Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Obama: America's Lady Di?

"Instead of a hyperactive debutante who had ricocheted around the scene with a series of ill-chosen but well-born or well-heeled boyfriends, alighting here on an astrologer, there on an aromatherapist and there again on a signature charity, we were presented with a Lady Bountiful or Fairy Godmother, without whose luminous presence the poor of the world were left unfriended, untended and alone." Christopher Hitchens, on the death of Diana - Salon

"Only Clinton derangement syndrome can explain the alliance of so many otherwise thoughtful people of both parties who speak well of the candidacy of a man with scant knowledge of the world who has never been tested and has never run anything larger than a senatorial office. The question that we need to ask is whether this man—who candidly admits, “I’m not a manager”—can manage the vast apparatus of the federal government. Will packaging be enough to deal with our problems?" Fred Siegel - City Journal
David Seaton's News Links
After seven years of Bush, it is obvious that a significant portion of the American population is simply grasping at straws.

If anything were ever obvious it is that, although he is an intelligent, interesting person, Barack Obama is totally unqualified to be the President of the United States.

He is a junior senator with three years experience in Washington, he was a brilliant law student and did some community work in Chicago's South Side, then, as a state legislator in Illinois, he did little more than show up to vote "present". He has written a clever book and gives speeches with practically no content, but delivered in a momentous, ringing style.

The comparison with Princess Diana is wonderful. I think the Republicans are licking their chops, hoping that Obama will be the Democratic candidate in November. DS


Obama: The New Princess Diana? - James Kirchick - Commentary
Abstract: This was Christopher Hitchens’s question a year after the death of Princess Diana, which brought forth a “frightful binging and gorging of sentimentality” from the British populace, odd in a nation stoic by reputation. (...) As a 24 year-old male — just the sort of demographic he has solidly won over — I should probably hide while admitting this, but I feel the same away about the Barack Obama phenomenon as Hitchens did about the mourning of Princess Diana. And I’ll risk sounding a little self-satisfied by predicting that should Obama not be the one sworn into office come January 2009, the country will look back on this current presidential campaign feeling a similar sort of collective embarrassment that the British felt about their mourning of “The People’s Princess.” We may even be asking ourselves “What the hell was that all about?” should Obama actually win the presidency, a year or so into his tenure when his unpreparedness becomes manifest.(...) It’s long past time that we pause, take a deep breath, and evaluate the presidential candidates using concrete criteria as opposed to vague pronouncements that this or that candidate can “unite” the country or “transcend” this or that division, whether it be racial or political or what have you. It may be that Barack Obama is the best candidate at this moment in time; ultimately, of course, that’s a purely subjective question. But I fear about the emotional baggage that people have invested in his candidacy, and what his most fervent supporters will believe about American democracy should he lose. The country will, in short, become irredeemable. Given the unchecked passion already on display, it may already be too late to save this election from becoming marked, like the decade-old death of a blond divorcĂ©e, for its “bogus emotion and mass credulity.” READ IT ALL

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately many - perhaps most -Americans vote for an image. Remember Bush running as the "guy you would rather have a beer with"? The link is to interviews with voters who are for Obama because "he makes you feel good."

http://www.counterpunch.com/gray02052008.html

I don't think people credit Obama for being as savvy - perhaps slicker - than any other politician including the Clintons. Remember, Hillary voted for the bomb Iran resolution; Obama ducked the vote. The mayor of San Francisco was willing to do a fundraiser for Obama several months ago; Obama declined to be associated with him. (Mayor Newsom allowed gay marriage until the courts invalidated it.) He is getting the progressive vote without being progressive. Clinton isn't progressive either, but at least she is honest about it.

Forensic economist

Anonymous said...

In other words, we are a vapid and hysterical people. The beauty contest vs. the intelligent discerning of the facts.

Nixon, Bush I & II, and lest we forget: The poet Robert Bly once commented that after Vietnam, America was so desperate for a wise old man to head the country we hired an actor to play one.

We can do worse, but we can dream to do better.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

That sounds like a cue for a song. Maestro! (croons in a pleasing baritone)

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you"
Birds singin' in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me

Say nighty-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
(does neat slide guitar break)

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries far behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

Anonymous said...

The normally reliable David Seaton refers us to James Kirchik!!?? Worse yet: Commentary!!??

You may be casting your net a bit more widely than is prudent...

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Sorry folks, for quoting Commentary, but I just couldn't resist the comparison with Lady Di. It is so bang on. People are projecting too many things on an empty screen.

I'll admit that I am quite wide ranging when it comes to casting my "nets", and unrepentant in the search for quality analysis. Regular readers will have noted that I even regularly quote Pat Buchanan, who is often quite insightful, especially on foreign policy. So you'll have to admit that there is a nice, ample, spectrum between an antisemite like Buchanan and Commentary Magazine.

RLaing said...

A baboon is qualified to be the president of the United States, as long as the people like him/her.

Of course there is a large professional class in the United States dedicated to managing the state, and they will continue to do so whether the people choose a president who is qualified or unqualified, possesses a living mind or does not (Reagan, obviously).

People anguish over their vote as if it matters, and they should really learn to relax and just enjoy the spectacle. Honest John McCain has shown us the future:

1. Jobs aren't coming back
2. Illegals are staying
3. There will be more war

But hey, since it doesn't matter anyway, why not vote for Mr. Sunshine?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Ouch! I would have tuned into "California Dreamin'", but what the heck...

Perhaps 'Jarama Valley', by Pete
Seeger. Talk about dreamers...

I detected just a small amount of ridicule? Dreaming is for kids?

As the super bowl of American politics plays out for the hoi polloi, inside and outside of the U.S. of A., we can be assured, "you ain't seen nothin' yet."

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

I am a great believer in dreams, dreaming and dreamers. I dream constantly myself, but I draw the line at dreaming about politicians.

Anonymous said...

Dumbest anti-Obama post ever...and that's saying something.