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Friday: “His whole life is narrative”

Charlie Rose had a fascinating post-election wrap up with John Meacham and Evan Thomas of Newsweek that suggests why Americans make the decisions they make based on the jounralism they get.  Meacham and Thomas had the evidence in front of their faces and even admit that Obama’s cult of personality is “slightly creepy” but they are stuck in a frame of their profession and their social circle so they can’t make sense of the pieces of the puzzle they hold.

See if you agree.  The really interesting stuff starts at about the 6:00 minute mark:

There are a couple of moments that make me want to slap both of them.  First, they have reporters covering the campaign since the convention with all kinds of interesting information that would have been swell to know *before* the election, but they are saving it for the post-election issue.  This has been a tradition since the 80’s.  Well, that certainly explains Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.  I’m not sure how we dodged the bullet with Bill Clinton.  They also have a tape of Obama’s debate prep where he tries to figure out why he is completely failing as a debater while he flatters himself as being a great writer.  This is a moment of introspection that we should have all had the privilege of seeing.

Secondly, they have some really warped perceptions about the election.  They think that Obama went out of his way to make sure the election was not about race.  Actually, the election had *everything* to do with race.  Obama bludgeoned people with it.  No one was to forget for one moment that Obama was black and he went out of his way to remind people of it on a daily basis.

He’s compared to Reagan.  To many of us out here who were right about how destructive Reagan really was, that is not a compliment.  They speculate that Reagan was a teflon president because his supporters made him that way and the same would hold true of Obama.  The truth is that CLINTON was the teflon president.  The difference is the way the press treated these presidencies.  Reagan did really bad stuff and there were a lot of us who despised the reactionary idiot but the press gave him a pass so the voters let it slide.  Clinton had some minor pecadillos that were blown completely out of proportion but the electorate liked him anyway.  Bush also got away with murder.  Probably literally.  How many times have you heard some older relative say something like, “Well, Bush *can’t* be that bad, otherwise the press would be covering it.”  The coverage of the press matters a great deal and they are already signalling here that they are about to give Obama a reach around.

The other thing that is baffling is their analysis of what voters were rejecting.  Their conversation is typical of the Villager mindset.  They are convinced that voters were rejecting “the 60’s”.  I’m always really puzzled by that statement.  There is a huge swath of voters today who were little children during the 60’s (moi), who only remember the 60’s vaguely.  We remember things like assassinations and the walk on the moon and in the corner of our minds, we understand a little bit about the social stuff. But for us, the 60’s ushered in what was more or less the status quo.  There wasn’t a huge shredding of culture.  The culture was pre-shredded and settled into its present form by the time we came of age.  I’m not sure what it is we are supposed to be rejecting.  Are we rejecting the fact that women made enormous progress during the 60’s and 70’s?  Are we supposed to be upset that African-Americans shattered their own glass ceilings with the civil rights era?  I’ve always thought statements about rejecting the 60’s are “out of joint” statements made by baby boomers who know they pushed the envelope back then and then blamed themselves for the Reagan backlash.  Fine, blame yourselves, guys, but what does that have to do with us?

Then there is this bizarre notion that we are a center right country.  You know, I don’t really think that’s true.  I think a lot of people voted for the Democrat because he wasn’t a Republican.  They didn’t really like Republicans this year.  Of the sane, non-Obamaphiles I talked to, they just planned to vote for the Democrat.  It was a complete and utter rejection of everything that has to do with movement conservatism.  In fact, they were pretty convinced that nothing could be worse than a Republican in office.  I’m not sure that’s true but we shall see.  Voters wanted something other than the nasty, brutish and short lifestyle that the Bushies ushered in.  They want a stronger economy, better jobs, better healthcare.  It remains to be seen whether they want equality for all people.  I think they do but leaders have to lead and Obama shows no inclination for doing that.

They did get the “risk averse” nature of Obama right.  He is going to be a very cautious, non-transformative president.  They acknowledge that he owes the people who gave him the $600,000,000 to run his campaign.  Meacham and Thomas are onto something here if they just bothered to step outside their box and followed up on some of what their intuition is telling them.  All of the pieces are there to see Obama for what he is: a clever, manipulative person who constructed and sold his own story.  He’s a man who was in control of his campaign from the beginning, so he is also responsible for its corruption.  He is a cipher and doesn’t even know what he is.  He is a screen onto which we project our own desires, a tofu president.  And he uses his ability to appeal to many people at once to get what he wants.  The question is, what does he want now that he has it all?

Meacham and Thomas do not have an answer to that question because they never bothered to ask it.  And besides, Sarah Palin asked for more clothes!

118 Responses

  1. Good morning riverdaughter,
    First I wanted to say thanks for this site and for yet another thoughtful and thought-provoking essay. I appreciate it.

    Just before you posted, I read something I hadn’t seen before and I don’t know what to make of it. It seems to tie in with what you’ve written here. I don’t know anything about the site its on or the writer. I’ve heard the word narcissist but basically only the old mythological story of it.

    Can anyone make sense of this?

  2. In honor of our beloved Riverdaughter as we knew her up to November 4, after which she went missing…

    One month ago today, I was happy as a lark
    But now, I go for walks, to the movies, maybe to the park.

    And have a seat on the same old bench, to watch the children play,
    You know, tomorrow’s their future, but for me, just another day.

    They all gather ’round me – they seem to know my name
    We laugh, tell a few jokes, but it still doesn’t ease my pain.

    I know I can’t hide from a memory, though day after day I’ve tried
    I keep saying, “She’ll be back,” but today, again I’ve lied.

    Oh, I see her face everywhere I go
    On the street and even at the picture show
    Have you seen her, tell me have you seen her?

    Oh I hear her voice as the cold winds blow
    In the sweet music on my radio
    Have you seen her, tell me have you seen her?

    Why, oh why did she have to leave and go away
    Oh, I’ve been used to having someone to lean on
    And I’m lost, baby I’m lost.

    Oh I see her hand reaching out to me
    Only she can set me free
    Have you seen her, tell me have you seen her?

    Why, oh why did she have to leave and go away,
    Oh, I’ve been used to having someone to lean on
    And I’m lost, baby I’m lost.

    As another day comes to an end, I’m looking for a letter
    Or something, or anything that she would send
    With all the people I know, I’m still a lonely man
    You know, it’s funny, I thought I had her
    In the palm of my hand.

    –Chi Lites, Have You Seen Her?, 1971.

  3. Poplicola: That’s not the kind of site I frequent. I tend not to indulge in conservative ideology nor do I think it’s particularly helpful to make people into boogiemen. Obama is corrupt and he is manipulative. Period. With our hard work, we MIGHT be able to keep him from taking the country off of a cliff.
    Before the election, there were several groups involved in opposition research who dug up stuff on Raila Odinga and Obama’s missing birth certificate, trying to paint him as something really sinister. He *is* really sinister but it’s in a banal, ordinary way. He’s a schmooser who got rid of his opponent in a dirty underhanded way and by ignoring 18 million of his own voters. He’s despicable but very human. We have to make sure we keep his transgressions on a human scale. If we go over the top, we start to look hysterical.

  4. johninca: I think you missed the point of my post-election post. You wouldn’t be the first user here who was angered over it. All I can say is that I feel really bad for the people who couldn’t separate the event from the person. The event was a momentous occasion for our country. The person who was a symbol for that even is still a corrupt politician.

  5. The country elected a lying, cheating thug, but hey, he’s black!
    For some people, Riverdaughter, I think that’s kinda hard to celebrate.

  6. leading economic indicators still show great pessimissim about the future sorry BO someone on wallstreet, fleet street,in hong kong, toyoko, frankfurt, and zurich.

    dakinikat could you possibly do a thread that explains leading and lagging indicators of economic activity as well as cocurrent ones…I believe it would help confluence members see exactly where this economy is going.

  7. RD, forgive me, I was part serious and part jesting, and your common sense hopefully will tell you which was which.

    I wasn’t angry– I’m not angry at Obama himself, just trying to find a way to deal with the crushing pain since Tuesday.

    Yesterday I tried to deal with it by praying for the man, and… I just broke down and wept. It was in a bus station.

    It is really hard to deal with this pain– it will probably heal in stages, like a broken leg or something– but if I’m not angry at Obama you can infer safely that neither was I angry with you. –j

  8. Cinie: Like I said, I feel very sorry that people are not appreciating the significance of the occasion because they are focusing too intently on the agent of that occasion.
    Put it this way, if it were any other politician who was AA and if the convention hadn’t been spoiled, you would have been out there celebrating because it matters to the *people*. You know it’s true. Everyone wahts that kind of event to happen in their lifetime. It will go down in history. A lot of people were ecstatic because of what it meant to THEM, not that it was Barack Obama. Obama is just a symbol. If you replace Obama with a symbolic placeholder, it is much easier to understand.
    I guess I must be an outlier on this outlying asteroid in the outlying galaxy in the universe. I do truly feel that people who aren’t able to separate the event from Obama are missing out. And that’s very sad.

  9. RD I agree with you on the latter but if he attained the office by corrupt means doesnt it taint the event even slightly?

    I am tired and sad that people didnt take your post at face value and let you have your say…without going postal.

    I am still saying that the “moment was fruit of the poisonus tree” and as such should be removed as evidence for or against the “historical” nature of the event. Just like any illegally obtained evidence.

  10. Johninca: See this is where I think there is misunderstanding. I’m plenty pissed off about Obama. But I am delighted that there are so many people in this country who felt lifted up by what happened on Nov. 4. And for me, that is something that makes the pain much more easy to bear.

  11. RD: Correct. If it were any AA politician who had not resorted to mind-numbing corruption I would be thrilled. Any I agree that I am missing out on the joy of the occasion. I cannot separate the two components and may or may not be able to do so, I could not vote for Katherine Harris becauuse she has an x chromosome and their would be no joy in her win.

  12. Riverdaughter. I understand what you mean about looking hysterical if you question the chosen one on his BC but at the same time, that is in itself a narrative which keeps from getting at the truth of the man. He is not anything supernatural, he is just a man who is running for the most powerful job in the country, even the world… so asking questions is a legitimate thing to do, just not all of them are the right ones.

    I do doubt some of the credibility of the arguments presented when they are taken on and distorted either by the fringe, or by the mainstream narrative – however it is a fact that he has not produced his BC in original printed form nor his college records so the questions have not been answered. The electoral college could stop this, if he is indeed not constitutionally qualified and (in an extremely unlikely turn of events I admit) Hillary could still replace the zero. That was the intention of the consitution.

    I wonder if the Republicans are allowing this to happen to set a precident so that the Governator can run in 2012. Scared yet?

  13. fuzzybear: I don’t think so. I know very little about psychology but there’s something like a collective consciousness about the event that might explain it.
    It doesn’t change the fact that he is a corrupt politician and what he did needs to be exposed.
    Look, all I can tell you is that when I saw those images of the crowds in Grant Park with and empty podium, I immediately identified with the crowd there. It was only tangentially about Obama. Obama didn’t strive for being the first black president. He has only the weakest of ties to the civil rights movement. He doesn’t deserve any credit for it. He’s a manipulative, oorrupt, soulless man.
    That’s not what the crowd was celebrating. At that point in time, Obama was just a symbol. Nothing more. He wasn’t even on stage. He was forgotten. The thing that was celebrated was the fact that the *country* had transcended race, not the person in office. The *country* proved that race was no barrier to admission to the highest office in the land, in the world. That was the dream fulfilled. It came about differently than MLK Jr had predicted because the content of the character is still at issue. But the fact that the country was able to look past the color of the skin was what the civil rights movement was all about.
    I was positively giddy.

  14. Riverdaughter, I don’t mean to beat this particular dead horse, but, while as a black woman I can certainly appreciate the historic nature of the election, given how the PT Barnum, Pet Rocks empty promise of progress was exploited, I can’t help but feel that celebrating it is akin to congratulating a guy who kills his parents for having the house to himself.

  15. If it is okay RD I hope I am allowed to agree to dissagree on this one….

    I could have done with out this little piece of Joy in my life.

    I see your point but I hurt to much to acept it

  16. arp: I have cautioned people before to not pursue the BC issue. I think it will only lead you into a blind alley. And even though it is a constitutional question, it doesn’t address the character of Obama the person or the kind of leader he will be. If he were not qualified to be president on Constitutional grounds, I truly believe one of the other candidates would have pursued it.
    In any case, there are far more friendly sites if you want to talk about the BC. NoQuarter is the place you want to go for all things BC and Raila Odinga and stuff like that.
    I’m more interested in the stuff I can actually see him doing because that seems to be more relevant than some “gotcha” situation we can only dream about.

  17. Also, he stole women’s right to have their historic first, by foul means so the cost of seeing a historic first (which we should feel proud) is too high. It makes me feel sick – I know that I should be proud of this moment and would be proud of this moment if I could get over that theft. It has tainted what should be a most beautiful moment and I think in the long run even those who are proud of it now will regret that it happened this way. How would women have felt if they elected Pelosi as first female President under similar circumstances? Would we ignore that and be proud? I don’t think I could.

  18. fuzzy: The fact that you and many of us hurt too much to experience the joy is the truly tragic part of this whole acrimonious election season.

  19. (the poster formerly known as arp and pumaalliance)

    Riverdaughter, I do visit NQ and to be honest I don’t particularly want to discuss the BC in any depth, I just thought I would mention that one point.

  20. My friends were celebrating not the first AA president It was all about Obama not one of them mentioned he was black until the MSM started spinning the meme…I guess they felt post racial and post gay…I thought they were post rational

  21. just say no: Ummm, I suspect that the only way women are ever going to reach that moment is if we have a similar alignment of the stars and perhaps get over our fear of looking ruthless. And yes, we will ignore it and be proud but who cares? We’ll be the last group to get that moment. Who will deny it to us? There’s no one lower on the pecking order.

  22. I do think the Raila Odinga thing is a relevant issue, because as far as I can tell there is actual proof that he actually did campaign for him. Or is that fake?

  23. thanks RD you at least acknowledge our feelings and you know I am still your biggest fan(not i a kathy bates/misery way) I wish you would run for office again america is poorer for not haveing a mind and heart like yours working to make peoples lives better.

    you are an agent of positive change!

  24. Mmmm, I think I need to create a “not yet over RD’s post-election post” thread for those of you still grieving. i don’t think anyone is focussing on the task at hand and maybe there needs to be a place to vent.

  25. This is the first day of my facing my blog addiction. Thank you for this fascinating post that will challenge me from the get go in my decision to periodically “move away from the computer.”

    The wit, wisdom, compassion, integrity and fire of this blog make it a compelling force in my life.

    The clip of the analysis of the Obama campaign and your comments, RD, help me to understand my distrust of the man. This quote reinforces my first impression of what was lacking in Obama as a candidate: “You can comb those debate transcripts and you don’t find much in the way of substance.”

    I’m paying attention to how his presidency will unfold. I don’t feel particularly empowered to assist in restoring democracy to our country, but I will do what I can.

  26. ROFLMAO-RD that kinds of puts it into perspective!

  27. If TM had done that maybe she would still have a blog that people wanted to visit…you dont need to RD at least not for me…I know your heart is good!

  28. Women were virtually slapped back into our “places” in this election. I find myself sometimes wishing Hillary had not run because, rather than elevate the status of women because of her historic accomplishments, her unjust but almost universally celebrated defeat has destroyed any hope of gender equality and fairness. An election which, I had hoped would show my daughter that women can accomplish anything if they work hard enough and really want it, has unfortunately shown my daughter that even the best and the brightest of women are still “chicks” in this society and any hope of fairness and equality will not come for generations, if at all.

    After the virtual and sometimes literal abuse I have endured throughout this election cycle, just because I am a Clinton supporter, I cannot bring myself to say, “Well, at least a black guy was elected president!”
    I just can’t get there.

  29. Speaking wholly for myself, I am over your post. Just because I cannot agree with your premise does not mean that I require the opportunity to vent., I would be thrilled to focus upon the task at hand if I were able to isolate what it might be.

  30. “There’s no one lower on the pecking order.”

    Yes there is: LBGTs

  31. How bizarre is it to say that voters rejected the ’60’s by electing a black man? Seems to me that is what the 60’s was really about. Of course I guess you could argue that they partially rejected the 60’s when they stood by and allowed two women to be trashed.
    And then there was Obama talking about getting past the 60’s even though his radical friends epitomized the worst excesses of the era. Truly Alice-in-Wonderland kind of stuff.
    And all the while our sages in the media are bloviating about trivial things. They are a bigger threat to our democracy than Bin Laden ever was.

  32. myiq: I disagree, myiq. I think people know how unfair the whole set up is for GLBT people. They still do not acknowledge that there is anything wrong with gender inequity. It’s so deeply ingrained that it may take generations to overcome. The GLBT situation will get fixed in the next couple of years because the offense is so obvious. But women are going to have to be very, VERY proactive, angry and visible to get the attitude to change about them. And once we get angry, we get told how unpleasant we are and we stop being angry. So, somehow, we have to overcome the sensation of not wanting to offend anyone. And THAT is really, really hard to do without a lot of help.

  33. What do you call a non-democratic president?


  34. If Wedensday’s post had been the first of RD’s posts I ever read I would probably have reacted differently.

    I’ve been reading her posts for months and that’s the first one I seriously disagreed with.

    But that’s it, I disagreed. I wasn’t offended or upset, so there was nothing to get over.


  35. Riverdaughter, until women stop caring what people think about us we will never get anywhere. We have to write our own story.

    As for the media, it is brainwashing the populus, it is really that simple. Corporations own the media, Corporations own Obama. It is nothing new in that respect, but perhaps more dangerous.

    As I just read on No Quarter

    The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.
    Vladimir Lenin

  36. RD:

    Which group has it worse is like arguing which floor of a burning building it would be worse to be trapped on.

  37. I do agree though, that the LGBT community have it even worse, in terms of rights and respect. I truly hope the rallying call of the PUMA movement will become Equality and Fairness for all.

  38. Good point myiq2xu I wish I could have summed it up as well, you are correct.

  39. David Gergen (sp?) said on Oprah that Hillary made over 70 campaign appearances for BO. I can understand the endorsment, but over 70 appearances – why did she work so hard to help elect him?

  40. Well, if we are going to talk about the task at hand here goes:

    RD I know you prefer to stay away from conservative sites but they seem to have news before we do. It seems that “new cabinet” names have been leaking out and they are all Washington insiders and some with questionable pasts.

    So much for “hope and change” and promises that were made.

  41. I have to side with RD on the LGBT v. women point. I think both groups share last place in this society, but at least there is awareness in some people’s minds about the discrimination against LGBT. Far too many people fail to recognize gender bias. There would have been a much bigger outcry if the vulgar teeshirt wearers referred to one of the candidates with an LGBT slur than there was to the “C” word used against Palin.

  42. MYIQ

    very well said.

  43. looking for integrity: You seem to be surprised by this. Wasn’t it a foregone conclusion that he would be hiring insiders? What *else* would a guy who has only had 142 days in the senate hire? He needs people who’ve been around for awhile and know how the system works. He’s also picking people from Clinton’s second string.

  44. Ok, then let women go first. After all, there are more of us.
    Doesn’t sound so equivalent now, does it?

  45. Its a difficult one to call exactly because I think both sides of the point have their own merits. In terms of general attitudes I do think it is worse for women, and misogyny is almost accepted as normal sometimes, but in terms of discrimination in law, perhaps LGBT have it worse because of marriage and pension rights and so I will refer back to the ‘burning building’ analogy that myiq2xu stated. I think that is the most accurate.

  46. Women don’t have to “go first”. My point, and I thought yours was too, was that there is little or no awareness of the gender bias present in a variety of forms in our society. The word “bitch” as a perjorative toward women flows easily off of the tongues of people who would never dream of using the “N” word or of calling someone a “f@g”. Maybe I misunderstood your point.

  47. Not surprised, just, unfortunately, vindicated in the sense that every single person I had discussions with who drank the Koolaid was steadfast in their belief it would not happen and with Clinton it would (etc. ad infinitum). I am not happy to hear now about having been ight – it helps nothing.

    So far no women’s names have popped up other than Harman for Homeland Security , and I don’t find her a good choice given her past actions.

  48. RD, I wasn’t offended by your earlier post. Just disagreed. That’s ok in America.

    But I would like to see you address the Proposition 8 failure, and the fact that 70% of African Americans, led by the Obama/Biden ticket’s “signals,” voted FOR Prop 8, denying “civil rights” to others, based on their own religious beliefs.

    The religious left becomes the religious right?

    The African Americans become the true bigots?

    The ACLU is a fraud?

    Watch what I do and not what I say?

    Republican Schwarzenegger is more open-minded than Democratic Obama or Biden?

    Andrew Sullivan got screwed by supporting the very candidate who denies his right to be anybody’s wife?

    “Our time is now” is only for Blacks?

    Lotta inconsistencies in the choices that Black America dramatically made on election day.

    Will we hide from discussing that because we’re intimidated by the Spike Lee’s?

  49. LOL my avatars keep changing today and one is uglier than the rest.

  50. Damn……proofreading is our friend. LOL

    The Proposition 8 success, not failure.

    The failure was that it passed. Sorry. 🙂

  51. I’m in the straight white male demographic. We’ve had our turn and then some.

    As far as I’m concerned we should sit out the next several rounds until everyone else has had a few turns.

    Unfortunately, it seems that most of my demographic doesn’t agree with me.

  52. There are only a couple of things that make you want to slap them?
    I admire your restraint.

  53. RD said

    “Put it this way, if it were any other politician who was AA and if the convention hadn’t been spoiled, you would have been out there celebrating because it matters to the *people*.”

    Riverdaughter. I am African American and I live 6 blocks from Grant Park. I wasn’t out there celebrating. To me your statement is like saying if Hitler was a black man I would be cheering him on due to the historic significance of his epic rise to power. That ain’t happening.

    Barack Obama is a charlatan. I don’t care if he is brown, green, pink or indigo. I had nothing to celebrate on November 4th. The sad part is racism played a huge role in this campaign to the detriment and demise of two women.
    African Americans are now out of the closet with their extremely racist and homophobic views.

    I think the true victory was for Caucasian people who hopefully are now released from their unfair and unnecessary bondage to the sins of their fathers.

    Having said that I did think your piece was gracious, but I also understand the anger of PUMAs who objected to it.

    I look at the deeds and character of a person, not their ethnicity, gender, or religion.

  54. I don’t think an organization like the Southern Poverty Law Center would have sent out an email celebrating the election of someone like Clarence Thomas. It’s not that he’s black and this creates some kind of supposed healing of the racial divide–it’s that he’s not a conservative black, as they see it, and so it’s OK. They don’t know his policies or care.

    I have made a decision not to give money any longer in organizations that engage in political activity, endorse political candidates, or could go that way. None of these organizations, not even my beloved SPLC, could stay out of it, or care about GLBT rights. That the majority of Obama supporters are homophobes doesn’t surprise me, but it does anger me. This election has opened my eyes wide. I can expect nothing from straight people politically. I might have straight allies and that is great, but I cannot count on them for my rights. Of course, I am dependent b/c I am a minority, so I need them.

    All my money that I would normally give to the SPLC is going to the Zambian Children’s Fund to help AIDS orphans and all the money I would normally give to the Sierra Club is going to PEER which helps any federal employee against any federal administration. And PP, NARAL, NOW, Human Rights Campaign, etc. can go begging.

  55. Deciding which is more important, women or LGBT, is divisive and to quote BO a “distraction” from the issue. There is no reason why we cannot work on both sets of issues. I would like to see women advance rapidly and eliminate mysogyny. I would like to see my gay friends and the LGBT community enjoy the same rights as everyone else. I would like to see hate-crime laws enacted for all groups who suffer any fom of discrimination.

    “Civil and political rights are a class of rights ensuring things such as the protection of peoples’ physical integrity; procedural fairness in law; protection from discrimination based on gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, etc; individual freedom of belief, speech, association, and the press; and political participation. ”

    Civil rights are not owned by any one group, and until we see that we are all in this together, and extend to others what we want for ourselves (thinking of Prop 8 here) none of us will be equal.

  56. Do people actually expect Barry to do shit for them…or anything ?? Ask those who froze their assess off on the South Side. Figure it out ,the higher he goes, the LESS he does. He’s there to be exulted as the same bunch behind Bush rape the country . That’s his job. The end

  57. chimera — of course it isn’t surprising that the majority of Obama supporters are homophobes — misogyny and homophobia go hand in hand. The are both a fear of the “feminine” (ie., gay men don’t display the socially acceptable gender identity in the minds of straight men)

  58. There has never been a Jewish president or Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian…

    Watch this cause a riff in America’s political future since AA’s think that they are the universal victim and spokespeople for minorities. Barry will also have other special favors like getting his face on currency –hmmm perhaps the new Amero currency.

  59. But I am delighted that there are so many people in this country who felt lifted up by what happened on Nov. 4.

    Ceteris paribus, I want a black president; we should have a black president, and AAs should be able to rejoice in an historic moment. It would be beautiful. Nothing I said conflicts with their legitimate desire for such a beautiful moment.

    But I also understand that children– a high proportion of them African American– have died, and will continue to die because of Obama’s callous attitude towards unborn human life.

    I could never put a beautiful symbol– the election of a black president– as a veneer over the ugly reality and substance of his policies. So instead I sat and wept. I don’t think I was alone. Dominus flevit…

  60. Riverdaughter, has the traffic on this blog slowed down? I thought I’d be able to step away from the computer, but I’m truly hooked.

  61. Big hug coming your way, johninca


    Your comment @ the top of the thread made me teary eyed.

  62. afrocity –not to get all tinfoily here but when you said Amero currency are you talking about the New World Order stuff? I’m starting to believe that myself.

  63. RD, I want to chime in quickly, as I head out the door for work, that your earlier post did not offend me at all. Even though I disagreed with you and still do, your thoughts helped me to see a ray of light on a very dark day. I was even able to muster some joy for my bi-rac*ial SO, enough so that I was able to call and congratulate him.

  64. Being a PUMA is now my political identity. Being freed of party politics made me realize that I need a politics that is partly identity based but only with principles attached. I will vote for women, because my feminism has been reinvigorated! I will vote GLBT, because my gay pride has been reinvigorated. I feel released and freer, even if the oppression just got worse. So thank you for that, riverdaughter and everyone on this site! I still feel at home here. Interestingly, my AA nephews and nieces didn’t even care that an AA was elected president. It was like, “yeah, OK.” There is a post-racial generation coming, but they are likely to be apathetic.

  65. Not to be too controversial here, but how about we just elect the most qualified (intelligent, knowlegeable, experienced) leaders?

    Crazy thinking, I know!

  66. I can’t celebrate a victory that’s won by shitting all over women. I resent the POC for celebrating it even if I do understand them, but truth be told, if you need to keep someone else down just to achieve your moment of victory, if you need to use fraud and deception to achieve it, is that even a victory?

  67. Angie,

    Yep that would be the one Angie.

    Consider my tinfoil hat on and worn with pride. I even have different styles I can wear depending on the weather and occasion.

    I just saw a complete fraud and cult of personality, espousing class warfare and socialism win POTUS. Game Over! I don’t discount anything now. I am trying to go GBP myself.

  68. RD — the problem is not that we ‘are missing out’. Of course we are, and we all know that. There’s not a PUMA alive who doesn’t wish that they could rightfully join the celebration.

    The problem is that you are putting the missing out part on us as if it’s some sort of defect in us, as if we have some sort of mental defect, rather than in the nature of the Obama symbolism (which is pretty darn empty) itself.

    It sounds pretty close to classic concern trolling. “I’m so sorry you can’t appreciate the greatness of The One.”

    Tell me, when GWB was whipping the country up into the jingoist frenzy that led to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, did you celebrate the transformative moment of our whole country coming together as one, separate from the actual *sshat that is Bush, the lying false way he and the media brought it about, or the horrific results that most of us could see coming a mile away?

    Obama’s coronation in his worldwide gangbang frat party IS deeply symbolic — of global communion. He’s washed away all our sins through his very existence (quite a trick, since even Jesus had to whip off a few miracles and suffer a bit first).

    Don’t bother pitying those of us who disagree, it’s condescending. That’s why concern trolling is even more offensive than the regular kind. We see the symbolism, we just don’t agree that it means what you think it means.

  69. soopermouse — sure it is a victory — it is a phyrric victory, which is befitting a phyrric candidate.

  70. As ever, I’m in moderation. Please let me out!

  71. yeah, a victory over women and nothing more

  72. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to separate the man from the symbol – because the man IS the symbol.

    I’m not sure what RD means when she says that the LGBT issue will be resolved in a few years. You mean you think gay marriage will be made legal across the country in a few years? I’d be very much surprised! LGBT issues have never been high on the Democratic party’s priorities. But I do agree that public misogyny is tolerated more easily than public homophobia.

  73. afrocity — I’m there with you — luckily I look good hats.

  74. Chimera,

    I agree with you. I have left the DNC. Parties tie the political process down and keeps voters from seeing the candidates and issues for what they really are. Lately the GOP’s make more sense to me than the DNC, which is just a front for Barry the dictator anyway.

    Remember Hitler rose to power by legitimate means. The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, became an vehicle for his evil.

  75. There were Jewish Supreme Court justices at the beginning of the 20th century, but it took Bill Clinton to appt the only one since. We’ve had a Jewish VP candidate elect who never got to take office b/c the SCOTUS denied him. I think before America became all multicultural it actually was diverse and functioning–not perfectly by any means, but it was working its way out of prejudice. I think it is odd that we have just suffered a huge setback for almost every minority but African Americans, but I am also not convinced victory is theirs. Obama is the son of an African and a white woman. He is trying to be an American black, but I don’t get the feeling it’s a good fit.

    And New World Order–you betcha! I don’t know who funded him, but it wasn’t all $5.00 donations that added up to $650,000,000.

  76. I cannot celebrate a victory which was attained at the cost of setting ALL women back 40 years be they white, black, asian, hispanic, Christian, Jew, Hindi or Muslim, young or old, rich or poor. I cannot celebrate a victory which was attained by smacking down women, pushing aside women, demeaning women, smearing women, dehumanizingi women and, ultimately, by holding a woman’s reproductive rights as hostage for her vote. I cannot celebrate a victory that was won at the cost of MY DAUGHTERS’ futures.
    No way, not now, not ever.

  77. britgirls, thank you kindly, although if I keep getting hugs and scintillating dialogue from beautiful women, (particularly beautiful women with British accents, I note because of your screen name), it will surely spoil me rotten…

  78. I think for many of us this historic event is forever marred. For me personally, I can’t suppress my principles enough to celebrate. As I’ve said, I’m truly glad for the people who are happy. But I’m in mourning for the Democratic Party.

  79. Obamabot Teacher Browbeats Girl for Supporting McCain

    It’s gonna be a long four years in the land of tolerance and love.


  80. wow, it was difficult to watch the tape. They make virtues of so many vices and that end justifies the means, they live in an alternate universe. That Meecham guy, he could hardly contain his glee. If the character they described is not slightly creepy what else is he. It is not so much what he does to his supporters but what his supporters end up doing, en masse for HIM (not for the country or for some larger than him interest). I hope he is a benevolent dictator.

    It is despicable and very unprofessional in the way that Thomas narrated the gossip about Palin in the end. He looked silly for a man of his age sitting at that table to be saying what he said. (Palin aide is offering a strong rebuke of what happened — on abcnews.)

  81. My youngest grandson had a similar experience. They held a classroom “mock election” in grade 4. He voted for McCain and ws told by his teacher that awful things would happen if he did not change his vote and how he should tell Mommy and Daddy not to vote for McCain.

  82. There has never been a Jewish president or Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian…

    And we were cheated out of our first Jewish VP in 2000.

    African Americans are now out of the closet with their extremely racist and homophobic views.

    I was talking to one of my AA friends at work who voted for Hillary in the primary and caught a HUGE amount of flack for it from friends and family, and jokingly asked her “So, you know this means y’all are now officially racist, right? You own the power structure, so anything you say can, and will, be used against you.”

    She laughed and said, “Honey, we’ve always been racist, we’ve just got to own it now. Wonder how that’s going to go over?”

    BTW, she’s originally from Chicago and refused to vote for Barry. “He didn’t help anybody there except his friends, why am I going to believe it’ll be any different when he’s in the White House?” She went “Topless”.

    I think the true victory was for Caucasian people who hopefully are now released from their unfair and unnecessary bondage to the sins of their fathers.

    And considering my family members were running around Russia, hiding from the Kossaks and doing their “Fiddler on the Roof” thing at the time, I truly appreciate the pardon. Seriously.

  83. Crap. I used the “r” word. Can I pretty please be released from moderation?

  84. wdupray – I emailed the Asheville school board demanding that the teacher be disciplined. I’m in NC, so I’m hoping it will carry a little weight.

  85. I wonder if there will ever be anything remotely resembling freedom of speech in Obama’s America

  86. How can we expect sexism to be addressed and fought when so many women don’t even see it? 60% of women voted for Obama, someone who clearly sees women as inately inferior. Do things have to get so much worse for women to finally get it? I’m afraid it might be too late then. I’ve seen pictures of the streets of Kabul in the 60s that depict lots of women going about their daily lives, some even wearing mini skirts. It is breathtaking how fast and easy it is to lose the rights we do have. And the collective anhilation of both Clinton and Palin are not too removed from the actual stoning of women around the world.

  87. Meecham said there was no Bradley effect. I think AAs as a minority group lost their single most bargaining chip, their leverage without actually meaningful reforms, both societal and economic happening. It may get many of them inspired to lose the chip on their shoulders but where there is justifiable grievance, it may not get the same kind of fair hearing as before.

  88. no pasaran: the was the most alarming and yet (feign shock) underreported aspect of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan: that previously women had been professionals and free. This was not one of those countries where women always wore burkas.

  89. I hope that teacher loses her job. She probably won’t, though, because the symbolism of the geat transcendence is so transcendent that it transcends any real concerns, like how it causes adults to feel free to bully schoolchildren.

    My 2 cents on the who-has-it-worse debate, LGBTs or women: this is not a productive discussion. Because both groups have it so bad that any ‘worsts’ that could be proven are miniscule in comparison with how bad both groups have it. It’s like arguing about who was the worse dictator, Hitler or Stalin? Who cares? The only important thing is how each was bad and how to prevent repeats of the horrors perpetrated by both or either.

    A discussion of the different ways in which LBGTs vs women are kept down is productive, though, because it sheds light on how to fight it. But not everything is or should be a competition. I don’t particularly care who wins, because even if it’s my ‘team’, I don’t want that particular prize, thanks.

    Part of the oppression of both is common gender-slur related language — the extent to which both don’t match the definition of a normal person, ie, a normal man — gay men are ‘sissies’ (ie, icky girls), lesbians are d*kes (ie fake men) and women are b*tches, and wh*res whenever they try to stand up for themselves (again, fake men because they are trying to claim the rights a normal person — man — has).

    Both are most viciously attacked when they demand the same rights as the rest of the population, and the rights of both are often successfully attacked with the same oppressive memes. Prop 8 supposedly won because proponents focused on the effects of marriage equality on the children. How many times has ‘but what about the children been used against women to keep them out of the workplace, bar them from professions, deny them career advancement, or relate them breeding machines only because their ‘natural’ and ‘rightful’ place is in the home bringing up the kids? So let’s fight back against the cynical use of the welfare of children justifies denial of someone’s rights.

  90. JulieS9164: “And considering my family members were running around Russia, hiding from the Kossaks and doing their “Fiddler on the Roof” thing at the time, I truly appreciate the pardon. Seriously.”

    I hear ya! I’m 2nd generation and I always think of my poor immigrant grandparents and their “sins” for coming here last century. Their sins include never learning English and working 7 days a week. As a dark complected “white” person, my mother grew up being called the same abusive names as AAs. She was also banned from “whites only” beaches. So, yeah, I appreciate the pardon too.

  91. language is very powerful. Have you ever wondered why there are so many vulgar and cussing insults for women and gays compared to how few there are for straight men?

    We play too nice and that is the problem, however…

    “No one has the right to make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt.

  92. That was in response to Valhalla’s excellent post, I should have made that clearer.

  93. As a member of both communities (glbt and women) we each are better off/worse off depending on the issue. I want both of my “selves” to move forward at the same time, not half of me free while the other half oppressed.

    Someone said it earlier: homophobia and sexism are both rooted in misogyny. My own Episcopal church is threatening a schism over a gay bishop. The people who are leading this hatred are the very same people who opposed ordaining women. They are saying that once they get rid of Robinson, they will get to work on repealing women clergy.

    I don’t know how many times in one day I can ask you to feign shock.

  94. Although I feel outraged about the GLBT situation, I feel equally outraged about the treatment of women, all women, lesbian or straight. I do think that GLBT’s problems are invisible to the straight population by and large. People assume that public homophobia is something we all see. Not all people see it. It’s also not all there is. When my partner needed cancer drugs the pharmacist wanted to know who in the hell I was since that was my insurance card. The insurance had my partner listed as my son b/c there was no category for partner, etc. But I feel like these problems are things we need to address as a community and change will come. What the Precious did was publicly humiliate women and put ’em in their place, and he put GLBT in their place too. It’s a different place, sort of, but we need to stick together in this fight.

    Back in the 60s I went to Catholic school. I had a nun who was always talking about police brutality. Two of us had dads who were cops, and it was hard to hear about how dirty cops were. I am a grown-up now and understand the complexity of it, but when I was 10 that was my daddy she was calling a PIG. She rigged a class election. We all chose a class president she didn’t like and she said we all voted incorrectly and appointed the son of a rich and famous guy.

    Lesson: liberal fascism, just like conservative fascism, is still fascism. Teachers in any guise can be bullies, and those who are narcissists feel justified in getting the result they want by any means. Welcome to Obamanation. The population he wanted to lead was indeed waiting for him.

  95. “He is a cipher and doesn’t even know what he is. He is a screen onto which we project our own desires, a tofu president. ”

    Perfectly said.

    I LOVE it.

  96. Long time lurker here….

    I can empathize with JohninCA. Because I feel exactly the same way – besides myself and in just plain disbelief as to how a shady Chicago thug with the skimpiest of resumes but having the one gift of oratory could make it to the top.

    I can never forget how he got there and how he and cohorts in the DNC viciously treated Hillary , even if she chooses to ignore it. I can never forget how the media shamelessly protected him and how he obliged them by being their adorable tool and proxy in their eternal war against the Clintons.

    And when I think about the pomp, the grandeur and the trappings of the office that someone so ruthless, cunning, undeserving and astonishgly inexperienced will no doubt enjoy along with such immense power and authority , it makes me sick. It takes the thrill of seeing an African American president just wither away….

  97. Well said, chimera. I honestly believe that there is now a category neatly labeled neolibs. The label is liberal, but the brand is nothing that we recognize as such.

  98. “Don’t bother pitying those of us who disagree, it’s condescending. That’s why concern trolling is even more offensive than the regular kind. We see the symbolism, we just don’t agree that it means what you think it means.”

    Thank you, Valhalla. That’s the crux of it. This whole election was about the press and the DNC becoming enamored of the symbolism–and only the symbolism. What seemed to make The Confluence different is that we saw the symbolism and said, as a group, “Symbolism is not enough for us.” We lost friends and argued with loved ones because WE were the true post-racial and post-gender voters. I don’t think anyone here supported Hillary because she was a woman or opposed Obama because he was AA.

    RD, everyone here disagreed with your post that morning. I read the comments. People here are way beyond symbolism. We’d rejected that reason as a valid issue for voting for Obama a long time ago. You should have seen that.

  99. just say no to zombie rule, on November 7th, 2008 at 9:39 am Said:

    language is very powerful. Have you ever wondered why there are so many vulgar and cussing insults for women and gays compared to how few there are for straight men

    and have you ever noticed that the most used slams against a man are also slams against a women —

    bastard, son of a bitch, motherf*cker

  100. Can someone please take me out of moderation for using a variant of the “r” word? Thanks.

  101. Thanks RD for the great post!

    THe Obama campaign championed propaganda at it’s finest. The fact is that the media liked him better because he had the supposed “rags-to-riches” narrative.


    But like everything, Obama too, shall pass. We must keep up the fight for Democracy.

  102. Valhala 8:46- Well said, thank you.

  103. Unfortunately, I think that we are a country which is now all about symbols, not substance. We see this every day in our celebrity TV shows. We are metaphorically always looking for our new American idol. Obama is the newest version. I always knew, when I first saw him do the keynote speech in ’04, that Obama was likely to be a serious candidate for president. He fit a template. He was the casting central version of the Black president that you would see in a movie or TV series. Tall, lean, speaking in a forceful cadence. What he said, what nonexistent achievements he had–these were a distant second to the image of Obama.

    Next time, we will be fed another image. Maybe it will be Palin, who I frankly see as Ronald Reagan in a dress, and with better parenting skills. Maybe it will be a jolly religious populist like Huckabee. A new image, a new icon, to transfix us, and make us think that we are buying something new. Every four years, I watch in numb horror at the media’s inability and unwillingness to actually cover issues, the things that will ultimately matter to Americans. Every time, they promise to do better, and of course they never do. Obama didn’t win because of one idea, plan, or insight. He won because of self- and media-created image, and of course because many people were just sick of Republicans. I guess that the first Black president is a good thing in the abstract, but it is form over substance, a cheap feel-good drug over meaningful nutrition and medicine for what ails this country. I can guarantee that so many are now invested in the need to have Obama be something magical and special, that it will take a long time, and alot of hard days, for them to ever give that fantasy up. The cult of Obama is really just beginning.

  104. JulieS9164

    I think the School Board is getting an earful and that teacher is probably going to have some problems. I find it hard to believe with an attitude like that she has never had prior disciplinary issues.

  105. There nothing to celebrate. As you go over the results, you will find that the political and economic Republicams did it to themselves, along with a massive 90% AA vote for a single candidate. What we have is a cult like figure and really no idea where he is going to take this nation. I would suggest that instead of celebrating that we do an awful lot of praying!

  106. Amazing…by the time I get to the end of the comments on threads at this site I have to go back to the beginning to be sure that the original post was on the topic I remembered…LOL.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this tape, RD…I had heard it mentioned elsewhee and you saved me the trouble of going to CR’s website. My takeaway from the tape was that Thomas was less starry eyed than Meacham…especially when Thomas persisted in finishing his remarks about having a hard time recalling any Obama displays of “courage”.

    And I already commented on your older post that is still being discussed…I understand where you were coming from, even if it is difficult to rejoice on a personal level. I have to keep re-remembering that anger is like a battery acid that keeps corroding the power source.

    Also, please be aware that clinical studies have shown that chronic anger is as much a risk factor for cardiovascular disease as the other biggies. Find a way to transcend, plug in, use anger’s energy to achieve your goals. (And NO, that doesn’t mean that anger is not appropriate…especially now.)

  107. Nice summation. I think you are right about Democrats (including newly registered Democrats) wanting a Democrat. I know we all did, and that Democrat was Hillary, right?

    We didn’t know the other guy. Really. We still don’t. What troubles me is that the media gave him a free pass. This road was paved by Hollywood types, corporations, you name it. We do not have the back story — and we needed that.

    What we did bear witness to, is troubling in terms of the treatment of women. RD, like you, I don’t think I realized there was such a problem with “America’s Soul” — and certainly not with co-workers over the years. Anybody from my generation got all kinds of benefits due to affirmative action — it has all been equal for California — so I have no idea what the other states are like.

    My gen grew up integrated and blended?

    What I’d like to know though, as a Dem, is where did all the money go that was supposed to fix all those problems over the years — in big inner city situations where there was poverty?

    Out here the Gov. (Terminator) a Repub — is tanking the entire state — all the people who work for places like the county have to take furloughs and work without pay and so forth. He can’t balance the state’s budget.

    I saw Pelosi on TV about a bailout for GM cars on the news. Well?
    Nobody will be buying a car anytime soon if they don’t have a job.
    The social problems will increase as the fallout keeps on rolling.
    I just wonder about the leadership in this country. That is why I liked McCain’s plan better. He was about job creation.

    I don’t feel there will be social security waiting for me when I get there — a long time from now. Or my NYT pension? It’s like that will be raided. I don’t want to see this country go down the tubes — that really worries me.

    Oh and hi Bill Dupray if you come back — I saw that video of the teacher — very sad. No, unbelievable? Unbelievable.
    Race was used from the beginning in this campaign — by target-marketing. I feel that was very divisive and very wrong. Very, very wrong on a moral and ethical level. It may have drawn in all those billions — but it was also used when Sarah wasn’t allowed on a show that could have helped her.

    I do feel the Democratic Party has been ripped apart. And so has the Republican Party. In the middle is this whole group of people like us. I can’t see much difference in basic ways we think about things at core moral and ethical places. It has been good to see that there is a place we meet — but we didn’t need a political party to get us there? It just sort of happened.

    I feel more PUMA than anything at the mo. Great post. Yeah, let’s keep our eyes on the press and TV to see what happens. Since now it is all about the culture of celebrity in this country, anyway.

    That is all it is about. Sad.

    I spent hours last night reading what the blogs I had been following had to say in the aftermath. Over at Savage Politics there is a plan! That is very indepth. Anybody who is worried can read about how to boycott things like big media. Personally? I think we should!

    hugs all…………………..


  109. AA female Hillary supporter. No I did not celebrate Obama’s post as African American in Chief because he does not have the experience to be CIC. Incidentally he should be noted as biracial not AA. He is a phony, a liar, and a race-baiting cheat. I marched with Dr. King during my college years in the sixties. In running his campaign, Obama dishonored King’s memory so there is nothing to celebrate. I truly depise Obama and that my friends is the truth..

  110. great writing, RD. But why is no one mentioning AXELROD?? Obama is not the brains behind his campaign. Obama is merely the puppet or “conduit” if you want to be generous. Everything is contrived by Axelrod. A-rod is the slimy mastermind.

    Just like Goebbels was for Hitler.

  111. ok, now I heard the end of it. So these ultra B-O-R-E-S are the ones who are spreading the Palin rumors? What a couple of shitheads!

    These guys know what minutes cost on tv. They know how expensive advertising. $150,000 or $250,00 is a PITTANCE compared to the airtime, outreach and enthusiasm that Palin provided the GOP!! Good God, a :30 commercial can cost TONS more than that!!

    but of course, presenting it as they do, you’d think none of them or anyone else in media ever dine on lobster, stay in lush hotels or order expensive prostitutes.

  112. http://www.gaywired.com/article.cfm?section=66&id=18614

    Early on we all knew if we were just wired: http://www.gaywired.com/article.cfm?section=66&id=18614.

    My gay friends are now asking “How?” O, puleeze.

  113. RD, great post!

    BO’s whole vague campaign has been about letting people project onto him their wants and desires for the great American dream. I suspect that those who voted for him will forgive BO’s not living up to their dreams because they will not want to accept that they didn’t really know what they were buying in the first place as was the case for Bush for so many years.

    This will be remembered as the most deceptive and successful advertisement campaign of our generation. It is truly the selling of America by Madison Avenue shysters.

  114. Riverdaughter,

    You say BO’s election was a momentous occasion for this country.

    I don’t pay much attention to baseball, but I think I must feel like what baseball fans felt when Barry Bonds broke the record for homeruns on steroids.

    In other words, that it wasn’t really legitimate.

    And the cost to other groups, women and the gay community, is unacceptable and unjustifiable.

  115. […] the Confluence, myiq2xu, isolated the money quote from Newsweek’s “Now it can be told” nasty trick on voters: “Curiously, though Obama drove his rivals mad by receiving reams of mostly friendly publicity, he […]

  116. […] the Confluence, myiq2xu, isolated the money quote from Newsweek’s “Now it can be told” nasty trick on voters: “Curiously, though Obama drove his rivals mad by receiving reams of mostly friendly publicity, he […]

  117. […] not been judged by the content of his character, but by the color of his skin. Indeed, the media is now admitting that Obama’s character is shrouded in mystery, and all across America, former friends and family are divided from each other by accusations of […]

  118. “And besides, Sarah Palin asked for more clothes!”

    Even as a joke, that’s kind of offensive. Actually, she arrived in DC with a suitcase or two, and the RNC had a fashion dude all cranked up to dress her in a manner befitting their concept of a VP candidate. She deferred to them.

    And returned every stitch after the election, most going to charity, and the large quantity of unused stuff being returned for refund by the party. Oh, and the wardrobing was for the entire family of 7, not just her personal closet.

    Net net, probably about 1% of one Greek styrofoam column.

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