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Friday, June 27, 2008

The Audacity To Be A Dope

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Attendant with Barack Obama's ascension (an important word here) to the position of soon-to-be Democratic Presidential nominee has come some of the strangest behaviors from his, that word doesn't really capture it...disciples is nearer to the reality, ever witnessed in a political campaign. From the oooh-ing and ahh-ing and applause when he has to blow his nose to the gyrations of the "Obama Girl" to the recent statement by the ubiquitous P. Diddy (is that still his name, by the way?), "Obama or die!", these folks have simply lost it.

Some of the most astounding examples of the kind of mental decompensation that is going on can be found in print. Warren Bolton, Associate Editor of The has written a column that typifies what passes for reasoned analysis in the ranks of the Obamessiah's acolytes. It is a thing of wonder:

MANY HAVE OPINED about what Sen. Barack Obama’s phenomenal win in the Democratic presidential primary and his possible ascension [there it is] to the presidency mean to this nation.

Just the elementary historical facts are powerful enough: There has never been a black president. An African-American had never come close to winning a major-party nomination. None had been part of a majority-party ticket.

What does Sen. Obama’s nomination say about race and race relations in America? What does it say about opportunity for people of color? Those are the kinds of questions many a pundit has tried to put into perspective.

Of course, most importantly, Sen. Obama’s ascension
[there it is, again!] says a lot about, well, Sen. Obama. It says his powerful gift of oratory and his message of change connected. His ability to build and manage an extraordinary campaign network and to raise funds is superior. His idealism that America can unite beyond race and politics and age worked.
Ok, not so crazy so far, except for overdoing the "ascension" [hint hint] thing. That's a bit disturbing, no? But next he jumps into the deep end without a life preserver and doesn't bother to take a breath.
As I’ve considered Sen. Obama’s accomplishment, I’ve determined the most profound impact he’s had — not considering the possibility of him becoming president and proving to be one of our better ones — is on our future more than our present or our history.

I didn’t grasp that until I took my 2-year-old to the doctor last week and he took a vision exam. It was through young Alexander’s eyes that I saw how important this moment in time could be.

The nurse administering the exam pointed to different shapes and images on a chart, asking Alexander to identify each. One of the recurring images was that of a flag. It wasn’t an American flag, but a flag just the same.

To a 2-year-old, a flag is a flag, right? Alexander is most familiar with the U.S. flag. When the nurse pointed to the flag, he answered confidently.

Barack Obama,” he said, pronouncing it as best as a 2-year-old could.

“What did you say?” she asked.

Barack Obama.”

As she went through the chart, she once again came to the flag.

Barack Obama.”

“Do you know what he’s saying?” I asked her.


“He’s saying Barack Obama.” Why? Because he was making an association. Most times when he’s seen Sen. Obama on TV, the Democratic nominee has been standing in front of the U.S. flag.

The preceding just may be one of the craziest stories ever to try to pass itself off as journalism in the history of that checkered profession. His kid seems forced into this piece like a square peg smashed into a round hole with a sledgehammer by the Hulk in a particularly nasty mood. It is simply inane and utterly incoherent. In rereading it, the poor child seems afflicted with some sort of developmental perceptual deficit, unable to distinguish between a flag and Barack Obama. Instead of picking the poor boy up and running to have him tested Bolton is proud that the kid seems to think that Obama is a (not even an American, mind you) flag. Sadly the madness doesn't end there:
Whether Sen. Obama wins the presidency or not, he has had an untold effect on the future and psyche of America.

My son will live a lifetime in which he knows an African-American can ascend to the highest levels in this country. He won’t think it odd for a black man to seek to lead a nation. He as well as many white, Asian, Hispanic and other children, whether they like the candidate or not, won’t think it odd or a novelty to see a black man standing in front of the American flag — the ultimate display of patriotism, despite misguided and mean-spirited efforts to paint Sen. Obama as being otherwise — articulating his concerns and love for his country.

[Excuse my interruption here, but since when is "standing in front of the American flag" the "ultimate display of patriotism"? I always thought that dying or suffering for your country - you know, kind of like John McCain did - was the ultimate display of patriotism. But that was the definition, pre-Obama, I guess.]

Because of Barack Obama, many of our children won’t grow up with as many of the psychological bruises those before them might have endured.

Read that last line again. Because of Barack Obama many of the "psychological bruises" of childhood will be vanquished. How about pimples and bed-wetting? Surely he can end those, too?
I grew up being told that I could one day be president. But much of what I saw and heard suggested otherwise. I saw and experienced the discrimination. Blacks only secured the right to vote in my lifetime. I saw many black kids in school being steered away from advanced courses and training that would have prepared them to shoot for higher goals.

Not only does Sen. Obama’s feat help shape a 2-year-old’s thoughts about himself and the world around him, but it affects so many others, from high-schoolers to college students to older folks.

Think of the many people, particularly older citizens, who had determined they would never live to see a black president. Scarcely 200 years since the end of the evil slave trade, there’s a good chance it could happen.

I’ll never forget the e-mail I got from one of my sisters who was excited about Sen. Obama’s chances: “He has more going for him than any other black person who has ever tried for the presidency. I never thought this would happen in my life time, but now I see the possibility.”

Possibility. Hope. Change.

Ok, you just knew those three words were coming, didn't you? As usual they are disconnected to anything tangible in the real world, just sort of free-floating happiness that is beyond explanation. This is the Obamessiah's gift to us, I guess.

People sell those notions short. But they’re powerful. The fact is,
people of all races and backgrounds see different possibilities and hope in Sen. Obama. They see the
hope for a unified America that actually attempts to address issues such as
health care. It’s not so much that Sen. Obama can solve them alone — what president can? —
but they believe he can inspire Americans to rise up and help bring about
[Whatever the Hell that means.]

An Obama win doesn’t mean we’ve arrived in terms of race relations and
[You always want to leave that door open so you can play
the race card once more when a White guy gets into office again.]
But it would send a signal that we can arrive.

Even Congressman
James Clyburn, who
once said he would never live to see a black governor in South Carolina, was
moved by the possibility. He told ETV’s “The Big Picture” that he was overcome with
emotion watching Barack Obama become the first black major-party
presidential nominee. He said he left a public event and went home to watch Sen. Obama’s victory
speech alone “because what I was feeling was indescribable, and I was afraid
that I would not be able to control my emotions .”

Congressman Clyburn controlled himself
— that time. If Sen. Obama succeeds in November, Congressman Clyburn may not be able to
control his emotions.

He’ll have lots of company.

The only thing that makes any sense in this diatribe is that last sentence. And if that doesn't scare you, I don't know what could.

Welcome to American politics in the Promised Land.

Cross Posted at The Patriot Room

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