How the mighty have fallen. Last week was not a good week for “Chosen Ones.” President Obama and NBA superstar LeBron James have both been unmasked as flawed humans, not gods or superheroes. They have both gone from “chosen” to “chump,” from “epic” to “epic failure,” from “hero” to “humbled.”
Ironically, both were humbled by Texans. LeBron lost the NBA finals in embarrassing fashion to a bunch of anonymous old guys playing for the underdog Dallas Mavericks. LeBron didn’t just lose. Dallas’ no-name players confused, intimidated and overwhelmed LeBron with old-fashioned teamwork and old-school defense, exposing LeBron to be a pathetic choker in the fourth quarter when it mattered. How embarrassing for a guy who recently promised on Twitter to win the first of six consecutive NBA championships. This is what happens when you believe your own press clippings.
Even more humbling is the lesson Texas is teaching Mr. Obama on how to run an economy. That famous song “All My Exes Live in Texas” obviously refers to ex-New Yorkers, Ex-Illinois residents and ex-Californians all moving to the only place in America (outside of Washington, D.C.) with a thriving economy. During the past year, Texas has created about half the jobs in America and one-third of all the jobs during the past three years. (Let’s just hope all the exes don’t bring their politics to Texas and ruin it.)
“The Texas Miracle” was accomplished in a state with a philosophy the polar opposite of the president’s. Texas is a state where income taxes are banned and guns are welcome, where lawyers are persona non grata and business is cheered, where freedom is celebrated and government is limited, where speed limits are raised and minimum wages are not. Perhaps most important, Texas is a right-to-work state where unions are sent packing (usually to New York, California and Illinois).
Texans have made both of the “Chosen Ones” look not only mortal, but sadly pathetic. Americans are waking up from a long national nightmare and saying, “Thank you, Texas. What the heck were we thinking?”
Sports fans will remember the heady days when LeBron’s free-agent decision was so important it became a two-hour, live special on ESPN. They’ll remember the reaction in Miami when LeBron announced his decision to play for the Miami Heat: pandemonium, sheer joy and celebrations in the streets. You could almost picture a weeping mother saying, “Because of LeBron, I’ll never again have to pay rent or worry about feeding my children.” LeBron James was the “Chosen One.” Or so they thought.
It was much like Mr. Obama on election night 2008. He could do no wrong. One weeping mother looked into the camera with a look of sheer joy and said these immortal words: “Because of Obama, I’ll never have to worry about paying my rent or putting gas in my car.”
In those heady days, the unemployed believed Mr. Obama would walk on water, part the sea and create jobs with the snap of a finger. Delusional business owners thought the president would turn around their fortunes with his magical bailouts and fairy-tale stimulus. Then there was the woman in Indiana who received a handwritten note from Mr. Obama believing God himself had blessed her. Like LeBron, Mr. Obama was viewed by his naive fans as the “Chosen One.”
Only two-plus years later, how the tide has turned. There are now 1.9 million fewer Americans employed since Mr. Obama’s signature stimulus program was enacted. The country is in meltdown and the economy in crisis. Real estate has crashed more dramatically than during the Great Depression. The stock market is in decline. The national debt has exploded to Greece-like crisis levels. Crazed youths roam the streets of Chicago attacking tourists. Welcome to Obamageddon.
Like LeBron’s fans, reality is slowly setting in with Obama supporters. The Indiana woman who cried upon receiving the personal note is now singing a new song. A single mother, and she’s selling Mr. Obama’s letter on eBay to keep from being evicted. How ironic. She shouldn’t expect much. I’ve heard there’s a fire sale for Obama-related merchandise.
An Ohio restaurant Mr. Obama praised as benefiting from the magical bailout of General Motors has gone bankrupt and closed after 75 years in business. What next? Will we be selling off the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument to pay creditors? How soon until we see a “For Sale” sign in front of the White House?
Even Mr. Obama is showing signs of reality sinking in. In a recent interview, he mentioned feeling relieved at the prospects of possibly being a one-term president. Then in an economic forum, upon hearing his stimulus never worked because of government bureaucracy, Mr. Obama joked that his “shovel-ready projects were not as shovel-ready as expected.” That’s really funny. I wonder how the jobless feel about that kind of humor at their expense. But it’s a tough fall from “chosen” to “chump.” Perhaps Mr. Obama is having a nervous breakdown. How the mighty have fallen, indeed.
The parallels are striking. Both Mr. Obama and LeBron have appeared hopeless, helpless and clueless - more proof that putting faith in human beings as if they are God is a flawed decision.
At least we still have Texas to believe in.
Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian vice-presidential nominee and author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution With God, Guns, Gold, Gambling & Tax Cuts” (Wiley, 2009). He writes at RootforAmerica.com.