline on the smoldering embers before they could die.
Suddenly, even hopeful democrats, thirsting for ‘change’ are now questioning the essence of Obama’s character, honesty, and intelligence.
Obama apparently has had an epiphany and is ‘shocked’ at the vitriolic mendacity of his spiritual guide of 20 years? Come on…is ANYone, ANYone buying this?
If, in fact, Obama is indeed surprised by the revelation of the essence of Wright, it raises several significant questions which are difficult to answer:
If he was not aware of the true essence of Wright’s beliefs (which
have been consistent, chronic and routine),
o It raises questions about Obama’s intelligence.
• If he was aware of Wright’s deep seated anti-Americanism and ignored it in order to pander to the black constituency who agrees with Wright,
o It raises questions about Obama’s integrity.
• If he was aware of, and did in fact disagreed with Wright, why did he not EVER articulate is disagreement over 20 years?
o It would suggest duplicity.
There are no good answers for Obama. He is either stupid (not likely), smarmy (probably) or duplicitous (you betcha). His diffidence in addressing the beast in the living room implies major naiveté. None of which are desired predicates in a President.
Meanwhile, despite the almost fatal blow, timing seems to be on Obama’s side. DNC Chairman Howard Dean, former President Jimmy Carter, and the ‘establishment’ party honcho’s want the Clinton / Obama spitting match concluded by early June. However, political dynamics being what they are, continuing the fight frankly could/would actually help the party and salvage Hillary’s foundering campaign.
Hillary has already reduced Obama’s 20-point lead in North Carolina down to single digits and she is expected to win Indiana. She has won all the ‘big’ states and there has still been no resolution to what will or won’t happen with Florida and Michigan.
IF, the party forces Clinton to withdraw before the Denver convention, it is conceivable Obama could lose to the once presumed dead Senator John McCain by 40 states.
Despite the assurances of Carter and Democrat poobah’s that whoever loses the nomination will support the nominee, hug, campaign, and sing kumbaya in Denver, reality and polling data suggests otherwise.
Gallup has reported that 28% of Hillary supporters say if she isn’t the nominee they will bail. They either will not vote OR will support McCain as the lesser of available evils. 20% of Obama supporters have indicated if their guy isn’t the nominee, they will bail and either not show up or support McCain as the lesser of available evils.
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Keep in mind also, that the significant increase in voter registration has come largely from the ‘new voters’ that are overwhelmingly supporters of Obama.
What to do? What to do? What to do?