Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"THE AUDACITY OF HOPELESSNESS"

This has to get my vote for this year's most profound twist of phrase. It comes from one of the masters of outrage, Andrew Sullivan, and is eliciting plenty of poignant responses from the readers of The Daily Dish.

Increasingly, my own view is that Obama is appearing more and more as a political Prufrock. Here are the relevant lines from the great T.S. Eliot poem:

I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

....

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

The judgment is harsh. But that's what happens when one feels betrayed. I can only issue an equally audacious hope that something might happen to change my view.

(You can read the full T.S. Eliot poem here.)


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