June 22, 2009
On OJ Simpson and Barack ObamaBy James Lewis
No, I don't think Obama is another OJ Simpson. The two men could not be more different. It's a common marketing strategy that links them. White guilt and that ache for black vindication were a huge part of OJ's celebrity campaign. That's also what got Obama elected over Hillary and then McCain.
David Axelrod as a PR maven had obviously studied the opinion polls about black celebrities. They knew that a black man who looked and sounded good on TV could roll over the opposition; the media wouldn't dare to examine his background. OJ had demonstrated it, along with Oprah and a hundred other black celebrities.
Whites feel guilty about the historical exclusion of black athletes from professional sports. That history is true, and it was a terrible thing. OJ was a great football player, but he was also hero-worshipped far beyond his talents in a vain attempt to make up for the sins of past. Like Obama, OJ was an inkblot test for the American psyche.
When OJ was arrested here was a moment of national shock, as the hero came tumbling down. At first nobody wanted to believe Simpson was guilty of murdering his wife and Goldman. When OJ went on trial, a racial split emerged: Blacks kept the faith, but whites started to think he was guilty. It's only when the landmark movie Barbershop came out in 2002 that a black voice told the truth: That OJ was guilty.
It took eight years for blacks and whites to see that OJ was no hero at all. That is a measure of the emotional hold OJ had on so many people.
Does that remind you of anybody?
Racial overcompensation is deeply irrational. It's an obsessional need to make up for somebody else's great-great-great-grandfather's sins, a kind of moral inferiority that keeps hurting even though we can do nothing about it. The past is past; life doesn't give re-takes. But America is acting as if history can be remade. This time we'll do it right! But it never works, because it can't work. It is deeply irrational.
We are about to find out that racial guilt is the worst way to pick a president. Actors and celebrities can be picked because they look and sound good. Presidents have real jobs in the real world.
I'm afraid the American people are in for another OJ shock. The voters who fell in love with Obama may fall out of love as events run out of control of PR spinning and scripting. It's going to hurt.
Conservatives don't have to be disillusioned with Obama because we never had any illusions. But the Left is in for a bitter shock down the line, as the cost of an incompetent and characterless president becomes clear to all.
What we are beginning to see is that the real Obama is a pure creature of ego. We don't know what kind of character he has, even five months into his term. He's still never been tested; he's always avoided tough choices, and now he is still trying to evade the tough choices as president. Spend a trillion bucks on the banks? Buy out the car companies for the UAW? Create a phony stimulus payoff to city Democrats around the country. Take over the medical sector of the multi-trillion dollar US economy? Fire the Inspector General of Michelle's favorite Americorps patronage machine? Create peace and love on earth, forever and ever, amen? Pay for it all in funny money? Or would you like all of the above?
Obama's says he wants it all. Immediately if not sooner.
But now Ahmadi-Nejad and Kim Jong-Il are pushing the threat envelope. Obama is kowtowing to Tehran in the forlorn hope that A'jad will turn out to be "some kind of religious saint," as Andrew Young said about Ayatollah Khomeini. Obama is just as eager to be suckered as Jimmy Carter was; which is pretty ironic, because Obama is a classic smooth-talking con man. But hustlers do get hustled, and in this game A'jad is the stronger. He is an evil and malevolent man, running a thug regime, as we are seeing on the bloody streets of Tehran; but he is ready to die for his cause. It comes down to the Hawaiian surfer dude against the Shi'ite martyrdom fanatic. There's no doubt who's tougher.
In August of next year American troops are supposed to withdraw from Iraq; will A'jad seize the chance to infiltrate Iraq again, and try to overthrow its delicate political balance? Of course he will. That's his nature. Like Lenin, he will probe and probe with the sharp end of the bayonet until he meets real resistance. If A'jad infiltrates Iraq, daring Obama to do anything about it, the neighboring Arab countries will look to the United States to protect them. The Gulf region supplies forty percent of the world's oil. For decades Iran has been building up a vast array of killing power to strike all parts of the Gulf including Saudi Arabia. A'jad wants total power, just like he does against his domestic enemies. Once he has nukes and missiles he'll be hard to stop. And if you think OPEC is bad, just wait until the Persian Caliphate controls the price of oil.
Those are strategic realities. Obama ignores them at his peril. For the first time in his life he will soon be faced with a lose-lose proposition that he can't vote present on: Either smack down Iranian aggression or lose the Gulf. Blaming Israel isn't going to work, because the Israelis also get serious when it's a matter of national survival. They have lost any faith in Obama by now. In the last analysis they know they can only trust themselves.
So far we've only seen Obama grasping and grasping for egomaniacal goals. Already his habit of trying to throw around trillions of dollars is being bottled up by the Democrats in Congress. The Democrats may be wicked demagogues, but they're not suicidal. They are trying to figure out how to stay in power if the economy keeps bottoming into the November 2010 election. In 1994 they lost Congress, two years into the equally power-hungry Clinton administration. That's why Obama's mania for doing everything instantly, right now, while spending as much money as possible, is running into trouble even with his own crowd. Call it the Founding Fathers' Revenge. It's the two-year House term that's putting the brakes on Obama's fantasy life.
Obama and OJ. Two national love affairs.
And two traumatic disappointments?
I'll bet on it.