Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 6, 2009 10 Adar 5769

Slings and Arrows on the Way

By Suzanne Fields


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama may be becoming presidential at last. The campaign mode of supplication and imitation is fading. The new president has done his Abraham Lincoln shtick, train ride and all. He's no longer tempted to make his Saturday radio address an imitation of a fireside chat (he still sneaks an occasional cigarette, but without FDR's cigarette holder). Conservatives who were afraid to challenge his popularity, retreating to criticism on an unpopular Congress, are unlacing the gloves.


The Democrats are still trying to kick George W. around, but their boots can't any longer reach that far. Angry Republicans are continuing to grumble, but it's only a way to show they're still in the game. (Michael Steele vs. Rush Limbaugh is the halftime entertainment, without the marching bands.)


The new quarterback is calling the signals, and he'll have to face the consequences of the execution of the game plan — if not now, soon. The tanking stock market is already his responsibility, and soon he'll face the music for how the nation's enemies react to withdrawal from Iraq, for a belated surge in Afghanistan and the rising number of casualties there.


If health care reforms only succeed in making our medicine more like Europe's, thinning the care and surrendering the edge in medical research for new cures and treatments, he'll eventually get the blame for that, too. How will the top medical schools train top people if the profession becomes one of mechanics and technicians presided over by government bureaucrats?


If everything goes right, he'll get the credit for that, too, and Obama is trying to act on the assumption of confidence — what his grandfather told him he could learn from his father: "Confidence. The secret to a man's success." But confidence can be a trick of a con man, too, and if we become the easy marks, pulled in because we want to believe even when we know better, we'll get only what we deserve.


With political comparisons exhausted — Lincoln and Roosevelt deserve to rest in occasional peace — we can look to the examples of literature that measure men, for better or worse.


"Obama is precisely like Hamlet in his conviction that his eloquence proves his leadership ability and his self-knowledge," writes JWR and PoliticalMavens.com contributor Sam Schulman in The Weekly Standard. "And like Hamlet's, his preparation for high office consisted of playacting, speechmaking and self-examination."


You can read for yourself the self-revealing chapter the president wrote about his community organizing in Chicago. When he realizes that he has failed to achieve results, he goes off to Harvard Law School to fill in the gaps of his knowledge.


"I would learn about the way businesses and banks were put together; how real estate ventures succeeded or failed," he writes. "I would learn power's currency in all its intricacy and detail."


So now he takes tutelage from Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard, and Timothy Geithner, the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The president may still think of himself as a learner, albeit armed with "power's currency," but his teachers have become as courtiers to please rather than challenge, as effectual as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. How else to explain such mammoth excesses in his new budget?


Hamlet, of course, was never "called to govern." The prince was too young, too inexperienced to assume power. Endless vacillation was his undoing. Had he become an authentic leader, the Danes would have wished him well, just as Americans want Barack Obama to do well. "Every American loves this country and wants it to succeed," the president says. But a lot of us think he's really not very interested in bridging the gap of partisanship, despite the pretty speeches.


A small but dramatic example illustrates: Sarah and James Parker attend Sidwell Friends School in Washington with the Obama girls. But unlike Malia and Sasha, whose tuition is paid by their parents, they're part of a tiny District of Columbia voucher program that enables them, along with 1,700 other low-income children, to take $7,500 of public school money to a private school of their choice. The House adopted an amendment to a spending bill last week to eliminate this program, forcing these 1,700 children back to inferior public schools. The Senate could forestall this, by requiring the program be studied for its effectiveness.


Obama says he supports charter schools, not vouchers for private schools. Authentic bipartisanship could defend the voucher program, but the teachers' unions, to whom the president and his party owe their jobs, are determined to protect their monopoly on mediocrity. The temptation to continue campaigning is hard to resist.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on JWR contributor Suzanne Fields' column by clicking here.

Up

Suzanne Fields Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles