At the Bunch of Grapes bookstore on Martha’s Vineyard, the sojourning President Obama bought a few books, including “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. It was for his daughter, but it may have also conjured a sweet memory for the beleaguered president. Only a couple of years ago, when he was campaigning, Obama inspired comparisons with the noble lawyer Atticus Finch.
Now, after flipping about on some hot-button issues, most recently the plan for an Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero, he’s more likely to be painted by disillusioned supporters as Atticus Flinch.
The bookstore gave the president a copy of “Freedom,” a new novel by Jonathan Franzen about a dysfunctional family in America. This is apt, since Obama is the head of the dysfunctional family of America — a rational man running a most irrational nation, a high-minded man in a low-minded age.