Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Poor Barack Obama---just out of the starting gate, and he is already having egg thrown at him from every possible direction. Bad enough that the guy's middle name is Hussein, but he also attended a madras, which is scary because it isn't an English word, and that must mean he is a terrorist. Ok, maybe not, since the story was a large crock of Fox News hooey, madras just means school, and the only terror being taught at Obama's school was the terror of dangling modifiers. Obama might not be a terrorist after all, but according to Bush stooge and Australian PM John Howard, his position on the Iraq war only emboldens the terrorists. As Obama pointed out in as many words, it can only be taken as a compliment if a Bush crony is attacking him the day after he announces his candidacy. Of course, much of the publicity Obama receives is because he is the first black candidate for President to have a legitimate shot of winning. Or is he? Not "or is he a legitimate candidate" but rather "is he black?" You see, salon.com contributor and author Deborah Dickerson asserted on the Colbert Report recently that Obama actually was not black, because he was not a descendant of West African slaves. Dickerson's argument was as convoluted as it was inane, but it illustrates the political quandary Obama finds himself in--if he wants a shot at capturing the Presidency, he will need the support of moderate whites, who would be alienated by Obama alligning himself with Black Power movements. However, he must also bring out the black vote in droves to stand a chance, and he won't be able to do this if he is perceived as an Oreo. Obama is perhaps the most riveting Democrat since Bill Clinton--despite his lack of experience he is a dynamic presence who possesses the rare gift of getting people excited about politics. It is a pity that rather than a substantive debate on his policy views we are reduced to juvenile banter about his "blackness" and what schools he attended some 20 years ago.

4 comments:

Tony said...

I think you're right that it's a compliment to your chances of winning to be attacked the day you announce your candidacy. But I also think that these attacks result from the fact that Barack Obama has literally no record as a politician.

At this point, his campaign is based on the fact that he's likeable & because of his unique heritage. I realize it's early, but if that's his campaign strategy then he's pretty much opened himself up to ad hominem attacks of those qualities. He'll have to actually support legislation or take a difficult stance on an issue avoid these ad hominem attacks. Then he'll be attacked for his stance on those issues AND his personality. Which is, of course, the American Way.

Obama's resume & upsetting cultural background is shockingly similar to that of JFK's resume and catholic background. Considering that JFK (with Joe, Sr. & the mob on his side) barely won against Richard Nixon and his sweaty lower lip, I'd say Obama has an uphill battle.

Personally, I support 24's President Palmer, and urge him to swiftly quash the brewing insurrection in his cabinet.

Lindsay said...

I might be wrong, but in between Colbert trying to rip her apart, I think Deborah Dickerson was saying he isn't "African American". That is, decendents of slaves in the United States are a distinct sub-culture of all "Blacks". "Black" also includes others who are from Africa or decendents of more recent African immigrants. Obviously that sub-culture of African American is the majority of all Blacks in the U.S. (Actually I don't know if Dickerson was saying they are a sub-group, but I think her argument makes more sense that way.)

Matt said...

I agree with you that Obama has an uphill battle to say the least---I also agree that, much as the Dems won't win by running as the "We aren't the GOP Party", Obama won't win by running as the "I'm neither Hillary nor a stuffed shirt white dude" candidate. At some point, he will need to articulate policies that are both bold and sound enough to marginalize concerns about his lack of experience.

Lindsay- I watched the Colbert clip again, and Colbert definitely asks her point blank whether or not Obama is black--and she says no.

And, all I'll say about Wayne is that he is no David Pedro Allstate Cerrano Palmer. Are you in good hands?

Lindsay said...

Ahh, yes, I was clearly not paying attention to which terminology she was using. You are correct sir.