Seventy years ago this week, Churchill gave us these memorable words:
Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’
Seventy years later, Barack Obama gave us this:
What has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny–our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don’t yet know precisely how we’re going to get there. We know we’ll get there.
It was one of the worst–and most revealing–lines ever uttered by an American president. Winston Churchill echoed the Psalms; Barack Obama echoed Alice in Wonderland:
“Cheshire Puss … Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the cat.
“I don’t much care where -” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the cat.
“– so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the cat, “if only you walk long enough.”
This week, Obama gave us this frightening insight into his presidency–he does not care where he is leading us, but we are sure to get there–and in so doing smashed the myth that he would one day stand beside Churchill as one of the greatest orators in modern history.
It was not, suffice it to say, his finest hour.
Astute observers of the scene might recall one of the first things Obama did when he took office back in early 2009:
A bust of the former prime minister once voted the greatest Briton in history, which was loaned to George W Bush from the Government’s art collection after the September 11 attacks, has now been formally handed back.
The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush’s tenure.
But when British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Removing that which symbolized the greatness of Winston Churchill was an omen.
In its place now stands the ineptness of Barack Obama.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.