22 May 2008

A Leftist Debunks Obama

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I think those poor confused little moonbats need some help, so I’m linking a serious article on Obame from an ultra-left source. Adolph Reed Jr. doesn’t like him, and he knows he cannot win.

(Obama’s) campaign depends on selling an image rather than substance.

There is also something disturbingly ritualistic and superficial in the Obama camp’s young minions’ enthusiasm. Paul Krugman noted months ago that the Obamistas display a cultish quality in the sense that they treat others’ criticism or failure to support their icon as a character flaw or sin. The campaign even has a stock conversion narrative, which has been recycled in print by such normally clear-headed columnists as Barbara Ehrenreich and Katha Pollitt: the middle-aged white woman’s report of not having paid much attention to Obama early on, but having been won over by the enthusiasm and energy of their adolescent or twenty-something daughters. (A colleague recently reported having heard this narrative from a friend, citing the latter’s conversion at the hands of her eighteen year old. I observed that three short years ago the daughter was likely acting the same way about Britney Spears.) …

As many Progressive readers may know, I’m hardly a Clinton fan. I’m on record in last November’s issue as saying that I’d rather sit out the election entirely than vote for either her or Obama. At this point, though, I’ve decided that she’s the lesser evil in the Democratic race, for the following reasons: 1) Obama’s empty claims to being a candidate of progressive change and to embodying a “movement” that exists only as a brand will dissolve into disillusionment in either a failed campaign against McCain or an Obama Presidency that continues the politics he’s practiced his entire career; 2) his horribly opportunistic approach to the issues bearing on inequality—in which he tosses behaviorist rhetoric to the right and little more than calls to celebrate his success to blacks—stands to pollute debate about racial injustice whether he wins or loses the Presidency; 3) he can’t beat McCain in November.

Frankly, I suspect that Clinton can’t beat him either, but there’s no way that Obama will carry most of the states in November that he’s won in the primaries and caucuses. And, while it makes some liberals feel good to think that a majority of the American electorate could vote for a black Presidential candidate, we should keep in mind that the Republicans haven’t let one dog out of the kennel against him yet. The Jeremiah Wright contretemps is only the first bark.

Obama’s style of being all things to all people threatens to melt under the inescapable spotlight of a national campaign against a Republican. It’s like what brings on the downfall of really successful con artists: They get themselves onto a stage that’s so big that they can’t hide their contradictions anymore, and everyone finds out about the different stories they’ve told different people. And Obama’s belonging to Wright’s church in the first place was quite likely part of establishing a South Side bourgeois nationalist street cred because his political base was with Hyde Park/University of Chicago liberals and the foundation world. …

Because he’s tried carefully to say enough of whatever the audiences he’s been speaking to at the time want to hear while leaving himself enough space later on to deny his intentions to leave that impression, his record represents precisely the “character” weakness the Republicans have exploited in every Democratic candidate since Dukakis: Another Dem trying to put things over on the American people.

Obama’s campaign has been very clever in carving out a strategy to amass Democratic delegate votes, but its momentum is in some ways a Potemkin construction—built largely on victories in states that no Democrat will win in November—that will fall apart under Republican pressure.

And then where will we be?

Read the whole thing.

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