I rarely if ever comment on politics, public life or even the crypto-fascism seeping into our Republican presidential discourse or radicals in Congress posturing as conservatives. My world is literature and writing fiction, which offers salvation from alienation through an alliance of reader, character and author. But as a voter since 1968, I now recognize in the past two presidencies, Obama and Bush Redux, the worst stewardship and good faith in the office in a century—since Warren G Harding, 1920-1924. I’ll leave the sly mendacity of G.W. Bush to a wider embrace of history; Obama, however, is a fresh toxin which cannot be ignored: His vapid lack of compassion for France is obscene, almost as derelict of duty as his reckless appeasement of Iran. And I voted for him twice, our hapless Aristotle.