Monday, February 25

:: I Told You So

Welcome to the real world, Barack
And so it begins. The press, its bloodlust for Hillary sated after the frenzy of dancing on her (purported) grave, turns its attention to Barack.

Last night, my dear mother called to tell me that Bill Maher's crowd was ripping Obama to shreds (why she was watching Bill Maher, I do not know). "You should turn it on right now," she said. "They are saying all the things you told me they would say."

Well, she is my mom.

But apparently Maher's crowd hit the high notes - Barack's arrogance, presumptuousness with regard to soul-saving, lack of experience, statement about sitting down with Castro II, lack of patriotism, his bitchy wife, and so on.

The New York Times has two columns that are perfect illustrations - close up, and in detail - of how the worm turns.

Today, Bill Kristol offers "Its All About Him," an homage to Barack's arrogance and lack of substance.
Last October, a reporter asked Barack Obama why he had stopped wearing the American flag lapel pin that he, like many other public officials, had been sporting since soon after Sept. 11. Obama could have responded that his new-found fashion minimalism was no big deal. What matters, obviously, is what you believe and do, not what you wear.

But Obama chose to present his flag-pin removal as a principled gesture. “You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest.”

Leave aside the claim that “speaking out on issues” constitutes true patriotism. What’s striking is that Obama couldn’t resist a grandiose explanation. Obama’s unnecessary and imprudent statement impugns the sincerity or intelligence of those vulgar sorts who still choose to wear a flag pin. But moral vanity prevailed. He wanted to explain that he was too good — too patriotic! — to wear a flag pin on his chest.

Now, Kristol is evil, I know. But he makes a valid point that Obama's kumbaya suporters have failed to grasp thusfar - Obama self-aggrandizing rhetoric paints everyone who is not on board with him as part of the problem. If you don't support Obama - if, for example, you support Hillary - you are against change, you are part of the machine, you don't care about the issues, you are a war monger, you are corrupt, and so on. Obama's campaign has gone negative since Day One.

To switch to lit-crit language, Obama created his in-group by casting Hillary as the "Other." The press was only too happy to concur. Feminists have been the "Other" for as long as they've existed.

Now that the press has written off Hillary, the in-group fractures. Without anti-Hillaryism to bind them together, the press no longer knows what it ever saw in the Obamanation.

Kristol says this about Michelle Obama's idiotic "patriotism" comment:
For as she had argued in the Wisconsin speech, America’s illness goes far beyond a flawed political process: “Barack knows that at some level there’s a hole in our souls.” This was a variation of language she had used earlier on the campaign trail: “Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that, that before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.”

But they can be repaired. Indeed, she had said a couple of weeks before, in Los Angeles: “Barack Obama ... is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

So we don’t have to work to improve our souls. Our broken souls can be fixed — by our voting for Barack Obama. We don’t have to fight or sacrifice to help our country. Our uninvolved and uninformed lives can be changed — by our choosing Barack Obama. America can become a nation to be proud of — by letting ourselves be led by Barack Obama.

[Seriously, I try to shield myself from this - but - our souls? This is what the Obama campaign has been telling people?]

Notice Kristol's use of the pronouns "us," "our" and "we"? "Us" used to be "us folk who hate Hillary." Now a new dynamic is in play.

Kristol finishes with a nicely encapsulated preview of GOP message strategy.
Barack Obama is an awfully talented politician. But could the American people, by November, decide that for all his impressive qualities, Obama tends too much toward the preening self-regard of Bill Clinton, the patronizing elitism of Al Gore and the haughty liberalism of John Kerry?

It’s fitting that the alternative to Obama will be John McCain. He makes no grand claim to fix our souls. He doesn’t think he’s the one everyone has been waiting for. He’s more proud of his country than of himself. And his patriotism has consisted of deeds more challenging than “speaking out on issues.”
Job 1 - paint Obama as another typical Democrat, combining the worst qualities of Bill Clinton (vain, huckster), Al Gore (liar, wimp) and John Kerry (elitist snob).

Job 2 - draw contrast with the honorable, modest war hero John McCain.

Kristol's column comes on the heels of Maureen Dowd's "Quien Es Mas Macho." And here's a surprise....she finds him to be so ickily.... feminine! [Her job, apparently, is to cast Democratic presidential nominees as the feminine to the GOP's masculine, the mommy versus the daddy.] Apparently Hillary is more manly than Obama (a shift from the previous "Hillary is too manly"). Here she goes...

At first in Austin, Hillary did not channel Jane Austen. She tried once more to cast Obama as a weak sister on his willingness to talk to Raúl Castro.

Obama tapped into his inner chick and turned the other cheek. To cheers, he said, "I think that it’s important for us, in undoing the damage that has been done over the last seven years, for the president to be willing to take that extra step."

Like a prudent housekeeper, Obama spent the cash he raised — including from his continuing relationships with small donors — far more shrewdly, on ads rather than on himself.
You get the picture. Dowd is a master (mistress) of sexist jujitsu.

I'd feel badly about all this, if I hadn't been at National airport yesterday where I saw a prominent display of Hillary "nutcrackers" for sale. These are the figurines of Hillary with a metal, toothed nutcracker in place of a crotch. The box says "What Did You Expect?" and they are sold along with a bag of walnuts. When I suggested to the woman behind the counter that these were wildly offensive, she replied with that most American of statements,

"Well, people are buying them."

Well, people buy a lot of things, don't they. Including the words of Kristol and Dowd.

Obama and his boys brigade of campaign strategists thought they could harness sexism and prejudice to their own advantage. As it happens, the joke is on them.

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