Monday, October 11, 2010

A Greater Disappointment

Our economic recovery is so anemic that the Financial Times has dubbed it the Great Disappointment.

More disappointing still, to his supporters, has been the presidency of Barack Obama.

You can only disappoint those who believed in you. People who expected nothing of Obama are not disappointed; they feel vindicated.

Velma Hart, among others, is seriously disappointed in Obama. She still supports him, but she has exhausted herself defending him to disillusioned former supporters.

A large number of liberal New Yorkers are also very disappointed. Many of them expressed their pain by not showing up at Obama’s Manhattan fundraiser last month. Some of those who did heckled their hero.

Even with discounted tickets, the most liberal president in American history couldn’t fill a 650 place ballroom in midtown Manhattan.

Now, that’s disappointment.

Two short years ago these people were clamoring for Barack Obama. He was their last, best hope, their Messiah. He would save the nation from its financial collapse by healing its most grievous sins.

The Obama as Messiah trope came from a simple calculation. Many who were ecstatic over Obama must have reasoned that a man with no real qualifications for office must possess metaphysical qualifications.

Obama embodied everything liberals held sacred: racial and social justice and the rule of enlightened intellectuals … accompanied by fire and brimstone for corporate malefactors.

Recently, George Packer wrote in The New Yorker that Obama is having difficulty communicating because he, the “voice of reason incarnate,” is speaking to an irrational mob.

Packer was presenting an old idea in different verbal garb. “Incarnate reason” is another way of saying that: the Word became flesh. The Greek word, Logos, most often translated as “Word,” also means “Reason.”

For those who believed, Obama could perform miracles. He could make atheists see Him as the Son of a God that didn’t exist.

What went wrong? Simply put, Obama’s supporters failed to respect the separation of church and state.

This separation began when the original incarnate Word declared: “Render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and render unto God that which is God‘s.”

Among other things, this means that we should not worship Caesar, but also that we should not ask God to run the country.

Obama‘s failure shows that we should never send a God to do a man’s job.

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