Obama and Billy Budd

By Eileen F. Toplansky / August 7, 2014 / American Thinker

In Herman Melville’s classic story “Billy Budd,” the narrator ponders what could be the matter with the master-at-arms “who has an animus toward the young seaman known as Billy Budd.”  Therein ensues a discussion about “natural depravity: a depravity according to nature.”  Thus, “one who has this natural depravity can be described as having an

…even temper and discreet bearing [which] would seem to intimate a mind peculiarly subject to the law of reason, not the less in heart he would seem to riot in complete exemption from that law, having apparently little to do with reason [other] than to employ it as an ambidexter [deceitful method of pretending to be rational, but actually double dealing] … for effecting the irrational.


…toward the accomplishment of an aim which in wantonness of atrocity would seem to partake of the insane, he will direct a cool judgment sagacious and

sound.  These men are madmen, and of the most dangerous sort, for their lunacy is not continuous, but occasional, evoked by some special object;  it is protectively secretive, which is as much as to say it is self contained, so that when, moreover most active it is to the average mind not distinguishable from sanity, and for the reason above suggested: that whatever [its] aims may be–and the aim is never declared–the method and the outward proceeding are always perfectly rational.

The narrator ends this philosophizing with the caveat that this “mania of an evil nature, not engendered by vicious training or corrupting books or licentious living, but born with him and innate, [is] in short ‘a depravity according to nature.'”

Does this “natural depravity” describe Barack Hussein Obama?  Repeatedly, the notion that there is something wrong with Obama emerges among those who attempt to analyze this man.  His claim that “we [were] only five days away from transforming America” never actually spelled out what this transformation would look like.  His assertion of being the most transparent administration is another empty and unmet promise.  Like a snake, he slithers into comfortable camouflage as he and “his team have always had an allergic reaction to being placed on an ideological spectrum with any more precision than that he is a pragmatic progressive.”

Obama and his slavish media pride themselves on presenting him as “cool.”  He will not be brought down by any such negative virtue as drinking too much; and certainly scandals that bring to mind Clinton’s dalliances would never be part of Obama’s playbook.  In short, “the depravity here meant partakes nothing of the sordid or sensual” as Melville’s narrator explains.  Even Obama’s days of drugs and partying are casually shrugged away as being “hip” back in the day.

We are told that Obama is a constitutional scholar — thus a man who studied American law and taught it at the University of Chicago, yet, repeatedly, he feels he is in “complete exemption from that law.”  He changes the law, massages it to his whim, and feels no shame about his lawlessness.

So for the record:

It is irrational to flood the American border to the medical, social, and financial detriment of Americans.  It is irrational to allow people to enter the country with diseases that American doctors have long ago vanquished but which will now overwhelm hospitals and medical personnel.  It is a cynical political move and is meant to wound America.

It is irrational to have a health care system that hurts 80% of the population while allegedly assisting 20%.  Obamacare was birthed in deceit and was never meant to give people better health care choices.  And the full brunt of this monstrosity has yet to be felt.

It is irrational to saddle America with debt that will take years to pay off.  It is, furthermore, unconscionable to the next generation who will have to deal with this morass deliberately foisted upon them.

It is irrational to side with known terrorists and to alienate allies. Clearly, Obama “is busy ushering America’s adversaries into positions of power in the Middle East” and this country will pay mightily for this dereliction of duty by the Commander in Chief.

It is irrational to support in any way, shape, or form the perpetrators of suicide bombing and the “I love death more than life” ideology.  It goes against human nature. One would be hard pressed to find a more “wantonness of atrocity.” Yet Hamas continues to receive Obama’s beneficence by way of American tax payer dollars.

It is irrational to put America at danger by weakening her ability to defend herself against people who promise to blow the country to smithereens.

It is irrational to permit able-bodied people to swell the ranks of disability rolls — how did America suddenly wind up with so many disabled people?  It is unseemly to suggest that able-bodied people are incapable of working. A leader who truly cares about his people does not infantilize them — he tries to create opportunities and to resurrect their morale.

Yet, this man’s “outward proceedings are always perfectly rational.”  Who could argue with Obama’s notion of the compassion of the greatest country on earth? Who cannot be sympathetic when shown pictures of little children?  But the context is missing.

As Mark Levin has said, immigrants in the past had to demonstrate that they did not have illnesses, would be sponsored by someone, and that they would contribute to America, not be a drain on the country.  But not so for Obama.

His ulterior motives never see the light.  Instead we are given the dazzling smile and the jaunty bounce off the steps of Air Force One.  He uses self-deprecating humor to deflect his opponents, often catching them off guard.  And because they cannot actually comprehend such malignant “depravity” from this man, far too many Americans are still not linguistically able or factually prepared to call Obama out on his spin and outright lies.  It is still taking too long for Americans to see through the mask of this man, so well versed is he in appearing “sagacious and sound.”  By golly, he even made an engaging appeal on his birthday!

Notice also that the very things that Obama accuses Americans and/or Republicans of doing (which they are not), are the very things that Obama does. The constant name-calling and charges of racism are an integral part of this man.   Instead of hammering away at his bizarre claims and deception, Americans begin to doubt themselves and their own rationality.

Who does Obama despise?  It is not one particular person; it is the embodiment of the American people.  From those who “cling to their guns and Bibles” to those who wish to express opinions at variance with his, this man hates the freedom, the sense of space and opportunity that has always marked the American spirit.  As hard as it may be to accept, his hatred for this country and its values is deep and profound.

One could counter that Obama had “vicious training [and] corrupting books,” so his malignant nature may not stem from the “natural depravity” that Melville describes. Clearly, his mentors were communist and antisemitic in nature and his first ten years were spent marinating in an Islamic culture. If he came to the States when he was ten, he still should have received some American-oriented education.  It would only be when he hit high school and college that the leftist ideology took complete hold of higher education.  Then, clearly, he was in the center of the upending of American education during those tumultuous times.  Certainly this is true but how is it that he gravitated so obligingly to this ideology?

In his Nichomachean Ethics “On Political Justice”, Aristotle maintains that “[p]olitical justice means justice as between free and (actually or proportionately) equal persons, living a common life for the purpose of satisfying their needs.  Hence between people not free and equal, political justice cannot exist.”[1]  And “when there is no law, there is only whim and force.” As Obama continues to hack away at the Constitution, break the law, and force us to abide by his wishes, we lose our freedom.

Does Melville’s description of  “natural depravity” fit Obama? Does it shed light on the “mystery of iniquity” of this man?  If so, rational discussions, threats of a lawsuit, censure, and/or impeachment will never have an impact on him. From such a mindset, we will never see a change of heart, since his moral gyroscope stems from a different source than most would consider rational. Alan Caruba asserts that Obama’s “job as chief law enforcer has become one of incompetent madness or chief lawbreaker.”

It is galling and infuriating and there is no quick end in sight.  Perhaps understanding this, though, will finally unite a majority of Americans to fight for their country knowing that their President will undermine them at every turn.

Actually, in some ways it is quite liberating to comprehend this facet of Obama.  Then we can stop wasting time in trying to change his mind and instead work purposefully towards ending his ruination of this country.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com

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