Anticipating History

Mark Steyn’s good today on Obama worship:

… it seems to me that Barack Obama is the triumph of flesh, color, and despair over word — that’s to say, he offers an appealing embodiment of identity politics plus a ludicrously despairing vision of contemporary America (sample: “Trade deals like NAFTA ship jobs overseas and force parents to compete with their teenagers to work for minimum wage at Wal-Mart”) that triumphs over anything so prosaic as a policy platform. Mrs. Clinton, the earthbound wonk, is reduced to fulminating that this race is about “speeches versus solutions.” But a lot of Democrats seem to have concluded that Hillary’s the problem, and Obama’s speech is the solution. …
On the other hand, if you’re running for president not as an unexceptional first-term senator with a thin resume but as the new Messiah, the new Kennedy, the new Gandhi, the new Martin Luther King, you can’t blame folks for leaping ahead to the next stage in the mythic narrative. Around the world, a second instant sub-genre has sprung up in which commentators speculate how long it will be before some deranged Christian-fundamentalist neo-Nazi gun-nut deprives America of its fleeting wisp of glory. Setting a new standard for fevered slavering Obama-assassination porn, Earl MacRae warned Canadians in the Ottawa Sun this week:

To be black and catapulting towards the presidency on charm, intellect, and popularity is unacceptable to the racist paranoid and scary in America the beautiful… They do not want to hear that he is a better American than they are, these right-wing extremist fascists in the land of America who no doubt believe it’s God’s will Barack Obama not get to the White House, no method of deterrence out of bounds, in their zealotry to protect and perpetuate Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Mom’s apple pie, and the cross of Jesus in every home.

My own feeling, although I believe that anybody who thinks in these terms dramatically misunderstands God’s operation, is that a better interpretation would be that Obama’s on a divine mission to keep Hillary out of the White House. Either way, the nation is probably charging toward another daydream respite from history, with an even more calamitous cost for inattention.
Perhaps it’s a subconscious sense of this truth that leaves so many desperate for fantasies — murderous or otherwise.

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16 years ago

I’m not sure what is sicker, the Canadian left fantasizing about the assasination of the next U.S. President or the fact that, way in advance of this hypothetical, they’re already pinning it on the right.
If and when there’s another presidential assasination, within the next 8 or 50 years, Democrat, Republican or something else; I’m sure there will be a lot more cheering in Canada than within the followship of any political ideology within the U.S.
As diametrically opposed as my opinions of Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan are in terms of wanting, or having wanted one or the other to be president, I would be just as outraged and heartbroken had one been, or should the other one be, murdered.

16 years ago

According to a book that must not be named, at least by leftist lights, fascism is variously seen as non-marxist socialism, populist ultra-nationalism and a state religion sans deity. None of these are particularly right-wing concepts.
A pox upon smug twits like MacRae. I’m old enough to remember one presidential assassination and three attempts on two other presidents. Perhaps MacRae could inform us of the politics, such as they were, of the assassins. Nope, wouldn’t fit The Narrative.

16 years ago

L.H. Oswald, J. Hinckley Jr., S.J. Moore and that Manson chick, yeah, they were all right wing religious zealots.

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