In the last 60 days there has been much written about the absenteeism of the president. The man has simply not made his presence known on important issues that directly or indirectly affect the US. So much has his lack of leadership and credibility been questioned, he is now championed as the Waldo of the White House, as in “Where’s Waldo.” Children know where Waldo is, he is hiding, and trying to blend in. He always has to be found. But, I think there is something much more narcissistic going on. Rather than Waldo, I believe Walter Mitty resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In the novel by James Thurber, Mitty, a mild mannered nobody has a secret daydreaming life that rivals that of James Bond. Mitty is described as ineffectual person who spends more time in heroic daydreams than paying attention to the real world, or more seriously, one who intentionally attempts to mislead or convince others that he is something that he is not. Hence, the parallel to Barack Obama.
Mitty has many daydreams, one as a Navy Pilot. Barack Obama imagined he could be president of the greatest country on the face of the earth, but it has proven to be a task he simply is not up to.
Mitty imagines himself as a one-of-a-kind surgeon, performing a miraculous, never before tried surgery. Barack Obama and his handlers made him out to be an oracle, the black Gipper, a great orator with words of fluidity, as proven by his books. He was a made out to be a uniter, one who could walk on water and find ways to bring everyone to the table. In reality, the real Obama falls far short of the myth and has become a divider along every line imaginable. He cannot speak without the aid of a teleprompter. He is arrogant, but is it simply narcissism and not confidence of achievement.
In another episode Walter Mitty is a lone assassin in a courtroom drama, while the reality for Obama is not quite so heroic or sexy. He has dodged questions on his birth certificate and fought exposing it, and his college records, tooth and nail. Why? Not simply to frustrate the birther crowed, but also to keep his myth, his mystique alive.
He has squandered open and shut cases such as the New Black Panther Party; he has considered the KSM trial be performed in all three rings under the big top in New York and had to back track. He has had to backtrack on closing Gitmo and having civilian trials for Club Gitmo detainees.
Obama’s forays into the court system are a losing proposition. Maybe it is because he has an Attorney General that fancies himself a man of “some of the people” rather than a servant of “all of the people” of the United States. And then there is Judge Vinson’s ruling on Obamacare. We are still waiting with rapt attention to see what Mitty will do on that one.
Further into the Walter Mitty story, the character sees himself as an RAF pilot on a suicide run….not much of a stretch there. One would have to live under a rock to not see the wake of destruction to our nation this presidency has left behind.
As the story ends, Mitty imagines himself facing a firing squad, bravely. We have seen this face of the president: tongue lashing the Tea Party, whipping the SCOTUS members at the state of the union address, publicly chastising members of Congress and calling out pundits and columnists who dare to disagree.
It is one thing to have an escapist, day dream of a life because the one you have is mundane and you are feckless, but it is quite another when you hold the highest office in the land. It is an utter betrayal of the trust of the American people when
on the important issues of the day you are either silent, impotent, or send in a second string to take care of things because you are too busy doing what you deem to be more important: hitting the links, dithering with NCAA brackets, or spending time with Disney-365 making PSA’s with Demi Lovato or Jojo on how to “Stomp Out Bullying.” It is really quite a slap in the face to those who depend on you to lead or to those who are reaching out to you to act on their behalf, for you to simply pull a Waldo or a Mitty and become the Invisible Man.
At this point, the Libyans trying to oust their bloodthirsty tyrannical leader think the world has abandoned them. Apparently the US has. Obama has waited for the French to take the lead. The FRENCH!?? He has waited for the UN to lead. The UN!?? He has waited for the Arab League to give us permission. Permission!?? The middle east continues to burn while the president is on the golf course. Japan is devastated, and Obama indulges in March Madness. The southern border is a battlezone, as is Arizona, and the president of the US readies himself for a trip to Rio and then Ireland. Party after party, DNC fundraisers and Mowtown Celebrations….while the economy is in the tank. He shakes his head like a two year old who just learned the word “NO” and will not meet with those big fat meanies on the GOP side to avert a government shutdown while Harry Reid laments about the Cowboy Poets.
Is it too much to ask for a president that is not only present, but accountable to the American people? How is it this man still has a job? In the private sector, he would have been shown the door after 6 months, but almost 3 years into the term and we will be paying for Mittyesque behavior for a long, long time.