April 14, 2008
Obama ChicBy James Lewis
Geraldine Ferraro wasn't quite right: It's not just Obama's race that has made him the frontrunner on the Left. It's his chic-ness.
It helps that Senator Obama is "international" and half black, but don't ignore his youth, his sonorous voice and skinniness: He's the fashion icon of the age. Shortly after Obama announced, he captured the gay vote with one photo op in a bathing suit.
If Senator Obama looked and talked like Charlie Rangel he would not be adored by millions of lovelorn liberals.
Have our greatest presidents have been chic just like Obama? There is George Washington with his wooden teeth, Abe Lincoln with his ole' prairie lawyer drawl, and Ronald Reagan with this 1950s haircut.
Still, there is something about Obama that casts a magic spell over those of a certain mindset. At Salon magazine, Walter Shapiro gushed,
Even flubbing a couple of bowling ball tries reflects on the man's cool. This man can do no wrong.
I have a friend who ran into Bill Clinton in the 90s one day, shook hands with the great man for a few seconds, and came away transformed. I asked him what came over him. "You don't understand!" he said. "He loved me!" So my friend voted for the Slick One, and wouldn't listen to a critical word in spite of all the scandals. True story. That's what a celebrity handshake and five seconds of sincere vibes can do to certain folks when dealing with a charismatic pol.
I thought it was degrading to be so easily suckered by an flaming con artist. But maybe that's the secret of the Democrats: they know their followers are looking for love. Like any good sales outfit they play to whatever their customers dream about: I care for you, yes you, personally, it's love, baby, sitting in front of your TV with 200 million other viewers. It's like the old radio preacher asking all the listeners to place both hands on their RCA Victor, bow their heads, and pray with him in person, one to one. Bill Clinton made "I care for you" work at the polls. Obama is doing it right in front of our eyes. Hillary doesn't have the mojo, no matter how hard she tries.
You have to admit that black Democrats have a point. If you are looking for a crowd charmer to mesmerize millions of gullible folks, why not choose a black guy? After all, could Obama be worse than Bill?
With the New Media finding out more about the real Obama, we are learning a lot that doesn't quite fit the manufactured image. Such as Senator Obama's notion of compassion toward white small-town Pennsylvanians and their well-known racial rage and hatred.
When Hillary and McCain promptly jumped on that remark as showing contempt for and ignorance about the voters, Obama dug himself a deeper hole:
It's funny, those are feelings a lot of average Americans may have never noticed themselves --- it's unconscious racism, you you --- but the libs are sure that everybody is a racist out there. It's a miracle how Obama can read all those typical white minds with absolute, metaphysical certainty.
Call it omniscient mind-reading. It's a liberal faith that surpasseth human understanding. They and only they can see right through false consciousness of the masses.
If the media have their way, Obama chic will put all those oddities to rest. The elites yearn for an avatar of human perfection, and Hillary is just so Nineties, and simply not slender. Recognizing a great opportunity, they have switched from Slick Willie to Slick Barry, and are hammering poor Mrs. Clinton for just a few of the old lies -- while letting Obama get away with a bumper harvest of whoppers. Senator Clinton is correct. It's not fair!
Given that the Dems are now wedded to Obama, the new line is that "experience" doesn't matter to for a president. With Obama's brilliance, three years in the Senate is plenty of time to learn how to govern America in a time of war and economic fever. If you were hiring a Starbucks manager you'd look for experience. But President of the United States? Commander in Chief? Captain of the Ship of State? Leader of the Free World? Who cares about experience?
(Am I the only one who thinks that's certifiably insane?)
Even Camille Paglia has fallen for Obama chic. Normally one of the most level-headed people on the Left, she now thinks Obama's magic outweighs any doubts about his substance, character, or racially charged Leftism. Paglia is making the case for Obama's purity of heart is what really matters.
Senator Obama is very slick indeed, a Bill Clinton for the 21st Century. Like Bill, he is good at prettifying his dubious personal associations, politicians and influence peddlers who helped him get where he is today. He is also dexterous in skating through tricky questions.
But Obama has stumbled repeatedly on basic foreign policy knowledge, where he is absolutely Carteresque. Not exactly a man for the times, as Carter's most famous foreign affairs blunder, letting Ayatollah Khomeini overthrow the Shah of Iran in 1979, is now leading to nuclear panic all over the Middle East. Carter himself is adding a new catastrophe to all the old ones by promising to shake hands with Hamas. Is this a foretaste of Barack Obama's compassionate foreign policy? He has certainly not criticized Jimmy Carter's newest desperate grab for the spotlight.
Still, we're not supposed to be looking for flaws. Let's all pretend we didn't hear Senator Obama's off-the-cuff idea of invading nuclear Pakistan, or his notion of trying to charm A'jad out of his race for nukes by being really, really nice to him. We know how susceptible the Mullahs are to sweet reason. Carter showed us how that works in 1979.
Freud said that love is a kind of madness -- you're totally convinced that your adored one makes the world go 'round. Well, liberals have done it again. They fell in love with Adlai Stevenson; they tumbled head over heels for JFK, and then Bill Clinton. Now it's Obama's turn. The only question is, how many voters will surrender to the celebrity parade? That may decide the presidential election.
It all goes to show that Finley Peter Dunne's Mister Dooley had it right: God protects orphans, drunkards, and the United States.
At least, we better hope so.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com