Lightweight Punditry


The inscrutable and vainglorious Boi from Brazil weighs in to explain why Republicans find Obama’s candidacy “scary”:

Conservatives love to claim that Obama supporters have excess reverence for their candidate and see him as some sort of transcendent messiah figure. There is a small minority of Obama supporters — as is true for most candidates and political movements — who probably expect more from Obama than it is healthy to expect from political leaders generally.

But listening to this objection from the right-wing movement is the ultimate irony. There has not been a political figure in a long, long time who was revered, worshiped and transformed into a grotesque Icon of Transcendent Greatness the way the Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush, has been. For years and years, the Right sustained itself as little more than a glorified Cult of Personality around the Great, Conquering War Hero.

Greenwald goes on to detail what he supposes is evidence of George Bush’s cult of personality, consisting entirely of hagiographies written about the President by conservatives, and remarks from politicians. That there are Bush’ophiles in the Republican Party is no big surprise, nor particularly indicative of anything other than party loyalty to a beleaguered President. That Greenwald thinks that is commensurate with a video supporting Obama’s candidacy by having celebrities chant the man’s name is more than silly. Indeed, the Puppet-master’s analysis has all the depth and weight of a ratty old sock, worn thin at the heel and sporting massive holes. Rick Moran makes this abundantly clear:

For one so hysterically inclined to exaggerate, to denigrate, to posit the most outrageously ignorant motivations for conservative actions, our man Mr. Ellison simply lacks the ability to evaluate anything in an adult manner. Instead, he reminds me of a teenage girl in the way he dramatizes the most insignificant events and statements from conservatives as sinister and evil. A true drama queen of the left, he is incapable of the kind of balanced, nuanced judgement ascribed to most grown ups who write about politics and politicians.

Lambchop cannot tell the difference between political hyperbole as given by politicians above and the raw, emotional, slavish, worshipful, and fervent idolatry that millions of Obama supporters demonstrate on a regular basis. They can’t tell you why they are for him. They can’t tell you why they faint and weep in his presence. They can’t tell you why they believe he can “change the world” when he can’t even change the politics of Chicago.

Rick cites a Political Punch entry quoting an Obama supporter:


Obama supporter Kathleen Geier writes that she’s “getting increasingly weirded out by some of Obama’s supporters. On listservs I’m on, some people who should know better – hard-bitten, not-so-young cynics, even – are gushing about Barack…

Describing various encounters with Obama supporters, she writes, “Excuse me, but this sounds more like a cult than a political campaign. The language used here is the language of evangelical Christianity – the Obama volunteers speak of ‘coming to Obama’ in the same way born-again Christians talk about ‘coming to Jesus.’…So I say, we should all get a grip, stop all this unseemly mooning over Barack, see him and the political landscape he is a part of in a cooler, clearer, and more realistic light, and get to work.”

Joe Klein, no Republican hack, is also quoted in the Political Punch piece:

Joe Klein, writing at Time, notes “something just a wee bit creepy about the mass messianism” he sees in Obama’s Super Tuesday speech.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Obama said. “This time can be different because this campaign for the presidency of the United States of America is different. It’s different not because of me. It’s different because of you.”

Says Klein: “That is not just maddeningly vague but also disingenuous: the campaign is entirely about Obama and his ability to inspire. Rather than focusing on any specific issue or cause — other than an amorphous desire for change — the message is becoming dangerously self-referential. The Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is. “

I actually disagree with Klein that Obama has not put any substance on the table, but he is correct that the fervency of the Illinois Senator’s support is not derived from his policies, but from a visceral reaction to his candidacy.

Rick succinctly differentiates between Obama supporters and Bush-bots:

No one has ever accused George Bush of being a rock star. No one has ever said that Bush causes the hearts of women to palpitate uncontrollably thus causing them to pass out.

And yet Lambchop, in what can only be described as one of his more desperate leaps of illogic, tries to assign equal value to the Obama phenomena and the small number of Bush-bots who I’ll bet never thought any impure thoughts about George.

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