I disagree with Barack Obama on pretty much everything. He supports an unshackled administrative state and unapologetic Executive Branch unilateralism; I believe that more or less the entirety of the administrative state is utterly lawless, and believe strongly in the tripartite Madisonian separation of powers framework. He supports killing kids; I believe in the Lockean/Jeffersonian natural right to life. He supports the New Deal’s legal/economic
evolution descent into unchartered congressional control over the republic’s domestic affairs; I lament the entire “living constitutionalism” charade, and think the Commerce Clause of Article I § 8 does not mean what he thinks it means. He supports something akin to comprehensive mass amnesty; I am an unapologetic border hawk. He obfuscates the global jihad and seeks to create “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel; I believe it is grossly counterproductive to whitewash the sharia supremacist/Islamist origins out of virulent jihadism, and I unapologetically stand with our ally Israel in our joint battle against the global jihad.
As Obama reaches the “YOLO stage” of his disgraceful presidency—by taking such self-castrating actions as implementing a de facto GTMO prison break and completing his global apology tour, memorably begun in Cairo in June 2009, with his atrocious 2016 speech at Hiroshima—I was beginning to think that the man would leave office without ever saying a single thing, no matter how seemingly trivial, with which I could agree.
I was wrong.
Apparently Barack Obama really, really loves the cinematic masterpiece that is The Godfather: Part II.
President Obama couldn’t resist cracking a joke about one of his favorite movies during a speech in Lake Tahoe, Nev., on Wednesday.
Obama drew some groans from the crowd when he said he had never been to the iconic tourist destination.
“I finally got here,” the president said. “I am going to come back.”
“And I want to come back, not just because it’s beautiful … not just because ‘The Godfather II’ is maybe my favorite movie,” he added, prompting the crowd to burst into laughter.
The president referred to one of the most memorable scenes from the 1972 classic, when Fredo Corleone is executed while fishing on the lake for betraying his brother, Michael, who watches from his house onshore.
“As I was flying over the lake, I was thinking about Fredo,” Obama said. “It’s tough.”
When people ask me what my favorite movie ever is, I quickly answer with, “The Godfather: Part II,” before adding that The Godfather itself is my second favorite. I have seen the lengthy second film probably a dozen or more times, can go line-for-line for much of it, and cherished the original Mario Puzo novel upon which much of the trilogy’s first two films were based. While The Godfather is arguably more popularly remembered because of Marlon Brando and its more straightforward plot line (and who can forget the overwhelming visceral power of the climactic juxtaposition of Michael’s simultaneously attending a baptism and setting into motion the assassinations of all rival crime families’ heads?), it is the sequel film which—aside from the beautifully set Robert De Niro-acted flashback scenes—establishes the trilogy as the quintessential American interpretation of the Greek/Shakespearean tragedy, and which solidifies Michael Corleone as American film’s most iconic tragic hero. Even conceding that I probably have an idiosyncratic personal appreciation of organized crime as a literary/film genre, I still believe that Part II best combines all of the sundry elements—sheer acting force, intricate plot line, beautiful imagery and cinematography, rousing orchestral score, raw emotional power, dramatic twists and turns, etc.—that make a film truly sublime.
I also have never been to Lake Tahoe, but you can bet that if I were flying low over the water there, I would also be thinking about Fredo Corleone and the brutal ruthlessness of his brother Michael. If Barack Obama comes across this post here on our website, I would recommend to him that he read ESPN’s lengthy feature piece from April on golfing great Tiger Woods—a beautifully crafted, poignant character profile of my erstwhile number one athletic idol who ultimately revealed himself to be just as much a tragic hero as did Michael Corleone himself. Corleone and Woods, talented men with deep-seated flaws, both make for fascinating character studies.
I believe that history will ultimately judge Barack Obama’s presidential legacy very harshly. He directly abetted unprecedented partisan divisiveness by using most of his first term’s political capital to jam Obamacare—a law that is, quite literally, unambiguously failing—down the nation’s collective throat on a purely party-line Democratic vote. He and Eric Holder each worked hard to sow the discordant seeds of racial disunity and took the Department of Justice to hitherto unbeknownst politicized lows. He has overseen a tremendous spike in national debt as a percentage of GDP, and has taken the republic ever closer to default. He has repeatedly eschewed America’s post-World War II role atop the global order by demurring to the mullahs in the botched opportunity of Iran’s peaceful 2009 Green Movement, and by staying weak in the face of both Russian revanchism in Eastern Europe and Chinese militancy in the South China Sea. He has largely stood on the sidelines as the Syrian civil war bloodshed has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. And by overseeing the catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal, he has likely put more Jews in direct danger of annihilation than at any time since the days of the Third Reich.
But he is spot-on regarding the masterpiece that is The Godfather: Part II. As far as it goes concerning one of the worst presidents in the history of the republic, I can take that and be happy.