Tuesday, June 03, 2008

One of the most intelligent things I've read about Barack Obama

From Good Times and Bad Times in Lost America:
Barack in my opinion is one of the whitest black politicians that have been out there, making it hard to see a fiery black nationalist in his statements. In fact, he voluntarily, not with prompting from the media but voluntarily, has distanced himself from radical black ideas that before he was elected to Congress, as a Senator, he may have supported. He's a uniter, not a divider.

But you know, he's running for the President of the United States not the President of black America. If he wants to be a real President he'll have to appeal to all Americans, not just black supporters who will vote for anyone black who's to the left of Alan Keyes and rich white Yuppies who listen to NPR and are liberal to the point of idiocy.

*on edit: it looks like there are two contradictory things going on here: Obama being a really white Black politician and him not connecting with white people although he's been straining to broaden his appeal there. The solution is that the white folks that Obama has been reaching out to aren't regular people but the upper middle class yuppie set that reads the Daily Kos. While he's done a lot to prove that he can order complex espresso drinks with the best of them he hasn't done anything to prove that, yes, he would possibly have a beer with a shot of whiskey or something.
All Barack Obama posts

9 comments:

The Contentious Centrist said...

"Barack in my opinion is one of the whitest black politicians that have been out there.."

Is it this statement that seduced you, Bob? It's clever, as Oscar Wilde would say, but, is it true?

I don't think so.

Obama ia blacker when he is with Blacks and whiter when he is with Whites. He has a certain "Zelig"ian property which is why he can be different things to different people, people who are sometimes standing at opposing positions. Which is why my initial lack of confidence in his leadership remains intact, even though I like him very much and respect his cool and eloquent intellect. He makes clear cut decisions only when faced with public pressure to do so. That hardly inspires confidence in his judgment.

In my opinion, Obama has only discovered the entitlements of blackness in America when he joined his church, that is, when he married a bona-fide African-American woman, (one with the proper provenance). But since his run up for the White House, he re-discovered his older and more familiar "white" self. So now he is no longer at ease with either blacks or whites.

I suspect that many of his black supporters project unto him their revenge fantasies, a la Reverend Wright. And many of his white supporters project unto him their own fantasy of their favourite black president: a white liberal with darker skin, who passes for black, but is not, really.

TNC said...

Unlike my friend CC, I have not found any substance with senator Obama, only platitudes. He's an intelligent and highly educated man, but he still seems like a skilled manipulator. A flim-flam man.

People try to present him as some sort of radical community organizer but his community organizing experience with ACORN is all of what, six months? That's his big claim to fame as far as being this agent of social change.

It's all a big sham. And don't even get me started on ACORN as an organization. The sort of "good" they are doing in poor communities. They are total poverty pimps...

"[M]any of his white supporters project unto him their own fantasy of their favourite black president: a white liberal with darker skin, who passes for black, but is not, really."

I think it varies with the supporter. For some (the NPR crowd), this observation is spot on. Others (the Pacifica radio crowd) are projecting an entirely different fantasy.

As far as intelligent posts on Obama. I enjoyed this piece by Sultan Knish:

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2008/05/obama-and-jews.html

If we're to believe the New York Times, the Washington Post and the rest of the good people at Media Central, the whole Jewish problem with Obama is the result of some provocative emails sent out by Karl Rove in his spare time that unfairly paint Obama as a Muslim to some gullible senior citizens.

"There, there," the media assures these elders, "Obama isn't a Muslim. He's the Messiah come to lead us to the promised land of big government, Cuban quality health care and environmental taxes on every ounce of bread we eat." And on the way there he may stop by the Middle East to lead Hamas to Jerusalem.
...
As the ultimate outsider who belongs nowhere Obama has shown a great talent for repackaging himself into a dozen ethnic and racial identities. Obama can be white or black. He can be Christian or Muslim. He can be a wealthy Harvard educated professional or a street level community activist.

Like an MC Escher picture, he's a collection of impossibly intersecting levels that seem oddly out of perspective for reasons that aren't apparent until you try to follow his contradictions. With all that in mind, there's no reason that Obama can't also repackage himself as a Jew.

To that end, Obama is already reimagining himself as a Zionist thanks to a Jewish sixth grade camp counselor and speaking of his love for the writings of Leon Uris and Philip Roth. While it's safe to assume that Obama won't be giving any readings of Leon Uris' The Haj, a book that captured with unnerving accuracy the psychological fault lines of Arab culture, he is displaying a talent more worthy of the literary works of other writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald or Theodore Dreiser. The talent of recreating himself into what people most want to see, the gift of the true con artist.

nwo/escapevelocity said...

You might enjoy this....via Hotair......

Video: Palestinian activist praises the Obama he used to know

"This was back in the early days, before BO devised that penetrating “head of state” idiocy that stops him from talking to Hamas but lets him talk to Iran so that he can walk the tightrope between left-wing Israel-haters and centrist Zionists. Nothing here that you haven’t heard before, but Fox went to the trouble of putting it together so digest it for future reference. Post-partisanmania!"

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=10131050&postID=8734507829129522918

Bob said...

Thanks, Centrists, for the comments. I share CC's liking for OB and his "cool and eloquent intellect" and I share your lack of confidence in him. The Zelig point (and the Sultan Knish version of it) is spot-on.

The corrollary (I know I've spelt that wrong) is that OB's portrayal by his detractors to his right as some kind of fire-brand leftist (in Joe Lieberman's words, more or less a "Marxist" no less) is as wrong as his portrayal by Media Central as a nice liberal. He is all things to all people, which is both a good thing and a bad thing in a president.

Except, as the Good Times post suggests, the one bunch of people he hasn't managed to be all things to (as far as I can tell from this side of the Atlantic) is your ordinary patriotic white-skinned blue-collar working stiff.

nwo said...

The same people that are moving in droves to the BNP in the UK.

Modern Social Democrats in the West have abandoned the core culture to play the minority victimization(empowerment) game.

Deconstructing western civilization and disempowering the Western redneck aka "Clingy Bigots."

The Contentious Centrist said...

".. your ordinary patriotic white-skinned blue-collar working stiff."

How can he? He is partial to arugula and special brews of blueberry juice and green tea and I'll bet he prefers white wine and cafe latte, to downing full jugs of beer in raucous bars. These finicky tastes do not impede his popularity with the black working class stiffs, though. I think the magic word is not "racism" but rather "patriotic". I think Obama is indeed a Marxist at heart. His more youthful relationships suggest he is. A Marxist, however evolved and reformed, is always uncomfortable with the sweaty kisses of simple, uncomplicated patriotism. I think this is where he does not get the white working class. The quality of their respective loves for America is different. His love is somewhat cold and standoffish. Their love is that of a mother who can see the many faults of her child and still love him unconditionally. John McCain gets it intuitively. Obama has to work at it, and it shows.

This thread is somewhat relevant to Obama's difficulties:

http://maxdunbar.wordpress.com/2008/05/04/on-purity-and-politics/#comment-445

nwo said...

Hey Bob.

I didnt introduce myself.

Im nwo from CR Board, better known as EscapeVelocity around the net.

Belinsky said...

"Barack in my opinion is one of the whitest black politicians that have been out there."

Racism, racism, racism. Is partiality to upper-middle class culture now "white"? What is this?

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

If you want to attack Obama for being a centrist, go ahead and do it. I agree that he is too moderate. Every government politician will be. It's the nature of the state government system. But don't attack him for possessing qualities that are traditionally "white"; that serves to perpetuate the racism that tells black children that reading books is "trying to be white."

bob said...

I don't think John Madziarczyk (who made the statement) was attacking Barack Obama for being "too white", but countering (a) the panic from some sections of the right that he is some Black Panther afrocentric revolutionary, and (b) the identity politics-based left-liberal adulation of him simply because he is "black".

Partiality to upper class culture is not exactly "white", but those who play the race card (not Obama, but some of his friends) have a dubious notion of authentic "blackness that, at best, Obama can only perform, Zelig-style.