Sunday, May 24, 2009

Milton and Obama

I have long thought that if you were able to memorize highlights from the works of Shakespeare, Milton, Churchill and Lincoln, then one would have at their disposal much of the collective wisdom of Westen Civilization. And if you can trot these quotes out at the appropriate moment, one's arguments would be greatly illuminated and exponentially strengthened. Thus it is with James Delingpole, blogging at the Telegraph on his perception of the Obama-Cheney speeches of Thursday last. I think he hits the nail on the head in his quote of Milton - a quote that sums up in two lines the inherent danger of the modern left and their militant pacifism clothed in moralism. This from Mr. Delingpole:

Watching Obama lose his screen on screen duel with Dick Cheney yesterday I was reminded of some lines from Paradise Lost.

Thus Belial with words clothed in reason's garb
Counselled ignoble ease and peaceful sloth, not peace.

But while the silver-tongued minor devil Belial would no doubt have approved the President's new surrender-monkey "realist" approach to the war on terror, I doubt he would have been so impressed with his oratorical skills. . . .

Yeah, I know, I know. I too was taken in when I first heard him speak. I remember thinking when I heard that measured, steady voice with its pleasant but authoritative timbre that here was a guy fit to govern the world. He sounded cool. Clint Eastwood "Make my day" cool.

Now, though, that novelty has worn off. Now, it's becoming clear that this carefully worked, glacial poise is all there is to Obama. He's just a hollow man spouting empty rhetoric.

. . . Obama's speech on the other hand, was the usual grandiloquent exercise in high-sounding nothingness. Apart from the familiar gangsta-rap-style boasting about how big and important he now is ("I took an oath as your Commander In Chief.."), all he had to offer were platitudes designed - a la Belial - to make inaction and pusillanimity in the war on terror look the only sensible course.

One of his favourite techniques is the false opposition, as here:

"On one side of the spectrum are those who make little allowance for the the unique challenges posed by terrorism and would almost never put national security over transparency. And on the other end of the spectrum are those who can embrace a view that can be summarised in two words: anything goes. Both sides may be sincere in their views. But neither is right."

Except nobody in the world cleaves to either of these positions. They have been conjured from thin air by Obama - and his trusty teleprompter - in order to make out that anyone who disagrees with his woolly centrist position must perforce be some kind of whacko extremist nut job. . . .

Read the entire post.

(H/T Bookworm Room)

1 comment:

KG said...

Oh YESS!!Perfect.