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Nemesis moves in on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 7/11/14
In Greek mythology the goddess Nemesis lived in her sanctuary north of Marathon and delivered divine retribution to those guilty of hubris. Given the events of 2014 so far, I think it is fair to say that Nemesis has relocated to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In fact, she appears to have moved in.
For the four years of his first term and for part of the first year of his second, President Obama seemed absolutely above it all.
Despite the expressed concerns of his military leaders, he pulled every last soldier out of Iraq and nothing untoward seemed to happen. For many months, Obama was able to claim Iraq as his own policy success.
As he stood by unsustainable promises concerning the health care law that now bears his name, Republican concerns as to that unsustainability were dismissed as so much partisan sniping.
As Iran ignored the president’s sometimes bellicose statements concerning the unacceptability of that nation developing nuclear weapons, no one really seemed to mind.
Red lines that were drawn regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria quietly disappeared with little real objection.
The multiple debacles leading up to and following the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi – failures that would likely have toppled a Republican administration – were successfully turned into a caricature of talk radio extremism.
For most of five years, President Obama floated from fundraiser to golf outing to celebrity dinner to gaseous speech to opulent vacation with little apparent regard for any consequence of any personal act of either commission or omission.
But then, starting in the fall of last year, the HealthCare.gov website debuted as a total failure.
Nemesis began packing her bags.
Then it came to light that the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups was not the work of a handful of agents gone rogue but rather the result of decisions taken at the very highest levels of the agency. Exactly how high remains to be seen.
Then we learned that 40 or more military veterans died while waiting for care at the Veterans Hospital in Phoenix. That story ripped the cover off of a Veterans Affairs department that has been systematically hiding its dysfunction while concurrently paying millions in bonuses to its executives.
That’s when Nemesis decamped from her Greek home near Marathon and began moving her things into the Lincoln Bedroom.
It appears that she will be living there for the next two and a half years.
Nemesis, the ancient mythological Greek goddess whose job it is to take down those guilty of hubris, is now living fulltime in the Obama White House – holding the most hubristic president in memory to account.
Which would be fine if that accounting could be confined to the metaphorical.
But unfortunately, Nemesis’s metaphorical visit will serve to paralyze a real world Obama White House just as the chickens set loose in the Obama first term start coming home to roost.
We may be about to find out just how long two and a half years really is.