January 29, 2009

Wrong About Obama

obama esquire.JPG



The most dangerous case of buyer's remorse in history.




I hesitate to write this.  Honi soit qui mal y pense.  But I fear someone has to.

I.

That Obama would win wasn't a surprise.  That people would feel a sense of history and, well, hope, was to be expected; indeed, that was the point of it all.

But instead of the typical, "good game, guys" and hand shakes all around,  I watched in amazement as my country went completely insane, on international TV, for everyone to see.

I watched as the media dispensed with any pretense of impartiality.  It was as if they were covering the Olympics, America vs. Russia, and the clock was ticking down  5...4...3...2...  "Obama's going to win!  Obama's going to win!  We're about to make history!"

MSNBC's Keith Oberman plunged headfirst into sycophancy, cheering how great a day it was for African-Americans.  "We did it!"  Really?

Even CNBC reporters, who had all year made it clear they weren't voting for Obama, joined the other stations in blathering about a new age in history.  You are familiar with the platitudes, I hardly need repeat them.

Victory celebrations are fine, but am I mistaken that 40% of the country did not vote for him?  And that at least a sizable minority of those people do not believe we are now at a new dawn in history?  Did these people suddenly evaporate? 

That a black man has been elected President is a testament to the power of the nation, yes, I get it.  But there's a certain oppressive feeling about it all, as if that mere fact precludes any dissent; as if to feel that this is anything other than a cultural reawakening of America is an outright violation of human rights.   

There is an almost complete sense of the moral rightness of the win, as if the 40% of the electorate that didn't vote for him are anyway thrilled with the outcome of the election.  60% win may be a landslide, but it's still an F.  It's not something you tape to the refrigerator.


II.

"But so what, let them gloat a while, as long as he does the right thing..."

Let me be clear that there is more here than simply "our candidate won."  This is the belief that everything is different now. 

The problem is with two terms: "them" and "right things."  Without taking a side, at least accept that there are a lot of "thems" and a lot of "right things"-- all of which have their Hopes for Change in Obama.

What is different form other presidencies is that a number of people expect a number of things-- and these things are often contradictory. 

Millions of people are not going to be just disappointed, they are going to feel tricked.

A vote for Change-- what if nothing changes?  What if the Bilderbergers and ex- Carter administration people bring nothing but More Of The Same AND Less Of Everything?  Do you say, "well, I guess that didn't go as planned" or do you become so jaded about the political process that your anger turns generalized?  Paranoid?

Remember, this wasn't John Kerry, the man chosen because he was supposedly more palatable than Howard Dean; this was everyone's first choice, this is exactly the guy they wanted, with completely rational expectations that he was going to at least attempt to deliver. 

But-- sit down, think about this for a minute-- what happens if he fails?  Not fails in his attempts, but fails to attempt the things everyone expects him to accomplish?  What if he succeeds in doing the opposite of what you thought he would attempt?

How long before people move away from scapegoats, and attack the system that (they believe) uses them, tricks them,  tricked everyone into accepting Barack Obama, figurehead, so the "powers that be" can go on with their plans?

Hating George Bush was a popular pastime, and often took the form, "if only he weren't President..."   How long before we decide that it's the system that's the problem?  Then what?

III.

This isn't a case of unrealistic expectations.   These are expectations which deliberately ignore reality.   The Economist, in its post election article "Great Expectations," actually wrote:

Mr Obama will not take office until January 20th, but he can use the next ten weeks well. A good start would be to announce that he will offer jobs to a few Republicans.
Really?  Could the writers of one of the most important periodicals actually believe this is a possibility?  There had to be deep back room deals just to get Clinton people on his team.  Old guard Democrats follow him everywhere.  Really, Republicans?  But not just Republicans:

Mr Obama might even find a non-executive role for John McCain, with whom he agrees on many things...
This is slightly less probably than Obama appointing Daleks to his cabinet, but the crucial issue is whether The Economist understands that its Great Expectations for Obama are exactly the opposite of the great expectations of a lot of the people who voted for him? 

People voted for Bush for a variety of reasons, but any two Bush supporters, while differeing in what they wanted him to do, did not have a different expectation of what Bush would try to do.  When Bush said he was going to keep Guantanamo open, we expected him to try to keep Guantanamo open.  He did not try to close Guantanamo-- and no one expected him to.

These aren't unrealistic expectations, they're both perfectly realistic.  What they are, however, is incompatible.


IV.

Don't listen to opinion polls that say 78% approve of Obama: the hatred on the Right is already seething.  They'll not admit it, they'll avoid the topic altogether except amongst themselves, in hushed tones, always looking over their shoulder, cognizant that they are surrounded by enemies.

If they hated Obama, it wouldn't matter.  They don't hate Obama. 

The day after the election, Elizabeth Wurtzel wrote an op-ed inthe WSJ-- let me repeat that, the WSJ-- which began, "I must admit, I cried.  I'm not perfectly sure why, but of course I was overjoyed."

Well, if she's not sure why she cried, it's going to be hard for half the country that didn't vote for him to know either.  But I'll grant that the author of Prozac Nation may indeed have been so moved.  "America itself," she writes, "which is a menagerie of mutts, has been a mightier nation for its diversity."

All fine sentiments which can be used to pad any college essay.  The problem for her, for the WSJ, and for all of us, is that the sentence she wrote immediately preceding that one is this:

Most of the multiracial people I know seem more beautiful and talented than those of us boring folks who are just one dull thing.
When you write that in the WSJ, when you expect people to understand it, to agree with it-- when you ask people not simply to accept all races and cultures but to tacitly admit that yours is inferior, you are courting disaster.

They don't hate Obama, they hate Obama supporters. 

V.

When a person heaps expectations and impulses on a person they don't really know well, in psychiatry it is called transference.  When multiply diverse groups heap contradictory expectations and impulses on a person they don't know well, that's celebrity.  They're the same process.

Obama's a celebrity, all right, I wonder if anyone has considered that this is not an entirely desirable role for a President.  America has a love-hate relationship with all their other celebrities, why should this one end differently?  Bill Clinton was the last celebrity President, a tenth of Obama, and you know what they did with him.  And then they traded him for George Bush. 

"But the celebrity's an accident, he didn't deliberately set out to become one." 

I'm not so sure.   In this culture being a celebrity counts for a lot, as long as you are a celebrity we are willing to tolerate all sorts of nonsense, from nightvision sex tapes to Scientology to adopting 19 kids.  We may even ultimately hate you, but if you say, "buy this," we do-- and on credit, of course.  Celebrity and consumption are two sides of the same coin, and neither should be the purview of a President.  Even if he didn't ask for celebrity, by accepting it he is following a dangerous narrative, one that allows the inclusion of this sentence in Entertainment Weekly, delivered with no irony whatsoever:

...but Obama was speaking to voters in a visual language they totally got: the celebrity-saturated shorthand of 21st-century consumerism.

Right.  Here's $10.  Keep the Change.

Left of left magazine Mother Jones attempted to make a similar point in "The Audacity of Hype?" the idea being that his hype is overwhelming (and detrimental.)  But other progressives would not tolerate such questioning from their own ranks, despite the fact that both sides really were arguing that there was more to Obama than just hype. (1)

I'll admit that hype doesn't automatically mean there's no substance at all; it means that there is so much commotion it's hard to see what that substance is.




ew obama.JPG



But it's hard to make the case that Obama isn't hype when his own supporters--  I think I can safely assume Entertainment Weekly counts among them-- try their best to make him into hype.  This is a distraction; the result is that you don't know who he really is, and you are inevitably surprised when you find out.

VI.

I can see that the celebrity is a type of celebration, but there are consequences: it drives the 40% that didn't vote for him completely bananas.  I don't mean "I hate the monkey fascist George Bush" bananas, either.   People will disagree with me on this, but they're wrong-- this hype is more divisive than nearly anything George Bush has done.

Much of what Bush did conveyed the perception that he didn't care about your opinon, he answered only to himself and rubbed your nose in it. That made a lot of people hate him.  The problem with these Obama covers and articles is that it is a whole half a nation saying, "in your face!" which makes people hate them.

Remember the flap about The New Yorker cover that showed Barack and Michelle in Taliban garb, doing the fist bump?  That was irony, and it still made some liberals angry.  But when you make this cover, with no irony at all


obama as washington.JPG



it makes people hate the people who voted for Obama.  And if you do not believe this, then you are the one they hate.


VI.

The other problem with celebrity is it works only because it is lots of things to lots of people; it's rare to find a celebrity who is something all the time; those static celebrities we tire of quickly.  Celebrity requires constant reinvention of oneself-- that's why most celebrities are actors or musicians.  And yet, a constant refrain from exasperated celebrities: "but that's not really me!"  Well, what did you expect when you posed for Entertainment Weekly?

It is still astonishing that a country with out history of slavery could elect a biracial man who identifies himself as African-American.
Unlike Ms. Wurtzel, I'm not going to pretend to know what Obama is or is not; but I think it's  axiomatic that how you choose to identify yourself has little to do with it.  Things are, or things are not.

But not for so many who want him to be so many things.  Unfortunately for them, eventually he'll have to be himself, and whatever that is, people will be surprised by it.  And won't like it.  Honeymoon's over: here's me pooping.

I earlier wondered how an Obama Presidency would alter race relations in the country, perhaps away from race as the dividing characteristic and towards class.  I think I was wrong.  That was an outrageously optimistic prediction made because I bought into the hype.  What happens as unrealistic expectations are dashed? 

Here's a prediction for you, put it in your calendar: within one year, people will be saying Obama isn't really black.  Here, Leno, I'll even write the joke for you: "... American's first and only black President, Bill Clinton."  Call me.

VII. 

The hyping of the Obamyth has consequences for the next election as well.     Republicans are likely to come out to vote in droves-- think Newt Gingrich in 1994.  Liberals, if disappointed, probably won't vote Republican-- they're simply not going to vote at all.  That means a Republican win by a larger margin. 

If we're lucky, it'll play out calmly.  But the divisiveness of the Celebration of The Obamyth is not to be underestimated, it is making a lot of people very angry, a lot of people who you hear almost nothing about at all-- it's as if they don't exist.  But they're there, the new disenfranchised, even if Time Magazine tells you they aren't.  They won't take up arms, surely, but neither do bees, and it's still probably best not to taunt them.

Meanwhile, the contradictory expectations of so many of his supporters will inevitably result in some groups feeling duped.  Not disappointed.  Duped.   At minimum they pull away from the political process, at maximum they riot.

That seems unlikely to you?  America's too big to fail?  Spain had to put down some violent protests just last week.  France is "a social bomb waiting to explode."  And Greece was on fire a month ago.  Are these third world puppet states?

It would be a mistake to think these riots happened because their leaders didn't get them what they wanted.  That's only what made them angry.  They became violent because they believed the system-- not Sarkozy or Zapatero or George W. Bush, but the system-- was not listening to them.  If the already disenfranchised whom Obama collected under his umbrella later feel spurned or tricked-- look out.

Obama reportedly hopes to fashion himself after Abraham Lincoln.  It would be worthwhile to emphasize that Lincoln's great accomplishment was not freeing the slaves or the Homestead Act but doing whatever it took to keep the republic together, at any cost-- even if it compromised some of his own particular beliefs.
 
Please,  Mr. Obama, now that you've won the election, take my advice.  If you get invited to the Oscars, politely decline.  And if Vanity Fair wants to put you on the cover, the correct answer is no.

---------------------------

The other post: The Wrong Lessons Of Iraq


1.  Ahh, but isn't Mother Jones really playing the meta card, sending a Manchurian Candidtate  propaganda to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk: "we, the leftie communists at MoJo, aren't really happy with this fake progressive, he's not really that progressive..." making him more palatable to the right?--- Who knows?  But doesn't that just support the contention that no one even cares what Obama is, just what he can be identified as?)






Comments

Hope and empowerment are ne... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2009 8:08 PM | Posted by ascii: | Reply

Hope and empowerment are necessary for individuals who wish to participate in change but have felt confined. Fear of reprisal is likewise necessary to induce change from those who prioritize self over community.

All types of people must be motivated in order to pull off change in the magnitude Obama proselytizes.

If this "unreasonable" buoyancy is necessary, then I must support it by promulgating it, regardless of Obama's intent or efficacy. If this time doesn't work then I _will_ believe again, or personally work to change that in which I have no faith.

History will judge each of us on what we did with our responsibilities.

(I didn't vote for Obama. And I only speak for my own beliefs.)

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Nobody's angry. We're just... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2009 8:10 PM | Posted by Common Reader: | Reply

Nobody's angry. We're just baffled and waiting for the drugs to wear off everyone.

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This is one of your very be... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2009 8:45 PM | Posted by Steve : | Reply

This is one of your very best posts.

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With regards to the New Yor... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2009 8:55 PM | Posted by Joshua: | Reply

With regards to the New Yorker cover, I saw an image recently with Obama's face painted over an image of Abraham Lincoln and it ticked me off. And I voted for the guy. I also voted for him even though beforehand he has voted for legislation that ticks me off, but that's going to be par for the course for pretty much anyone I could vote for. I also have issues with how Biden has handled copyright law, gun control, and only getting the RAVE act passed by tacking it onto the Amber Alert Bill, because few would opt for the political suicide of voting against the safety of children. Just like most other presidents of the last few decades, Obama is more likely than not going to leave office with less approval from the populace than when he entered.

Last year, I made a picture of him for the cover of a newsweekly that was his face as a cut-out paper mask. It was for a Pro-Obama article. A couple months later, a website wanted to use it for an article mocking him. I've found that it's the kind of an image that everyone seems to place their own meaning into. Fans of him say, "Hooray it's a picture of Obama! I like pictures of Obama because he's the best." Detractors say, "Neato... now there's a scary Halloween costume! I don't like pictures of Obama unless they are mocking him." And the mask has in a way become how I think too many people see him. They identify with him so much that they ignore everything about him as it applies to actually being president, and just focus on the fantastic celebrity aspect to the point of identifying with him a bit too much (something I've found myself guilty of a couple times). But too many also identify with him in thinking that everything he's going to promote and support will match what they want or need. And I agree that the shattering of that illusion is going to come as a harsh shock to many people. Many mock the early media portrayal of Bush as someone-you-can-have-a-beer-with-even-though-he-doesn't-drink but don't realize that the same thing is happening to them with regards to Obama. On the other hand, I don't think president as celebrity is anything new. The Kennedys come to mind. Not to mention how we like to elect movie stars of varying degrees of silver screen stardom to important public offices.

My hope (or Hope) is that four years from now, the country is not in a worse situation than it is now. Being a pessimist, this is not my expectation, just my hope. But this is my hope with any president, whether I voted for him or not.

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"Here's a prediction for yo... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2009 9:25 PM | Posted by noobradio: | Reply

"Here's a prediction for you: within one year, people will be saying Obama isn't really black."

...but he's not black. At least not black in the oppressed, impoverished way that matters. Obama is not a descendent of slaves. He's more immigrant, along the lines of the German/Irish/Czech/etc.

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Of course he's not black. H... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2009 9:29 PM | Posted by cjsavvy: | Reply

Of course he's not black. He's fucking colored.

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I was listening to the radi... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2009 10:15 PM | Posted by Fargo: | Reply

I was listening to the radio a while back when they ran some coverage about several groups that were stunned, or outraged, or similar, about something Mr. Obama did or failed to do and I have to say I was taken aback by the realization that it seemed like these political bodies were under the impression that he was going to float down upon D.C., wave his magic wand, and make exactly the world they envisioned, which naturally includes as much rubbing it in the face of conservatives as possible.

I do think he was the best candidate available, certainly better than McCain and homunculus, but expecting the governmental system to instantly transform is ridiculous. I do think some of this is to blame on a campaign that revolved around emphatic use of Change and Hope while laying out as few details as possible, but the vehemence with which every liberal, and probably a lot of moderate, groups took it to mean "Yes, exactly what I/we need/want" feels like it's some massive social delusion. Normally the sort of thing preceding a change from addressing the national leader as "Mr. President/Prime Minister" to "Yes General".

In my line of work I meet all kinds of people. A lot of them are Obama supporters, but I've heard some brilliantly blatant racism from a few of those that aren't. People talk like "whoo, glad racism is done", instead of the more realistic conclusion of "wow, bet the racists are pissed" and of course ignoring completely that not all racists are white. It's a twenty way street.

Yeah. Widespread frustration does seem quite likely, especially when the injection of almost a trillion more dollars into our economy doesn't yield immediate results. But rioting? Come on, it's not as if we ever set LA on fire, or had any racial tensions coming to a simmer in Ohio, or anything like that. This is America! We aren't uncivilized like the Greeks, we don't solve problems that may or may not really exist with violence.

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It's true that there' a lot... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2009 10:27 PM | Posted by Pete: | Reply

It's true that there' a lot of hype for Obama but I think that's excitement about the end of a disastrous Bush administration and excitement over the first black president. And of course every magazine put his face on the cover. It's just like Michael Phelps a few months ago but on a much grander scale.

But I think you're not giving people enough credit. Everyone knows that he's just a politician. He's already made quite a few of his supporters angry. And it's not like the disappointments will be complete or universal. He'll disappoint in some ways and be successful in others. Just like every president. People may lose faith in him but they won't lose faith in the system.

Think about it. If our faith in the system survived the 2000 election and a president who lost the popular vote, do you really think it can't survive another over hyped politician?

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I'm amused and infuriated b... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2009 11:52 PM | Posted by Dave Johnson: | Reply

I'm amused and infuriated by your post. There are so many errors in reasoning (!) and fact, it would take much more time than I'm willing to commit in order to address them.

Suffice to say: anyone who looks at political races needs to take in the fact this was a significantly larger victory than has been seen in quite some time. And let's just ignore those nasty little post-election charts which show just how massive the republican collapse was for the senate, house and in the state-level races. http://www.gallup.com/poll/114016/State-States-Political-Party-Affiliation.aspx

I can see why you'd really want to pay attention to MSNBC and Entertainment and Esquire. You won't be pasted by taking potshots in these pop media outlets.

Don't listen to opinion polls that say 78% approve of Obama: the hatred on the Right is already seething. They'll not admit it, they'll avoid the topic altogether except amongst themselves, in hushed tones, always looking over their shoulder, cognizant that they are surrounded by enemies.

Guess we'll leave out that whole Saltsman "Barack the Magic Negro" to Limbaugh's love letters:

They’re drinking the Kool- Aid, too. They have no guts to stand up for what their beliefs are because they’re afraid of criticism; they’re afraid of being called racists; they’re afraid of not having gotten with the program. So I shamelessly say, no, I want him to fail. …Why would I want socialism to succeed?

But hey, this is just a bigoted, right wing entertainer ... so ... let me add some political substance to this point, unlike so many of your pop psych diatribes: GOP Congressman Phil Gingrey of Georgia, after leveling some mild criticism at Newt, completely caves the next day, proffering this brown-nosed obeisance:

I’m telling you, I heard from quite a few of them (laughs) since my foot-and-mouth disease yesterday, and I just thank you so much for what you’re doing, and we’re with you 100 percent — and we know that you’re with us a hundred percent, more importantly.

More importantly, indeed. You cavil at journos jumping aboard a media bandwagon and blame Obama for not (somehow) stopping it. Pay more attention to actual politicians jumping on a media bandwagon. How high should Gingrey jump for Newt? Inquiring minds want to know, Alone.

One of my favorites in this testimonial to hackery?

Here's a prediction for you: within one year, people will be saying Obama isn't really black.

If it were exactly a year from now, you'd be THREE years late, Alone. It was almost two years ago that Ta-Nehisi Paul Coates, wrote a major piece for Time Magazine on Thursday, Feb. 01, 2007, exploring this phenomenon, as it was so widely being discussed. The title?

Is Obama Black Enough?

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1584736,00.html Almost exactly two years ago. Hells bells binky, that subject will always come up.

Finally, all the sturm und drang about hype, all the "concern-troll" talking points ... that's what really makes me smile. It's obvious this administration is much more organized in the service of country than the last. The transition team comparison is striking. Research it.

Hype? This is what Obama's done in the first week ... worked to pass an economic stimulus program that not one republican would sign. Not one. Even after 30% of it being tax cuts, even after chopping family planning. Not one. What else in "hype" land? Oh yes, the signing to close Guantanamo within a year. The signing of equal pay for equal work. The reversal of the rule prohibiting US money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote or provide abortion counselling/referrals.

Just try to get a republican to say these achievements are hype. If you can get them to stop frothing at the mouth. And hate? You want to talk about hate? Take a look at the tax policies and civil rights under the preceding administration. Now THAT'S hate. Institutionalized hate.

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Um, this post is rambling, ... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 12:01 AM | Posted by Marc: | Reply

Um, this post is rambling, lacks cohesion and is well - pointless. Are you a republican or just jealous?

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I'm sick of the red vs. blu... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 1:05 AM | Posted by Dr Benway: | Reply

I'm sick of the red vs. blue game. It's gone too far. Tribalism may be in our blood, but we can take a break. When you strip away the rapture-ready dominionists from the right and the profit-equals-theft from the left, the variance within groups surpasses the variance between groups.

Teh gheys are annoyed with Obama already for letting Rick Warren speak at the innauguration while cutting Bishop Gene Robinson out of the broadcast. Still, they like Obama better than the last guy.

The New Yorker isn't saying, "OMG!!! Obama is teh best prez EVAR!!!11!!" It's saying, "historic first" and "high hopes lol; sucks to be you, dude."

Rather than talking about Obama's blackness, wouldn't it be more interesting to talk about what it's like to be mixed racial?

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Eh, a trendy backlash was t... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 1:46 AM | Posted by bun: | Reply

Eh, a trendy backlash was to be expected. Personally, I don't care if the guy wants to strut around in a tutu and swim fins on American Idol, so long as he can repair some of the damage done to the country.

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What amazes me is that you ... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 12:04 PM | Posted by La BellaDonna: | Reply

What amazes me is that you ARE surprised. It was pretty obvious, I thought, that that was going to happen. And just wait - when he does, inevitably, disappoint people, the blame will be laid on the 40% who did NOT vote for him - their magic powers will be responsible for "preventing him" from accomplishing all the miracles they were expecting. And I watched people going berserk and hysterical over the election of a BLACK MAN as president, and I thought to myself, "If you are berserk because a BLACK MAN has been elected as president, and not because the BEST MAN has been elected as president ... then you, my teary-eyed noisy joyful friend ... are a racist."

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Well I'm happy to see you d... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 12:25 PM | Posted by brian: | Reply

Well I'm happy to see you didn't work in a Narcissism angle into this post. Or did you?

I agree that many expectations will go unfulfilled. It is a naive belief that electing a new President and through him a refreshed administration, will erase the decisions and history of those who proceeded him.

This administration and the President are ignoring the signals, the data and their responsibility, because the course that must be taken is political suicide. Not just for him but for the party.

Instead then, they're trying to placate and spend their way out of debt.

I suggest the celebrity PR angle is intentional. If he's not going to make attempts at responsibly managing the government, he needs popularity. Free money and identity will give him just that.

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Thank you for putting into ... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 2:34 PM | Posted by mooncat: | Reply

Thank you for putting into words my vague unease with the celebration of Obama's election.

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I see the anger on the righ... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 2:53 PM | Posted by BC Woods: | Reply

I see the anger on the right being displaced hostility about the failure of the Bush administration to create a stronger America through neocon principles. That's what a lot of the Republicans I know were expecting. The base is very faith oriented and feel that if you can just live the Bible that everything will work out and they elected their leaders based on that. Depending on their interpretation of the Bible that may or may not be a bad thing. I'm trying to demonize Republicans.

Republicans voted in 2000 and by the slimmest of possible margins they got the candidate they wanted, and ruling under the principles of the party's hard liners he screwed the country over. We were attacked on his watch, and we invaded a country for no reason. They're pissed off because they don't know what message will sell anymore and they're struggling for an identity that they can live with. And rightly so, the Republican party got hijacked back in the days of Buckley and ended up being controlled by the dumbest most knee jerk group of individuals possible. They need a new identity and a new leadership.

I don't think there's an apocalyptic aura of celebrity around Obama. People like the guy. He's a likable guy. I don't know how much further it goes than that for most people. If tomorrow he decided that he was going to start purging thetans from unbelievers his popularity would go south very fast. He's a likable guy for a politician. He could probably even be a C list movie star if he wanted to, but he's not a cult leader.

I read both is books and watched him on the news for two years. I still don't understand what people mean when they say "we don't know him." He's okay. I think we're still judging him relative to the Bush administration so that's why everyone is so happy right now. I don't worry about people celebrating that.

This Union survived the Supreme Court handing Bush the presidency. It lived with knowing that Al Gore had won the popular vote. There was no grass roots rebellion to throw off the Bush administration through force of arms. This country will survive. People maybe have some hopes for Obama, but it's nothing like the faith the neocons had in Bush the first six years of his presidency.

In summary, I hope the guy does a good job. I don't have faith in him, but I hope he does a good job. Not bring heaven on Earth good (I acknowledge a few crazy people believe that but you can always find a crazy person) but just do a good job.

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perhaps your next post shou... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 5:47 PM | Posted by Lee Musser: | Reply

perhaps your next post should address cognitive dissonance.

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I just had to weigh in on t... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Posted by David Johnson: | Reply

I just had to weigh in on the post freudian irony slip entitled: "Wrong About Obama." Just so.

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sour grapes much? countertr... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 6:02 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

sour grapes much? countertransference much?

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even if repubs come out in ... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 6:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

even if repubs come out in droves, the evidence (instead of your wild speculations) would suggest a grim prognosis:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/01/just-five-red-states-left.html

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I despise the idolatry of c... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 6:06 PM | Posted by Dyson: | Reply

I despise the idolatry of celebrities, applied to Obama or not. Either way, you are right. People have an unhealthy obsession with Obama- the same obsession that TMZ and Perez Hilton used to obtain the relative notoriety they have today. People act as if Obama is the second coming of Christ. I'm unemployed, and I actually had someone say "That's alright, because Obama is president!"

Obama is a man. He's a likable guy. I enjoy his rhetoric of 'hope and change'. Do I believe that anything is truly different with this politician this time around? No- not at all. Some people do believe that Obama is different. Will they riot if/when Obama is unable to deliver? I don't know. I hope not. If he can get the US back on firm ground, I'll be satisfied with that.

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care to make a wager? I gua... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 6:06 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

care to make a wager? I guarantee the GOP will LOSE senate seats in 2010.

you should be as careful about evidence in your political rants as you are in your usually intelligent psych/science posts.

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the comparison to newt and ... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 6:10 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

the comparison to newt and 94 is also inane. if you want to claim that the GOP brand has the same reputation in 2009 as it did in 1993, go right ahead, but not one reasonable political junkie (redstate-er or dailykos-er) would tell you that that passes the laugh test.

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and to echo the sentiments ... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 6:14 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

and to echo the sentiments of a previous commenter, welcome to two years ago on the "is obama black enough" meme.

way to have a cutting-edge, well informed, non-played-out blog.

oh wait.

maybe you'll talk about reverend wright some too.

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thank you thank you thank y... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 6:35 PM | Posted by Red Stater: | Reply

thank you thank you thank you thank you

I linked in, but based on the above comments i'm pretty sure anything I say will be dismissed, so I'll simply say thank you. you've put into words (too many, I think?) what so many people are feeling. And you're right, we are looking over our shoulders all the time. So much for open discourse under Obama.

Don't listen to the haters, especially ones named Anonymous.

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Who cares? People are too s... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 6:53 PM | Posted by WJZ: | Reply

Who cares? People are too scared to riot, Obama will be reelected because voters will continue to identify with him, and Republicans will continue to lose elections because they'll continue to be unappealing nutters. And the charade will continue to be meaningless.

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the best line in the post:<... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 8:26 PM | Posted by asdasd: | Reply

the best line in the post:

"it makes people hate the people who voted for Obama. And if you do not believe this, then you are the one they hate."

it is obvious from reading the comments no one seems to understand how true this is.

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Maybe you can set up a non-... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2009 9:48 PM | Posted, in reply to asdasd's comment, by Dave Johnson: | Reply

Maybe you can set up a non-profit (tax breaks you know) that will help ease the psychic pain of these legions "forced" into hating Obama voters. Poor dears.

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great post. one of my favs.... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2009 1:13 AM | Posted by the0ther: | Reply

great post. one of my favs.

i think you're onto something, but maybe you're timeline is a bit off. we will have to first see how the economy plays out. if it gets bad things are going to speed up considerably.

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Mr./Ms. Anonymous sure like... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2009 9:38 AM | Posted by Jack Coupal: | Reply

Mr./Ms. Anonymous sure likes to post a lot of comments. Those posts are constently on the same meme, so it saves time for the rest of us to rapidly scroll down thru them to the meaty posts.

Having read Elizabeth Wurtzel's mind-boggling book, Prozac Nation, I recommend anyone considering her quotes here, to read that book to see where she's coming from.

Thanks again, Last, for a truly correct take on the current - and probably future - mood of Americans!

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I think the narcissism angl... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2009 2:39 PM | Posted, in reply to brian's comment, by seemoreglass: | Reply

I think the narcissism angle was played my mentioning Ms. Wurtzel--perhaps the most prominent narcissist of whom I can think.

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There's a lot to agree with... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2009 5:53 PM | Posted by mutha: | Reply

There's a lot to agree with in the post, yes Obama's been super successful partly because of the way his story invites people to project their own assumptions etc. on him, yes there was a grotesque feeling of historical achievement of "mission accomplished" that seems to settle on a feeling of complete satisfaction/satiation more than anything else - speaking as someone from the UK.

At the same time it's a lot easier to focus on those anxieties than it is to see how Obama's qualities as a president will change government, and more importantly how engaging people as grown ups in a political community rather than emotional sock puppets will change government. I can't say I trust my instincts one way or the other, we'll just have to see.

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People aren't afraid to rio... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2009 9:35 PM | Posted by Common Reader: | Reply

People aren't afraid to riot in Oakland, dude, they've been rioting for what, two weeks now?

Hey you know who I bet the next president will be?

Michelle.

This will be awesome because she is actually black.

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I like Dr. Benway's comment... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2009 6:31 PM | Posted by Felan: | Reply

I like Dr. Benway's comments the best, excepting the L337-speak. I'm most bitter about the polarization of politics. Republicans and Democrats are so much of the same that in many other countries they would be on the same ticket.

If you talk about politics at work it is best uttered in hushed tones. Show less than rabid hate/love for the current President then you are an idiot/fascist/socialist/neocon or whatever. Politics are at least being more honest about the fact they are a commodity and they are concerned with branding.

If Obama can take this apparent political celebratory capital and roll it into something that has a lasting impression I will be thrilled.

More likely how satisfied I am with my new car in four years will be more personally memorable and attributable than this very successfully branded politician.

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Your theory is shit. First ... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 12:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Your theory is shit. First of all, not everyone is a bullshit values republican. Secondly, the republicans/libertarians have all the guns.

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Lately, I have been getting... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 12:44 AM | Posted by Your intrigued reader: | Reply

Lately, I have been getting the sense that you are deeply worried about what some may call the dissolution of our "social fabric." Your pre-occupation with the raging narcissism epidemic, (quasi?) belief in god, and the way you scorn our high priests (you know who they are) for medicalizing behavior that needs to be morally judged! If I am correct then perhaps you can take solace in thinking that the frenzy our great country is going through right now can partially be explained by another relatively simple defense mechanism: reversal of affect.

I suspect, some of these enchanted supporters you are referring to are having some real difficulty with accepting a black man as a president. The desire to celebrate is partially fueled by their subconscious contempt, perhaps. It is also a collective attempt at "really" forgetting that blacks were enslaved, abused, raped, and terribly oppressed well into the mid 20th century. It is an ugly history (if there are any Europeans reading this comment: please don't think that your societies were any less racist; it's just that they remained ethnically homogenous until the last few decades). Looks like our inflated national ego saw an opportunity to wash away these racial stains and jumped on it.

However, I do share your concerns about public's eventually discovering that "the system" IS based on false pretenses, and that they don't hold much power (should they?). I would hate to see riots (hey, I'm only a shrink from the upper east side!), but why do you think it is so bad for people to eventually realize that they are being lullabied by TV (and psychiatry, and their churches, and the internet -including you) so that they would not recognize the real reasons behind say having one of the highest infant mortality rates among the industrialized nations! What do you say, mister? Isn't it time for us to wake up?

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So the 40% hates me for vot... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 3:31 AM | Posted by Sorcha: | Reply

So the 40% hates me for voting for Obama - which is almost the same as saying they hate me for disagreeing with them regarding who I think should be president.

Question: Didn't the hardcore 20% begin hating me when I disagreed with them regarding their support for Bush? Isn't that what the "real" American bs was about - a way to rationalize me and everyone else who disagreed with them into something else, something not in common with them? And wasn't it projection, when I finally told bitchy conservatives that I'm a legal member of the DAR, and they sneered back that I just thought I was better than them?

Look, I haven't got anything against anybody who isn't like this, but the chances of the hardcore 20% recognizing themselves within the 40% are nil, while the chances of the other half that 40% assuming that I've conflated them altogether are high. More to the point, the chances of the hardcore 20% consciously acknowledging their hatred of me even to their individual selves as they make those comments while looking over their shoulders is only not quite nil - they can only acknowledge that hatred as long as I'm not a "real" American or as long as I can be (falsely) accused of thinking of thinking I'm better than them, because oh, of course! they're good, nice people and good, nice Americans would never hate a fellow American without just cause, now would they?

My state went for Bush, Dole, Bush, Bush and McCain, so I understand that not everyone who disagreed with Bush had the same crap come their way as I did. And as I stated above, I understand that not everyone who voted for McCain threw that bs at me. But "Much of what Bush did conveyed the perception that he didn't care about your opinon, he answered only to himself and rubbed your nose in it," is wrong. It was never just Bush doing whatever he wanted and everyone who disagreed could go to hell, it was the 20% saying Bush could do whatever he wanted and if you disagreed you would go to hell. After eight years of the 20% rubbing my face in the Bush administration, even though I disagree with Obama on many things, even though I know the other half will probably assume I'm talking about them...

I still want some kind of restitution from the 20%.

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Obama and Narcissistic Pers... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 4:26 AM | Posted by Sam Vaknin: | Reply

Obama and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD):

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/obama.html

Celebrity narcissists

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/faq19.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/journal73.html

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"But not for so many who... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 6:51 AM | Posted by A Student: | Reply

"But not for so many who want him to be so many things. Unfortunately for them, eventually he'll have to be himself, and whatever that is, people will be surprised by it. And won't like it."

These same exact words apply to George W Bush when he was first elected. The broad base of diverse Republican supporters that voted for him based on contradictory promises: the evangelicals for his support of Christianity and traditional values, the fiscal conservatives for his promises of tax reform, the isolationists for his reluctance to go to war (remember that pre-9/11 GW?), and all the other elements that come together to form the Republican party. Who didn't he disappoint? Only the corporations, it seems. Conversely, one can predict Obama will work hardest to please the instirutions that provide him with money, and sacrifice the other, less important supporters, if that becomes prudent - just like every other American president in history.

"Millions of people are not going to be just disappointed, they are going to feel tricked."

Ask the libertarians that voted for Bush why they haven't spent the last 4 years rioting on the streets. After all, he didn't just disappoint them, he tricked them.

Seems like you can't win an election in this country without having to promise everyone a piece of paradise, even if when taken together you'll find that paradise is 500% overbooked. I still remain optimistic; change will happen, but not because of Obama - because of the geopolitical situation. He'll do his best to clothe the necessary changes in nice, evocative wording to make them more palateable to the people - after all, that's what his job comes down to.

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(sigh) Keep your eye on the... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 10:00 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

(sigh) Keep your eye on the prize dude. Success on this stage creates celebrity status whether he's good or bad... so get off it. Discussions of whether people will be clouded/swayed by the fact that he's a celebrity are actually as boring and wasteful as discussing whether red is a primary color. Duh! We all get it... and expect that like everything else we'll be called up to use our own judgements to separate out the real issues. By your post I can tell that you'll never understand the magnitude of issues or how qualified for the job he really had to be to succeed on such a stage. Give him his props and give the situation time to see exactly what such a capable individual may be able to achieve. (sigh) Hater!

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>>It makes people hate the ... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 11:42 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

>>It makes people hate the people who voted for Obama. And if you do not believe this, then you are the one they hate.

Yes, exactly.

Of course those that are the subject of the above will never ever recognize how correct this is. I see a lot of commenting about how awful the Republicans were, but I just went through eight years of being told how stupid I was for voting for a guy that I recognized as being just a guy. He would certainly do things I disagreed with, but I had hopes (mostly fulfilled) that he would do more things I agreed with than not. Now I'm being told that I'm stupid for not joining in the hosannas to celebrate the ascendancy of a junior god, when I believe he is also just a guy who I hope will do some things I agree with.

It does make me a little... bitter.

From A Student: "Ask the libertarians that voted for Bush why they haven't spent the last 4 years rioting on the streets."

Libertarians have day jobs.

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Good thing the colonists di... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 3:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dave Johnson: | Reply

Good thing the colonists didn't have day jobs.

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David Johnson, you like poi... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 4:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Dave Johnson's comment, by Dorn im Dunklen: | Reply

David Johnson, you like pointing out imaginary mistakes at others but your own accusal speech sweats contradiction so much it almost makes you a two-legged, living paradox. As for you, I don't have the time to quote all of the nonsense you are spitting in there, with one difference though - what I am about to say makes sense to people with an analysis ability (everyone except you); and, I will just post one, because my job is not med school teacher:

"Here's a prediction for you: within one year, people will be saying Obama isn't really black.

If it were exactly a year from now, you'd be THREE years late, Alone. It was almost two years ago that Ta-Nehisi Paul Coates, wrote a major piece for Time Magazine on Thursday, Feb. 01, 2007, exploring this phenomenon, as it was so widely being discussed. The title?

Is Obama Black Enough?"

The idea being emitted by Alone is not that within one year, people will be discussing Obama's skin colour. Alone is not really alone; and guess what, he has TV like most of us and he happens to turn it on. He already knows this is being/has been discussed. But, as we both agree, Obama is being openly depicted, imagined, fantasized as black. If he weren't then what would this hype be all about, and why would you be here telling us how mistaken and bitter we are?

What Alone was saying was, precisely, within one year from now people will be depicting, un-imagizing, delusionning Obama as Not Black. They will have found their own answer to this meaningless question you all are getting a boner on.

When you are ready to discuss worthy arguments, you may post here again. Do not come here to preach your tables to us.

If you do not heed this warning, the boogieman will come at night and eat you up. And he will not disappear when you close your eyes.

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I have been dressed down by... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 8:46 PM | Posted, in reply to Dorn im Dunklen's comment, by David Johnson: | Reply

I have been dressed down by the Google automatic translation service. Oh gormless critics!

Since the boogieman won't disappear when I close my eyes, I will make him disappear by opening my eyes. Voila!

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Ask the libertarians tha... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2009 8:57 PM | Posted, in reply to A Student's comment, by AnnJo: | Reply

Ask the libertarians that voted for Bush why they haven't spent the last 4 years rioting on the streets. After all, he didn't just disappoint them, he tricked them.

Oh, I don't think we were tricked. Republicans of libertarian orientation didn't support Bush in the 2000 primaries, precisely because Bush was always pretty obviously not going to be a limited government kind of guy. And the apparent isolationism of his pre-9/11 foreign policy never seemed particularly principled.

I voted for Bush because he was running against Al Gore and then John Kerry. Given the choices, I have absolutely no regrets. If third terms were legal and he had been running against Obama, I would have voted for Bush again. Doesn't mean I ever liked much about Bush's politics. Just that I disliked his opponents' more.

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As fascinating to me as lea... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Posted by MindDoc: | Reply

As fascinating to me as leader adulation is, the fact that it drives some people bananas is equally fascinating. I remember thinking the same thing about the negative reactions to Reagan.

I suspect something primitive at work, meaning unconscious identifications with archaic all-good and all-bad objects.

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"Since the boogieman won't ... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2009 2:06 PM | Posted, in reply to David Johnson's comment, by Dorn im Dunklen: | Reply

"Since the boogieman won't disappear when I close my eyes, I will make him disappear by opening my eyes. Voila!"

Is that supposed to mean anything or is it pure year 6 style joke?

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Correct. Obama is a person... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2009 7:03 PM | Posted, in reply to cjsavvy's comment, by Jennifer: | Reply

Correct. Obama is a person "of color".

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Obama was no more the choic... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2009 7:55 PM | Posted by wetnurse: | Reply

Obama was no more the choice of the Democratic Party than Kerry was the choice of the Democratic voters. There were too many open primary states, too many people of other parties weighing in on who would be the candidate of a party to which they did not belong.

In the closed primary states, he got creamed.

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Remember all that talk 8 ye... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2009 9:06 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Remember all that talk 8 years ago about how we were a country "divided" because Bush won by small majority? And that Bush didn't have a true mandate from the people?


Where's all that talk now?


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Anonymous at February 4, 20... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2009 9:47 AM | Posted by La BellaDonna: | Reply

Anonymous at February 4, 2009, 9:06:

Remember all that talk 8 years ago about how we were a country "divided" because Bush won by small majority? And that Bush didn't have a true mandate from the people?

Where's all that talk now?

I suspect that it is possible you are not hearing that talk now because the people who think it may be afraid to say it - at least at the moment.

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Just skimmed thru the artic... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2009 2:19 PM | Posted by andyo: | Reply

Just skimmed thru the article. I think it reveals more about the author than it shines any light on some new insights.


Briefly

By any measure the Obama win was historic. I'm not saying it was good bad or neither. Even if you take race out of the picture it still rates as one of the biggest upsets in US history.

What is the point of complaining about Obama supporters being happy that their guy won?

60% is not an F. In presidential politics it was a big margin. The more important electoral margin was even more impressive. Then consider it was achieved by a political unknown.

The Media - Why do people imply some conspiracy when the media does not espouse their own view point. The fact is most commercial media outlets do have political leanings and they do not try very hard to hide it. Fox leans right and CNN leans left.

Bottom line - Beware of people who complain just to complain. It is too early to criticize the Obama administration. In 6 months there will be plenty to complain about. What disturbs me most is that in the face of a national crisis some people focus on meaningless nitpicking. I'd much rather see this author focus on what the political parties need to do to come together and quickly achieve legislation that will begin to address the issues at hand. The ship is sinking and knuckleheads(conservative and liberal) are rearranging the deck chairs.

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No one is complaining. No o... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2009 7:27 AM | Posted, in reply to andyo's comment, by Dorn im Dunklen: | Reply

No one is complaining. No one even spoke the word "conspiracy".
All this is rational observation. "And if you do not believe this, then you are part of the ones they hate."

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Probably a reference to my ... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2009 7:29 AM | Posted, in reply to David Johnson's comment, by Dorn im Dunklen: | Reply

Probably a reference to my self-made words. Automatic translations do not create words. They create sentences without any syntax, but with existing words. Stop skipping your english classes David.

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I wonder if the preponderan... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2009 12:14 AM | Posted by Carl: | Reply

I wonder if the preponderance of Obama defenders who posted here reflects accurately the composition of this blog's audience...

Incidentally, I very much disagree with Alone's idea that there will be massive disappointment and backlash among liberals. Obama can do no wrong in the eyes of most of them.

In the case of a Republican victory in coming years, it won't be disgruntled liberals but disgruntled moderates who make the difference.

Finally, I have to wonder why Alone brought up Republicans hating Obama supporters. What does it have to do with the rest of the post? And what does it even mean? I "hate" them in that I find them irritating and infuriating, but most of the people I like and love voted for Obama. I'm sure I'm not a unique case. So what is the meaning of this "hatred"? And who cares?

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This is my first visit to y... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2009 8:44 AM | Posted by Professor Blather: | Reply

This is my first visit to your blog - and if this essay is typical of your writing, it won't be my last.

What I just read is arguably the most insightful analysis of the Obama phenomenon I've yet to encounter. You've identified precisely the problem with the new administration - and you've perfectly predicted what is likely to happen.

Within a year or two, this post will make you look like Nostradamus.

The irony of it all, to me, is that it ultimately won't be conservatives left angry and disillusioned. At the moment, they're just confused - and as another commenter suggested, wondering when many Americans will regain their sanity.

But the Left ... of the American Left is going to be in a howling rage within 18 months. If you read the major liberal blogs, its already begun.

And its not Obama's fault. He simply cannot live up to the hype. No human could. And so many groups invested completely contradictory hopes in him. There is no logical escape: he must horribly disappoint many of his most ardent supporters.

And as you suggest, without the convenient target of G.W. Bush ... they're going to blame the system itself.

Most current commentators have it wrong. You have it right. And you are going to be proven emphatically right.

I just hope the collateral damage is limited ... and we all return to our senses soon.

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"Beyond all this vying f... (Below threshold)

February 15, 2009 11:19 PM | Posted, in reply to Professor Blather's comment, by Alone: | Reply

"Beyond all this vying for attention lies an awkward reality that might roughly be summed up as the end of the Bush excuse."-- The Economist 1/29/09.

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"...it makes people hate th... (Below threshold)

February 25, 2009 9:36 PM | Posted by Trilby: | Reply

"...it makes people hate the people who voted for Obama. And if you do not believe this, then you are the one they hate."

Well that doesn't leave much room for those who didn't vote for Obama, don't particularly care for him, yet don't have an irrational fear of him (guess who I'm talking about).

At least partially because I live in Texas I hear many more terrified voices of what he'll do to the country than exuberant fans. However, I'm not willing to jump to the conclusion that this is a widespread sentiment.

Of course he won't fix every problem and usher in a new golden age, as a small percentage of his most foolish followers imagine. And the country won't be a smoldering crater either. His media hype is just that, and you ought not take anything "Entertainment" says seriously.

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So what do you have to say ... (Below threshold)

November 2, 2009 6:28 PM | Posted by Angry: | Reply

So what do you have to say about George Bush? Who actually lost the popular vote, yet still went on to be president? What did all you rednecks have to say then? It is amazing how critical people are of Barack Obama, yet it seemed to me that America somewhat excused President Bush when he made mistakes everyday. News flash people: Bush was an idiot. At least we have an educated man in there. He won the noble peace prize. I think the only prize George Bush won, was that drinking contest when he was snorting cocaine in college, after he pretended to be in the air force.

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"At least we have an educat... (Below threshold)

December 9, 2009 2:23 PM | Posted by mike: | Reply

"At least we have an educated man in there. He won the noble peace prize."

I love this argument: He won the Nobel Peace Prize!

It's the perfect example of what TLP pointed out. We don't hate Obama, we hate Obama supporters - those people who are so in awe of him that they would give him a Nobel Prize for NOTHING. And then they use that same Nobel as proof that he REALLY IS the Greatest President Of All Time, and all the Republicans who opposed him must be a bunch of dumb racist rednecks or greedy corporate profiteers. Even my far-left Democrat friends, hardcore Obamaholics, thought the Nobel was absurd. But there are some people who are still so caught up in the hype, mostly nonpolitical types, who think it was a profound achievement which only validates their perception of Obama rather than exposing the mindless fanaticism behind some of his supporters.

In other words, I hate you because you don't see any problem with giving Obama a Nobel Prize for no reason.

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In the words of Tom Lehrer,... (Below threshold)

March 3, 2010 6:07 PM | Posted by SDC: | Reply

In the words of Tom Lehrer, ever since it was given to Henry Kissinger, the Nobel Peace Prize has been absurd.

I voted for Obama. It is not entirely revisionist on my part to say my vote was a 'block that kick' vote against Palin as much as a pro-Obama vote. When he won, my main thought was 'wow, no way is he going to fix this horrible situation, he's pretty much screwed, but it's a better outcome than the other possibility'.

I could do without people hating me, but as an American, very large chunks of the world population have been hating me for years, so I think I can deal with it. Hopefully (haha, hope) as in that case I can try to puzzle over why all the hate and see if there are things I should reconsider.

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Just read this after your n... (Below threshold)

March 4, 2010 10:42 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Just read this after your new post. This one is better and more accurate. Yes, we hate not only Obama but especially the Obama supporters, everyone who was slapping each other on the back and high-fiving each other after the unqualified black man was voted into office. That he was elected is sad, that the American media bought into his bullshit and peddled it to the masses is unforgivable. Yes, people should be angry about this. Will black people riot when Obama lets them down? If they burn down their own neighborhoods, I don't care. Let them go after their brother in the big white house up the street.

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Welp, looks like you called... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2011 10:48 AM | Posted by Anon: | Reply

Welp, looks like you called it.

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"It's obvious this administ... (Below threshold)

May 1, 2012 4:13 PM | Posted by Aaron: | Reply

"It's obvious this administration is much more organized in the service of country than the last."

aren't you cute

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"Please, Mr. Obama, now tha... (Below threshold)

March 19, 2013 4:05 AM | Posted by Or: | Reply

"Please, Mr. Obama, now that you've won the election, take my advice. If you get invited to the Oscars, politely decline."

Done. My guess for their next appearance: I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

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