"'But he has nothing on at all!' said a little child at last." -- Hans Christian Andersen, from The Emperor's New Clothes
How long it seems to have been since 2008!
Back then, most of us were either preparing ourselves (if we were Democrats) or steeling ourselves (if we were Republicans) for what at the time seemed to be the impending and inevitable coronation of Her Royal Most Imperial Majesty, a.k.a. Hillary Clinton, to reign as successor to George W. Bush as President of the United States. As junior United States senator from New York, as well as First Lady of the United States to him who at the time was generally regarded as the Greatest American President Who Ever Lived -- at least according to nearly everyone in the news media and the entertainment industry -- the stage seemed set for Hillary, who was guaranteed to trounce whichever sacrificial lamb the Republican Party chose to face her in the upcoming campaign.
And then along came Senator Nobody -- the junior senator from Illinois, whom Ted Kennedy, at a meeting of the National Press Club, had once mistakenly called Senator Osama bin Laden. Then also came the rhetorical question from Oprah Winfrey that would change the Clinton tide once and for all:
"Is Obama the One?"
Seemingly from out of nowhere, Barack Obama became ubiquitous. With his mantra of Hope And Change, which he never bothered to specifically define and no one in the fawning news media challenged him on, Barack Obama suddenly became the Talk of the Town in practically every town in America. Nobody, it seemed, knew who he really was, but at the time that didn't seem particularly important. Only two factors held importance in the minds of most Americans back then. First was who he wasn't, which was George W. Bush, public opinion having been stirred up against the outgoing president by a news media hostile to all Republicans, and particularly to conservative ones. (In newsrooms, a conservative is anyone politically to the right of Abby Hoffman or Michael Moore.) Second, and more importantly, he would be history's first African-American President of the United States, Bill Clinton suddenly no longer recognized as America's "First Black President."
Now all of a sudden, a Hillary Clinton presidency was no longer seen as inevitable. From total obscurity, Obama went on to become the Democratic nominee, and the best the Republicans could put up against him was the senior senator from Arizona, John McCain, a retired Navy captain and former prisoner-of-war who'd gone on to become, as a U. S. Senator, what conservatives call a RINO (Republican In Name Only). This, of course, meant little if anything to the far-left elements who would become Obama's base. War heroes held no sway for them, as they despised the military. Once again, what really mattered about McCain was what he wasn't: he wasn't young, he wasn't "hip," and he wasn't black -- and Obama was all of those.
So it was that, to the unbridled joy of the news media, the entertainment industry, and just about everybody else who hated George W. Bush -- which by now was just about everybody outside the ranks of registered Republicans -- Obama was elected. Never mind that most of those who voted for him knew nothing about him, including his history, his education profile, or even where he was born. He was Obama, America's First African-American President.
But he was more than just that. He was the New Messiah, a sort of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, who would right all wrongs and bring peace to the world with his physical presence alone. He sent tingles up our legs. He made people swoon in the aisles. He caused school children to break out in hymns of praise to the Great Obama (with, of course, a little "gentle persuasion" from zealously partisan schoolteachers). He even won a Nobel Peace Prize simply for being who he was, a feat never before accomplished by anybody!
But, as generally happens with all euphoria, Obamamania eventually petered out. As people began looking for some sort of substance behind all the razzamatazz, and finding little if any, the signs became apparent. His books stopped selling, and eventually disappeared from the newsstands. His ever-present picture began to fade from the magazine covers, where they had formerly graced even those publications that supposedly had nothing to do with news or politics. As the recession that was supposed to end with his ascension into the Oval Office didn't, and the multi-billion-dollar stimulus he'd pushed through Congress failed to stimulate anything but government growth, and the wars he was supposed to end raged on, people began quietly -- few outside the halls of Fox News dared to do it openly -- questioning their own wisdom in having elected the First Black President. For the time being, however, most such people kept these feelings to themselves for fear of being called racist.
Even the one great accomplishment of the Obama administration, the killing of Osama bin Laden, failed to give the fledgling president the real laurels he so craved. Though he wasted no time in taking personal credit for what had, in fact, happened on his watch, it soon became known that the real work had been done by SEAL Team Six, using a strategy that had been in large part mapped out before Obama had even become president. Obama himself had given the go-ahead order, and for this he could take legitimate credit.
Come 2012, and it was campaign time again. Actually, Obama had never stopped campaigning even throughout his first term in office, and this time there were contentious issues to deal with: the botched "Fast And Furious" gun-running operation that had resulted in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, as well as those of numerous others on both sides of the Mexican border; the 9-11 anniversary raid on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens; and, most odiously, the government cover-ups in play in each case. Nevertheless, Obama still managed to carry the day on Election Day -- not, of course, without help from a Democrat-activist news media which had long since abandoned even the appearance of impartiality, and, ironically enough, from his Republican opponents who had picked as their standard bear the less-than-inspiring choice of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who, having enacted his own brand of socialized medicine in Massachusetts, was hardly in a position to criticize the highly unpopular "Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act," better known as "Obamacare."
Yet still the scandals came: evidence that the Internal Revenue Service had been singling out conservative organizations for special treatment and general harassment in their applications for tax-free status, evidence that the National Security Agency was spying on the e-mails of private American citizens with no apparent ties to terrorism or terrorist organizations, and again, more cover-ups. On an increasing basis, the New Messiah was being seen as a modern-day Nero, playing golf and indulging in lavish and extravagant vacations while his country crumbled all about him.
Then, as if all this weren't enough, came the "red line" statement with regard to a civil war in Syria which would come back to haunt a president who by now had proven himself unable to live up to his former hype and pretensions to near-divinity. Nearly a year before, Obama had publicly state that should the Syrian government ever begin the use of chemical warfare, this action would constitute a "red line" which would call for action. Now that line had been crossed, and Obama was faced with the dilemma of whether or not to make good his threat, and what action, if any, to take.
He found himself with scant support from a war-weary nation, little support in Congress, and virtually none in the world community -- specifically from our our traditional ally, Great Britain. As he had done in other such crisis situations, Obama dithered and dawdled, threatened unilateral action, then passed to ball to Congress -- which, according to the Constitution, he should have done in the first place. Now he turns his eyes to, of all people, Russian president Vladimir Putin to bail him out and save his bacon for him, even as it is obvious to all but the most stubborn Obama partisans that Putin is merely playing Obama to his own ends.
In case after case, it points to a presidency of failed policies and a dearth of leadership. It points to a Leader of the Free World who obviously couldn't lead a blind horse to water on a half-acre island if he had a map in one hand, a compass in the other, and a GPS strapped to his waist. And even as more and more Americans awaken from their long slumber to realize that their New Messiah is nothing more than a modern-day Wizard of Oz, all smoke-and-mirrors with no real substance, Obama continues to strut, like Andersen's naked Emperor, continuing to ignore the obvious in his determination to believe all the news media's and entertainment industry's prior claims about him are somehow really true.
What we clearly have here is the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. We do not need a dictator. We do not need a king. What we need is a leader -- and by now a even blind man should be able to clearly and unequivocally see that Barack Hussein Obama is no leader.
Back in 1969, Richard M. Nixon had made himself one of the most despised presidents in American history. In the end, however, even he had enough of a sense of honor to do the honorable thing -- and once the Obama presidency has been played out to its final act, it may in the end prove Richard Nixon the better man.
Tim Siggia from Hartford Connecticut, attended Central Connecticut State College (now Central Connecticut State University) from 1963-67 and then joined the United States Navy. In 1973 he completed a bachelor or arts degree in English at the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham. In 1991 he retired from the Navy at the grade of Chief Journalist after which he joined the United States Postal Service, from which he is due to retire in 2012. He now lives in East Hartford Connecticut with his wife Penny. They have three sons and six grandchildren