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. read more »