Obama wants me to believe that a candidate who: (1) was utterly supine and silent for 20 years in his own church as racial hate was propagated by the pastor; (2) who refuses to condemn a prominent supporter and fundraiser for whom bombing American sites is still seen as a good thing, and (3) who has said not a single word on the campaign trail as his party heavyweights removed post-Abramoff earmark reforms... is a candidate who will stand up to Washington interests and change the way business is done. While helping get America past its racial issues, and healing its political divides. That a candidate talking up charter schools as part of the solution, who has received positive ratings from teachers unions for blocking them, is to be taken at face value.
50 bucks for that whole bridge, you say?
Clearly, I can't believe Obama's stated positions. Especially when he also lacks a longer record of public policy positions taken and defended, preferably against the odds and/or against his party, as is true for Sen. McCain. Which is why we seem to return so often to the secondary question, and ask what Obama really believes. Not as an incidental issue, but as a key issue. This brings us to Caroline Glick's point. In February 2007, at UCLA, Michele Obama reportedly said, of her husband:
"Because Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that. That before we can work on the problems we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.... Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."
The whole cult of personality thing around Obama has always been pretty creepy, and this sort of thing definitely elevates the creep level a notch or three. Partial transcript here. Glick responds:
"At base, Mrs. Obama's statement is nothing less than a renunciation of democracy and an embrace of fascism. The basic idea of liberty is that people have a natural right to live their lives as usual and to be uninvolved and uninformed. And they certainly have a right to expect that their government will butt out of their souls."
All true. It would actually have been possible to deliver a very similar speech, without crossing the lines she crossed. It's one thing to demand much of your followers, to call people to service, or to promote a sense of common cause. You may agree or disagree with the specifics, but the general thrust is healthy. Words like "fix our souls" and "never allow you," on the other hand, bespeak a very different and dangerous mentality.
Theocratic ayatollahs of whatever religion have a terrible record when they try to govern - but it's still miles better than the hundred plus million skulls in the last century alone from governments who promised to save souls. People who promise that from politics are at best dangerous narcissists, at second best simply crazy, and at worst actively evil. Back to Glen Wishard, on politicism:
"The rise and fall of the Marxist ideal is rather neatly contained in the Twentieth Century, and comprises its central political phenomenon. Fascism and democratic defeatism are its sun-dogs. The common theme is politics as a theology of salvation, with a heroic transformation of the human condition (nothing less) promised to those who will agitate for it. Political activity becomes the highest human vocation. The various socialisms are only the most prominent manifestation of this delusion, which our future historian calls "politicism". In all its forms, it defines human beings as exclusively political animals, based on characteristics which are largely or entirely beyond human control: ethnicity, nationality, gender, and social class. It claims universal relevance, and so divides the entire human race into heroes and enemies."
Sure sounds like many of the Obama-bots to me.
Beyond that issue, you have a right to try and persuade people of anything - and they have a right not to give a damn. This is not how the politicist Mussolinis and Marxists of the world approach the question, of course. For them, there is no space for those who refuse to be part of their political schemes, on the way to a united volk/proletariat that redeems its soul through politics.
This is still the core mindset of much of the left, and is shared by many of Obama's supporters who consider axioms like "the personal is political" to be truisms. Instead of fascisms that do not, and will not, allow any private space to exist outside their ideology.
"Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."
Excuse f--ing me? The way I live my life is none of his damn business. The fact that this is the sort of idea that gets his wife excited... I think my creep-o-meter just redlined.
Armed Liberal talks about the radical people and mentalities he personally hung out with, and proposes "let's give a speech and get beyond that." It's a wholly inadequate response, given the lack of a meaningful record from the candidate that would establish contrary bona fides, and the continuing pile of associations that contradict everything this candidate claims to stand for as the prima facie basis of his candidacy.
Belief is a verb, not a noun. Actions speak loudly. So do inactions.
When you look at Obama's ongoing associations with the idiotarian hate-America crowd, and his refusal to condemn any of it in public, even when that condemnation would have been the easy thing as well as the moral thing, a logical question arises.
Did Obama ever really leave those beliefs behind... or did he just learn how to change the subject in public, say one thing and do another, and all the rest of the standard political cheats?
The primary question in my head about Obama is beginning to move beyond "Is this guy a lightwight?" to a simpler one: "Is this guy simply a walking lie, in a deep way and on multiple levels?"