Last night I finished Hamlet with feverish excitement. I had read it once a couple years ago for class, but you know. This time was different. I hadn’t really remembered the plot and everything came together with marvelous tragedy.
As I was thinking about what to write for today’s post and the state of politics I thought of a few comparisons to the four hundred year old play. I decided that Obama is no Hamlet.
In the play, the old king Hamlet is murdered by his brother Claudius who thus becomes king and quickly thereafter seduces and marries the Queen, Gertrude, his former sister-in-law. Hamlet suspects foul play and plots to get revenge. However, Hamlet takes at what is at times an agonizing amount of time to decide his course of action. In other words, he thinks about it a lot, fearing that haste will lead to failure. In fact, Hamlet’s one hasty action ends with an innocent man being killed.
Obama is not like that. If Hamlet was thoughtful to a fault, Obama is rash to a fault. He wants things done quickly. When the man was commandeering the “Office of the President Elect” he shot off his mouth about another stimulus package (other than the one Bush and team worked out in 2008 that worked so splendedly). Obama said in a press conference that “We are going to need to see a stimulus package passed either before or after the inauguration (on January 20). I want to see a stimulus package sooner rather than later.” The problem with rushing through a thousand page document that no one reads is that no one knows what the heck is going on. Dead people get stimulus checks for example.
But this idea of rushing things through isn’t unique to the oh so necessary, too-big-to-fail stimulus package. Obama wants Gitmo closed sooner than everyone knows will be feasable, he wanted, and got, a fuel efficiency standard bill passed quickly, he wants health-care taken care of quickly, he didn’t have patience for the pesky investors in GM to offer an alternative solution to his, he wanted a solution now, and now he wants Sotomayor confirmed quickly, or at least on his schedule. And I am sure there are many other examples to be had.
Obama is like the Queen, Gertrude, who married her Brother-in-law without thinking through the consequences. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but her decision, because it was made so fast, destroyed her relationship with her only son.
Maybe Obama should consider reading the bills he foists upon the American People, or at least having someone read it would be nice. Obama and congress should all learn from Hamlet that “Brevity is the soul of wit.”