In honor of the recent Cabinet confirmations of John Kerry, Jack Lew, and Chuck Hagel, it becomes apparent that Churchill’s famous remark about Ramsey MacDonald as “the boneless wonder” is for once inadequate to the moment: Obama has installed an entire boneless chicken farm. To do full justice to the complete mediocrity that is Obama’s second term, we’ll need to roll out the entire repertoire of Churchill’s dismissals of MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, Clement Attlee, and Aneurin Bevan—all of which are a perfect fit for the Great O and his team of tiny toy men:
About MacDonald (in 1933):
We know that he has, more than any other man, the gift of compressing the largest number of words into the smallest amount of thought. . . On the whole his four years of control of our foreign relations have brought us nearer to war, and have made us weaker, poorer and more defenseless . . .
About Attlee (post-war):
Mr. Attlee combines a limited outlook with strong qualities of resistance. . . He is too wise [to go to Moscow]. He dare not absent himself from his Cabinet at home. He knows full well that when the mouse is away the cats will play.
About Bevan (1946):
There is however poetic justice in the fact that the most mischievous political mouth in wartime has also become, in peace, the most remarkable administrative failure.
About Baldwin (1936):
Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
And this bit about Chamberlain, from early 1938, applies perfectly to Obama:
When we have the Prime Minister here, what is the good of worrying about the Foreign Secretary? What is the point of crying out for the moon when you have the sun, when you have the bright orb of day in whose refulgent beams all the lesser luminaries hide their radiance?
Like I say, an entire boneless chicken farm is in place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Hat tip, as always, to Richard Langworth’s indispensable Churchill quote collection.