« Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Main | An Old, Old Story »

July 25, 2008

Comments

I got one of those feelings during the 2004 speech. Of course, at the time I was hoping that Obama wouldn't have a shot at the presidency until 2012, after 8 successful years of Kerry-Edwards (not that I was a huge Kerry fan, but you get the picture), but there was a sense that I was watching someone who would be a force of nature.

I can't wait to hear what this guy pulls out for an inauguration speech.

"Same deal with 2001: A Space Odyssey when the monkeys start using bones to crush things for the first time."

Hominids. Not monkeys at all. They were ancestors of man; only anti-evolutionists claim that these precursors were "monkeys."

The politics of cynicism / politics of hope segment starting at about 4:00 in to the second segment is the defining moment.

Great, great post.

Of course, McCain may beat him. Gushers beware – the polls are pretty close right now even though McCain is apparently trying to lose (maybe we could call it “The Producers” campaign). Anyway, if Obama loses, today’s Berlin speech will obviously have a much different type of undertone to future audiences.

Of course. But I admit it's looking less and less likely to me now it appears Obama is courting the Chuck Hagel votes. It could be that McCain simply doesn't understand how Bush "won" two elections - and Obama does.

That probably sounds pretty stupid, so let me explain what I mean.

It's not really a MoDo moment if you avoid sounding pretty stupid by explaining what you mean.

You don’t get a “thrill up your leg” do you?

I like the guy, but I have to admit to being a little creeped out by some aspects of the cult-like following.

An Obama presidency – even if it accomplishes very little – would still be a world-historical event.

Careful what you wish for. Once again, search google for (obama “president of the world”). Up 300 hits since last night. Statements like “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” don’t thrill my leg. They make me pause and ask, “Did he really just say that?” Followed by hoping it was just some silly rhetoric by an overenthusiastic speech writer. Even then, look again and ask yourself, did he manage to say that with a straight face?

He already seems to have made the jump from presumptive nominee to presumptive election winner. Where’s he got to go once he does win? Are you sure he’s going to roll back the expansion of executive powers? Or is he seriously going to set out to “fix” the world?

This is half snark but half serious. Or maybe it’s more like 60% serious, I’m not entirely sure.


Same deal with 2001: A Space Odyssey when the monkeys start using bones to crush things for the first time.

That (thrill) was the musical score dude.

I like the guy, but I have to admit to being a little creeped out by some aspects of the cult-like following.

Steve, we've had The Universal Salvation Church of President Bush and his Manly Characteristic for the last eight years and now you're starting to notice that US politics is getting a bit cultish?

Ajay: This site has been pro-Obama going way back. But we may be getting into full-blown Obamamania here…

Where’s he got to go once he does win?

Ginned-up scandal leading to impeachment -- he is a Democrat after all.

It would be very ironic if after years of proven Republican electoral malfeasance without any mainstream media interest and hordes of Republicans chanting very nearly in unison, "Get over it! Our guy won! Never mind what the exit polls say or the evidence that the machines were rigged!", Obama's use of Hagel's voting machines actually gets Republicans believing that their elections are being rigged in the good ol' US of A.

Actually it would also be horribly sickening, but nothing says you can't be sickened by the hypocrisy and struck by the irony simultaneously.

Gawd, 2009 is going to be painful.

For instance, when you see Bill Clinton stand up at the 1992 debate and ask the man how the economy has hurt him, that moment has its own historical undertones. That’s because we the audience know what eventually happened – Clinton won. And he won because he was more in touch with people’s economic troubles.

Maybe, but what did he actually do to address these troubles once he was in office: the record is mixed at best and actually it's negative if you discount the effects of the tech boom, which can hardly be attributed to Clinton, and just look at his actual policies.

Same deal with an early Reagan speech. When you hear it, you get the same kind of eerie but cool vibes because you understand that this moment was an essential part of his ultimate historical triumph.

Leaving aside the still widely debated question regarding the extent of Reagan's role in bringing about the fall of communism, are we really willing to overlook the terrible and stupid things the Reagan administration has done (support for right-wing death squads and dirty wars, increasing the tension between the nuclear powers and thus the risk of catastrophic consequences in his first term, nurturing the Islamist terrorist movement in Afghanistan) in order to achieve this "triumph"?

An Obama presidency – even if it accomplishes very little – would still be a world-historical event.

Sorry, but that's just plain naff - people want real solutions to real problems. And that is the reason why most Europeans, while they like Obama and are happy that the outrageous craziness of the Bush years might finally come to an end, are only guardedly optimistic and have adopted a "let's wait and see" approach. From what I could gleam on the internet that was also the prevalent reaction by the people who saw him speak in Berlin - many were saying: nice guy and all but where's the beef?

Pulled by the gravity of Obama and pushed by BDS, what other direction do you expect, OCS? ;-)
If I were a US citizen, my first priority would be to get the Bushistas out (and preferably into a rotten cell for life, if no judicial lamppost equivalent is available). Since Big O runs for the Dems and there is no other reasonable path (I distrust torch and pitchfork mobs, even if they would be the proper background), there is not much choice, or is there?
Should Obama turn out not to be the actual messiah, we will have no problem with turning on him (within reasons. Why do the Coulters' work for them?).

erm: make that "glimpse"

I second that, novakant. From my first hand experience the applause was highly selective for most of the time (although most were clapping at some points it was different people at different times). That was the crowd on the square itself (can't say anything about the crowds on the road between the aquare and the Brandenburg Gate).
On the other hand Berolinians have a fine-tuned BS detector and react hostile, if someone tries to obviously fool them, and are less inclined to mindlessly applaud anything, so absence of frenetic applause doesn't mean that much (for that Cologne or Mainz would have been more suitable ;-) )

"But we may be getting into full-blown Obamamania here…"

What, specifically, would define that?

I'd like to be able to objectively spot it if you're not around; help me out here?

Thanks!

What, specifically, would define that [Obamamania]?

I'd like to be able to objectively spot it if you're not around; help me out here?

Here you go:

An Obama presidency – even if it accomplishes very little – would still be a world-historical event.

Just undoing what eight years of Bush have brought us and thereby getting back to normal would be a major task. Obama not being willing or able to do that, "accomplishing very little", would mean a perpetuation of the status quo. In that case, just him being president would be meaningless - at least to me.

Gary: What, specifically, would define that?

But anyway, that’s my attempt to rehabilitate what Ezra said.

Which was:

Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it.

Piffle. When we start discussing how he makes you feel rather than anything related to policy – I’m going with Obamamania.

But Steve, an important part of what a President does is make people feel. JFK, RWR are two good examples, FDR a better one. It's always St. Crispin's Day, and a president either brings people to think those now abed will hold their manhood cheap, or lectures about malaise and tells them to go shopping. (/pale attempt at Thullenocity)

Once again, from people who didn't criticize GWB taking a bullhorn in the smoldering ruins of the WTC, I'm not interested in this critique.

When we start discussing how he makes you feel rather than anything related to policy – I’m going with Obamamania.

Oh come on. Right, speeches are supposed to be only about policy -- I'm supposed hear Obama speak and come out thinking "he's right, the 50% first-year bonus depreciation deduction congress enacted does distort economic incentives and lead to a misallocation of capital, let's get right on it!"

I don't think Reagan was called "the great communicator" because of his ability to convey the finer points of some policy he was pushing.

novakant: Obama not being willing or able to do that

Obama's adviser Cass Sunstein has recently announced that Obama won't be doing much of that tedious "investigate, prosecute" stuff to the Bush administration criminals. Because, apparently, if you prosecute government officials who have committed crimes, you risk "criminalizing public service", and even though nine Republicans voted to support impeaching Bush, you don't want the "slight appearance" of Democrats copying the Republican campaign to impeach Clinton.

Of course if there gets to be a political movement that Obama literally can't ignore to uphold and defend the Constitution, he might just decide to get in front of it and pretend that was his idea all along. More than just 1/3 to 1/2 of the population, that is: he and other Democratic leaders have demonstrated they can ignore that.

But Steve, an important part of what a President does is make people feel.

It's not unimportant and there can be an element of self-fulfilling prophecy, but at the end of the day I'd rather evaluate people according to what they've actually done.

Once again, from people who didn't criticize GWB taking a bullhorn in the smoldering ruins of the WTC, I'm not interested in this critique.

Bush shouting: "and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!" sent shivers down my spine because I knew what would be coming.

Oh come on. Right, speeches are supposed to be only about policy

Certainly not, but there's a problem when the people making these speeches are also equivocal on policy. This is the case with Obama and his policy on withdrawal from Iraq.
______

Jes, while I think prosecution in such cases is important to maintain credibility and the rule of law, I'm jaded enough to accept that Obama might not take such action and would be happy if he just reverses the policies in question.

But as you imply, I think it's important to press him on such issues now - in a constructive way, mind you - instead of swallowing everything out of the fear that the candidate might be damaged and just hoping for the best.

True, Novakant, that if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection.

great post. and i think ezra accurately expresses a sentiment that is definitely out there and definitely sincere.

charisma is not in itself good or bad. (were followers/supporters of mlk or ghandi or rfk "cult like"?)

and i think there is something that goes two ways in a relationship like this. for analogy, consider the beatles. they were always going to be great artists. but attention and energy and necessity directed at them, i think, made them rise to another level that maybe they would not have otherwise risen to. i think there was something like this with lincoln and fdr in politics, for example.

OK – so no-one besides novakant finds this a little over the top? I find that a little hard to believe but I’ll leave it at that.

Steve, to be perfectly honest I think at this point you're searching for a way to justify not voting for Obama, whether you realize it or not. You're a smart guy with a solid moral compass, so you know the choices pretty much come down to Obama or McCain, and you're well aware of how awful McCain's third Bush term would be for the country. But that puts you in the position of voting for someone who's at odds with you on a lot of policy matters. So you look for reasons why you couldn't vote for him.

I get it. It's not that this isn't understandable if it's the case; I'd probably have the urge to do the same. But that's sure what some of your objections have been sounding like the last week or so. I mean come on, lets put all the cards on the table here: Obama is a black man who stands a good chance of becoming President of the United States. Entirely setting aside what one thinks of his policies or whether or not you want to see him elected, it's a simple statement of fact that merely being elected would make his candidacy historic. If he is elected, then we are right now watching a milestone that will be written about in our history books. That's not hyperbole, and it's certainly not cultish to describe that sensation in an eloquent way.

It's entirely reasonable for someone to be more excited about Obama than we would if, say, Chris Dodd had been nominated. The fact that he's black would be enough for some people simply because of the historic nature of it, but then you add in the fact that he's a very talented orator and someone who exudes educated competence when we've had a barely articulate C student in the WH for the past eight years, something else that by itself would stir excitement no matter the color of his skin. Now combine all of that with the energy Democrats are feeling because of the good electoral prospects in Congress this year and our sense of grievance at what the GOP has done to the country, and you have a recipe for a great passion for electing President Obama.

Mind-reading Catsy…

Because I’ll offer support for McCain where I think he is right or being unfairly criticized in no way means that I want him to be president.

In the same manner, because I criticize Obama on some things doesn’t mean I don’t want him to be president, or that I won’t vote for him in the end.

For the most part, my actual policy disputes with Obama come down to taxes/spending/GW/economy – which are all pretty well lumped together in my mind. That’s less important to me this time around. I’ve put it on the shelf for a few years. That doesn’t mean I won’t argue tax policy from time to time.

This election is his to lose IMO. If you reviewed all of my criticism of him in the last few months I think you would find that most of it involves incidents where I think he is screwing up his chances of winning – shooting himself in the foot.

Yesterday in the Speech thread was a case in point. My criticisms were in regard to him firing another round or two into his foot. So far today I’m proven at least partially right:

Judging from the local drive time radio shows, we bitter, religious pistol-packers here in flyover country remembered only two things from Obama's Berlin visit: the phrase "citizen of the world" and Obama's failure to visit wounded troops at Landstuhl and Ramstein.

This morning the radio fairly crackled with callers incensed at what they perceive as Obama's snub of American warriors while ingratiating himself with people who refuse to send any combat troops to Afghanistan. This was not conservative radio but your typical morning traffic and weather blowtorch. And it was in the bluest part of the state (although callers come from much of northern Ohio).

That’s all the right will be talking about through the weekend.

And stuff like this is obviously hurting him with moderates as well. He should be leading by 20 points across the board. But he’s not. Instead the gap is narrowing. Why?

It’s his to lose and it feels like he’s working at it lately.

Yeah, OC, it’s not fair.
You have to stand outside in the rain guarding the gate, while the rest of us are inside partying.
At least hilzoy brings you out a warm drink now and again.
And many of us think well of you for performing a thankless but essential task.

‘Put not your trust in princes or in the sons of men’ is always an important imperative, but in the scrum and struggle some lead better than others, and some of us are hoping Obama might be one of the best.
That’s all. No one really thinks he’s the Messiah, but he might be a good FDR, or maybe only a Kennedy. He might even, long shot that it is, lead us in a new and better direction. Heaven knows we need it.

Thanks, Charlie. Bill S is always a treat, eh?

OCSteve, maybe it's because he's:
- not Black enough
- too Black
- a racist
- won't where a flag pin
- won't sing the anthem
- won't put his hand over his heart for the pledge
- swore his oath on the Quran
- a radical Christian
- a closet Mulsim
- not really a citizen
- too hubristic

The above is just a small sample but I hope you get where I'm going with this. The wonder to me is how he's not DOWN by 20 points. As long as a large percentage of the press and populace consider the above points more important than actual policy he's always going to have to struggle.


This election is his to lose IMO. If you reviewed all of my criticism of him in the last few months I think you would find that most of it involves incidents where I think he is screwing up his chances of winning – shooting himself in the foot.
Yesterday in the Speech thread was a case in point. My criticisms were in regard to him firing another round or two into his foot. So far today I’m proven at least partially right:

..

This morning the radio fairly crackled with callers incensed at what they perceive as Obama's snub of American warriors while ingratiating himself with people who refuse to send any combat troops to Afghanistan. This was not conservative radio but your typical morning traffic and weather blowtorch.

OCSteve,

I greatly value your level headed opinions and point of view (IMHO you frequently provide a needed voice saying in effect “calm down” when everybody else is getting too excited), but recently it seems like you’ve taken to passing on GOP talking points as received truth without scrutinizing them to the same degree that you would justifiably apply to equivalent spin coming from the Democrats.

For example, in this case I find it a little bit hard to take a source cited at NRO at face value as an unbiased indicator of independent opinion. For one thing, this is a hearsay account posted on a very anti-Democrat website. Also, radio call in campaigns can be orchestrated. Third, AM talk radio is for the most part a bastion of strongly pro-GOP sentiment, and from my experience “typical morning traffic and weather” can be and frequently is just as shrilly partisan in a pro-GOP way as Rush and Savage. In fact in my particular area the local radio hosts are even more filled with hatred of everything Democratic than the national folks and can get away with it because lacking the national exposure they are rarely called to account by media watchdogs. YMMV and hopefully my radio market is an aberration.

It seems to me like while you yourself are no longer a registered Republican (IIRC), their brand still lingers with you in terms of your sense of what constitutes a trusted and impartial source for information and more importantly analysis and interpretation. Have you fully taken into account that some of these criticisms are coming from people who would find something awful to say about Obama simply for the vile and despicable crime of being a Democrat and drawing breath?

Let’s take http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hD3r_xLt86cw6tRS6_RxC-WpMJIAD924G2300”>the proposed and cancelled Landstuhl visit as an example.

So, his decision not to visit was a bad idea, because the McCain campaign and their surrogates at NRO and on the radio are slamming him over it. OK. What if he had gone instead – wouldn’t the same people be slamming him just as loudly today for “having the audacity to exploit our wounded for base partisan purposes, and daring to turn a hospital for wounded warriors into a cheap campaign prop”?

Was it a bad idea for him to schedule a visit and then change the schedule? OK. But if he hadn’t scheduled a visit to begin with, wouldn’t the folks at NRO and on AM radio be blasting him for “not even thinking about the troops”?

Aren’t these issues where there will be something wrong with his decision no matter what he does, at least if you listen to the right sources. That is not to say he is perfect, or that his imperfections consist only of things which tick off the denizens of leftblogostan, which is why I ask that you keep up your criticism of him. But would it be asking too much for you to focus on things he says and does that you personally disagree with or find offensive, foolish or lame, unless there is so little of the latter than a lack of material is forcing you to seek farther afield for something to kvetch about?

Respectfully and I hope not sounding too judgmental (glass houses and stones, motes and beams etc., so please instruct me when I get too gullible about sources I shouldn’t be putting too much faith in) - LeftTurn



What, specifically, would define that [Obamamania]?

I'd like to be able to objectively spot it if you're not around; help me out here?


Here you go:

An Obama presidency – even if it accomplishes very little – would still be a world-historical event.

Count me in on this one too. The term "world-historical event" is cringe inducing, IMHO. It reeks of college dorm room Marxism. Please banish that phrase from your vocabulary if you don't want to sound like a Trotskyite (or a Neocon).

If something is historically significant, there are much more context specific ways of saying so.

I'm sorry - the link to an AP story in my 11:34 comment came out wrong. Let me try again:

Obama's proposed and cancelled Landstuhl visit

Though on the subject of enthusiasm for Obama, this tickled me.

@OCSteve: I'm completely free of any adulation for Sen. Obama. There is eff-all that's world-historical about his candidacy besides the color of his skin. He's a smart, capable, and engaging centrist politician. There's literally nothing transformative about his policies.

Two possible transformative aspects to his candidacy and campaign, if he wins and takes office, are: breaking the psychological barrier wrt citizens of color holding the highest office in the country, and the construction and strengthening of Democratic-party grassroots organizations in many more parts of the country than existed before this presidential campaign. Can't expect you to be starry-eyed about either of those developments, particularly the second.

The passion for Obama felt by liberals and your trepidation on his behalf* have the same cause: the high stakes. That is, the shaky state into which the country's been pushed by the criminal clique that's run things for the last eight years:

- economy teetering;
- population increasingly anxious/desperate from debt, job loss, income erosion, food and fuel inflation, and health care worries;
- military strained and deteriorating;
- war/occupation on three fronts with no end in sight.

For people whose personal situations and political inclinations allow the luxury of concerns beyond their immediate households, there's also shame, disgust, and anxiety about other developments of the last eight years. Obama's not running on these issues inside the U.S., with the possible exception of climate/carbon/energy:

- the policy of torture,
- partisan poisoning of the justice system,
- war profiteering by administration cronies,
- the heightened crisis with global warming and energy due to eight more years of denialism and promotion of foot-to-the-pedal national petroleum consumption.

After being alternately shocked, enraged, nauseated, embarrassed, and horrified by the actions and behavior of the current occupant of the office (and his chosen henchmen and henchwomen), liberals are reveling a little bit in the absence of these emotions, and the chance actually to be proud of the most prominent representative of our country.

I understand it. I can't quite share it. But there's no reason to be particularly aghast at the enthusiasm; it's what will help ensure a win. (If you're worried about too-high expectations leading to liberal disappointment and backlash against an Obama administration, let us left-wingers handle that; we're so used to it you can't believe...)

You'd do better to stay focused on the policy payoff on things that matter to you.

*And just stop reading the Corner; they're never going to vote for him and are, unlike you, grasping for reasons to justify their decision.

You know who else repeatedly used the phrase 'citizen of the world'? John F. Kennedy. Horrors! Should voters have gone for that Nixon fella instead?

John F. Kennedy. Horrors! Should voters have gone for that Nixon fella instead?

Well, as far as foreign policy is concerned (which is my main concern, since I'm a foreigner after all - sorry), I'd say it's a tossup between Nixon and Kennedy. Saying such things seems to get you into serious trouble with US Democrats of a certain age, though, who will accuse you of having tortured the Baby Jesus and worse things. Also, one would have to engage in some serious speculative history trying to guess what Nixon would have done in 1960.

However, I think Kennedy is a good example for why it is important to scrutinize the policies and intuitions of presidential candidates, even if they happen to be the Democratic hopeful. And just viewing Obama as the better alternative while shielding him from scrutiny is a bit weak, really.

ThatLeftTurnInABQ : …but recently it seems like you’ve taken to passing on GOP talking points as received truth without scrutinizing them to the same degree that you would justifiably apply to equivalent spin coming from the Democrats.

In some cases that’s exactly what I’m doing – as in “here’s what’s bubbling up on the right side of the blog-o-sphere…”

But if I seem concerned about it, it’s because it’s the type of thing that I believe has the potential to go straight from righty blogs to FNC and Rush. FNC gets half the cable news audience. Limbaugh reaches 20 million people per week. They both get materiel from the blogs. I hear liberals gnashing their teeth about that all the time – then I get the blog equivalent of a blank stare when I bring something like this up… And any slight on the troops is red meat to this audience. There is no way to even calculate how many of those millions then go on to blast out emails on the topic to everyone they know. And again, everyone here already knows this – but there’s that blank stare…

And “scrutinizing” doesn’t even come in to it. It doesn’t need to be entirely factual. Again, something I hear from liberals all the time – the right is good at spreading lies, etc. In this case there is plenty of fact – it’s come down to the campaign has one story and the military another.

Behold the power of this fully operational noise machine:

RUSH: Once again our buddies at NewsBusters have informed me via the Der Spiegel website: "Obama has canceled appearances at two military bases," one military hospital and another military base "even though he has extended his stay in Germany by two hours tomorrow." Of course, it's about 9:00. What is it, seven hours ahead? It's about 9:20 over there now. I guess Obama was scheduled to go visit some wounded soldiers. He's canceled that and another trip to another military installation but he did find time to work in a workout at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Now, that's fine. I mean, I'm not surprised. Why go see the wounded soldiers? Except when you're a Democrat, and except when Lester Holt at NBC is describing Obama's trip to Afghanistan and Iraq as his "tour of duty." Remember? Okay. So the big meet has happened here, the speech at the Victory Tower and now it's on to other things.

NewsBusters picked it up from Ed Morrissey – the link I posted yesterday. Two hops from the Hot Air post to Rush on the air.

FNC Top Stories:

Obama Camp: Visit to Troops Would Have Seemed Too Political

How many of those millions will remember this through November and make sure everyone they know is aware of it?

My entire point here, assuming I have one, is that Obama can’t keep teeing up such easy stuff for them to work with. If they make sh*t up out of thin air that’s one thing, and you can fight that. But when you hand them something like this on a silver platter…

But would it be asking too much for you to focus on things he says and does that you personally disagree with or find offensive, foolish or lame…

I personally disagree with Obama doing offensive, foolish or lame things that make it easier for the right to go after him. ;)

More seriously – sure. I’ll try to avoid making such comments. It’s not like Obama is reading them anyway…

Behold the power of this fully operational noise machine:

Heh.

You'll get no disagreement from me, novakant; Kennedy ran against Nixon to the right on foreign policy issues, and escalated the war in Viet Nam.

And he was an enormous disappointment on civil rights and domestic progress as well; it took the 'Master of the Senate' to push through the Great Society programs.

But given what history showed about Nixon's administration in the event, it's very hard to image he'd have been an improvement.

Agreed that the alternative histories are queasy-making. Would Nixon have killed the Bay of Pigs operation before the attack, or would he have committed U.S. air support? Would Jimmy Hoffa have lived to a ripe old age, still head of the Teamsters? And on and on...

just viewing Obama as the better alternative while shielding him from scrutiny is a bit weak, really.

Who's doing that? Most Obama supporters here, including me, view him as the better alternative while subjecting him to fairly harsh scrutiny.

Speaking of which, I'd like everyone who ever made or bought into the argument that we have to win because of the Supreme Court to read Glenn Greenwald on the actual record of Cass Sunstein, said to be high on Obama's short list for Court appointees.

I'm with OCSteve on Obamamania. But I think it is more of a result on ObWi of no top level posts by conservatives. Most here are singing the same song and the congregation just gets louder and louder.

In many ways Catsy's comment captures my feelings. I WANT to want to vote for Obama simply due to what it would mean to our country symbolically and in real terms vis a vis racism. But it's not his policies that are getting in my way as much as the hubris of his campaign. That surprises me.

Am I the only one here (besides OCSteve) that sees a remade presidential seal, a "presidential" speech in Germany, repeated references by his spokespersons to him as the president, a speech at the temple of hercules, purported powers to turn back nature, etc. etc. as a negative?

And where is there any criticism of Obama here? Precious little. Instead, a dull delivery that had none of the feeling of B. Clinton and a bunch of miscues is excused with a simple "his finest speeches do not excite."

In response to Gary, I would define Obamania as Chris Matthew's leg tingle coupled with a complete lack of criticism of the candidate and a good dose of fait accompli. In the instance of this post, claiming there is dramatic irony because Obama doesn't know his place in history is really rich. It assumes that there is a place in history (beyond the historical significance of his nomination). It is an assumption his campaign is already making (and the media as well). Publius brushes right past this rather obvious phenomena to make his dramatic irony point. But the feeling Publius references is not dramatic irony, it's Obamamania.

"But if I seem concerned about it, it’s because it’s the type of thing that I believe has the potential to go straight from righty blogs to FNC and Rush. [...] then I get the blog equivalent of a blank stare when I bring something like this up…"

Speaking for myself, sure, because my attitude is who cares? Every day there will be some nonsense that the Limbaugh/Coulter/Malkin crowd is frothing about. It's all nonsense, and it's all there all the time, so wtf does it matter?

It's all just homogenous garbage. There's nothing anyone else can do about it, and it's always going to be churned out, and what the details are matter not in the slightest to anyone except those who want to believe that stuff, and so f what?

Caring about it is like going to the sea, and jumping up and down excitedly about what the precise roar sounds like that second. What's it effing matter? The sea will keep roaring, it's all the same, there's no substance to it, it's all interchangeable, and it's all nonsense.

Why should I care? Why would I want bulletins on which second sounds like what?

Rush will go blahblahblah, and so will Malkin, and the 22% or so will lap it up, whether it's that Obama had a gay Martian baby, or excretes communist cockroaches, or has a symbiote Muslim twin in his chest, or whatever.

So damned what?


But if I seem concerned about it, it’s because it’s the type of thing that I believe has the potential to go straight from righty blogs to FNC and Rush. FNC gets half the cable news audience. Limbaugh reaches 20 million people per week.

OK, I get the "here's what's being said" reportorial part. But honestly, how many Rush listeners and FNC viewers are ever going to vote for Obama. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but from the small sample of people I know* who use those news sources on a regular basis I'm guessing that the GOP could run a can of Tomato Soup (non-condensed) against a generic Democrat and get 95%+ of that demographic. The leakage from FNC into the other networks and subsequent repackaging of the same memes in a softer form worries me a lot more.

Am I wrong? Are there people in the Rush/FNC audience who are actually open to voting for Obama, if he would stop making unforced errors?


*and yes, I actually have a fair number of friends in the Rush/Hannity/FNC sphere of influence (one of the benefits of living in a pretty conservative state with a big DOD presence). We do not talk politics directly (for reasons of civility), but I get to hear plenty of cross talk and chatter not addressed to me directly, mostly at social events where IMHO it would be extremely rude to disrupt the occasion with politics (an inhibition not always shared by my pro-GOP friends).

whether it's that Obama had a gay Martian baby, or excretes communist cockroaches, or has a symbiote Muslim twin in his chest, or whatever.

Ooh! Ooh! I smell a literary contest! For the most eloquent entry based on any of these Farberian premises (and I hope Gary will forgive my adjectivizing his name here).

I don't know what the prize would be, other than the adulation of others (bringing this comment back on-topic for a moment), but surely that is enough.

I am tempted to exclude John Thullen from this competition as being just Too Obvious a winner, having Retired The Trophy for eloquent exuberance here . . . but I really really want to read his entry. So for the moment, John, we're lifting the lifetime ban.

"But I think it is more of a result on ObWi of no top level posts by conservatives."

I have asked von approximately one zillion times to please post about why he plans to vote for John McCain, and presumably thinks the rest of us should.

So damned what?

I got it Gary.


ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Am I wrong? Are there people in the Rush/FNC audience who are actually open to voting for Obama, if he would stop making unforced errors?

In their normal audience? Probably very few. Are there some people who might be on the fence but listen to them out of habit? I’d think so. But the more it spreads, the more it spreads. Where do you think all these “email rumors” come from? I get email blasts from my family all the time with this or that about Obama. Many of them have an origin like “I heard this on Rush…” The leakage you mention is the main concern – not the diehard Rush fans. No one has to coordinate an email campaign – they just happen. YouTube – people are creating their own ads (remixing other video). They get mentioned on Rush/FNC. They go viral. People who never listened to Rush a day in their life end up seeing them.

Anyway – I give.

"Speaking of which, I'd like everyone who ever made or bought into the argument that we have to win because of the Supreme Court to read Glenn Greenwald on the actual record of Cass Sunstein, said to be high on Obama's short list for Court appointees."

This was extremely thin. It consists of, in order:
1) an assertion that "Obama adviser Cass Sunstein's recent statements that Bush officials should not be prosecuted for their illegal detention, interrogation and spying programs." The only support for this is a link to another Greenwald column which only refers to Sunstein insofar as it:
a) has a third party assertion that Sunstein has said that "Prosecuting government officials risks a 'cycle' of criminalizing public service, [Sunstein] argued, and Democrats should avoid replicating retributive efforts like the impeachment of President Clinton -- or even the 'slight appearance' of it."

and:

b) the assertion that -- horrors -- Sunstein married Samantha Powers.

2) Glenn asserts that "Sunstein said: 'I'd be honored but surprised if the military commissions cite some of my academic articles.'"

3) Glenn asserts that "Identically, while Sunstein now pretends to disagree with Bush's theory as to why he had the power to spy on Americans in violation of the law (Sunstein said on Democracy Now: 'while I agree with Senator Feingold that the President's position is wrong'), Sunstein defended those theories as 'very reasonable' when he was on right-wing talk radio with Hugh Hewitt in late 2005 during the height of the NSA controversy."

That's all there is. Aside from Glenn repeatedly asserting that Sunstein Is Bad. This is enough to certainly make me want to know more, but certainly not enough to convince me of anything. Is there more, please? What Supreme Court issues should be alarmed at Sunstein possibly ruling on? How does he compare to Alito and Roberts? Etc.

I have asked von approximately one zillion times to please post about why he plans to vote for John McCain, and presumably thinks the rest of us should.

Perhaps von is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of the virtual lynch mob that would follow. I know I would be.

With that said, it is a position that needs to be on the front page at least once, so that it can be hashed out and subjected to the same critical process as the pro-Obama posts.

Oh, and Glenn links to this by Ari Melber as his source for the paraphrase about prosecuting government officials, but neglects to include this quote:

(Note: I updated this passage after talking with Professor Sunstein; the earlier version did not include his remarks about not ignoring egregious crimes.

Ah, and it turns out that the only source Glenn cites as regards Sunstein being a possible nominee is this by Stuart Taylor, not exactly a liberal, who has precisely 0 discussion of the possibility and gives precisely 0 sources. He merely includes Sunstein on this list, with links:

Obama's prospective justices:
• Elena Kagan
• Cass Sunstein
• Merrick Garland
• Hillary Rodham Clinton
• Sonia Sotomayor
• Eric Holder Jr.
• Diane Wood

McCain's prospective justices:
• Larry Thompson
• Maureen Mahoney
• Michael McConnell
• Lindsey Graham
• James Comey
• Paul Clement

Going from even Taylor's outline of Obama's positions, I'm hard put to see this as any kind of argument for why liberals should regard Obama as little different from McCain as regards SCOTUS appointees.



I have asked von approximately one zillion times to please post about why he plans to vote for John McCain, and presumably thinks the rest of us should.

Perhaps von is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of the virtual lynch mob that would follow. I know I would be.

But what if it were to be a gentle lynch mob, like uh, um, like in the castle with the Grain-shaped beacon from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You know, just a little bit of peril.


With that said, it is a position that needs to be on the front page at least once, so that it can be hashed out and subjected to the same critical process as the pro-Obama posts.

Agreed.

Catsy: …so that it can be hashed out and subjected to the same critical process as the pro-Obama posts.

Sorry, I love you – but – can you show me one post here where an Obama post has been gone over with a fine tooth comb like even one McCain post was? Hilzoy did exactly one as I recall – FISA. I love my hilzoy as much as anyone – but –Obama critical posts aren’t exactly happening here, are they?

I’m left to bring it up myself – then defend it, then just give it the f* up….

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad