The Greeks taught that speaking is the highest form of action. No one makes a better case for this proposition than President Obama. When he spoke last Sunday to our grieving nation for the 20 murdered children in Connecticut, his words rang out like the tolling of a great bell. When he called out each child by name, he made speakable an unspeakable loss.
So the Republicans don’t want to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires. Lord knows the government needs the extra money. The people overwhelmingly support such a tax. In fact, so do the millionaires and billionaires. What is one to make of Republican recalcitrance?
I suggest it’s the Midas syndrome. The concrete-thinking king was obsessed with the notion that gold, that is, money-money-money, defined his monarchy. Nothing else mattered. Alas,he forgot he had a daughter. So with the Republicans. They have forgotten the poor, the sick, the children. They’ve no time or interest in rebuilding schools, student scholarships, revisiting the minimum wage.
Poor Midas. Poor Republicans. Discombobulated by the reallization that most of what folks need can’t be taken to the bank.
“Sorrow becomes despair when death comes to the young untimely.” Eugene O’Neil
Unless you’re Dwight Eisenhower, a civilian president is out of his depth as commander-in-chief. Obama never served in the military. When he refers to himself as the top banana of all the armed forces, there is a hollow ring to his self anointing. He is no more a general than I am.
So when the bemedaled top brass advises a president on matters of war and peace, it is difficult for him to think straight while bombarded by the authoritarian ways of the military. This vulnerability led Kennedy to the Bay of Pigs, and I suggest clouds Obama’s judgment on Afghanistan.