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Robert, Don’t Look Into His Eyes!

February 21, 2008
AH! Robert Samuelson has been lurking on this blog. That, or, we both thought of hypnosis and Obamakaa the same day. Don’t look into the light Robert, and drink coffee, lots of coffee!

Political candidates routinely indulge in exaggeration, pandering, inconsistency and self-serving obscuration. Clinton and McCain do. The reason for holding Obama to a higher standard is that it’s his standard and also his campaign’s central theme. He has run on the vague promise of “change,” but on issue after issue — immigration, the economy, global warming — he has offered boilerplate policies that evade the underlying causes of the stalemates. These issues remain contentious because they involve real conflicts or differences of opinion. The contrast between his broad rhetoric and his narrow agenda is stark, and yet the media — preoccupied with the political “horse race” — have treated his invocation of “change” as a serious idea rather than a shallow campaign slogan. He seems to have hypnotized much of the media and the public with his eloquence and the symbolism of his life story. The result is a mass delusion that Obama is forthrightly engaging the nation’s major problems when, so far, he isn’t.

Read the rest here.

4 Comments
  1. Anna permalink
    February 22, 2008 4:55 am

    This may sound like a silly response to your post, Kitty – but lets talk aol headlines. Every time I log in to my aol account I am greeted by the latest campaign/election headline. Now, aol is not known for its serious newsworthiness – they basically crank out trite, “pop headlines” to be easily consumed by the gullible. For a week or so now, they have apparently decided to endorse Obama. They have been so painting him as the sure thing in the horse race that his near contender & any pertinent issues have been scrapped as unnecessary considerations. Basically, the ultimate dumbing down of politics – this is unfair to him & the whole process. And how many people have aol accounts – millions, no doubt.

    So my point is – I think! – in light of your post – that issues are not getting stressed & platforms are not being analyzed which is fascinating in light of how tight a race it is.

    Does any of this make sense? Anyway – it’s what came to my weary mind when I read your post.

  2. Kitty Glendower permalink
    February 22, 2008 6:17 am

    Exactly. That is why I’ve been mocking Obama and his “appeal”. He is not a victim in this because he is using it to his advantage. He has not denounced any of the sexism that the media has launched against Clinton, he even participated in it with his little PMS implication. At first, it was just the media that got on my nerves, then it was the voters who went off of headlines and nothing else and now it is Obama himself. Anyone running for the president of the United States has a responsibility to prove more worth than hype. It’s making me sick.

    Yes it all makes sense. And if you haven’t notice the media (lately) is going out of their way to say they do not influence voters. Almost one of those doth protest too much kind of things.

    As far as AOL. OH MY GAWD. How they dangle their headlines and then it takes five mintues to get to the page where the meat is to find dry crackers and nothing else.

  3. SagaciousHillbilly permalink
    February 22, 2008 4:09 pm

    Ms. Glyn Dwr,
    (Pardon my Welsh)
    So the author thinks that Obamaholics are all delusional. Interesting brush stroke.
    He also seems to think that all his ideas and principles are rendered null and void when he in any way descends from his high ethical perch. I suspect we will be seeing much more of this shallow rhetoric custom made for the target audience of desperate proles.

    Ah, post modernism. . . I have to say, that with an MA in cultural studies, I’ve also struggled with the concept. Your prof friend certainly has an interesting handle on the idea. I’ve never quite heard it explained as such, but sound valid. I think “post Modern” is whatever this post modern time calls for. To explain it outside of the context of the time in which we live and the social fabric of which we are a part is fruitless.
    As a culturalist, I was always more focused on the “post colonial.” I tried to leave the “post modern” stuff for you English majors to gnash around.
    Regards,
    SH

  4. A-mazing Amazon permalink
    February 22, 2008 8:33 pm

    it’s interesting that anyone with a working brain can see through obama’s rhetoric about Change. see, because any new president would mean a certain amount of change, even if it’s only superficial. so….so what? change is INEVITABLE. obama’s campaign is banking on something that will happen anyway.

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