Friday, February 6, 2015

The Banality of Obama

There never was such a thing as "the banality of evil." The phrase was invented by Hannah Arendt, who valued her German-ness far more than she did her Jewishness, and who, as a one-time lover of Martin Heidegger, a brainiac who fell for Hitler, used the vehicle of the Eichmann trial to trash Jewry and Israel and downplay the German-ness inherent in the Nazis' actions.

You could say that Hannah Arendt was a good German but a very bad Jew. Similarly, you could say that Barack Obama is a good leftist but a very bad president. Here's Mark Steyn on the topic of Obama's fecklessness and evil's non-banality:
As for the upside, "the banality of evil" may have its appeal for lower-middle-class Teuton bureaucrats, but the glamor of evil is a far more potent and universal brand. The Islamic State has come up with the ultimate social-media campaign: evil goes viral! At some level German conscripts needed to believe they were honorable soldiers in an honorable cause, no different from the British or Americans. But ISIS volunteers are signing up explicitly for the war crimes. The Islamic State burned Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh alive not only to kill him but to inspire the thousands of ISIS fanbois around the globe, like Moussa Coulibaly, the guy who stabbed three French policemen outside a Jewish school in Nice this week. 
For many of its beneficiaries, modern western life is bland, undemanding and vaguely unsatisfying. Some seek a greater cause, and turn to climate change or LGBTQWERTY rights. But others want something with a little more red meat to it. Jihad is primal in a way that the stodgy multiculti relativist mush peddled by Obama isn't. And what the Islamic State is offering is Jihad 2.0, cranking up the blood-lust and rape and sex slavery and head-chopping and depravity in ways that make Osama-era al-Qaeda look like a bunch of pantywaists. 
Success breeds success. The success of evil breeds darker evil. And the glamorization of evil breeds ever more of those "recent Muslim converts" and "lone wolves" and "self-radicalized extremists" in the news. That's a Big Idea - a bigger idea, indeed, than Communism or Nazism...
Obama's banal pronouncements breed evil, too.

Update: Charles Krauthammer was "stunned" by Obama's banality.

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