Monday, May 04, 2009

An Official White House Fool?

With his tongue at least partly in his cheek, Roger Kimball sees the need for still one more fool in the Obama White House only this one Kimball says could do some good - - -

A headline from Reuters confirms what we all know: “Barack Obama is revelling in presidential power and influence unseen in Washington for decades.”

Since we’re rolling back the clock on quaint traditions like democracy and free speech, I’d like to suggest we consider resuscitating an office that flourished in the age of monarchs. I mean the office of court jester.

Now that we have a President who requires instant acquiescence in his schemes to spend your money and realize his socialist dream, isn’t it prudent to assure that there is at least one person installed in the corridors of power who can whisper home truths into the President’s ear?

In the age of monarchy, indulging in free speech, especially on matters political, was a dangerous pastime. Kings, emperors, and others who proclaim that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” who actually believe that, with their ascension “the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” — such folks have a serious problem with hubris, not to say narcissism.

As anyone who can pronounce “Aeschylus” knows, hubris is followed regularly by nemesis, and it was to forestall that eventuality that monarchs of yore instituted the office of the court jester or fool. Here was one person allowed to speak his mind, to impart unpalatable truths to the sovereign.

Queen Elizabeth (the first, not the one hugged by Michelle Obama) even rebuked her fool for not being sufficiently candid. (It was a narrow path, though, that the fool had to walk: Lear threatened to whip his fool for speaking free.)

The White House has not yet gotten around to announcing the position. That’s hardly surprising. They’ve been awfully busy these last 100 days and more, what with all that “spreading the wealth around,” taking over the auto industry, demonizing conservatives, setting terrorists free, plotting to nationalize health care, conspiring to impoverish us all not just by raising taxes but also through the ruinous cap-and-trade proposal that will cost the average household about $3,100 a year. ...

The rest of Kimball's spoof is here.

Hat tip: Instapundit


Anonymous said...

White House Fool??? Isn't that what Joe Biden is for?

Anonymous said...

To the 2.46: No, no, the job of a court fool is to speak truth and logic under the guise of tomfoolery. Biden speaks sheer silliness under the guise of reasoned comment.
Tarheel Hawkeye