Fanfuckingtastic article on obama
When I was asked to pen some thoughts comparing the perceptions and realities of Barack Obama's presidential accomplishments, my first notion was of the statistical impossibility of such a task: one reality, but 230 million adult perceptions, varying by age, gender, ethnicity, geography, party identification and ideological bearings.
So once the reality of Obama's extraordinary success within a mere half-term is noted -- a stimulus package that prevented the Great Depression II; health care reform that achieves the decades-long goal of near universality; financial reform that reimposes some grown-up supervision of Wall Street gamblers -- a bit of culling must be done when confronting American opinion on all this. Opinion that seems to be running downhill.
To get at that opinion, let's ignore demographics and focus only on Americans' rather loose ideological bearings: those of pseudoconservatives (zealots killed off genuine conservatism years ago); nonideological middle Americans; and contemporary liberals (who, ever since pseudoconservatives' ruthless campaign of label intimidation, now meekly call themselves "progressives").
The pseudoconservatives' perception is that Obama's success is a sprinting, despotic socialism enforced by jackbooted bureaucrats of anti-constitutional intensity. Most of this opinion, it seems to me, reflects a pathological loathing of Obama's very success and a nostalgic, all-power-should-be-ours longing for the actual despotism of George W. Bush's "unitary executive" humbug.
More and more these pseudoconservatives cloak themselves in the anti-intellectual rags of what the magnificent political historian Richard Hofstadter once so aptly called the "paranoid style." To the radical right, Hofstadter observed, "The enemy is clearly delineated: He is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman -- sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving." That is, Barack Obama.
At some vague point in our nation's history, pseudoconservatives adopted a blanket mindset against all not with them: the grays of the opposition vanished, "the enemy" plotted and schemed from some unholy abyss of wholly un-American motives, and the whites of their own hats began sparkling with a virtuous superiority.
On opposite ground, today's progressive activists (known in some unmentioned circles as the "professional left") perceive Obama's success as a tragic, alienating failure simply because that success has been less than 100 percent. Their ideological purity is a brutal taskmaster; it accepts no compromise with political realities.
It wants and demands a society approaching Utopia -- and that Utopia lies, it seems, only inches away from a snarling, presidential ideologue. They'll deny that, but their own snarling, in my mind, tends to outweigh their pleas of innocence.
Case in point: A nearly $900 billion tax compromise, of which more than $700 billion is geared to middle-class and unemployment relief, is excoriated by activist progressives as an insufferable Obamian sellout.
As for traditional liberalism's rank and file? They have few problems with President Obama; the base holds -- according to pollsters about three-fourths of it -- understanding that America's utopian future still likely remains at least a few years down the road.
Finally there's the mostly nonideological middle, whose perceptions reign supreme come election time. And here, finally as well, I'm stumped, since their political sentiments graze like herding cattle on center-left, centrist and center-right grass alike. These are the pinball victims of messaging wars. And though they're against most things Obamian today, tomorrow, given a vastly improved White House communications operation, they could again turn blue.
But who knows? The only knowable is that President Obama knows wherein his re-election prospects lie (see preceding paragraph) -- and that's what will tweak and determine the political reality of the next two years.
PM Carpenter p m carpenter's commentary
OK so it's not totally about Obama, but his light weight analysis on the parties is totally spot on, including the sheep centrists.
Well you can blame America's "Convenience" generations for the above crimes. For the past 40 years since the start of the McDonald's fast food joint, American society has been moving ever more to a perfect apex of, "I want it now, and I'm going to get it now or I'm going to throw a fucking fit!".
Everything is instant gratification. Oh, your hungry huh? Don't bother spending the time cooking a nutritious meal, throw that corporate Hot-Pocket in the microwave instead and enjoy the gloriousness that is Trans-Fat and MSG.
No, I don't want to be inconvenienced talking to you on the phone. Send me an impersonal text-message instead.
This type of instant gratification society has led people to think that all problems can be solved within the hour, and that they shouldn't except anything less.
Never mind the fact that it took Bush 8 years to ruin the economy, they want it fixed in under a year. Excepting anything less would mean he's obviously a horrible communist-Muslim president.
I don't follow politics enough to make any serious judgement on Obama, either for or against, but I can tell you he has only made things better then they were. Serious fuck-ups take a long time to fix, especially when Corporations with special interests own most of the government anyway.
I was just thinking about the convenience factor the other night.... made me wonder why they don't deliver McDonalds yet lol
Dude! I watched Super Size Me the other day, and in New York they actually DELIVER McDonald's to your doorstep.
That film was made in like 2004 too!
In central Melbourne you can get it delivered to your office!
I think people outside of the US have a hard time understanding why the guy can be so unpopular. I mean we never get the full story but it seems that a guy who wanted better health care and financial reform should be someone you want to keep around not try and get rid of before he has a chance to make change!
As for the instant results thing, don't worry this is not limited to the US!
I think Americans in general have a very short memory. in this fast paced 24 hour news cycle world it can be very easy to forget just exactly how much of a fuckup George W. Bush was. I am fully convinced that history will judge him the worst president in American history. If not the very worst, at least in the top 3. I can't exactly speak to James Buchanon and Taft. But the laundry list of thing that W fucked up is so astronomically long. He basically ruined everything. Got us into two wars, allowed a terrorist attack to take place right under his nose with many warnings. didn't get Bin Laden. allowed big banks to loot the treasury. allowed self policing of wall street and big business which directly lead to what could have easily been the second great depression. it goes on forever. Obama was left the biggest mess ever.
all the far right wackos think he is a radical leftist. I only wish he was really just a little bit farther to the left and not such a pussy about it. THe times he took over are times that demanded a radical approach. the type of radical approach FDR took during the first great depression . that's what made him a legend and remembered as one of the greatest presidents ever. he didn't pussyfoot around. The new deal was extremely radical. only there wasn't any foxnews or right wing echo chamber propaganda machine to make the average moron against him back then.
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