- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2009

OPINION/ANALYSIS:

Barack Obama’s excellent New York adventure was all he hoped it would be. He got to make a speech, pave the streets of Manhattan with harmless platitudes, bask in the admiration of various Third World mediocrities and hear himself nominated to be president of the United States for life. “It was an excellent day,” he said as night fell, as it always must.

All in all, he did no particular harm, and we can all be grateful for that. The messiah had a rough summer, and he was entitled to the pleasure of presiding, if only for a day, over the Children’s Hour.

Moammar Gadhafi, the maximum leader of Libya, floated the idea of Mr. Obama as “president for life,” and why not? If “president for life” was good enough for Papa Do c and Haiti, why not for the USA? Marion Barry was once thought to be mayor of the District of Columbia for life, and he may not be done yet.

The White House, for lack of imagination, declined to endorse the Gadhafi endorsement. But Robert Gibbs, the president’s press secretary, got into the spirit of the occasion: “Leaving aside the amendments to the Constitution that the president agrees with wholeheartedly, it would be an interesting concept to continue being president beyond one’s natural life.”

Such a precedent for extending the administrations of presidents after they’re dead might suit an ever-cranky presidential constituency. Barry Goldwater once observed that Congress should repeal, not enact, a law every day. A dead president could do no harm, and a corpse would be refreshing (we’ve had reasonable facsimiles of the dead in the Oval Office before). Rutherford B. Hayes could live again. So, too, Chester Alan Arthur, our only president without a surname.

With President Obama presiding over “the historic session,” the U.N. Security Council approved unanimously an American resolution committing all nations to work for - please sit up straight for this - a world free of nuclear weapons. Somewhere in the fine print was a clause praising small babies, little puppies and chocolate candy. The resolution was so harmless that even Russia, China and several “developing” nations (the usual euphemism for the socialist satraps) voted for the resolution.

But Col. Gadhafi over at the General Assembly was clearly the star of the day, twinkling brightly in the U.N. firmament of burned-out comets, asteroids, meteoroids and hemorrhoids. The temporary chairman of the assembly was a Libyan, who told the heads of states lined up to speak that they could have no more than 15 minutes each, or expect the dreaded hook. The diplomat, Ali Treki, having become warmly and affectionately attached to his head, was careful not to apply the rule to Col. Gadhafi, who rambled on for 96 minutes. The colonel was the most entertaining speaker of the day, declaiming against swine flu, which he said was invented in the labs of the drug companies to assure markets for their vaccines, or by “the military” as a weapon of war. He demanded that the investigation into the Kennedy assassination be reopened. The colonel was introduced as “the king of kings,” and he endorsed President Obama as “the son of Africa.” Whether he meant to include himself in the ranks of the “birthers,” we do not know.

A good time was clearly had by all. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France did a little polished romping and refined stomping, as befit the august venue. M Sarkozy scolded North Korea and Iran for being “obstacles to a safer world,” and Mr. Brown said the Security Council should impose “far tougher sanctions” than the sanctions that have not made the Iranians behave themselves. If the far tougher sanctions don’t work, either, President Ahmadinejad, who was walked out on during his speech to the General Assembly, should expect to get a strong letter of protest.

Mr. Obama, pleased that the Security Council resolution reflects the eloquence of his earlier speech last April in Prague, said the United States would host a reunion of U.N. freeloaders next spring to “advance” and “assist” all the nations to embrace the vision of the Security Council. The State Department will supply an updated list of limousine services, massage parlors and four-star restaurants. The U.N. may never actually get anything done, but the faithful representatives of the nations of the world can never be accused of lacking resolution, and always in quadruplicate.

Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

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