12 Nov 2007

Andrew Sullivan Overheating About Obama

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Andrew Sullivan‘s profile-in-the-form-of-a-tongue-bath of Obama will delight cynical souls like myself who actually enjoy reading with one eyebrow arched very high.

Some excerpts:

Obama’s candidacy… is a potentially transformational one. Unlike any of the other candidates, he could take America—finally—past the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the Baby Boom generation that has long engulfed all of us. So much has happened in America in the past seven years, let alone the past 40, that we can be forgiven for focusing on the present and the immediate future. But it is only when you take several large steps back into the long past that the full logic of an Obama presidency stares directly—and uncomfortably—at you. …

How do we account for the bitter, brutal tone of American politics? The answer lies mainly with the biggest and most influential generation in America: the Baby Boomers. The divide is still—amazingly—between those who fought in Vietnam and those who didn’t, and between those who fought and dissented and those who fought but never dissented at all. By defining the contours of the Boomer generation, it lasted decades. And with time came a strange intensity. …

Of the viable national candidates, only Obama and possibly McCain have the potential to bridge this widening partisan gulf. Polling reveals Obama to be the favored Democrat among Republicans. McCain’s bipartisan appeal has receded in recent years, especially with his enthusiastic embrace of the latest phase of the Iraq War. And his personal history can only reinforce the Vietnam divide. But Obama’s reach outside his own ranks remains striking. Why? It’s a good question: How has a black, urban liberal gained far stronger support among Republicans than the made-over moderate Clinton or the southern charmer Edwards? Perhaps because the Republicans and independents who are open to an Obama candidacy see his primary advantage in prosecuting the war on Islamist terrorism. It isn’t about his policies as such; it is about his person. They are prepared to set their own ideological preferences to one side in favor of what Obama offers America in a critical moment in our dealings with the rest of the world. The war today matters enormously. The war of the last generation? Not so much. If you are an American who yearns to finally get beyond the symbolic battles of the Boomer generation and face today’s actual problems, Obama may be your man. …

Obama’s account of understanding his own racial experience seemed more like that of a gay teen discovering that he lives in two worlds simultaneously than that of a young African American confronting racism for the first time.

In short, Obama is the Magic Negro who will bring Charles Johnson and Glenn Greenwald to lie down together (as it were) in harmony and understanding, and to top it all off, just as Bill Clinton was imagined by Ton Morrison as “the first Black president,” Andrew Sullivan is ready to award Obama the honorary title of “the first queer president.” Hillary is not amused.

2 Feedbacks on "Andrew Sullivan Overheating About Obama"

Steve Bodio


Obama is simply a candidate with an image but no ideas beyond the conventional liberal. This is WRONG.


Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., yes that’s his real full name, just happens to be a black man in the right place at the right time to run for president of the U.S.A. He has “arrived” at this sad political point not because of experience nor because he is “popular”, no, he is positioned where he is because he is black. The only “change” that will come is the fact that we may have a black president surrounded by other blacks looking for more “handouts”.


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