Cult of Personality Watch: US Embassy becomes Obama Embassy

December 17, 2013

(Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Sure, all US embassies and consulates have portraits of the current president hanging in the offices; he is, after all, Head of State. But… Well… This is just a bit much:

Large tapestry portraits of President Barack Obama were unveiled for guests at the U.S. Embassy in London over the weekend.

The recently-installed, large-scale tapestry portraits were created by National Medal of Arts winner and renowned American painter, photographer Chuck Close.

Call me old-fashioned, but if you want a large piece of art decorating the entry to a United States embassy, the first thing visitors see, why not a work that reflects the history of the United States? Christy’s “Signing of the Constitution,” for example, to celebrate one of our seminal events, or Rockwell’s “Abraham Delivering the Gettysburg Address,” in honor of what many feel is the moment of our second Founding? Or, to borrow Rockwell again (1), why not showcase “Freedom of Speech,” that most American of values, which both embodies and guards the right of a free people to rule themselves? Instead we get giant portraits of one man?

All art is communication, after all, especially public art, and art displayed in an embassy should reflect the nation’s values, how it sees itself, what it holds dear, its spiritual center, its… Oh, wait. I get it.

In this case, I guess it reflects the government’s spiritual center.  smiley headbang wall

Footnote:
(1) He was the all-American painter, after all.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Cult of Personality Watch: the return of the Obama flag

August 26, 2013

So, there was a rally in D.C. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Dr. King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.

Naturally, for some, the rally became all about Obama:

We’ve seen this example of the cult of personality before, at Democratic Party headquarters in Lake County, Florida.  In that case, the local chairwoman couldn’t see what the problem was. As I wrote at the time:

What bothers me though, is that she didn’t see anything wrong with, in essence, promoting veneration of The Leader. In America, we hold dear the ideas and ideals of our Founding; we respect the offices and the people who hold them, but the officeholders are subordinate to the ideas. We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States, to what it symbolizes — individual liberty, constitutional government, the rule of law — not to the man or woman who holds the office.

But, in the demonstration in D.C. as well as in Florida, the flag-wavers were doing just the opposite: venerating the man and not the principle, swearing fealty to a person , not an ideal. This act symbolizes a rejection of reason –constitutionalism, the rule of law, compromise in mutual best interest– and is instead an in-your-face embrace of the irrational, the philosopher-president who can interpret the national will better than the individual and for the good of all.

In other words, liberal fascism. How ironic –and sad–  that it should show up at a rally meant to honor one of the watershed moments in the history of American liberty.

RELATED: My blog-buddy ST and I were thinking along the same lines today. One of us is in trouble. ;)

UPDATE: Paul Mirengoff argues we’ve gone from “dream” to “nightmare” in 50 years.


Is being telegenic the only remaining qualification for high office?

August 12, 2013

Cory Booker is Newark, New Jersey’s, “rising star” mayor. He’s young, smart, personable, has a great online presence, and even rescues people from burning buildings.

Now he’s running for the federal Senate seat that came open when Frank Lautenberg died and, this being New Jersey, he’s almost certain to win. At The Corner, Jim Geraghty looks at Booker’s record in office and finds it awfully thin. And that’s being charitable:

Newark is pretty much the same economically-struggling city it was when he started; as the New York Times noticed, “his constituents do not need to be reminded that six years after the mayor came into office vowing to make Newark a “model of urban transformation,” their city remains an emblem of poverty… A growing number of Newarkers complain that he has proved to be a better marketer than mayor, who shines in the spotlight but shows little interest in the less-glamorous work of what it takes to run a city.”

Read the rest to see a list of Mayor Booker’s “accomplishments.”

So here we have another wildly hyped media-darling candidate who seems to be “all sizzle and no steak” seeking higher office based on… what? Being telegenic? Giving good sound bites? Being hyperactive on Twitter? Fixing the city’s budget and reducing crime seems so pedestrian by comparison.

Remind anyone of a certain president we all know?

To be honest, I find this “election by media mania” to be depressing. If you want higher office, you should prove yourself in lower ones, first, to show people what you can do. City council, state legislator, the mayor’s office — as long as you actually demonstrate competence, not just charisma. The Romans called it the “cursus honorum” — the course of honors. It was the path an ambitious Roman would follow from the lowest magistracies to the highest, putting in the needed time and gaining experience along the way.

Nowadays, you just need a web site and some starry-eyed fans.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


January 5, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

Um… no. Just, no. If you want a “President for Life,” Rep. Serrano, Venezuela may be more your style.

Originally posted on Twitchy:

We’re still a couple of weeks from the inauguration, but Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) is already looking forward to 2016 and beyond. The congressman yesterday reintroduced a bill to repeal the 22nd amendment establishing term limits for the president.

Even before that, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee would have to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. That’s not likely, seeing as Serrano introduced the same bill last January, and it died in committee.

View original 45 more words


President commemorates Pearl Harbor Day

December 7, 2012

…With a picture of himself:

Obama narcissism Pearl Harbor

President Narcissus rides again.

(This may come as a shock to you, sir, but not everything is about you.)

via Twitchy

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Cult of Personality Watch: “The Gospel According to the Apostle Barack”

November 14, 2012

“He walks among us”

I truly thought this was satire when I read the headline, something Iowahawk would come up with.

But, no. It’s real, and the author is serious:

The book’s premise is God spoke to Professor [Barbara A. Thompson, Florida A&M], telling her that Apostle Barack Obama’s 155 speeches made between February 10, 2007 and January 20, 2009 had the answers to unlock the kingdom of “heaven here on earth.”

And this is from the book’s promo text on Amazon:

Yes, Barack had worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people, especially those who elected him in 2008. His followers needed to re-elect him to a second term, so that he could continue to accomplish the promises he made, thus, realizing his vision of America as a more perfect political union or “heaven here on earth” Then, as I began to contemplate ways to assist Barack in his 2012 re-election bid something miraculous happened. I felt God’s (His) Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night. Listening, cautiously, I learned that Jesus walked the earth to create a more civilized society, Martin (Luther King) walked the earth to create a more justified society, but, Apostle Barack, the name he was called in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society, for the middle class and working poor. Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause, had been taken to the mountaintop and allowed to see over the other side. He had the answers to unlock the kingdom of “heaven here on earth” for his followers. The answers were repeated – over and over – in speeches Barack had made from his presidential announcement to his inaugural address. Those speeches or his teachings contained the answers to the middle class and working poor people living in a “heaven here on earth” For when the answers were unlocked and enacted, Apostle Barack’s vision of America would be realized.

I’ll wait here while you go hurl.

Out of all the observations and arguments over the direction of our culture, it’s the tendency of some, mostly on the Left, to eschew self-government in favor of a Leader who somehow embodies the spirit of the nation and can divine the “national will” that perhaps disturbs me most. Ronald Pestritto describes this in his discussion of Hegel’s influence on President  Wilson in “Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism:”

“People follow the world-historical individual because they see their own spirit in him. This leader has in him the vision of the people’s future. ‘Their fellows, therefore, follow these soul-leaders; for they feel the irresistible power of their own inner Spirit thus embodied.’ Wilson laid out a similar concept of democratic leadership in his essay ‘Leaders of men,’ … As Hegel explains, leadership is necessary in order to uncover and bring to the surface the people’s true will, which become increasingly manifest as history progresses. Underneath the apparent clash of subjective interests and passions, there is a true, unified, and objective will, Leadership finds this true will and points it out to the people.”

(“Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism,” Kindle edition, beginning at location 276)

Adjust for the religious framing of Professor Thompson’s work and Hegel’s talk of “spirit” and “will,” and I think you can see the family resemblance. This veneration of the leader and the paternalistic “knowing the people’s will before the people themselves know” is part and parcel of American progressivism, not just in Wilson’s time (and, to an extent, his predecessor, TR), but in the present day in his modern acolyte, Obama. Goldberg discusses this tendency extensively in his must-read, “Liberal Fascism,” and it’s an unhealthy one in a democratic republic, something far too many succumb to.

While people like Obama cloak their beliefs in words of democracy, at their heart they’re statist, elitist, and anti-democratic. At the extreme end of their politics lies totalitarianism, wherein, as Professor Thompson anticipates as “heaven on earth,” God and the State become one.

RELATED: Some earlier examples of the Obama cult of personality.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of Obama … huh?? Again???

September 19, 2012

I thought it was pretty creepy the first time, but now you can buy your very own Barack Obama flag from Barack Obama himself!

The Great Banner of Dear Leader?

And this can be yours for only $35!

L’Etat c’est Obama?

Jim Geraghty has sometimes called Obama “Our Munificent Sun-King.” Whoever knew Obama would agree?

Most of us. 

via several folks on Twitter

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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