Barack Obama: America’s Greatest President Ever?

I always try to adhere to the sage wisdom never to discuss politics in the workplace, especially with one’s opposite-minded supervisor.

My supervisor is indeed of an opposite mind from me. For example, he once referred to Barack Obama, with utmost solemnity and not the faintest trace of humor, as “the savior of this republic.”

Obviously, to argue with someone against whom he views to be a savior will in almost all circumstances be a fruitless debate, which is the other reason I avoid politics in the workplace like I avoid sharing confined, poorly ventilated spaces with Occupy protesters.

My boss, who is either 69 or 70, is really a terrific man at heart. Back in March, I had to put one of my dogs down, but I did not have the roughly $400 to do so. I asked my boss if I could have an advance on my next paycheck, but he did me one better: he loaned me his own money, a hundred bucks more than I needed, and he told me I could pay him back a little bit at a time in payments the amounts of which were my choosing. He was fine with my paying him $50 from each of my paychecks until it was all paid out. And he is a patriot (though obviously a terribly misguided one), always being respectful of the military and having served, himself, in Vietnam. A better boss could not be asked for.

But today at work the topic of politics was again brought up, by my boss, as is invariably the case. He wanted to know what I think will happen with this “fiscal cliff,” a rhetorical term used by those who have no creative imagery of their own to assign to the expiration of the current tax rate. I told him that a compromise will undoubtedly, if unfortunately, be met, and that when the stuff hits the fan in 2013 and 2014, Republicans will be blamed by that branch of the Democratic Party known deceptively as the news media since, as the tale will be told, the Democrats compromised too much with the Republicans and it is those compromises with Republican policies that brought us to disaster. (This is one reason I say the Republicans should back off, vote “present,” and let the Democrats have their way 100 percent, thus forcing ownership of the impending economic recession squarely on Democrats’ shoulders.)

My boss, in our conversation today, said another thing on absurdity-par with his “savior” comment.

“One hundred years from now,” he said, “history will see 2003 and the invasion of Iraq as the turning point that caused America to decline, and historians will see Barack Obama as one of history’s greatest, if not the greatest, president.”

In other words, Barack Obama was such a great president that he was unable to do anything to save America from its decline. According to my boss’s own scenario, Obama will have been as inconsequential and unremarkable as Gerald Ford. This is the standard by which he judges historical leaders.

I can only hope that one of the super powers bequeathed to us in the afterlife is omniscience so that my boss will realize in death just how delusional he was in life.