Friday, April 11, 2008

Obama: Jedi Master

Behold, Oba-rack Kenobami, master of Jedi mind tricks:

Click to watch

In the interest of entertainment and shameless self-promotion, I am cross-posting my recent Barometer article ("Obama-dise Lost") that talks about what those of us unfazed by his mind tricks see in Obama.

Ever since Barack Obama’s grand speech in Philadelphia, where concerns over comments made by his pastor of two decades were supposedly addressed and put to bed, the media has dutifully pared down its coverage of the incident. But why?

Obama’s campaign has been carried by constant references to ‘hope,’ ‘change,’ and a number of other nebulous-yet-inspiring adjectives. In an apparently still-‘racial’ America, he is the post-racial candidate. He is post-partisan and post-‘politics-as-usual.’ No doubt he starts his day with a healthy bowl of Post Raisin Bran, inspiring even the common breakfast cereal to transcend its wheat-based nature. Essentially, Obama has built his campaign on the idea that he is above the other candidates on a near-metaphysical level. He dispenses rhetoric like grace from on high in order to heal the wounds of the nation.

But Obama has two problems that give lie to his messiah-like facade – his wife, Michelle Obama, and his pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

Recent campaign events involving his wife suggest that all may not be right in Obama land. In February she said she was finally proud of her country for the first time in her adult life (this came, of course, after her husband took the lead in the Democratic primary). The New Yorker reported last month that she considers the United States to be “just downright mean.” And last week during a speech at Carnegie Mellon University, as CMU’s newspaper The Tartan reports, Mrs. Obama’s event coordinators were handpicking who sat in the bleachers behind her – according to race, that is. The Tartan quoted her staff as saying, “‘Get me more white people, we need more white people.’ To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, ‘We’re moving you, sorry. It’s going to look so pretty, though.’” Apparently, Michelle Obama’s plan to fix the racial picture in America involves simply switching out who is in the frame.

Obama’s (now former) pastor/mentor Wright is on a whole other level of appalling. YouTube has plenty of video showing Wright giving spittle-flecked sermons that the 9/11 attacks were proof that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” that the United States government created the AIDS virus to wipe-out colored people, and that we live in the “U. S. of KKK A.” He even conveniently summarized his views by repeatedly screaming “God DAMN America!”

Barack tried lamely to separate himself from Wright’s sermons by condemning them, but then he claimed he could “no more disown [Wright] than I can disown the black community.” I have a difficult time believing Wright is representative of the black community, and I doubt the black community is taking kindly to being lumped in with an America-hating, conspiracy-spouting racist.

But even if Obama had completely dismissed Wright, the whole episode shows how feeble Obama’s message of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ actually is. First, it took Obama 20 years of listening to his pastor’s garbage to even say anything about, and even then only after it became public. I don’t think Obama actually believes the things his pastor said, but that he never expressed disagreement with it before seems to say that he doesn’t take his religious life very seriously and thus his recent statements condemning Wright are merely a political play.

Secondly, why is it that two of the people closest to the Incarnation of Hope and Change are so angry? If Obama’s wife and mentor are both bitter about America, how can anyone think him capable of healing a nation? If this is how far Obama has gotten after 20 years with Wright and 15 years with Michelle, what do we expect him to do in only four (or even eight) years as President?

By March 17, Hillary had taken a slight lead over Obama in Gallup’s daily poll, mostly as a result of Wright’s comments hitting the news cycle. This decline is evidence that once Obama’s stainless exterior was cracked by ‘pastor-gate,’ many voters didn’t see him as ‘hopey’ or ‘changey’ as before. It seems the real Obama is just a regular politician – one who speaks loftily but without real substance, views his faith through the lens of his politics, and tries to be all things to all people.

It’s not that the Emperor Obama isn’t wearing any clothes; indeed, he’s fully clad. He just shops at the same store where Hillary gets her pantsuits. He is just like every other politician the Democrats have put forward, spouting the exact same liberal platform (wrapped up in that patented Obama rhetoric). He’s a normal, run-of-the-mill Democrat.

And, perhaps, being normal is what threatens Obama's campaign the most.

UPDATE: Bonus Jeremiah Wright race-baiting theology video!

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