The Gospel Truth

When Sally Field Flew Over the White House | November 1, 2012

I always felt sorry for Gary Burghoff.

He’s the actor who will always be affectionately known to the public as Radar O’Reilly, the gnome-like character with telepathic attributes on the 13-year run M.A.S.H. years ago.

The same might be said of pixy actress, Sally Field, who for a few years played the imaginary role of the Flying Nun.

While she had a more productive career after she put away her wings–winning Academy Awards for Norma Rae in 1979 and Places in the Heart in 1984, it was as the Sister Bertrille that she first captivated the imagination and the affections of the American people.

Flying nun 1968.JPG

First time America really liked her

I must admit some of those headpieces–the heavily starched cornettes that her Daughters of Charity wore—looked aerodynamic.

Ms. Field was also an accomplished actress, not counting her role as Forrest Gump’s mother, was best known for her statement on receiving her 2nd Academy Award when she said in quaint amazement…You like me...You really like me!!!”

This is actually a misquote that even Field has come to parody over the years.

To me that raises the question as to what makes a public figure likable?

It also raises an auxiliary question about how necessary being likable is to being an effective public servant or in the case of President Barack Obama, President of the United States?

I will also tack on another auxiliary question that stretches my incredulity…just what is so likable about this president?

Is it because more people compare him to a rock star than a leader of nations?

Is it because he’s great at frolicking with the likes of Letterman, Leno and Jon Stewart?

Two great entertainers

How does help him the leaders of Russia, Israel and Saudi Arabia?

Did the Queen faint in some sort of girlish swoon?

I really don’t understand why so many people like him!

I wish someone would explain his popularity to me.

To date I have read about 10-12 books about him.

Granted most of them were negative but they did try to fill in the enormous gaps in his personal narrative, especially David Maraniss’ favorable portrait of his families, adolescence, travels and the people he went to school with.

One curious fact that was rather strange–Obama was the only member of his high basketball team at Punahou, who could only dunk a donut.

Barack Obama was a reserve on the 1979 Punahou state championship basketball team.

Only donuts

I guess that’s what happens from being a haga–a biracial child.

White men can’t jump.

As friendly as Maraniss’ book was, the Obama in it comes out as distant, disconnected, almost to the point of being aloof.

His personal distance from other people was founded, not on a native shyness but on a supercilious attitude of being above the din on an intellectual and a human level.

He was then and still is today living behind an impenetrable facade that shields his real persona from the American people and maybe many of the people around him.

On the campaign trail he adopts the characteristics, including the argot of the people so that they may think that he is one of them and because he can speak their language he understands their needs and their fears.

To me it seems all pretense…like a big act and that he is the lone voice of salvation on a stage with and adoring crowd waiting for his next verbal sanctified proclamation.

He never seemed to be the life of the party even as a teenager.

I see little of his ability to be folksy, entertaining or even charismatic.

His family in Kenya were from the Luo tribe, outsiders to the dominant tribe.

Descendants of the Luo tribe

Columnist Peggy Noonan recently emphasized his dependence on his ubiquitous teleprompter, which acts both as a shield from the public and as a security blanket that prevents the real Obama from oozing out.

She called it his umbilical cord that provided nourishment for him.

She also wrote that Obama did so poorly in the three debates–I would also throw in the Al Smith charity dinner in New York City before the third debate— because he could not keep his real nature from exposing itself on a stage that he had to share with his formidable opponent, Mitt Romney.

Obama exposed his real self

While Romney always looked more presidential and even charming, Obama could not hide his contempt for the former governor and everything he stands for.

It was as if Obama resented Romney or anyone else for having the effrontery to even challenge him for the office he was destined to change beyond recognition.

The disdain was obvious in all the debates.

Attacking Romney’s veracity, his character, his business acumen, his ability to think have been the staples of Obama’s road to re-election.

I will cite his recent interview in the Village Voice to demonstrate how Obama holds Romney in profane contempt by calling him a…if you please excuse the expression a bullshitter.

Now that expression has become standard at college football games, conversation usually between men and sometimes Obama girls, who need their prescriptions filled on the house…the White House.

But I don’t think there ever has been another example of a sitting president using such an expletive with relation to a fellow candidate whose only crime is having dared to challenge his reign.

Maybe LBJ did but I can’t think of any–there was that quote that he once told his advisers that Gerry Ford could not walk and …at the same time.

But I don’t think that was to any reporter who was interviewing him.

Harry Truman did threaten to rearrange  Washington Post music Critic Paul Hume’s manhood for him.

Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!

This had nothing to do with politics…only his daughter Margaret’s professional reputation.

So this was a new level of contempt.

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney points to President Barack Obama during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Denver. Campaign 2012 is rich with images that conjure the seriousness and silliness that unfold side-by-side in any presidential race. The debates offered viewers a collage of images that traced the rhetorical highs and lows. Think of Obama's downcast eyes and pursed lips during the Romney smackdown that was the first debate. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Disdain for his Republican challenger

But it does go along way to show us the real Obama and he is not at all likable.

He made the above reference while talking about kids…all kids know a bull…. when they see one.

That’s a sick connection if you ask me.

I wouldn’t let him babysit my grandkids as much as I would let Bill Clinton hang around my wife.

Noonan also quoted at length from Bob Woodward’s largely ignored book on Obama, The Price of Politics, which describes the president as someone who is over his head, out of his depth and wholly unaware of the fact…  Woodward paints Obama as not quite a nutty professor but closer to one who is absent-minded as to what it is he is supposed to be doing.

This rock star of a president is used to being catered to…told he is some kind genius…a royalty of intellectuals and nuanced-thinkers.

It sounds as if he believes his own rhetorical hype.

As for getting along with Congress, Obama misread Republicans since he reminded them that “hey I won the election”  and you didn’t.

Speaker John Boehner hates to go to the White House because of the president’s affinity for lecturing people from behind his teleprompter, which must substitute for any real thinking on his part.

What we have seen lately from the president is really what we have gotten the past four years…only most people never knew it…only those around the president.

Now the world knows what a small person he is…deeply flawed as much if not more than most men.

This is not a nice man…let alone a likable one.

Stop lecturing…please!

What he needs and quickly is for Sally Field to take out her cornette from its storage…hit it with some starch and fly a few laps around the White House, sprinkling angel dust as she goes by.

I just hope the Secret Service doesn’t shoot her down.


1 Comment »

  1. Excellent. I think people who “like” him are blinded and ignorant. Or else they like the “handouts” and want them to keep coming. God help America. pzx

    Comment by Mary B. Lachney — November 1, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at







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