Thursday, March 6, 2008
"And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands."
- 1 Samuel 17:47
In the church revival atmosphere that surrounds Barack Obama, some have confused his King David for a prophet. Like David, Obama comes from humble origins and has a lyrical sensibility. But Barack, as the insightful A. Charles has observed recently, has also shown the determination and initiative which characterizes the successful insurgent. In 1 Samuel 17, we see the hero audaciously approach Goliath, a foe possessing technologically superior arms and a not unsubstantiated belief in his own prowess, with a simple sling and stones. David's youth and lack of combat experience is used against him by Israelite and Philistine alike.
However, David did have the experience of taking down a lion and a bear. While consensus may have considered it irrelevant to the campaign at hand, it did provide David with an immeasurable confidence in himself. Acquiring political maturity in Chicago has endowed Obama with similar fortitude.
The greatest generals like Hannibal, Grant, MacArthur, and Giap always take the bold and creative approach. Their triumphs are derived from a combination of personal bravado and the enemy's overly abundant aggression and narcissistic underestimation of their rival's capacity to endure and retaliate.
Hillary Clinton and John McCain have both expressed contempt for Obama's expertise that mirrors Goliath's derision of David. Mrs. Clinton, particularly, has defined herself as a watchful protective mother and the electorate as sleeping children. She will protect and defend us. We, the citizens, can go back to sleep. Mommy Dearest will tuck us into bed and put Barack Obama in his place.
Make no mistake. In this effort Senator Obama is taking on two foes with much greater resources. Bill and Hillary Clinton combine seductive charm, ruthless guile, and naked desire for power that is matched only by the Kennedy and Bush legacies. And Senator Clinton has issued a call which fails to acknowledge her challenger's proficiency at Muay Thai.
The Obama forces have promised to respond appropriately. Just like the shepherd David, Barack is an intimate of the wielders of power. He knows very well the landscape that he seeks to negotiate. He is no prophet willing to engage an opponent without tools and just God's word to back him up. Rather he is the principled statesman who chooses implements that he can apply skillfully to his advantage. Expect Hillary to be tutored by Barack in the intelligent use of force.