Obama is the Black Knight of American politics.
Wait…was that racist?
These days, it probably is – but I speak of another of the bravest and the finest knights in the land.
For those of you who do not know who the Black Knight is, in the 1975 Monty Python classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in his quest for the Holy Grail, King Arthur crosses paths – and swords – with the “invincible” Black Knight. Needless to say, the ensuing battle goes not well for the “invincible” Sir Knight and as Arthur chops off each appendage, the Black Knight sinks deeper and deeper in denial of the reality of his situation.
Here’s a little taste of the dialog – Arthur speaks after slicing one of the Black Knight’s arms off:
King Arthur: Now stand aside, worthy adversary.
Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch.
King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm’s off.
Black Knight: No it isn’t.
King Arthur: What’s that, then?
Black Knight: [after a pause] I’ve had worse.
King Arthur: You liar.
Black Knight: Come on ya pansy.
Eventually, the Black Knight ends up as an armless, legless torso.
What makes this so comical is the outright absurdity of the situation. It depends on the audience knowing that the scene has no basis in reality, that it creates a condition that could never exist in the real world. Even as Arthur walks away in disbelief and disgust, the limbless Black Knight is still alive, still taunting the King of the Britons:
Black Knight: All right, we’ll call it a draw.
King Arthur: [Preparing to leave] Come, Patsy.
[King Arthur and Patsy ride off]
Black Knight: [calling after King Arthur] Oh, oh, I see! Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to you! I’ll bite your legs off!
In the movie business, the acceptance of such a plot device by the audience is called the “suspension of disbelief”. According to Wikipedia, this is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative
Politicians have made use of this device ever since there were politicians. We have come to expect them to lie, to shade the truth to create a narrative that is advantageous to their own agenda but the progressives of today have pulled a Nigel Tufnel and cranked this one all the way up to 11. In the Black Knight scene, the audience is asked to ignore human physiology and accept that the Black Knight could continue to fight without arms and legs but the greater absurdity is that we are asked to deny his denial of reality and the impossible situation that process creates.
Actually, the entire progressive movement has become the embodiment of that Monty Python creation because this is exactly what President Obama and his Merry Progressive Top Men are expecting of America. We are to stand by and watch as each limb is severed from our national body while Obama shouts at tyrants like Putin from the 13th green that he will “bite your legs off!”
Domestic economic policy failures: “Tis but a scratch!”
Foreign policy failures: “I’ve had worse.”
Immigration enforcement failure: “It’s just a flesh wound!”
Destruction of personal liberty: “Right, I’ll do you for that!”
But America is no movie. We can’t just get up and leave after the show is over – because this is reality. There are no plot devices in reality, no suspension of disbelief.
When we hear people like Nancy Pelosi call Hamas a “humanitarian organization”, when Harry Reid spews his vitriol about an impeachment nobody is talking about or anything about the Koch brothers, when Hillary Clinton or John Kerry are called successes, when Democrats go out and clearly lie about Republicans or their own historical actions (“We never tried to impeach Bush,” says Democratic lawmaker who cosponsored articles of impeachment against Bush.) and when a President stands in front of the American people and for years and personally tells lies about keeping your doctor or your plan and we accept all of it as the audience accepted the Black Knight’s reality, we are in deep, deep trouble.
In the end, King Arthur defeated the “invincible” Black Knight in physical combat but his true victory was in dismissing Sir Knight’s unreality and riding away. We have such an opportunity in November of this year.
Like King Arthur, it is time for us to say. “Look, you stupid bastard. You’ve got no arms left!”
Cue the coconuts.