τὸ ποτήριον τῆς εὐλογίας ὃ εὐλογοῦμεν, οὐχὶ κοινωνία ἐστὶν τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ; τὸν ἄρτον ὃν κλῶμεν, οὐχὶ κοινωνία τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐστιν;
1 Corinthians 10:16
Eulogia. The word (in bold above) appears in Greek. In Saint Paul’s letter 1 to the Corinthians. The word had great significance in the order of the Benedictine Monks of the Middle Ages which had yielded the Renaissance and the ensuing world order to today. The word also features as a non-existent Greek goddess in the rituals of the Yale fraternity, a secret society, Skull & Bones. It literally means good (eu) words (logos). St. Paul used it to mean a blessing.
President Obama had delivered it in Tucson, Arizona to commemorate the souls of the dead in the Arizona shootings, to praise and to bless as the pastor-in-chief of the United States on January 12, 2011 for prime-time television audiences on the east coast. Leveraging the President’s truly extraordinary oratorical skills at the right time was politically an astute move for the White House. His poll numbers went up after the Tucson eulogy in a bi-partisan manner putting the country, exhausted by the economic crisis and the wars, behind his ideology and his political opponents on the defensive out of a sense of Christian guilt that their gratuitous criticism of a well-meaning president may have somehow triggered the bloodshed in Tucson which had killed a Federal judge, John Roll, and injured a Congresswoman, Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ, District 08).
Good words indeed have the power to heal and to deliver and sustain a civil society. But good words are the product of good thoughts. For words to be good in action, the thoughts that yield them must also be. After all, The Christ was about consistency between word and deed, the type of integrity that is a rarity in this day and age or perhaps in any age, given human nature being what it is. And Barack Obama is no Jesus Christ. He is a politician.
As much as Tucson’s gun laws in relation to mental stability must be examined, mental stability is abused by the courts with a low bar, entertaining unsubstantiated and fabricated accusations in cases of government wrong-doing and divorce between perfectly normal people. The very president who spoke of reconciliation in Tucson understands all too well about abusing mental stability laws out of political motivation against his very effective, reasonable and reasoned critics in Washington. A salient example in the 2008 election of President Obama’s loose-tongued and uncivil rhetoric about other’s mental health was to say that candidate McCain had lost his bearings.
This president who has been much hyped as level-headed and elected because he was so at an American moment of military and economic crisis is turning out to be Nero, fiddling on the roof as Rome is burning. Keeping cool when imminent action is necessary is not a sign of mental stability but insanity. He may meet the constitutional high bar of impeachment for using the mental health low bar as a subtle political weapon against his critics. Sometimes high-priced legal training at Harvard can teach both a sense of justice and unethical tactics by parlaying the brand name credibility of an elite education.
This president does not embody the enlightened leadership the post-Tucson eulogy America is perhaps thinking that he is providing, for, he, by his own admission since his Harvard Law School days, is of the opinion that the Founding Fathers may not actually be correct in their classical enlightenment liberalism. That is his uncritical Rawlesianism speaking and he is delivering a Rawlesian United States as his legacy and that of his post-Reagan Democrat predecessors (Rawlesianism is the philosophical basis for the American brand of post-FDR socialism by former Harvard professor John Rawls, expounded in his well-known book A Theory of Justice).
President Obama wants co-existence with China and civility and reconciliation in the most uncivil economic times for which his administration’s response is to ask the country to wait for a decade as he shapes the world order for decades to come. There will be more Tucsons under the current path of economic recovery if Hu’s China and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland are any indications.
The reconciliation eulogies, perhaps crafted with other Bonesmen in Washington such as Austan Goolsbee ― the Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) ― a position which has turned into a ritualistic preparation to be appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve, will then become as staple and stale as the 2008 Obama campaign rhetoric as if it is not already so in recent memory since Columbine and Virginia Tech. Political sensibility, however, is yet to come to a populace that has been pining for it.
The eulogia of Demosthenes (Obama) can be better used to relieve the country of economic stress and address gun laws in a timely manner. Doing so expeditiously would be a sign of mental stability in Washington. No rhetoric of political conciliation can fix the poor and ideologically left-wing policymaking that is deliberately delaying economic recovery.