Thursday, October 1, 2015

Just Call Him "Lonesome" Obama

I caught the last 40 minutes of Elia Kazan's A Face In the Crowd on TV this morning (you can watch it for free online here). It occurred to me when the movie was over that, in our time, we are living through our own face in the crowd moment, with Barack Hussein Obama starring as this era's folksy demagogue, Lonesome Rhodes (the role played with scenery-chewing gusto by Andy Griffith).

The same thought occurred last year to Victor Davis Hanson last year. Back then he wrote:
Elia Kazan’s classic A Face in the Crowd [2] is a good primer on Barack Obama’s rise and fall. Lonesome Rhodes arises out of nowhere in the 1957 film, romancing the nation as a phony populist [3] who serially spins yarns in the most folksy ways — confident that he should never be held to account. Kazan’s point (in the film Rhodes is a patsy for conservative business interests) is that the “folks” are fickle and prefer to be charmed rather than informed and told the truth. Rhodes’s new first name, Lonesome, resonates in the film in a way that Barack does now [4]. Finally, an open mic captures Rhodes’s true disdain for the people he champions, and his career crashes. 
So what is collapsing the presidency of the once mellifluous Obama? It is not the IRS, AP, VA, or NSA scandals. Nor did the nation especially fault him for Benghazi or the complete collapse of U.S. foreign policy, from failed reset to a Middle East afire. In each case, he either blamed Bush or denied there was a smidgeon of wrongdoing on his part. 
Certainly, the stampede at the border, as disastrous as it was, did not ipso facto sink Obama’s ratings. Ditto the embarrassing Bergdahl deal, in which we traded a likely deserter for five Islamist kingpins. Was it the ISIS ascendance that is leading to genocide and a nascent caliphate? Not in and of itself.

We could go on, but you get the picture that it was all of the above that finally became too much, as Americans turned Obama off because they were all lied out. In all of these scandals a charismatic Barack wheeled out the teleprompter, smiled, dropped his g’s, soared with “make no mistake about it” and “let me perfectly clear,” and then, like Lonesome Rhodes, told the “folks” [5] things that could not be true or at least were the exact opposite of what he himself had earlier asserted...
And that was before Vladimir Putin stormed into Syria on the pretext of getting rid of ISIS, thereby snookering "Lonesome" Obama and his cracker barrel gang--again.

VDH concludes: "Lonesome did not end up well, and neither will the presidency of Barack Obama."

Alas, the hopey-dopey Lonesome is intent on taking the country down with him.

Photo via PJMedia

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