|Hubris (pron.: /ˈhjuːbrɪs/), also hybris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις, means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power. (In Greek Tragedy) excessive pride toward defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.|
Tuesday morning, a peculiar announcement trickled out of the White House press office: President Barack Obama would be holding a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston bombings. At the White House. By himself. No press or other intruders allowed.
Except the White House photographer.
That Obama assumed Americans would want an iconic photo of him privately mourning the victims of the bombings was emblematic of a kind of hubris that has enveloped the president and his White House as the president commences his second term.
Take a guess as to where those words appeared. Perhaps in an editorial at the Investors’ Business Daily? Maybe the Wall Street Journal editorial page? How about National Review or some other conservative magazine?
You’d be wrong if you guess any of the those. It’s the opening paragraphs from a piece titled “Obama’s Hubris Problem” by Keith Koffler at The Politico. In case you don’t know, The Politico is a left wing internet news and commentary site that hates conservatives and conservatism with a passion and loves Democrats and, I thought, Obama. The Politico has played the role of media sycophant every bit as much as The New York Times and the Washington Post and their ilk. Like the rest of Washington media, The Politico has coddled and smooched with Obama at every turn of his hubristic presidency. Until now?
It gets worse. Much worse. The story is accompanied with a photo of Obama in extreme defiant mode with the following caption:
“The author says the president is giving off a L’état, c’est moi, vibe.”
The line referred to is as follows: “Obama is already giving off that “L’etat, c’est moi” vibe, effectively legislating from the Oval Office”
The French translates in English as “The State, it is me.” It comes from the French Revolution and is attributed to Robespierre, the tyrant who instituted a Reign of Terror to make France safe for socialism by guillotining first, all of his political opposition, and then anyone even rumored to show less than complete devotion to the Revolution. Robespierre himself was eventually guillotined by the Jacobins, his former allies, to keep him from guillotining them.
It’s not a fanciful leap for me to refer to Robespierre. Mr. Koffler himself alludes: “In a true Marie Antoinette moment, Obama offered to pare back his pay by five percent as a show of empathy for those being furloughed.” Upon being told the peasants had no bread, Marie Antoinette famously replied, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,” or “Let them eat cake.” It’s a poor translation, brioche is bread enriched with butter and eggs. The Queen’s words showed her obliviousness to the conditions of the people. She was later guillotined, along with her husband, King Louis XVI.
The question is why is The Politico running this editorial that goes so against the grain of all its previous political partisanship? Have they become the modern Jacobins, falling out of love with their former idol? Could it be that they are worried about their Golden Boy Hero and are trying to help him, trying to warn him that he’s getting too big for his britches and he better get a handle on himself before he starts to alienate even the low-information voters?
There is evidence of the latter. The rest of the piece evinces a great longing for Obama to take stock of himself before it is too late.
But I don’t profess to know. I can only guess. I can hear Buffalo Springfield:
There’s something happening here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
I think it’s time we stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?