August 15, 2010

An Exchange of Note(s)

Hatched by Dafydd

Friend Lee just sent me e-mail noting that Barack H. Obama has pretty much painted himself into a hole anent the "Ground-Zero Mosque," or Cordoba House, as it's actually dubbed. I responded with my own notation; and with my usual flair for modesty and self-effacement, I have decided the exchange is worth passing along to the world (like James Boswell's exchanges with Dr. Samuel Johnson, or Dr. John Watson's conversations with Mr. Sherlock Holmes).

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!"

(A six-pack of kudos to anyone who can identify the name of the ficticious character who said this, and in what venue.)

Obama brought it all upon himself when he said the following:

But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.

As many have noted, this maudlin sentiment goes above and beyond -- or I should say beneath and between -- a simple commitment to freedom of religion... particularly coming from a man who admits to support only for freedom of worship. He enthuses that "all faiths" -- by which he appears to mean especially faiths that would if they could obliterate our country, our liberty and freedom, our ideals, and indeed, our entire way of life -- must be treated equally.

Obamunist morality demands that a faith that supports and nurtures individual liberty cannot be treated any differently by the United States government than one that seeks to overthrow that same government by force and violence! In other words, we must tolerate the utterly intolerant, even if doing so will allow them to take over -- and end all tolerance forever. I think the technical term for this philosophy of self-destruction is "mad as a hatter."

So Friend Lee sent me this note:

Subject: I think Obama's a huge loser on Cordoba House

Here's my two cents on this issue --

If he defends the project claiming this Imam is a moderate, then he becomes an apologist for the Imam's positions of record.

If he admits the Imam is immoderate but defends the project on grounds of American values of religious freedom, then he is not defending the constitution, but is defending those who would destroy it. For most people, tolerance is off the table at that point -- or at least, it is no longer paramount.

If he tries to de-link the project itself from the Muslims who are pushing it, then he still looks like a law professor, not a chief executive.

If he punts on the issue and says it is "local" he shows a failure of leadership.

If he changes the position he's already taken, he looks vacillating and insincere. How's that KSM trial going?

By the time this mosque is finished, I think he'll no longer be President -- but I won't be surprised if he eventually takes off his shoes and appears to pray there.

I particularly like that phrase, "and appears to pray there." I can only conclude that Friend Lee is suggesting that a Compleat Narcissist like Obama never actually prays, for he would have to pray to himself; but he has learnt how to ape the ritual, metaphorically holding his nose, for political gain.

Response by Dafydd:

Subject: Re: I think Obama's a huge loser on Cordoba House

Obama's only saving grace has been his self-destructive political instincts, which lead him into one unforced folly after another. He seems as addicted to offending Americans as Clinton was to sex with subordinates.

I cannot imagine that he will find a way to "fix" his personality defects between now and November 6th, 2012; he's a one-termer.

Colossal ego aside, I think Friend Lee nailed it: There is currently no card in the deck that will win the Cordoba hand for the Obamunist; he's drawing dead, as they say on the World Poker Tour. And of course, if he tries simply to drop the discussion and pretend he never said anything, he will be thwarted by GOP candidates playing Obama's quotes over and over in campaign commercials, ad infinitum.

The Obamic Dilemma reminds me of a reformulation of the three main laws of thermodynamics that is sometimes attributed to Sir Arthur Eddington (without any evidence, alas); in more or less original form, laws one through three state:

  1. In any process in an isolated system, the total energy remains the same. (That is, energy in an isolated system can neither be created nor destroyed.)
  2. Spontaneous natural processes increase entropy overall. (That is, taking all energy in a closed system as a whole, entropy increases over time.)
  3. As temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system approaches a constant minimum greater than absolute zero. (That is, the end-state of entropy is uniform distribution of energy, after which every natural process ceases.)

Eddington (or some other wag) rewrote the laws thus:

  1. You can't win.
  2. You can't break even.
  3. You can't even quit the game.

That quite succinctly describes Obama's Dilemma, in a nuthouse.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 15, 2010, at the time of 7:10 PM

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The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH

On must almost feel sorry for Obama on this one. It is the perfect trap for him. With his intellectual hubris, his narcissism, and his confidence that the chattering class is, generally, still on his side, he simply could not resist the puzzle of finding exactly the right way to whack the tar-baby.

And I must disagree that his mistake was anything he said at his press conference. I agree with much of what he said although there are nuances and penumbras that are troubling, as you and Lee have pointed out. But that is all beside the point. His mistake was not anything he said at the press conference. His mistake was calling a press conference in the first place. He was doomed before he opened his mouth.

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2010 8:10 AM

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