A.J. DiCintio
Ahab in the White House
By A.J. DiCintio
May 6, 2012

As shocked Americans of varied political opinions scoured their vocabularies to find the word best expressing their reaction to Barack Obama's obscene politicization of the killing of Osama bin Laden, they were blessed with an all too rare display of blunt, non-partisan honesty by a leading political figure when liberal Arianna Huffington, according to Britain's Mail, said the following about it to CBS:

"It's one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room . . . but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do."

To which it is absolutely necessary to add "not just any campaign ad" but one in which former president Bill Clinton gushes the slime that Obama took "the harder and the more honorable path" . . . than whom, Clinton, when he refused Sudan's offer to turn bin Laden over to the U.S. in 1996?

And one that asks the filthy question, "Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?"

But having agreed that "despicable," which is closely associated with "vile," "disgusting," and "loathsome," does an excellent job of describing an ad worthy of the Chicago Machine at its corrupt worst, we need to think about what it is that constantly impels Barack Obama to present himself as a Zeus among mere mortals.

One answer, I suggest, lies in Herman Melville's great symbolic novel Moby Dick, which depicts Captain Ahab as obsessively monomaniacal in his pursuit of the white whale.

Indeed, the mad captain in mind, it requires no leap whatsoever to perceive how dogmatic liberal Obama is madly compulsive about the belief that the "superiority" of leftist ideas justifies his anything-goes pursuit of "change," the euphemism he loves to substitute for "the revolution."

However, among a number of interpretations, the novel also invites us to see Ahab not just as an obsessive, vengeful captain of a whale ship but the megalomaniacal leader of his own small world (the Pequod and its crew) from which he strikes out against the idea of goodness (the "white" whale) in all Creation (the vast oceans).

When we consider that interpretation, we acknowledge a debt to Patrick J. Buchanan for turning our minds to the enormous dangers created when a political leader falls victim to what he calls the "Messiah Complex," as we realize that the condition represents the president's most significant failing . . . if we will open our minds to the reality of the following Obamas.

The Obama whose signature aspect of body language is to turn his head from his audience, staring as if into the cosmos, perfectly self-absorbed in his perfect pursuit of his Father's or, perhaps, his own work.

The Obama who never speaks a word except in the broadest generalities, demanding perfect faith from his followers while denouncing heretics who dare question or criticize his vagueness as heathen extremists lacking understanding of him as much as they lack "empathy" for their sisters and brothers.

The Obama who two months before being officially nominated as the 2008 Democratic Party nominee traveled to Berlin, where he arrogantly lectured the world with cheap platitudes about taking down walls "between . . . countries with the most and . . . the least," with cheap blather that "The walls between Christian, Muslin, and Jew cannot stand," with cheap promises that "We will reject torture," and with cheap injunctions that "We must come together to save this planet."

The Obama who reacted with a "why not?" attitude about columns suggestive of the home of the Greek gods that adorned not the stage but the lavish Hollywood set built for his acceptance speech.

The Obama who claimed his words spoken in Cairo whirled into existence an "Arab Spring" that would impel medievalist, misogynist Islamists the world over to extol the wondrous goodness of Western style democracy.

The big and bigger government Obama who has had not a brave, mathematically honest thing to say about the rampaging size of the federal government, its huge deficits, and its enormous debt, which now equals 100% of GDP . . . not a thing except "Trust me."

The Obama who revels in the fawning, thrill-legged worship directed at him by obsequious members of the liberal media and members of what Christopher Hitchens never missed an opportunity to call the world's "rotten" celebrity culture.

And the Obama, who, having failed to keep his many pretentiously intoned promises, smugly expects the American people to keep the faith, keep silent, and keep the campaign contributions flowing as they dogmatically accept his latest empty dictum, "Change takes time."

This is the real Obama, the antithesis of the humble Lincoln, a leader who diminished his own strengths and accomplishments to speak as often as he could of God's will.

The real Obama, the antithesis of the Navy SEALs who criticized his despicable ad with courage, humility, objectivity, and sense of community unknown to every self-absorbed, contemptibly expedient politician.

The real Obama, kin to Melville's megalomaniacal Ahab, who brought himself, his ship, and its crew to its inevitable, tragic end, save for Ishmael, the lone survivor who recounts the tale as a solemn warning.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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