The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Sunday, March 16, 2008
UPDATED Who IS this Guy?
Glenn Reynolds discusses the growing gulf between Obama the "symbol of a new politics of hope and unity" and the real Obama--opportunistic pol with highly questionable "friends" providing millions of dollars, whose Harvard Law credentials and "cool calm collected" reputation are incongruent with sudden bouts of anger at reporters and "amnesia" when confronted with unpleasant facts-- and whose followers "faint" on cue at numerous campaign events:
When it comes down to it, a majority of Americans really don't know who Barack Obama really is. His campaign has shielded him from reporters more so than any other candidate. Meanwhile, some very harsh realities loom: his track record is very short (and very hard-left) for an office this important. His campaign has offered nothing but "kum-bah-yah" statements about "Hope Change Change Hope...", like some sort of hypnotic mantra; however now the country is waking up.
Obama's going to have a hard time explaining that I take to be the truth, namely that his relationship with Trinity has been a bit cynical from the beginning. After all, before Obama was a half-black guy running in a mostly white country he was a half-white guy running in a mostly black neighborhood. At that time, associating with a very large, influential, local church with black nationalist overtones was a clear political asset . . . . Since emerging onto a larger stage, it's been the reverse and Obama's consistently sought to distance himself from Wright, disinviting him from his campaign's launch, analogizing him to a crazy uncle who you love but don't listen to, etc.
The "real" Obama, in other words, probably looks a lot like the "real" person inside most politicians -- somebody who mostly cares about Number One and will do and say what it takes to get elected. The problem for Obama is that Bill Clinton, who ran as a likable rogue, could get away with this sort of thing to an extent that someone who runs as a force for "unity" and "a new kind of politics" can't, since this looks a lot like -- well, actually it looks exactly like -- the old kind of politics.
UPDATE: Obama's problem is pithily summarized here:
Yglesias may well be correct about Obama, but when you're left with the choice of either acknowledging that you had sincere close, personal, and political ties with a minister whose views most Americans find beyond the pale, or defending yourself by using the "hey, I'm just a cynical politician who uses religion to get votes just like anything else, and I don't believe in it any more than I really believe that NAFTA is bad" excuse, I think you may be in for some trouble.
We are seeing a pattern of double-talk. Of course, the big question is what's Oprah's excuse?
Whether the Obama campaign wants to try and paint it as "racist" or not, this much is clear: other than his youth and skin pigmentation--there is nothing really "new" about this candidate at all. More importantly, the electorate is now beginning to understand that his "new politics" candidacy may be masking some very significant problems: 20 years of association with what can only be seen as a race-and-victimhood-baiting bigot; a wife who gets a $200,000+ raise at a Chicago Hospital, which then receives a $1 Million earmark--courtesy of Obama--a few months later; an entire political career of accepting dirty money from an indicted "fixer", whose wife bought Obama his front yard ... and who knows what else?
The Democrat Superdelegates are now in a real quandry: do they bow to a slight difference in the "will of the people," knowing it was mostly registered before the "luster" of Obama disintegrated; or do they risk alienating all those young and/or the black voters in the fall by deferring to reality--namely that there are far worse scandals than this which have barely seen the light of day.
Do they stick with a candidate with such huge question marks, knowing that if the wheels continue to come off as they have over the last two weeks, it could portend a Republican landslide in the fall? Or do they go with Hillary, who has the "machine"--but also high negatives that could turn out Republicans in the fall? It is not an easy call, but my sense is that if Hillary does well in Pennsylvania and beyond, one defection here and there could suddenly turn into a stampede. It's going to be fun to watch.