This is why Obama's administration believes a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. This is why Obama has been prattling about "Sputnik moments" and sighing over his envy of China and its rulers. This is why his spinners endeavored to translate the death of bin Laden as some sort of vindication of his domestic agenda: because he cannot lead a free people where he thinks they should go.
At the end of his address, Obama once again cast the slain bin Laden as the Vercingetorix to his Caesar. (Vercingetorix was the defeated Gaulic chieftain whom Caesar triumphantly paraded through Rome.) "All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves," Obama rhapsodized.
The warriors on the ground "only succeeded ... because every single member of that unit did their job. ... More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other -- because you can't charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there's somebody behind you, watching your back. So it is with America."
"This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other's backs."
No. Wrong. It is not so with America. This nation isn't great because we work as a team with the president as our captain. America is great because America is free. It is great not because we put our self-interest aside, but because we have the right to pursue happiness.
I don't blame the president for being exhausted with the mess and bother of democracy and politics, since he has proved so inadequate at coping with the demands of both. Nor do I think he truly seeks to impose martial virtues on America. But he does desperately want his opponents to shut up and march in place. And he seems to think this bilge will convince them to do so.
What I can't forgive, however, is the way he tries to pass off his ideal of an America where everyone marches as one as a better America. It wouldn't be America at all.