Esquire Magazine Genuflects: Obama’s a ‘World-Historical Soul,’ ‘He is What We Hope We Can Be’

Barf. “We sometimes forget just how in the tank much of the press is for Obama,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto observed last week in catching an effusive, to put it mildly, love letter to Barack Obama published in the August edition of Hearst’s Esquire magazine.

“2011 is the summer of Obama,” gushed Stephen Marche, genuflecting “‘I am large, I contain multitudes,’ Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy.” More sophistry: “Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a ‘world-historical soul,’ an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be.”

 

Speak for yourself.

Taranto suggested “you may want to pop a Dramamine before reading this passage, which brings back memories of 2008:”

[C]an we just enjoy Obama for a moment? Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we're going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph. Whatever happens this fall or next, the summer of 2011 is the summer of Obama.

That’s from Marche, a Canadian writer who pens Esquire’s monthly “A Thousand Words” column. “How Can We Not Love Obama? Because like it or not, he is all of us,” appears on pages 56-57 of the August issue and was posted July 12 on Esquire.com.

Marche recited Obama’s latest “masterpieces” of a “political triptych” which have supposedly propelled him above and beyond Ronald Reagan and even liberal hero Bill Clinton:

But even if you disagree with him, even if you hate him, even if you are his enemy, at this point you must admire him. The turning point came that glorious week in the spring when, in the space of a few days, he released his long-form birth certificate, humiliated Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and assassinated Osama bin Laden. The effortlessness of that political triptych — three linked masterpieces demonstrating his total command over intellectual argument, low comedy, and the spectacle of political violence — was so overwhelmingly impressive that it made political geniuses of the recent past like Reagan and Clinton seem ham-fisted.

Marche’s awe extended to how, “amazingly,” Obama’s life story “fulfills the role of hero” in each of seven “ancient story forms.” He opined:

Christopher Booker's 2004 book The Seven Basic Plots, a wide-ranging study from the Epic of Gilgamesh on and a surprisingly convincing explanation for why we crave narrative, reduced all stories to a few plots, each with its own kind of hero. Amazingly, Barack Obama fulfills the role of hero in each of these ancient story forms.

Those plots: “Quest,” “Comedy,” “Rags to Riches,” “Tragedy,” “Killing the Monster,” “Voyage and Return” and “Rebirth.”

If you can stomach it, check the fawning article for the presumed evidence.

# # #

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center