Plutarch tells us that, back in the fifth-century B.C., when the citizens of Athens were voting on whether to ostracize -- i.e., throw out -- Aristides the Just, one sourpuss explained his emphatic yes vote: "I am tired of hearing him called 'the Just.'"
I hesitate to introduce the comparison. It introduces the possibility -- assuming Jon Stewart and Robert Gibbs know there was a fifth-century Greece -- of saying, see, these people who stick out their tongues at Obama, they're just doing the usual envious bit. Big deal.
Let the peace prize alone. We've laughed enough for now. A larger point needs our attendance. It is the point, what happens when the air starts to seep from a balloon flying improbably high? How fast does it fall, and with what consequences to onlookers? How loudly do the onlookers cheer?
The more the Stewarts the Nobelistas build up their man Barack, the greater the impending chaos. Wonderworker, hope of mankind, The One (as Republicans called him for a time last year) -- where do you go from there? What's going to happen when people grow tired of hearing about the Great and Mighty Oz?
A few of us began feeling sorry for Obama during the summer of '08. He was promising, promising, promising. And people were buying, buying, buying, as if Dr. Feelgood and his traveling medicine show had just hit town.
Anyone, friend or foe, who expects Obama to be all he has set himself up to be -- I deliberately omit the action word "do," because "be" better expresses the nature of Obamanism -- had better lay in a large stash of scotch and plenty of tumblers. The Nobel Peace Prize is just the latest instance of dangerous overstretch on the part of people who have invested their dreams in … a politician, of all things.
Today's sermon, brethren, isn't so much about Obama as it is about the limitless capacity of ordinary folk to imagine politicians as the solvent of all mortal incapacities. The Nobel committee has so imagined its American friend, investing him by implication with the duty of resolving antagonisms and hatreds from South Korea to Iran to Russia to Israel to Venezuela. That ol' dog, as we say in the South, won't hunt. Indeed, never has hunted.