Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Obama as Greek myth: why our modern day Icarus crashed

Jim Geraghty notes that the Dems' foreign policy -- I would add much of their domestic policy as well -- lies in ruins.

What happened to the once promising approach to foreign policy that so many felt would transform the world's opinion of America?  In a word: reality.  You can't place a near neophyte who believes himself to be an expert (there's a term for that: Dunning-Kruger effect) and expect anything other than confusion, desperate hopefulness, and an abiding wonder as to why others won't cooperate.

In fact, the whole thing looks like an updated story of Icarus' doomed flight.  In this version, Icarus is Obama.  The sun that warms Icarus' constructed wings and exposes him is reality, while the role of Icarus' father Daedulus -- the man who made Icarus' disastrous flight possible is composed of many factors.  The media, who portrayed Obama as a man able to fly as high as he chose is the primary factor.  Affirmative action, political and academic, is implicated.  Certainly his ability to craft wonderfully vague and hope filled speeches seemed to confirm our hopes for a competent president.

Anyway, our modern Icarus donned the wings made for him, and him alone, and took off into the sky.  The sun's warmth seemed not to touch him at first.  He largely got what he wanted legislatively. He certainly got the foreign policy he wanted.  Now five years into his presidency, he finds the heat of the sun to be uncomfortable.  But that's the way the Icarus story always turns out: reality triumphs over everything -- especially incompetence.

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