Thursday, January 6, 2011

Humility

Via Instapundit, we get this quote from Roger Simon on the occasion of John Boehner being sworn in as the new Speaker of the House:

In his speech today, John Boehner showed himself to be among the most impressive figures on our political landscape, and he did it by being that rarest of things in politics: a humble human being.

His opening ad-lib quieting thunderous applause – “It’s still just me” – should be an instructional moment in public behavior in our celebrity culture. Can you imagine Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Barack Obama or even, alas, Sarah Palin saying such a thing with the authenticity Boehner clearly had at such a moment?

I’ve had occasion a few times recently to go back and revisit my piece in American Thinker during the election of 2008 on then-candidate Obama’s ego. After reading about Boehner’s humility-laden speech and approach as described by Simon, it reminded me again about this particular part:

A campaign willing to showcase this large an ego without any evidence of modesty or shame is underway. Obama's last gasp effort at combating the notion that he considers himself more highly than he ought came in his victory speech in St. Paul upon securing enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination:

"The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility."

Give Obama points for associating himself with the word "profound" while seeming to claim humility.

But even that humility lasted all of a few seconds, when he quickly shed it with this:

"I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when...the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

A man who brags that his humility is profound is not humble. A man who claims certainty that his nomination is the moment when the entire planet will begin healing is not humble.

Boehner, on the other hand, didn’t talk about himself being humble. Genuinely humble people rarely do. Boehner simply spoke humbly. Falsely humble people rarely do.

There are those who might claim that Boehner is the rare person to do so. And since he's a politician, I'm willing to evaluate Boehner according to his actions going forward, rather than drawing conclusions at this pont.

But as for Obama, the conclusions I may have prematurely arrived at during the campaign have since been judged correct by his actions over the past two years as president.

13 comments:

  1. The Left doesn't do humility. It's not part of their makeup. See Pelosi, Obama, Reid, Rahm, Grayson, etc.

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  2. Reminds me of this quote from Bullwinkle moose (From Whatsamatta U): "Humble thats me! Mr. Modesty! When it come to humility, I'm the Greatest!"

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  3. To quiet the thunderous applause when President Ford addressed Congress for the first time, he said "Please, I'm a Ford not a Lincoln."
    In contrast, Obama associated himself with Lincoln at every opportunity even before he was sworn in.
    Humility is as humility does.

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  4. Just plain excellent,hit.

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  5. I think of Bullwinkle doing his magic trick whenever 0 claims that some policy/legislation will actually do something *good* for America. Then I hear Rocky say, "That trick *never* works!"

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  6. The Left can't do humility. You must continually assert your inherent superiority to justify your insistence on running the lives of over 300 million people.

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  7. Nice refreshing change, "change" I like and look forward to.

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  8. Well, I'm proud of my humility. I'm the humblest person I know. Of course, I have a whole lot more to be humble about than the louts I'm unfortunately forced to associate with.

    "Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble,
    When you're perfect in every way.
    I can't wait to wake up each morning,
    I get better looking each day."

    "To know me is to love me,
    I must be a helluva man.
    Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble,
    but I'm doin' the best that I can."

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  9. Humble or stumble.
    ========

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  10. A nun told me in third grade:
    The funny thing about humility:
    The moment you know you have it...you've lost it

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  11. The Parable of the Pharisee and
    the Tax Collector, including the
    Pharisee'e prayer:
    God, I thank thee, that I am not
    as other men are,
    http://nlt.scripturetext.com/luke/18.htm

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  12. I have written an outstanding blog post about how humble I am, but I am waiting until I have more readers to post it.

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  13. I think you may want to get a facebook icon to your blog. I just bookmarked this url, but I had to complete this manually. Simply my 2 cents.

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