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Obama: Campaign, Cult, or Mirage?

Obama: Campaign, Cult, or Mirage? – bumped –

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” – Barack Obama on Super

I’m feeling very Elmer Gantry about Mr. Obama these days. You know, the guy
who gets up on the stage and praises the gospel, but whose image doesn’t match
his deeds or the deification currently underway. I also keep asking that same
old silly question: Where’s the beef? Well, if Mr. Obama has his way we’ll
never know

“I don’t think anybody is clamoring for more debates,”
Mr. Obama said. “We’ve had 18 debates so far.”

Mr. Obama added that he would agree to at least one debate, but noted, “It’s
very important for me to spend time with voters.”

Spending time with voters is a good dodge, especially since debates and talking
aren’t your strong suit. Tom Watson calls it Obama’s
Rose Garden strategy

Everyone knows Barack Obama and his team have run an impressive campaign. However,
for quite a while something else is floating to the top of the message, and it isn’t issues or answers. Oprah
used it in South Carolina saying, “I do believe he’s the one.”
Ben Smith entitled his post: Messianic rhetoric infuses Obama rallies. That
was just the beginning. Inspiration is one thing. But the messianic language
amidst the political reality reveals a fraud. The right-wing language and imagery of “Harry and Louise,” demonizing Hillary and mandates, which is how we’ll get to universal health care. The Exelon story revealing Obama telling tall tales to Iowans about legislation that passed when it didn’t, with the truth being he actually rewrote that same legislation, for which he self-lauded himself for passing, for his Big Nuke contributor. Contrast this with Obama attacking the prosperity presidency of Bill Clinton, while praising Republicans for having the ideas of the last 10-15 years, and you’ve got quite a confused political message. I’m not sure if I’m looking at a politician, a preacher, or a charlatan. Or maybe they’re all rolled up into one.

And yet there was something just a wee bit creepy about the mass messianism
— “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” — of the
Super Tuesday speech and the recent turn of the Obama campaign. “This
time can be different because this campaign for the presidency of the United
States of America is different. It’s different not because of me. It’s different
because of you.” That is not just maddeningly vague but also disingenuous:
the campaign is entirely about Obama and his ability to inspire. Rather than
focusing on any specific issue or cause — other than an amorphous desire
for change — the message is becoming dangerously self-referential. The
Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is.
… ..

… .. Unless, of course, the next new thing turns out to be a mirage.

vs. Substance
, Joe Klein

Some supporters are starting to sense the political charade. Maybe not on the issues, which Obama rarely discusses, but at least on the messianic machinations behind the political Elmer Gantry’s campaign.

Obama supporter Kathleen Geier writes that she’s “getting increasingly
weirded out by some of Obama’s supporters. On listservs I’m on, some people
who should know better – hard-bitten, not-so-young cynics, even –
are gushing about Barack…

Describing various encounters with Obama supporters, she writes, “Excuse
me, but this sounds more like a cult than a political campaign. The language
used here is the language of evangelical Christianity – the Obama volunteers
speak of ‘coming to Obama’ in the same way born-again Christians talk about
‘coming to Jesus.’ … ..

Obama Wept

James Wolcott
had this to say

“So spurn me, I voted for Hillary. … Perhaps it’s my atheism
at work but I found myself increasingly wary of and resistant to the salvational
fervor of the Obama campaign, the idealistic zeal divorced from any particular
policy or cause and chariot-driven by pure euphoria.
I can picture
President Hillary in the White House dealing with a recalcitrant Republican
faction; I can’t picture President Obama in the same role because his summons
to history and call to hope seems to transcend legislative maneuvers and horse-trading;
his charisma is on a more ethereal plane, and I don’t look to politics for
transcendence and self-certification.”

Chris Matthews, always accompanied by his continual Clinton aversion, is now
talking about Obama, not just in political terms, but in Biblical importance.

“I’ve been following politics since I was about 5. I’ve
never seen anything like this. This is bigger than Kennedy. [Obama] comes
along, and he seems to have the answers. This is the New Testament.”


Chris Matthews, MSNBC’s Manic Oracle of American Politics, Has Been
Through a Lot of Elections, But ‘I’ve Never Seen Anything Like
This! This Is—’ What? ‘Bigger Than Kennedy!’

As a rebel Christian whose church is miles away, not any old sanctuary will
do. Daily meditation is my way. I can understand that inspiration in a leader
can draw you near. But we are talking a politician. Look at the record, whether
it’s Obama’s relationship with Rezko, and the former’s inability to come clean
about the latter, or Exelon and the outright falsehoods told to Iowa voters. His “present” votes, or ducking out so he doesn’t have to vote at all, which is now manifest in his also ducking debates when the primary contest is at a draw, depriving voters of the ability to hear more from the two Democrats left, one of whom may lead us after Bush.
The political preacher’s politics simply don’t match his speech. It wouldn’t be the
first time a politician suckered the American public. Obama’s just the latest.

“Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square.”Barack Obama
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