After having been accused for the umpteenth time of being some sort of drooling, Obama-worshiping idiot who can’t examine the historical record and make an informed decision, I wanted to throw the bullshit flag on that nonsense as well. This should have been added to the Obama MythBusting post, but it was the blog that generated comments speaking exactly to what I was talking about. The irony of someone calling me intellectually dishonest and incapable of understanding nuance on a blog about intellectual dishonesty and lack of understanding of nuance in response to comments perfectly illustrating my point was too delicious to pass up.
Just because you are a cynical prick doesn’t mean the rest of us have to be as well. Just because we can wax rhetorical about what a great guy Barack is, doesn’t mean we haven’t done the in-depth homework necessary to form that opinion. Just because we don’t buy into yesterday’s political framework, doesn’t mean we are all ready to drink koolaid and meet our maker.
I will be the first to admit that admiration will lead to at least a small amount of prejudice toward the guy., That is understandable. But this cynical, sarcastic, world-weary bullshit is a downer. I hate it when my little brother pulls the same crap. I am certainly not going to like it any better from a stranger.
OK. I get it. You are super smart and have even read a couple of books. You aren’t going to be fooled by a politician. No sir. They are all the same. No difference between Barack and Hillary, except in the size of their rallies and fund-raising efforts and number of votes and number of states and number of delegate won. You aren’t impressed. We are all a bunch of Pollyanna zombies without the ability to see clearly and will inevitably be disappointed by Barack because the guy isn’t a saint, notwithstanding that we never claimed he was.
I am here to say bullshit on that, too.
Barack’s supporters aren’t a bunch of uniformed twits with suffering hero-worship. We are republicans, democrats and independents from across a wide swath of this country. We have advanced degrees and no degrees. We are from every geographic region and have a diverse series of stories. Whatever one-dimensial slice that you decide to find offensive on this site is an Internet blink. As Gladwell suggest, some blinks need to be measured against existing prejudice to determine their veracity.
What all the oh-so-savvy psuedo-sophisticates never seem to understand is if those who don’t expect better will never get it. And those who try to armor themselves against disappointment by treating dispair as a virtue make themselves accomplices to those who are actively engaged in making things worse.
Such a great point. I forget the exact quote, but it has something to do with staring into the abyss too long and being changed into that which you hate. Seems at the other end of the progressive pendulum remains a tendency to frame issues in absolutes. The mirror image of Bush’s 23-percenters. When the attitude is All-or-Nothing, nothing is usually what we get as a result.
Mmmmhmmm! Me too! Oh yeah!
Funny thing is that I’m a cynical, sarcastic prick sometimes and guess what…. I’m an Obama supporter! He has everybody in is base!
Anyone with Guinness as their icon deserves a certain amount of leeway for cynicism. I imagine the real pessimist appears when it been a while since your last pint. A great beer always makes me more optimistic about humanity.
Oh yeah, baby! Me too! Keep goin’…keep goin’!
Oh yeah, baby! Me too! Keep goin’…keep goin’!
The thing that has come up on my radar is that while the other side accuses us of being a positive cult of dopey hope bringers, they seem to be doing a great many cult like behaviors—in a negative cult. Obama supporters smile a lot and give you reasons why they think he’d be good for the country. On blogs all over the net, Clinton supporters are displaying strong cult like behavior when they make threats against Obama because he’s won more of everything. They threaten to not vote for the nominee of their party. They threaten to vote for an old war monger instead. They threaten to start active campaigns against the nominee of their party. They say they don’t care anything about the issues that have been the nearest and dearest to their hearts because they must have revenge if their candidate doesn’t win. Revenge has become their banner platform and their candidate has done little to quiet the anger and much to whip it up. That sounds a lot like a cult to me.
This comment is right on the money and thick with irony. It’s only a small percentage of Hillary’s people, roughly mirrored by the craziest in Obama’s camp. People who would burn down the village to save it. Our challenge then is how can we isolate, or at least neutralize, the more fervent among us of all political stripes.
Everyone invested in the Political Theater of yesterday will fight tooth and nail to protect the status quo or at least defend their prejudice. Many in America can’t seem to imagine a better way of approaching both politics and government except on their own narrowly-defined terms. It is absolutism as a means of political warfare. It is a lock-step mentality that facts can do very little to breach.
I think what we are seeing this year is a healthy percentage of Americans who want to do things differently and that is why Barack isn’t already a fading footnote to the historical record of 2008 democratic primary campaign. When republicans, democrats and independents all come together to support the same candidate, however, what you get is a governing majority, a mandate for change, and millions of Americans who will be helping to ensure that our mandate succeeds.
This will be an “All Hands on Deck” effort.
Oh my god yes! I’m almost there! Me too, me too, me too…aahhhh!
*lights up a Marlboro*
I think Loki’s (well named) having an “all hands on d*ck” experience, it would appear the R’s are stepping into the old Hillcamp quarters and taking over the trashfest…
Watch for more of this demeaning and disgraceful type of Rovian input from the Republicans, they learned a lot from our own Hillcult bitterheads.
And according to Cliff Schecter the Georgia Republican Party Chairperson, Susan Everhart, McCain’s “a lot like Jesus…”
Maybe they figured the cult thing was working for Obama, and they had better get a piece of the action?
Problem is, McCain’s dual personalities obviously don’t want to share his body with Jesus.
Still makes me wonder, if McCain gets the nod, which one of his two selves will have their finger on the button?
Flip McCain or Flop McCain?
Desperation can be ugly. I am thankful that most Obama supporters are pretty realistic and have decided we are going to demand a different outcome this year. Nice to see the silent majority step up and take this country back.
I like soaring rhetoric in a president. When Obama quotes the constitution about making a more perfect union it inspires me like it ought to. On the other hand when Hillary says we shouldn’t offer false hope it does the opposite.
There was a time in this country when FDR’s and JFK’s inspirational speeches prodded Americans to do better, to change the way of doing things, to try new solutions. They didn’t always work, there were failures as well as triumphs.
As Daniel Burnham the great Chicago architect said, “make no small plans, they don’t stir men’s souls”.
After 27 years of back asswards economics, 8 years of disastrous foreign policy, dismantling of government, and wasted decades of adhering to a incredibly destructive 19th century based energy policy we need a president who is not only willing to take on the great challenges of the times, which are as great or greater than any we’ve ever faced, but one who also invites us all, not just Democrats, but everybody to help fix the multiple predicaments we face together.
There’s a lot of damage that needs to be undone but even more so huge societal changes that need to be made if we’re going to put our country and the world on a sustainable course. We’re all literally going to have to change the way we live. There’s going to be a lot of sacrifice that we all have to share together to make this work.
We can no more expect that by simply blaming the rich we’ll solve these problems anymore than Republicans blaming the poor has ever accomplished anything. If the dollar stops being the world’s reserve currency and goes into freefall the rich know they’ll suffer the same fate as the rest of us. If cataclysmic global warming cripples civilization money won’t buy them sanctuary on a planet where there’s none to be had at any price. Rich, poor and middle class alike need to do what needs to be done to keep this a livable world. And the USA has to catch up with the rest of the planet and then lead again because
no other country is in a position to do it.
I don’t say that out of some sense of nationalistic pride. It’s just a fact that we use so much of the world’s resources, generate so much of the world’s wealth and pollution, and print the world’s reserve currency. It is our duty to humankind to set the example, to adopt the technologies and yes, make the sacrifices that all nations must make if we are to survive intact as a species into the next century.
Totally agree with everything you wrote. It will be a national effort that exceeds anything we have ever done as a nation, with the possible exception of getting the country started in the first place. It takes a special kind of leader to inspire the kind of response we need to get started on this multi-generational American Renaissance.
You’ve captured my feelings about the current race perfectly. Over the past eight years, we’ve seen a Republican administration that wasn’t really worried about its effect on foreign or domestic affairs on any scale. Instead, we’ve seen an administration playing to the fear of the citizenry (largely to prolong its grip on power) while it has gone about the business of taking care of the most well-to-do among us.
We are facing times not unlike those our ancestors faced in the mid 19th century, though the catalysts are different. Then and now, America was facing potentially devastating times. Much like war and a failing economy have us staggering now, in the 1850s we were punch-drunk with internal strife over the issue of slavery and its potential for tearing the nation apart.
Then, it was a senator from Illinois who stepped forward to do the right thing. He used his gift for rhetoric to help rally a country, slavery was dealt a lethal blow (though not without sacrifice) and this nation began its steady climb toward international greatness.
Now, we’ve been the world’s beacon of hope, but, again, are facing very tough times. Our nation needs healing again. Strangely enough, it’s another senator from Illinois who steps to the fore, gifted, as was Lincoln, with the capacity for uplifting rhetoric. Already, he’s awakened our younger generations from their apathy. And he wants to again make us strong at home and, more than anything, a beacon of hope and a voice of moral authority abroad.
Geez…I hope everyone in here is wearing protection! Sounds like this love-fest is about to get awfully messy.
Don’t be jealous; join in, cutie!
Admiration alone does not a cult make. A cult (or the GOP) can be characterized by the withholding and manipulation of information, and a top-down hierarchy: “Keep quiet and let me drive. We’ll take the blindfold off once we’re there.” You sure don’t see much of that going on in Barack’s campaign.
The best thing about the Obama campaign is not just its emphasis on people power, though that is certainly most welcome after the last couple decades. It is also the effect that Obama has had on the previously apathetic. I have friends who have never taken an interest in politics who are now debating the finer points of foreign policy and health care plans. Far from a brainwashing operation, the Obama campaign has gotten folks interested in government, interested in politics, interested in becoming informed and interested in becoming involved. To me, that seems to be an unambiguous positive.
I agree that this is perhaps the most important dynamic this year. More people becoming more aware is always a great development in a closing society.
hip, indubitably, hip! at long last …
we are cracking it open! and we are going to clean it up and fix it so that it works for us again! in fact, we are already creating the next model!
I’d like to point out that the “cult effect” is stronger than I realized. If you look at the user-generated content on Obama at Youtube, you’ll see what I mean. People really do believe he’s either God or the Antichrist.
I find that users are not always the most reliable reporters or analysts …
perhaps some ‘cultish’-tending (or obsessed) people believe what they see [wrt Obama &/or his supporters] is comparable to what they’re familiar with. These folks often confuse God with their own fanciful delusions.
Sort of like worshipping their own thinking or theories! (Not that only members of cults practice that foolishness!)
You do realize that most user-generated content on YouTube is skewed heavily to a more youthful audience, one that tends to be a little more animated & effusive about their support.
I say we embrace this new enthusiasm on the part of younger voters or the previously apathetic and disengaged. Only by turning out a solid majority of voters (something in the 70% to 75% range) will we actually be able to fix some shit around here.
Any candidate who gets Americans to the polls as well as tells this country hard truths we need to hear will get my vote come November. He will also get my money and time in the general election.
We have one shot at this before this ride gets even scarier.
Your second paragraph is right on.
I’m so tired of people insinuating and even saying, out-right, that I’ll wake up and see reality when it’s too late. Like I’m not aware, now, of reality.
I’m tired of the constant self congratulatory place people put themselves, in relation to Obama supporters. WTF? And then when we react angrily, well, see – we don’t deserve to be Obama supporters because we’re mean. Double binds. I’m not fooled though because I’ve read Gregory Bateson and R.D. Lang.
Right. There is even evidence of it right here in the comments section of this blog.
Perhaps my own debilitating bias doesn’t allow me to see the true state of affairs, but I find most Barack supporters to be well informed, progressive and open minded.
Many are also pessimistic, yet can’t help but take the chance that Barack just might be as good as he seems.
Obama’s positive influence has so energized the young that, last night, I heard a group of Chinese students (who attend an American school) debating the political issues of their own country — one team citing Obama as their inspiration for rational change. How about that? An American, used as a positive role model and influence abroad. I was proud of the students, proud of Obama and proud to be an American. Yes, We Can.
Fun story. Reminds me of the video I saw about those students in the Bronx who are suddenly excited about their world. I don’t know why people are so suspicious of someone who inspires participation, the lack of which has been killing us for so long.
Love this phrase.
It describes many of us who write in, I think.
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
Sweetheart, first of all you’ve got a very cute smile. Second, your younger brother hasn’t been around long enough to be cynical in any positive sense of the word. Third, your post is all about you, not about Obama. Fourth, many cynical Hillary supporters such as myself can see that Obama is just as cynical as we are, and can be very good at the old style political games; so much so that he is even able to convince legions of naive young voters that he isn’t. Personally I’m hoping, since we’re stuck with him as the nominee, that he succeeds in pulling it off. For example right now he is busy distorting the facts and playing the politics of fear, and I hope it works.
“GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) – Democrat Barack Obama told seniors Sunday that Republican John McCain would threaten the Social Security that they and millions like them depend on because he supports privatizing the program.
we know how you love the fear, Otto. It hardly matters to you who instills it or why. Fearful people delight and give you your greatest joy …
Thanks for the compliments on the smile. My wife says it is my best feature. Of course, my loquaciousness and candor are two she isn’t quite as fond of at times.
Most of what you is more of the same nonsense, but I must take exception with one of the continuing memes that you guys throw out – that Obama is only able to convince “legions of young voters” of sincerity.
The youth (under 29?) vote is certainly a large part of his constituency but isn’t the bulk or even most of it.
Otherwise, I hope at some point you realize that many Barack supporters are cynics as well and ready to spar with the neocon clowns who would keep our country hostage. I am far from some Pollyanna college kid who just rolled out of bed. We may be older, but we can still dream. We are very skeptical about the existing power structures and their ability to change quickly.
We just aren’t cynical about our candidate or his call to arms.
“your post is all about you, not about Obama. ”
Otto, this country is in fact all about Jason, and about you, and about me, and about all our fellow citizens. It is our job to put the USA back on a better track.
Dude, I think you might be a danger to yourself. Take some more koolaid and say Yes we can…over and over.
This deliberate line of attack is priceless. Obama’s supporters must be cult worshippers, while Republicans spread rumors that he is the antichrist.
If you read enough blogs, the pattern is pretty widespread.
no doubt there is a *lot* of confusion out there … (and even some more frightening states or conditions which some creatures seem to have to squirm through)
but only so many freaks can pass for regular people, even today! most of them give themselves away quite readily …
I think it is simply a different avenue of attack because the guilt by association stuff isn’t working. If we can convince what few undecided voters remain that Barack’s people are all crazy cultists that will keep them from joining up.
Except, of course, the reality of Obama supporters is very different from what the chorus of idiots keeps ranting about, so once someone does change to Obama, it tends to weather just about any charges that come later.
This strategy is clearly back-firing this year.
I hate to self promote, but I must say that a good bit of evidence supporting this blog can be seen in my “How Did You Pick You Favoured Candidate” thread.
After just spending Friday and Saturday at the Colorado Democratic Convention in Colorado Springs, it was interesting. My husband came with me on Friday so I could attempt to preregister for Saturday’s main convention. He has not been exposed to either side really and set out to see what everybody was about as I stood in line for two hours and still didn’t get registered.
When we were driving back to Denver, he said that he couldn’t believe how many of Obama supporters were smarmy and callow. He was amazed. He said they are acting like Obama is their religious leader. I asked him why he thought that was and he said because they haven’t found that inspiration within themselves, but have found it in Obama. Further, he was surprised at how down to earth Hillary’s supporters were.
After attending four assemblies or conventions, I can honestly say he has many Obama supporters pegged, except he didn’t see too many Anybody But Clinton people at the registration, but he does know a few.
Interesting comment, nicely told. Thanks, Blue Heron.
Thanks for the comment, but I wonder about the underlying bias and the things left unsaid. Such as, who does your husband support? Might not his own prejudices make judging an Obama event problematic?
Obama supporters are “smarmy and callow”? Based on what exactly? That we discovered a candidate who tells the truth and we are absolutely stunned? I have yet to meet a single Obama supporter, on- or off-line, who thinks of Barack in that fashion.
I hate to simply dismiss comments such as this, but it so anecdotal and 180 degrees counter to what I have found in the real world, that I can’t help be skeptical.
Hmmm…most of the people I know support Obama, from age 20 to 75, and that describes not a single one of them. I have neither met nor run across anyone who thinks Obama is a religious leader, many who think, instead, he would be a good president.
I have met some down to earth Hillary people. Some like her health care plan and commitment, others want a return to the Clinton years, others think the Clintons are in a unique position to heal America’s position in the world. They are all disappointed, but going to support Obama despite reservations. Then there are some who are not down to earth, who have invested a great deal into Hillary’s campaign emotionally, who want to see a woman president so badly that they see sexism at every turn.
Most people on both sides are down to earth, I would guess. Some are batshit crazy. Some are assholes. Some are combinations of the two. Somehow, we shall all endure.
You obviously live a somewhat charmed life if you believe this.
My wife works for Head Start (fed program for disadvantaged kids.) Part of her job used to be picking up the kids from the halfway house where they live with mommy while she tries to kick meth.
And that’s just the mommies that got caught.
You’d be surprised at how cynical a person can get before they’ve even lived half a decade.
Great point. If it wasn’t for my natural optimism, the life I lived by the time I was ten would have made me a cynic for life.
Mr. Miller, I like your post.
You’re quite welcome. Thanks for dropping by!
I think it safe to assume that there are so many voters involved in this election that we see every type of supporter, both clearheaded and slightly delusional on all sides. The only important thing is that there are more of one type than the other. Which type do we need more of? The ones who recognize reality, and know a winner when they see one, and know how to add.
I think being able to see reality is especially important this year and not just with regards to the delegate count.
I believe the reason Barack is even in this thing is that at least half of the democratic party took a second look at the Clinton record while at the same time a great number of independents and republicans wanted a complete break with the past 8 years, but wouldn’t vote for Hillary in a million years.
What that tells me is the trespasses of both parties became so severe and in our face that the silent majority finally woke up. Who is winning in that atmosphere? The guy with the least amount of Washington time on his resume. That really tells me a lot about the mood of the country.
this sounds real enough to me! and that awakening is not only exciting but contagious! and in the nick of time too …
My first and second choices are no longer in the race. I’m in California and wound up voting for Hillary. A while later, I started regretting it; I wanted her to bow out gracefully.
Two of the reasons I voted for her still stand, though: 1) Obama’s health care plan is still the worst among the major Democratic candidates, and is still the biggest policy difference to be found, so if you’re going to decide based on policies, he’s still wrong. 2) Too many Obama supporters were or are so aggressively, bitterly anti-Clinton, anti-Edwards, and anti- their supporters, basically turning the candidate’s message inside-out and leaving it feeling very hollow. I could not, at the time, stand to vote for a candidate with supporters who conducted themselves the way the Obama supporters in my area and on the message boards I was reading behaved.
I said to my brother – I want to like Obama, I keep hoping I can be persuaded, but every time I read anything by his supporters… or visited his campaign site… or otherwise looked over summaries of his positions, I was left with the inescapable conclusion that there were several other candidates I’d prefer to be President.
That being said… Hillary’s last few months have shown me that voting for her was a mistake. I want her out. I’m also terribly disappointed in McCain – having lived in Arizona for a long time, he was one of the few Republican politicians I’ve actually voted for. He’s old and desperate and taking any path to power that he can find… and I believe and pray that it will catch up to him, and we can all celebrate an Obama victory this coming November.
“He’s old and desperate”
Are they any other Democrats left besides me who would prefer to defeat John McCain without endorsing the kind of age discrimination that progressives responded to with the enactment of the ADEA in 1967. Seriously, I wonder how many senior citicizens will begin to resent this notion that John McCain, intolerable for many reasons on the merits, is being made fun of becauase he is 71 years old. I wonder how many progressives will regret the ageism stuff after the election is over. I’ll work like heck for Obama but I will not make fun of John McCain because of his age. It’s just wrong, unless there is something physically or mentally wrong with him. And spare the mental jokes in response please. We are progressives, are we not?
Well, as long as we can celebrate an Obama victory in November, any past difference should go away.
Personally, I don’t think that Obama’s supporters are any more obnoxious than any other candidate’s supporters have been. There are wing-nuts in every camp. I find it a little disingenuous to attribute all the acrimony in this primary to Barack’s people.
I think a small percentage of voters are total dicks, no matter who they support. Everyone else is passionate and involved – neither trait I fault in voters who have been unconscious for 40 years. I say we need more passion, no matter who you are voting for, but should try to temper it with charity toward one’s opponent.
You must admit that whatever flaws Barack’s supporters have and whatever difference in policy you may have, the man is courteous to his opponents. He is obviously passionate about his ideas and where we need to take the country, but he doesn’t let that passion turn to bitterness.
Whatever our faults may be, projecting those on to Barack doesn’t make much sense to me.
Oh, I agree, attributing all the acrimony to one side or another is far from reasonable.
The comments from the Obama net supporters struck me more strongly than others, though, since they were from the people calling for a new civil politics, and they stood out so starkly in contrast to the message of the candidate they claimed to support, you know?
There were other things… there was a while there where some of the worst campaign materials and distortions of opponents’ records were coming from the Obama camp (unfortunately, this was happening right around when I was making up my mind who to vote for). This is something that’s swung back and forth between all the camps. I could give you some direct Barak quotes that distort Clinton’s record and positions, just as I can give you quotes from nearly any candidate doing the same for some of their opponents. (Specifically, when I was getting ready to decide who to vote for, I went to factcheck.org and the majority of the recent distortions cited were from the Obama campaign. This very much surprised me.)
Barak sets a high bar for himself. I admire that. He doesn’t always clear it, though, and certainly his campaign doesn’t… and because he gets big points for setting the high goal, when his campaign, or, yes, his supporters fall short… he loses more than another candidate would. It’s still very much a net positive for him, and my impression is that he, his campaign, and his supporters are doing better at meeting those high standards lately.
If I were able to vote again today, I’d vote for Obama over Clinton, and I imagine there’s a lot of us out there, so Clinton’s claim that making Obama the nominee will have some sort of devastating impact on ALL the people who voted for her is just plain wrong.
I totally agree that Barack has done things that I might not have advised had anyone thought to ask me. I don’t claim to know each and every mailer that originated with the campaign, but that some may have been taken as misleading by Hillary voters isn’t a surprise. As you said, both candidates have been guilty of the same.
Of course, being an Obama supporter, I have the metrics titled more toward Hillary on the negative side. Again, a predictable reaction given human dynamics.
Your overall point is right on target – if we can all come together as a unified democratic party, then joined with progressive republicans and independents we can reshape this country. By setting the bar high, even if we fail to achieve everything, in failing we will still advance our ultimate long-term goals as a country.
A governing majority, as Reagan and FDR found, can move mountains. We have a real shot at a governing majority this year.
Well, my “old and desperate” comment was specifically in regards to the idea that John McCain feels (probably rightfully so) that this is his last shot at the big prize. If he misses out this time, there’s very little chance you’ll see him run again in 4 more years, and he’s been working toward a run at the Presidency for a long time. He tried the high road before, and it didn’t get him the nomination. Now, my impression is he’s willing to resort to whatever works, and I believe that’s partly because he feels his own clock ticking away.
As to his age in general – being President is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. A large percentage of Presidents have died in office. It takes a special combination of energy and wisdom to do the job well, along with management skills and vision.
One of my relatives was recently unhappily forced to retire at 60 (the mandatory age for retirement for airline pilots, which has since changed to 65). Another at 80 – he was a leading chemist for PPG corp, and he would’ve kept working for at least several more years if permitted. So, I have sympathy for the idea that we should let people judge for themselves if they’re up to taking on most jobs. And yet… it feels like McCain’s VP choice matters a lot more than most.
Interestingly, the laws prohibiting age discrimination have a specific exemption permitting mandatory retirement of:
“any employee who has attained 65 years of age, and who, for the 2-year period immediately before retirement, is employed in a bona fide executive or higher policymaking position”.
That seems like a common sense provision to me.
When it comes to dictating the strategy and tactics of a company or a country there is such a thing as getting too old. It keeps you from shifting your paradigm quite as quickly as might be needed by changing times.
McCain seems stuck in a Cold War mentality to me, though it ended nearly two decades ago. His policy proposals continue a long string of bankrupt ideas that have actually left us nearly bankrupt, though it doesn’t quite translate with a country as big as ours. His foreign policy ideas will have us fighting wars we can’t possibly win, no matter how many lives and dollars we throw at the effort.
A long memory can be a bad thing when facing new challenges.