Camille Paglia, a liberal columnist at Salon.com, had some pretty strong language in an answer to a reader’s letter. President Obama is not even a year into his presidency and he is already getting admonished by his supposed allies on the left. This does not bode well for him for the next three years. Here is Paglia’s response:
Yes, ever since week one of the Obama administration, I have been doggedly calling for heads to roll. As months of crass ineptitude drag on, however, the blacklist of those who should be tagged for the guillotine gets longer and longer. The most recent fiasco, of course, was sending the president of the United States on a humiliating fool’s errand to beg for the Olympics as a Chicago boondoggle. I cheered when splendiferous Rio de Janeiro rightfully got the gig.
You are correct to argue that the cluster of appointees around a person in power reflects his or her belief system and modus operandi. However, it is a mark of leadership to recognize the need for professional evolution beyond an old comfort zone. Obama is approaching a turning point which will define his political future, if he has one. He is surrounded by some mighty small potatoes who need shoveling into the dumpster. The petty provincials need to go, and far more sophisticated and world-savvy analysts must urgently be brought on board.
Opponents of Obama are perplexed by the disconnect in polling between Americans’ rejection of Obama’s policies and his personal popularity. Count me among those who are very critical of many of Obama’s actions or evasions but who continue to like him and to believe in his potential as a world leader. It’s true he has accomplished nothing thus far and did not remotely deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, a gift carrying a terrible curse. The Nobel should have been the crown of Obama’s career and not the butt of jokes. Yet the award has tangible significance insofar as Obama has endorsed the humanistic (if unrealistic) dream of a world without nuclear weapons. The lion may never lie down with the lamb, but politics will always be mired in seething, selfish squalor unless idealistic leaders appeal to our higher nature.