• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    HerStoryRepeating on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Kathleen A Wynne on Pornhub Category: White H…
    William on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Kathleen A Wynne on Pornhub Category: White H…
    William on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Sweet Sue on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pornhub Category: White H…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Trump Recruited for his S…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    July 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Jun    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • UK Seizes Iranian Tanker So Iran Seizes UK Tanker
      That’s the news, basically. Well, Iran also seized a Liberian flagged one one, not sure why (may be operating for a British company.) Also not sure why the UK seized an Iranian tanker in the first place. The UK has said it supports the Iranian nuclear deal, and the US sanctions it was operating based […]
  • Top Posts

  • Advertisements

Butt Clenching Truths

diversity-training-550x365Hmm, it’s hard to find the first paragraph this morning.

There are two curious instances of rare truth in the media in the last 24 hours. These will give you an uncomfortable feeling in your sphincter because instances where journalists observe and accurately analyze happen so infrequently that the events that are being reported must be significant.

The first recommendation is from Slate’s Political Gabfest. This episode is called the “Rough Them Up”. The panelists are John Dickerson, Ruth Marcus, Dahlia Lithwick and David Plotz. I’m beginning to really like John Dickerson. He seems to do his homework and he’s got a slightly irritable and impatient edge. This guy is barely masking his contempt for Third Wayer David Plotz. It’s fun to listen to.

In this edition, John Dickerson precisely lays out Trump’s path and math to the nomination. The panelists also discuss what I brought up a couple of days ago: The parties are private. They make the rules and they can break the rules to suit them. What is going to be important is the media narrative when the rules favor one candidate over another. We saw this happen in 2008 when the media immediately jumped on the “Why is Hillary harshing Obama’s mellow?” at the convention in Denver. Yeah, what made her think she was entitled to a legitimate roll call vote where delegates who were pledged to her on the first ballot thought they were allowed to, you know, vote for her? It seems like the Slate panelists either want to forget that 2008 happened or they aren’t aware of how close the delegate count really was in 2008.

But they are right about the parties’ prerogatives to change the rules at will, voters be damned. If you got burned in 2008 for supporting Hillary, go listen and you will start to sympathize with the Trump voter. I mean, it will pass because you are not a crazy person. But you will understand the frustration of millions of people who have finally had enough of establishment political groups forcing their preferred candidates on the rest of us after pretending that the primaries actually count or something.

They also talk about Trump rallies, the deeply unsettling and scary takeaway messages from Trump and his supporters, and the rhetoric of pathology that has permeated Trump’s campaign. This is a serious problem and we should take the candidate and his supporters at their words. They are not kidding. Then they discuss the safe, boring choice of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court. Dahlia Lithwick nails what it means and what Garland’s nomination says about Barack Obama. In short, Obama is about as boring, pedestrian and middle of the road as a guy can get. It is not in his nature to shake up anything.

Thank you, Dahlia. I’ve been waiting 8 long years for someone to finally say it.

The second piece is about what Obama told donors the other day about how it’s time for Bernie to drop out and everyone to get behind Hillary. The title of the piece is Obama quietly signals time to unite behind Clinton.

Let’s just examine the title here for a moment. First, what he’s doing is sneaky. He does this “quietly”, “privately”. Secondly, it’s with his donors. He’s got them, they’re his. There is a reciprocal agreement. Thirdly, he doesn’t care that the primaries are still in full swing. He’s more interested in shaping the outcome without all those pesky voters.

This is and has been his method for years.

If this report is accurate, it just confirms that Obama is the frenemy Hillary can do without. This is the upper middle class corporate ladder climbing president who could be living in some swank northern Jersey suburb, playing golf with other men of the same socio-economic group, telling them that, sure, Hillary doesn’t *seem* authentic and she’s not exciting, but she’s really talented, we should all get behind her now and it’s time to show Bernie, and all the people that Bernie attracts, the door. It’s like getting a glimpse of what that midlevel manager colleague of yours is really saying about you to the bosses behind closed doors.

See reference to what Dahlia Lithwick said about Obama’s personality above.

I’ll say it again after eight years of saying it: I’ve never been impressed or wowed! by Obama. He’s had a pretty good PR team but I found his campaign speeches to be endless run-on collections of prepositional phrases without a point. Maybe some people are impressed by that. It did nothing for me. His record was, what, spotty? Non-existent? He came out of almost nowhere. His favorite politicians were, um, Republicans. He wrote some self-indulgent biographies. Annnnnd that’s about it.  Lawyers, even ones from Harvard, are a dime a dozen these days. Yahhhhwwwn. It’s difficult to find a more establishment politician than Barack Obama.

I am not surprised that there are a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters who feel burned by his two terms in office. They really believed the hype about hope and change, even though the guy they picked doesn’t have a single cell of change in his body. This is the guy who is talking about Hillary’s authenticity. I hope the former Obama supporters who are feeling the Bern this year have learned something but they probably haven’t. I keep thinking I can’t get more disgusted by Obama but he always manages to do it one more time.

In any case, this politically tone deaf president (whoops! totally forgot the latest episode of Serial, season 2, called Thorny Politics, where Obama screwed up the return of Bowe Bergdahl. Yeah, go listen to that.), has succeeded in pissing off just about everyone by going to this single donor event. Nevermind that these vulture capitalists have to be stroked so they see the value in supporting the best presidential candidate the country has had for 26 years. No, he’s got to be an arrogant douchebag and insult her and Bernie Sanders’ voters at the same time.

So, Sanders people out there, I really do feel your pain. I might be a Clintonista but I am not going to invalidate your vision or tell you to give up having your vote counted. That’s the Obama way, he and his buddies have been doing it for 8 years now, or maybe even longer, if the stuff I’ve read about his Chicago years are accurate. He’s all about eliminating opponents by forcing them to drop out and depriving their voters of an opportunity to vote. The quicker we can get Hillary to stop having to fluff Obama and his friends for money, the better off we are all going to be. In a way, it’s all going to come down to you.

Your choice. And you DO have a choice.

 

 

Advertisements

Why do I experience Barack Obama as so inauthentic?

salvadordalimetamorphosisof-narcissus1

I’m hoping someone can help me understand why Barack Obama comes across to me as so inauthentic. Is it just because I don’t like the man? I’ve mellowed quite a bit toward him. I don’t fly into a rage anymore when I hear him talk. I no longer feel nauseated when I see him on TV. I generally distrust him; but I don’t feel intense emotion about it anymore.

I detested Ronald Reagan, but I never got a feeling that he wasn’t authentic. I always felt that Reagan was pretty straightforward in his words and actions, and sometimes I even found myself almost being charmed by him. I thought he was very bad for the country and felt he was unqualified to be President, but I never thought he was a phony. I despised George W. Bush and thought his policies were dangerous–even evil. But I never got the feeling that he wasn’t being authentic. He always came across to me as pretty upfront about who he was and what his sympathies were.

When I refer to authenticity, I mean it in the sense that Heiddeger used the term. From Wikipedia:

Authenticity is a technical term in existentialist philosophy, and is also used in the philosophy of art and psychology. In philosophy, the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself. Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite these pressures.

Here is another description of authenticity that resonates with me:

Authenticity is synonymous with Integrity in the sense of a “state of being whole and undivided”. Being authentic is our most natural state though often contrary to our conditioning. What is authentic for each of us is something only we can know and stay true to. Authenticity helps us choose to what we should devote our energy and in making that choice we invest what we do with meaning and live ‘on purpose’. We actively engage in the making of meaning when we choose authenticity; each begets the other.

I like the idea of an authentic personality being whole and undivided. It has always seemed to me that Obama has no clear sense of himself–of who he is and how he fits into the worlds he inhabits. A few days ago, commenter Inky applied the term “inauthentic” to Obama in the sense (I think) that I’m talking about–that of a feeling response that she had to him. She too was discussing Obama’s behavior during a TV interview–the one where he called Kanye West a “jackass.” Here is a portion of the comment:

I acknowledge that I have a predisposition to finding Obama inauthentic, but I recommend watching the video one more time. Does it really still feel authentic to you? Especially after Obama’s misstep on the Gates v. cop controversy, making such a comment seems like such a no-brainer to me; I certainly would have advised him to do just that if I were David Axelrod

Is that what I’m feeling? That Obama sounds inauthentic because he has practiced the lines that are bothering me? I really don’t think so. Most of Obama’s appearances seem practiced and somewhat artificial. To some extent, the President has to be. I think there is something more happening here, but I’m not sure what.

I’m not talking about lying. All politicians lie. I’m talking about something more subtle, and I’m not sure what it is–speaking style, body language? It seems to me I get the same sense of inauthenticity from Obama whether I’m just listening to his words or watching while he speaks them. In fact, the inauthenticity may come across more strongly when I’m just listening to him.

Some recent examples are in Obama’s appearance on David Letterman Monday night. I heard some excerpts from the show on NPR yesterday, and I got that strong sense of inauthenticity when Obama spoke about his daughters having sleepovers with friends over the summer and their friends’ parents getting frisked by the Secret Service. I don’t know if it was the words themselves that bothered me, or the way he said them. It could even be a sense that Obama isn’t comfortable when he jokes or when he talks about his powerful role as President. Here is some poor video of that section of the interview. The “frisked” comment is around 3:56.

Another place in the interview where I got that same feeling when when Obama “joked” that he had already been black before he got elected President. Here’s that portion of the interview. The part that bothered me most was when he said “one of the things you sign up for in politics is that folks yell at ya.” Whenever Obama refers to “folks,” I get that feeling of inauthenticity. Why?

Here are a few more excerpts from the interview.

Am I seeing something real here, or is it just my dislike of Obama coming through? Again, I’m not talking about his lies. We all know he lies constantly. Is it that he seems inauthentic when he tells the truth? Or when he talks about himself or his family? I wish I knew.

Could it be a class thing? I come from a middle-class family, but certainly not upper middle class. My mother’s father was a dentist and her siblings all went to college and were successful. My father’s family was definitely working class, but he moved into the middle class as result of his service in the army–which enabled him to go to college, get a Ph.D. and buy a home. My family is very down to earth. Could it be that I resent Obama when he tries to seem “folksy?”

I really think I’m sensing something about his character–am I making too much of this? Am I getting too “meta?” I’d really be interested to know if anyone else understands the feeling I’m trying to get at, and especially whether anyone can articulate what it is that bothers me so much about Obama’s behavior in interviews.

digg!!! tweet!!! share!!!

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine