President Obama came in with big promises. But he turned out to be a small man.
Fans of “The Simpsons” might remember Episode 144, in which the writers created two wonderful neologisms. The first was “embiggen,” such as in the Springfield town motto — “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” Now, “embiggen” is a perfectly “cromulent” word (neologism no. 2, meaning “acceptable”), but it doesn’t work at all for Mr. Obama and his first term. In fact, one needs a word that means exactly the opposite to describe the most partisan, petty and divisive president America has ever seen.
Yet no such word exists, so we’ll have to make one up — how about “besmallify”? Used in a sentence: “From his very first day in office, Barack Obama has done nothing but besmallify the presidency.”
He didn’t intend to, of course, or, at least, that’s what he told us. Remember the soaring rhetoric of the 2008 campaign, the promises of a post-partisan presidency, an America united through the brilliant beneficence of the first half-black, half-white president? Millions voted for him based on those promises alone — the rancor and ruckus that was Washington by then drove them nuts as they asked the age-old question: Can’t we all just get along?
And that former community organizer from Chicago promised us all he’d take us there, the Land of Happy Harmony, if we’d just vote for him. But once elected, he brought Washington to a new low with his vicious Chicago politics, his blame-everyone-but-himself victim’s mentality, and, really, his own small-minded and angrily egocentric view of the world.