I don’t want to start another flame war. I love her songs and her passion. What bothers me is her slavish devotion to hopium when reality is smacking her upside the head. But she, like a lot of people who make their money in front of adoring crowds, has to watch what she’s saying. No, no, I don’t mean she should censor what she says. I mean that the crowd can turn on her and regardless of her sexual orientation, Ethridge is a cross over singer. Her career could very easily take a Natalie Maines type path if she pisses off the global warming, crunchy granola, Whole Foods, “we are so enlightened we even listen to lesbians” crowd.
But I think there is a little more to it than that. Someone recently pointed out that the country has a strong civil rights narrative and it was stirred up last election cycle. Well, that’s civil rights when it comes to African Americans at least. The rest of us can take an old, cold tater and wait. Barack Obama, the post partisan, unimpressive, unaccomplished candidate rode that baby straight to the White House. The guy who claimed to be running a post racial campaign never let us forget for one minute that he was black. He brought it up *constantly*. In fact, it was his secret weapon. He identified so closely with the struggle to overcome that even *I* was touched when I saw that sea of humanity in Grant Park. The whole Obama phenomenon didn’t make sense to me until that moment. But as I watched that joy and triumph, I was able to separate the nation’s ability to overcome the color barrier from Obama, the candidate who exploited that cultural narrative.
I guess I have always been able to see Obama as a post racial candidate. Ironically, that made me a racist in the eyes of many. But the color of his skin wasn’t as important to me as the content of his character, which I eventually found severely wanting. In the last couple of weeks, the orgasm has started to fade away for many and the content of the character has become more and more obvious. There seems to be an almost frantic response to the idea that Obama is just a man, and not a liberal one, after all. He now appears to be less than agile as a politician. He’s pissed some people off. His economic plans seem underwhelming when a huge, monumental action is called for. He seems to be pretty cool with Gitmo and the war and torture. And he has no trouble telling us how we all need to sacrifice. Like handing over $700 billion to the robber barons and sitting on pins and needles waiting for the pink slip isn’t sacrifice enough.
We’ve seen David Shuster go bat-$#%@ insane over Sarah Palin’s reading list even though Sarah lost already and have heard newly fledged pundits go way off on a tangent justifying their support of Obama because Hillary never told us why she wanted to run for president while Obama did. And now we have Melissa Ethridge cozying up to Rick Warren saying he’s not so bad after all. Um, yes, Melissa, he really is that bad. Give yourself permission to loathe him. Even Ms. Magazine has lost it with its inaugural edition cover of Obama as Superman, bringing hope into the darkness for women. Tennessee Guerilla Women has a collection of reponses to that cover from around the blogosphere and asks this very pertinent question: Does feminism even need women?
This is what the Kool-ade drinkers bought. They allowed the Obama magicians to fuse Obama the Unready with Obama the successor to Martin Luther King Jr. Now that they have discovered he is not who they thought he was, they have separation anxiety. It’s nervewracking to think you might have been fooled again and that the person you love is not who they said they were. So, they cling harder, like little kids left with strange babysitters for the first time in their lives. They can’t let go.
Let it go, guys. Just because it turns out that Obama is just another fallible human being, albeit more dishonest, insincere and corrupt than most Democrats who run for office, doesn’t mean you are a racist for thinking so. Just because his campaign was so bad that he needed the RBC hearing to rig the primary so he could “win”, doesn’t mean you are a stupid, old, ugly woman for finally coming to that realization. You can still enjoy the inauguration of the first African-American, because that will be his only moment of glory. He ran as a symbol of his race, whatever race means in a strictly genetic sense, and he won. Celebrate with the country’s African Americans. We can live it up because the triumph wasn’t Obama’s, it was OURS as a nation. Learn to separate the guy who flogged that racism baby harder than anyone ever has from the country’s victory from the shackles of bigotry that bound us to old white guys for president for hundreds of years.
The struggle for equality isn’t over by a long shot. No one in the LGBT community should relax and women have just had the clock reset for them by forty years. It is going to be a long, hard slog for us, make no mistake about it. And Obama is already a failure as a president IMHO because he didn’t bother building accountability into the Paulsen Bailout Bill when he had a chance back in September and October of last year like Hillary was trying to do. But that is the hand that the Kool-ade drinkers have dealt us even if they are now sobering up. But we have to make the next week of inaugural BS shoveled down our throats palatable. So, try to live in the moment because the good times won’t last more than a nanosecond.
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For Best Liberal Blog, vote for The Confluence here
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Filed under: General, going forward | Tagged: David Shuster, Melissa Ethridge, post-racial | 112 Comments »