All Hail Caesar Obama
Brooklyn, NY: Chris Matthews, move over. We now have an even more devoted follower of The One. We’re speaking of Rocco Landesman, the new Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Speaking at a NEA conference on October 21, 2009 Rocco Landesman brings clarity and focus to the contributions of our new President.
This is the first president that actually writes his own books since Teddy Roosevelt and arguably the first to write them really well since Lincoln. If you accept the premise, and I do, that the United States is the most powerful country in the world, then Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar.
We guess pandering to the Chief Executive is what qualifies one to rise to the chairmanship of the NEA. Since Obama has the biggest checkbook, it probably makes sense. But we here at the NIP who operate on an infinitesimal budget compared to the NEA think we do better on a lot less money than the NEA, at least in the critical thinking department. Let’s take a look at it.
Let’s consider Barack Hussein Obama’s two literary contributions. First, Dreams from My Father, written with pride about a subject Obama loves better than anyone: himself. His second opus is The Audacity of Hope, “a common political tract, not to be confused with literature even by the most fawning Obama sycophant.” (Mark Whittington, AssociatedContent.com.) Now lets look at the competition.
Let’s first discount all books written by former presidents. Right off the bat you are going to irritate Jimmy Carter whose Peace Not Apartheid is number one on Al Jazeera Best-Sellers. “What am I, chopped liver?” the former president and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize recipient was heard to exclaim bitterly at a recent book signing in Cairo. After all by 2002 Carter had actually done something, so on paper he did appear a better Nobel candidate.
What about Reagan in His Own Hand, a book Ronald Reagan actually wrote, in longhand on legal paper? What was that, Mr. Landesman, about Obama being “the first president that actually writes his own books since Teddy Roosevelt?”
Let’s then skip over the writings of all other presidents, Lincoln, Madison, Jefferson, Adams, and while we are at it, all other leaders of all countries in all of western history, lets go right back to Julius Caesar with whom Landesman compares Obama.
[Full disclosure: This writer spent 3 years in high school Latin, a large portion of which was spent translating the works of Julius Caesar. I didn’t suffer through the embarrassment of my pitiful attempts at reading Latin to not speak up for the Emperor.]
Caesar was THE most powerful military and political ruler of the Roman empire which stretched throughout most of the known world at the time. Aquaducts built by the Romans still carry water in Europe. Tour de France cyclists ride today over roads paved by Caesar. The Roman impact is still felt all over the world, its language survives in 25 languages that devolved from Latin.
That being said there are some common threads here to which Landesman must be referring: Caesar seized control of the government. (That sounds familiar.) He carried out extensive reforms of Roman society. (That too.) Caesar centralized Roman bureaucracy. (The more czars the better.) He was eventually proclaimed dictator perpetuo. (He and his “brother” Chavez are working on that one.) Caesar conquered most of the known world. (And we thought the left didn’t like Imperialism!)
If you are not familiar with Julius Caesar a quick brush up can be found at Wikipedia. Check it out and if you still think Obama is in the same league, let us know. By the way, it didn’t end so well for Caesar, or for the Roman Empire, for that matter.