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Monday, July 05, 2010

First, and One Hopes, the Last

I was musing about our current president the other night. I wondered how many other people had thought of him as an example of the "Peter Principle": ""In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence." Turns out many people have (google it), although the heap he's atop of isn't exactly the type of hierarchy Dr. Peter was talking about. My husband suggests that Obama exemplified the Peter Principle back when he was a law professor. Could be.

More seriously, it occurred to me that Obama is the first president we've managed to elect who is more or less hostile towards this country. I can't think of another who had anything like his mixture of anger, contempt and embarrassment about being an American and representing the United States before the world.

Obama's presidency has been a wake-up call and learning experience for a great many people, in various respects. I hope that includes making damned sure, in the future, that a president at least likes his country, and possibly even loves it and shows the world that s/he is proud of it, imperfections notwithstanding.

(One of Spider Robinson's characters, Russell Walker, with whom I don't entirely agree on matters political, said something I rather like: "[I]t must be admitted that so far, the United States of America has the most magnificent set of ideals any nation ever failed to live up to." That is the minimum we should expect of a president where admiration of this country is concerned.)