Obama to Gulf Tarballs: "We Are Not Amused"
It’s no coincidence that the Tea Party movement is springing up now, 235 years after the original Boston Tea Party. Barack Obama is the closest thing this country has had to royalty since King George III. And I don’t mean that in a good way.
Yesterday Queen Elizabeth II visited New York City for the third time in her life and the first time in 34 years. New Yorkers were all aflutter over the prospect of royalty tramping around on gritty Manhattan soil. QE2 addressed the United Nations and then, to cleanse herself of that demoralizing experience, did something pro-American and visited Ground Zero, where she dedicated a new park to 67 Britons who had died on September 11.
Americans get keyed up over this kind of thing because it’s so alien to our way of life. To us, a visit from the Queen is a novelty act, like Lindsay Lohan showing contrition for her actions.
While New Yorkers dutifully read up on how they should behave if they met the Queen—don’t bow or curtsy, we are not her subjects; use the title Your Majesty, then switch to Ma’am—too many Americans still haven’t learned how to stop treating Obama like royalty.
His supporters don’t exactly bow in his presence; they get a little rowdier than that. They whoop and holler and sing hosannas, when they’re not crying, fainting, and melting into a pile of mush.
Royalty is the perfect metaphor for the Obama administration: symbolic figureheads who shake hands, soak taxpayers who fund their lavish lifestyles, and don’t do much but look elegant (except when Barack is swatting flies off his face or Michelle is wearing a Mark Rothko painting). Whereas Brits are reassured that their royal family is just for show, and that there’s an actual political administration getting the work done, unfortunately in the U.S. we have no such consolation in the Age of The One. Even when Obama is touring a natural disaster area like the Gulf oil spill zone he behaves like royalty, prancing through the dunes in his silk shirt, daintily noshing lobster salad, and privately contemplating his forehand. When Obama stepped off the plane in Huntsville, Ontario for the G8 summit, the first thing he asked his hosts was whether there were a lot of golf courses in the area.
Royalty strut around on the taxpayer’s dime, bestowing awards upon the little people who volunteer to help littler people via charity boondoggles and fundraising spectacles. Similarly, Barack jets around the country on Air Force One speaking at union events and elementary schools, trying to convince the country to get excited because some two-bit smelting plant in Ohio was given a million-dollar grant to go green and is managing to break even instead of going bankrupt.
Royalty play expensive, individualized sports requiring fancy equipment—polo for the royal family, golf for Obama. (I doubt the Queen would do very well at bowling, but I doubt she would denigrate retarded children after getting a dismal score.)
Royalty are bestowed with honorary titles, awards, and ceremonies based on the mere fact of their existence. Already Obama-friendly municipalities are naming roads, community centers, and paid holidays after him, to say nothing of his infinitely premature Nobel Peace Prize.
Royalty are famous for being famous. How else you can you explain Obama’s overnight notoriety and meteoric rise to frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination after a mere speech he gave at a 2004 convention? Obama became well-known for being well-known, because liberals fell all over themselves to prove their commitment to the cool kid before everyone else found out it was cool to support him.
Royalty believe in bogus organizations like the UN and their power to bring about change through mere fantasizing. They don’t appreciate the corruption inherent in such bloated Potemkin goodwill societies and the spite harbored by poisonous partners admitted due to an unrestricted membership policy. Naivety about the organizational structure of the UN and its inefficiency in getting anything done may spring from the fact that royalty, like former community organizer Obama, don’t have actual responsibilities.
Royalty are given significant power and are thrust into the public eye at a young age despite negligible accomplishments. They have the spotlight on them for so long that they forget what it’s like to live as an everyday citizen. Similarly, Obama was elected President of the Free World in his 40s after having served less than one full term as U.S. Senator, most of which was spent running for office, and before that serving as a state Senator in which capacity his most remarked-upon accomplishment was voting “Present” on 130 occasions. As with Obama, royalty’s assumption of power is referred to using such adulatory terms as “ascension” and “coronation.”
Royalty are depicted in solemn portraits; their countenances are ubiquitous. Similarly, you may have seen Obama’s face reverently displayed two or three times since his presidential candidacy.
For the British, the royalty are a harmless relic, colorful fodder for tabloid speculation. For Americans, who have lived without royalty for centuries, the mere prospect of their reintroduction should be a dangerous reminder of what happens when our leaders are worshipped instead of held accountable to us as public servants.