I've largely abandoned the whole blogging thing. Yes, I still am roused now and again by polls and possibilities for photoshops. Otherwise, I do a lot of reading about politics, but have little to say about it.
Yet every once in awhile, I come across something that catches my eye. In this case, reading Peter Wehner at Contentions, I am compelled to drag my old hobby horse back up onto my old soap box and revisit that which most motivated and irked me about last year's campaign.
Wehner writes in reaction to Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress:
It is not enough for Obama to repeat his false claims, day after day, speech after speech. No, he must also portray himself as America’s Socrates, our voice of reason amidst the angry mob, an intrepid truth teller, a singularly unifying and visionary figure, and a man astonishingly free from the ideological baggage that defines his critics. He views himself as the adult in a world of children.
This is all quite silly. Obama is, in almost every respect, the opposite of what he portrays himself to be. He is a divisive, polarizing figure, among the most divisive and polarizing we have ever seen. He has shown no interest at all in reaching across the aisle and working with the opposition party. He is an orthodox liberal through and through. He denigrates his critics and questions their motives. He has made the health-care debate more muddled, more confused, and less honest. He has hardened the disdain many Americans have toward their government. And he is increasing cynicism among the polity.
Ah yes, cynicism. I may never be able to let that one go. In what I think echoes Wehner's observation from yesterday, I will repost an observation of mine from yester(last)year:
I don't believe for one second that Obama is just an ordinary political opportunist.
Take everything that Obama lays out in his grandiose verbiage...hope, change, end of cynicism, heal racial division, reach across the aisle, end corruption, end special interests, new politics in Washington, etc, etc, etdamncetera.
And then match it up to his record, his actions, and the lack thereof. He believes and acts in the exact opposite manner of what he is selling.
It is no ordinary political opportunist that could cast such a spell over so many people for so long while doing this.
And to reiterate, it is no accident that he has done this. It is a carefully constructed strategy in an attempt to delegitimize any and all criticism:
Listen, I will leave it to [others] to go into the details of the whole Obama as Alinsky-ite thing.
I am just a poor small town BS sniffer.
And as lefty Oliver Willis quipped about Obama, Smells Like a Movement. Oh, yeah a big movement. A toilet-stopping, get-the-plunger, why-didn't-you-courtesy-flush, where-the-hell are-the-matches movement.
Obama's "fight against cynicism" is BS (yes, a movement). I've played with the whole thing for a year now. Being cute, hit and runnish with pointing out Obama cynicism in the name of ending it.
Obama's fight against cynicism is not just mere rhetoric. It is an attempt to create for himself and aura of infallibility.
He is above the normal cynical attempt to gain power -- or cynical attempt to retain power. ::cough::bullshit::cough::
He is all about the change/hope/unity/on our way to yeswecanville.
Do you disagree with Obama?You are cynical.
And cynicism is a threat as great as terrorists -- and is a rival greater than any Dem/Repub or Red/Blue or Lib/Conservative divide. ::cough::bullshit::cough::
The man isn't spouting platitudes because he wants everyone all lovey dovey, Oprahfied and empowered.
He wants everyone powerless.
Michelle: "[Obama] is going to demand that you shed your cyncism".
Obama wants unity. To disagree with Obama is a lack of unity. Any lack of unity is cynicism. And cynicism is as big an enemy as terrorists.
Shed your cynicism (agree with Obama) or you are a terrorist.
When Barack Obama says he wants to end the divisiveness in politics, I believe him. When Obama says he wants to bring about unity, I believe him. When Obama says he wants to work for a new politics free from bitter partisanship, I believe him. When Obama says he wants to have vigorous debate, a robust discussion or a national dialogue to bring this about, I believe him -- to be lying.
[I]f Obama's strategy continues to be successful, the media will shield him from the tough questions and criticism. Because there is no bitter partisanship where there is no discussion of the issues, and there is no divisiveness without debate. Obama is not seeking a dialogue in this campaign to bring about unity; rather, a monologue. Obama wants you silent - unless you agree with him, or until enough people do that your voice is no longer heard.
Unfortunately, Obama rode his strategy all the way to the White House. Fortunately, the veil has been lifted and he has encountered and is encountering resistance that is no longer able to be delegitimized by his word alone. And that resistance is becoming increasingly effective in opposing his efforts. May it continue to grow and succeed.