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The Operative Term is 'Hubris'
American Thinker ^ | July 28, 2008 | J.R. Dunn

Posted on 07/28/2008 3:49:15 AM PDT by vietvet67

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.
  - Euripides

He has a seat on his campaign aircraft marked "president". He has taken a shot at creating his own presidential seal, complete with Latin motto. He has laid claim to personal control over the world's oceans and seas. He has repeatedly attempted to dictate how and on what level he, his ideas, and his activities may be discussed. He has encouraged a portrayal of himself as a messianic figure, including a portrait of himself as Christ, complete with halo. He is even now completing a triumphant grand tour of the old world, during which he attempted to shanghai an ancient monument for personal use without consulting the host government.

The operative term here is "hubris". A word of Attic Greek origin, hubris was a major concept animating classical Greek thought. Hubris is overweening pride, an arrogance so profound and so visible as to affront the gods themselves. Hubris was a quality often identified with Greek tragic heroes. The hero allowed simple human pride in his accomplishments and station to burgeon to offensive proportions, at which point the wheels of fate began rolling. The ending was never good -- the valiant Ajax stabs himself to death at a lonely spot, the kingly Oedipus is transformed into a howling, self-blinded wreck. 

Barack Obama embodies hubris in chemically pure form. Not that he's a tragic hero, or a hero of any sort, to anyone apart from his deluded legions of college freshmen. Beyond cleaning Hillary's clock, he has no accomplishments to speak of, and as for his station... A glance at Trent Lott, Robert Byrd, and Ted Kennedy clearly reveals that "U.S. senator" is not a position of particular pride. 

But even if he hasn't founded cities, destroyed monsters, or led men into battle, Obama does share one quality with the heroes of the ancient world: an absolute conviction that he is superior to the ordinary run of humanity. Like them, Obama believes himself a man of destiny, and like them, Obama will go over the edge.

The only question is whether he gets to take the country with him.

He's nearly blown himself up several times previously. In the case of Jeremiah Wright, he felt himself so far above the controversy that he failed to so much as acknowledge it until it had already boiled over, leaving him no choice but to repudiate his longtime mentor. More recently he went so far as to accuse one of the oldest and most liberal publications in the country of impiety. There is no other word for it -- the entire case against The New Yorker was based on the premise that Barack Obama, of all living individuals, is beyond the reach of satire due to the sacredness of his person, a claim never, to my knowledge, made in a previous American election.

Over the past week, he has thrust himself into negotiations with a crucial American client, a client even now involved in the final stages of a lengthy and debilitating war, for the sole purpose of bolstering his campaign. Again, it's impossible to think of a previous candidate who ever behaved in this fashion.

All these incidents -- and plenty of others that could be mentioned -- mark the steps taken toward catastrophe. Obama is edging closer and closer to his climactic moment.          

The American public appears to grasp this. Despite his robotic legion of followers, despite the hysterical adulation of the media, despite John McCain being cut off from customary media outlets, doubts about Obama appear to be dominant. The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows him holding only a 5 point lead over McCain after a week of spectacular, loving media coverage abroad. If we factor in the hypothesized Bradley-Wilder effect -- that 5 to 10% of those polled are prevaricating in favor of Obama to avoid implications of racism -- means that Obama is in fact running even or behind.

His organization has to be aware of this. So, in some sense, must Obama himself. But blindness is also a characteristic of the classical tragic figure. The campaign should be moving slowly and carefully, identifying its weaknesses and seeking ways to address them, concentrating on increasing that (perhaps illusory) single-digit lead. Instead, Obama continues his charade, awarding himself foreign triumphs, posing as a figure of world-historical stature, as if the election, perhaps even the inauguration, were merely a ritual. In his own mind, Obama is already president, behaving as he believes a president should, while the voters look on in bewilderment and growing disquiet.

This country has had its share of arrogance and pride in the White House. A man must believe himself a special breed to aim that high in the first place. The Roosevelts, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter come immediately to mind. But none of them -- partially excepting Wilson -- ever gave in to hubris. Teddy Roosevelt waited until he was out of office to go off, wrecking the 1912 election in the process. FDR, throughout his Augustan three-plus terms as president, never quite crossed the line. (This is in keeping with the rest of his record -- it is in his negative attributes (that he was not a tyrant, that he did not take personal advantage, that he was  not vindictive) -- that FDR shines most brightly.) Carter collapsed in the face of the challenges awaiting him, becoming the most abject of modern presidents.

Only Wilson who let his vanity and arrogance run away with him, overcome with the messianic conviction that it was he, and only he, who could lead the world into a new age by means of his League of Nations. Instead he simply assured the outbreak of a war whose viciousness and destruction put all others in the shade. And didn't Wilson end up much like a figure of classic tragedy himself? A ghostly, bearded invalid haunting the corridors of the White House, never seen in public, dependent on his wife to assure that his wishes were carried out?

Wilson can stand as a warning, if not to Obama, then to the rest of us. Obama is too proud and too blind. He will continue in his solipsistic dance until the machinery of fate intervenes.

What form it will take is impossible to say. These situations build up grain by grain until a critical mass is at last reached. Obama is piling up those grains daily, with each display of aloofness, refusal to obey established protocol, and assumption of powers that do not yet belong to him. The final straw could be the most trivial of incidents, blown up all out of proportion to its importance simply due to its being the end of a series (recall one recent political powerhouse whose destruction was encompassed by a complaint over his seat on an airplane - an airplane he shouldn't have been aboard in the first place).

What we can be sure of is that Obama will not avoid the final reckoning. The last, and strangest, characteristic of the victim of hubris is that he appears to welcome his fate, almost embracing it, cooperating in his own downfall. So it will be with Barack Obama. But he must not be allowed to take the country with him. 

J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: electionpresident; obama; woodrowwilson

1 posted on 07/28/2008 3:49:15 AM PDT by vietvet67
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To: vietvet67

BOW DOWN YE DOGS!

2 posted on 07/28/2008 3:56:37 AM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: vietvet67

-bflr—


3 posted on 07/28/2008 3:57:39 AM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: vietvet67

* Speeches in stadiums filled with mesmerized, adoring audiences - Check
* An uninspiring background before meteoric rise - Check
* Creates his own new symbols of power - Check
* Associates with racists, hatemongers and violent radicals - Check
* A propaganda machine willing to show him only in the best possible light - Check
* Uses, “glorious leader” style Agitprop posters common in totalitarian nations - Check (see German campaign poster for example)
* Wants Secret Police force - Check
* Somebody powerful people think they can control - Check
* Often dismissed as a light-weight by his opponents - Check
* Seeks to replace God with the State - Check
* People adopting his name as their own - Check
* Inspires adoration art - Check
* Appropriates symbols of past German glory - Check
* Never plans on giving up power - Check (Obama to be president for the next “eight to 10 years”)
* A narcissistic megalomaniac - Check
* Brazenly Takes credit for other people’s accomplishments - Check
* Wants to build “youth” movement through State service - Check
* Acts as if in power before he is - Check
* Some followers believe him to be divine - Check
* Worshiped and aided greatly by the media - Check


4 posted on 07/28/2008 3:59:45 AM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: vietvet67

What he said


5 posted on 07/28/2008 4:02:15 AM PDT by Edgar3 (My SUV just ate your Pius)
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To: vietvet67

Good Post. Thank You

J.R. Dunn states the case of Obama’s hubris well.


6 posted on 07/28/2008 4:10:36 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Say Obama were "Pinky", Then who is "The Brain"?)
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

7 posted on 07/28/2008 4:12:48 AM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
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To: vietvet67

An outstanding article. The sooner he’s seen off the better.


8 posted on 07/28/2008 4:13:29 AM PDT by Nipfan
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To: vietvet67

Delightful, but...

http://www.gallup.com/poll/109102/Gallup-Daily-Obama-49-McCain-40.aspx

Obama pulling away. Lead in poll grows to 9 pts.


9 posted on 07/28/2008 4:13:59 AM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (Only a Kennedy between us and tyranny.)
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

* Speeches in stadiums filled with mesmerized, adoring audiences THAT CAME TO SEE A ROCK BAND - Check


10 posted on 07/28/2008 4:40:51 AM PDT by IncPen (We are but a moment's sunlight, fading in the grass ...)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Rasmussen and Zogby call this an outlier.

LLS


11 posted on 07/28/2008 4:43:20 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (REAGANISM... NOT communism!!!)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
Obama pulling away. Lead in poll grows to 9 pts.

Oh man. This is BAD!!!! He has about half the lead that Mondale, Dukakis, Gore or Kerry had at this point!

12 posted on 07/28/2008 4:50:12 AM PDT by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some FReepers, sarcasm can never be obvious enough.)
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To: LibLieSlayer

Obama will lose in November, I’m confident. Heck, if the primary season had had a few more states or weeks remaining, he wouldn’t be the presumptive nominee right now. Clinton was gaining on him.
He’ll lose. She wouldn’t have.


13 posted on 07/28/2008 4:51:37 AM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (Only a Kennedy between us and tyranny.)
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To: vietvet67
(recall one recent political powerhouse whose destruction was encompassed by a complaint over his seat on an airplane - an airplane he shouldn't have been aboard in the first place).

Who was this?
14 posted on 07/28/2008 5:01:27 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan

No idea.


15 posted on 07/28/2008 5:05:28 AM PDT by vietvet67
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
These polls are a tool of the MSM/Lefties, nothing else. The only poll that counts is on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

The MSM is openly supporting Obama for president. They've become so mesmerized by his hubris that they fall all over themselves espousing his cause. Polls like this are no more than a form of advertising. Everyone wants to be on the winning team. True, they are right about as often as they are wrong, but the way to look at them if they have bad news for your team is to consider them a research tool. Figure out what there is about those taking the polls that make them respond the way they do and then formulate a plan to either change their minds or get enough of your team to the polls on election day to out vote them.

As someone pointed out here recently, Obama has done something no one else has been able to do and that's make me begin to feel that I would prefer Hillary to him.

The Republicans, once again, are about to nominate someone who does absolutely nothing to excite the electorate, theirs or ours. That's sad when your candidate can't even get your own team excited.

I think our only hope of keeping Obama out of the White House is going to be to drive enough of our team to the polls to out vote him. I know it sounds almost like a cliche, but I don't think we stand a snow ball's chance in hell of convincing enough of his supporters that they are mistaken to change the outcome of an election.

You can bet your sweet bippy that we are going to be deluged with these polls, each one aimed at convincing a different portion of the population that Obama is already an irresistible force. Part of their plan is to treat him like he's alreay president. Some of that has to do with their total disgust for the Bush presidency, and serves as a sort of escapism for them, but most of it has to do with creating the mindset on election day that they are voting for a winner. It's a strategy, and as such is has both an up side and a down side. The downside is that millions and millions of young people will be so excited by their first taste of political power that they will neglect the final step, actually voting! If they aren't careful a lot of young people will wake up on election day and forget that they need to do one more thing and that's actually go out and pull the lever.

I am conviced more than ever that we won't have many more chances to redeem our nation and our way of life. I am not really encouraged by the thought of a McCain campaign. When I close my eyes all I see is Bob Dole, then I wake and realize it was just a nightmare, only to then realize the actual situation is just as bad, if not worse.

Go McCain!

16 posted on 07/28/2008 5:12:58 AM PDT by jwparkerjr
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To: aruanan
Who was this?

Newt?

17 posted on 07/28/2008 5:29:13 AM PDT by MSSC6644 (Defeat Satan. Pray the Rosary)
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To: jwparkerjr

I’d much rather have Bob Dole instead of McCain...

And that’s pathetic.

What’s worse is I hate McCain and I’m starting to be tempted to send him some money.


18 posted on 07/28/2008 5:33:01 AM PDT by DB
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To: jwparkerjr

Good points...but remember Hillary whose belief that she was the inevitable candidate...she crashed and burned. The MSM is trying desparately to make Obama seem inevitable, unbeatable...yet I hope and pray his is the same result as Hillary


19 posted on 07/28/2008 5:50:54 AM PDT by t2buckeye
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To: PajamaTruthMafia

Where are the New Kids on the block - Cabbage patch dolls - beany babies etc. Something that has been created out of whole cloth by advertising campaigns always ends up in the basement later on.
THe media has taken upon themselves to advertise his uniqueness and wonderfulbility by repeating his name over and over and over and saying it with awe and reverence.
Trouble is - There is nothing behind it.
He isn’t a hero
He has never held a private sector job
He has no personal values
He doesn’t triangulate - he holds three positions in one paragraph/
The only qualification he has to be President is he is the right age. Truth honesty dignity integrity - Doesn’t need them


20 posted on 07/28/2008 6:16:27 AM PDT by ODDITHER
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

That’s Gallup. Other polls have them much closer and McC is pulling ahead in several key states. BHO will get a small bump from his magical mystical tour but it should get closer as people realize he’s an empty suit... and the MSM is starting to take a more realistic look. Several NY Times and Washington Post articals have actually criticized him! Unheard of.


21 posted on 07/28/2008 6:17:41 AM PDT by Snow Eagle
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To: DB

Hold your nose and vote for McCain!!!


22 posted on 07/28/2008 6:18:42 AM PDT by Snow Eagle
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To: vietvet67
So, is it "tick....tick....tick..." or "tink....tink....tink..." as the grains of sand pile up on the scale.


23 posted on 07/28/2008 6:25:38 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (We're screwed '09 -'12)
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To: vietvet67

Obama-false-messiah is a God-send
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2021595/posts?page=60#60


24 posted on 07/28/2008 7:12:58 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Driving a Phase-2 Operation Chaos Hybrid that burns both gas AND rubber!)
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To: Matchett-PI

Good analysis..


25 posted on 07/28/2008 7:48:25 AM PDT by vietvet67
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To: vietvet67

Thank you!

I never get tired of saying it, “Obama is a God-send”


26 posted on 07/28/2008 8:24:49 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (Driving a Phase-2 Operation Chaos Hybrid that burns both gas AND rubber!)
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To: vietvet67

bump


27 posted on 07/28/2008 12:32:32 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
From your lips to GOD’s ears.

LLS

28 posted on 07/29/2008 6:07:10 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (REAGANISM... NOT communism!!!)
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To: vietvet67

Excellent post!


29 posted on 07/31/2008 12:37:36 AM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: vietvet67
Obama doesn't have any record of accomplishments or any situation where he met and overcame adversity. That makes his arrogance all the more surprising. People can like a lot of things in a human being and they can even get along with someone whose philosophy is opposed to their own; but few can take well someone whose haughtiness is all too evident.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

30 posted on 07/31/2008 2:14:06 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

...accomplishments or any situation where he met and overcame adversity...
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Does remaining married to Michelle count?
Looking and listening to her reminds me of the woman who screamed at an umpire “IF YOU WERE MY HUSBAND, I WOULD GIVE YOU POISON.”
UMPIRE:::”Madam, If I were your husband, I WOULD TAKE IT”.


31 posted on 07/31/2008 2:45:45 AM PDT by xrmusn
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