Leaving Obama in the Impulse Rack

In the comments to “The Passive Vitriol of the ‘Intellectual’ Left,” Joe Bernstein gives a personal weight to a phenomenon that many of us have observed:

Maybe they’ll continue using the “racist” taunt until they get the reaction they weren’t expecting.
It wouldn’t be a bad thing if the US DID elect an Afro-American president.It would put it in the world’s face that we walk the walk with regard to anyone being able to do whatever they want here.This man just isn’t the right candidate.He acts entitled and swaggers around while trying to make it seem like he’s just a regular guy.
I wonder what McCain was thinking when he chose Palin over Romney.Or did he cave in to James Dobson & Co.? She is really hurting McCain’s candidacy at this point.Romney obviously had what was needed to step into the Oval Office the second it became necessary.I know too many of my own friends who are voting for Obama for this specific reason.They seem convinced McCain may not make it through 4 years.I find that to be a poor attitude,but that’s the way a lot of people think.The clothing spree and the kids’ travel is just another pile on or two that are adding up to help Obama.His half hour infomercial may be the make/break point.
Hopefully he will be suitably arrogant and talk down some more. …
These are people I know for decades.I don’t get it,but there have been a lot of surprises as far as people supporting Obama,and I’m not referring to Powell,because everyone is aware of that endorsement.

Nothing’s true for everybody, of course, but there are two factors playing strongly in Obama’s favor:

  1. Americans are parellized by identity politics. Not for nothing has the left spent decades investing heavily in the racist, sexist, otherist notion that people’s categories are an overriding aspect of who they are and how they should be treated. It would, indeed, be a great thing for the country to elect a black man president (or a woman of any race). The grandness of that milestone, however, has been perverted such that many folks feel, deep down, that it would be morally better to vote for a black man than a white man — not just voting for the best candidate without regard to race.
  2. People naturally want to be part of something. They want to vote for the hero, the one knighted as Good among those who write the public storyline. They want to vote with the celebrities, and to feel that they’ve been on the “right” side of an historic event.

And yet, the questions and concerns about Obama are manifold. The left will only have one chance to cash in on its investment with the first ever black American president, and it’s pressing its advantage. For all the downsides and questions that have been suppressed, voters have a sense that something unsavory lingers behind the smooth words and star power.
The United States of America has been walking around the store with two items in its hands — one trendy and expensive (that will probably end up costing twice its price as it lingers on the credit card bill) and one safe and affordable (the old cash-in-pocket standby). The country is pacing the aisles trying to talk itself into buying the fashionable one. It doesn’t want to acknowledge its flaws, even as it amplifies the flaws of the other one. We’re standing in line at the register imagining how impressed our friends will be and how we’ll be able to take credit for being ahead of the curve, before the maker works out the bugs and lowers the cost.
Deep down we know we should leave Obama in the impulse rack.
If he loses, that will have been the reason, although we’ll collectively be accused of racism. On that count, however, an Obama victory won’t finally get us over the line to a new future unburdened by racial discord and pressure. If an Obama presidency proves catastrophic, it will be blamed on Americans’ racism. If he fails to implement the full liberal Democrat agenda, that will be the fault of racism. Of he succeeds in the task and the policies fail, that will be attributed to racism, not the governing philosophy’s lack of merit.
There is no redemption down this road, because the sin has been enshrined as the penance. One man’s success — to the point of free license to change the course of history — has been made the price of slavery and racism, and the left has made sure that no course will count but its own.
ADDENDUM:
As for Joe’s incredulity over McCain’s choice of Palin, the urge to second guess ought to be resisted. No doubt, many of the campaign’s potential running mates would have been less susceptible to the unfair accusations of inexperience (unfair by comparison with the candidate leading the other ticket), but with Romney, for example, McCain might never have had his second and third winds. He might never have bounced, instead fading slowly toward Obama’s fait accompli.
In other words, the fact that Palin’s weakness was another potential VP’s strength doesn’t mean that the latter’s weaknesses wouldn’t have been more substantial.

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Phil
Phil
12 years ago

Justin
Joe Bernstein writes:
.He acts entitled and swaggers around while trying to make it seem like he’s just a regular guy.
That sounds more like McCain than Obama. But no one would suggest that McCain was “uppity”.

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

Great comparison and visual, Justin.
So, Phil, please clarify your guidelines. Is it racist to call all African-Americans “arrogant”? Or just Democrats? How about Alan Keyes, for example?
Or is it possible that it’s not racist at all …?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

My take on the candidates:McCain is cocky,like any pilot I ever knew in the service.One of my cousins was a Marine pilot(just ahead of McCain in flight school)and he’s the same way.It comes with the territory.
Obama is very much the Harvard Law type,talking down to people like they’re in grade school.
And Phil,you used the word “uppity”,not me-that term is racially loaded,i.e.”who do you think you are?”.
I said arrogant as in “I am so far above you,what I say should be unquestioned”-so please don’t put a tone I didn’t use on what I said.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Palin isn’t any more of a drag on the ticket than Romney would’ve been. Between Willard’s use of “liberal” every other word and emphasis on social issue attacks American voters have gotten tired of (and I think a large part of why McCain won the nomination is that he realized this), he’d have been at least as much of a turnoff without generating the initial shot of excitement Palin did.
Romney represents everything America voters are sick of. We’re not ready for a theocracy in this country, be it Mormon, Catholic, Protestant or Islam.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Rhody-I don’t think Romney would have peddled Mormon theology to the American people-he didn’t ever do it as Governor in Massachusetts.
I am sick and tired of the mix of religion and politics–just tell me what you are going to do on the temporal plane and leave it at that.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Joe, you’re onto something…maybe an atheist president wouldn’t be so bad after all.
If we can put a non-Caucasian or a woman in the White House, why not an agnostic?

Pragmatist
Pragmatist
12 years ago

Justin,
The criticism of Palin isn’t so much inexperience, as it is incompetence. Can you honestly tell us that while watching her interview with Katie Couric, you did not cringe?
She can “see” Russia from Alaska?
Do you recall her vapid answer to the question about the economic crisis? “It’s the healthcare … it’s all about the jobs” line?

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Justin,
Pragmatist asks, “Can you honestly tell us that while watching her interview with Katie Couric, you did not cringe?”
This is a question that you have ass-iduosly ignored. Speak up man. You fill your columns with tergiversative logic, but are silent and wordless here.
OldTimeLefty

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