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Kanye West may Save Obama’s Presidency

(With apologies to Taylor Swift)

Kanye West may save Obama’s presidency. When President Obama said “He’s a jackass.”, the President confirmed a simple truth about civic virtue that transcended most political boundaries.

Importantly, he did so authentically. His statement was not the product of intense focus group distillation.

The comment leaked (hmm) and it met with significant approval. Unsurprisingly, given President Obama’s historic fall from favorability grace, the video was “released” by CNN.

In the video, the President is charming just being himself. His charm is but a bonus, however, because the People’s approval was based on his bare words.

Mr. West’s act could save Obama’s presidency, if “President Obama” recognizes the simple truth of why his comment worked. The people who voted for him did so because he promised to speak the truth and he promised to act on the truth. His statement both spoke and performatively acted on the truth of Mr. West’s behavior.  The People approved.

It’s remarkable that Obama has not realized the power of being honest, given that the promise of honesty carried him to power. Heck, he even disarmed the faux race angle of the incident, which delivers on the post-racial promise (that others made for him).

So, if President Obama realizes that being honest and keeping his promises (general as they were) will give him the best chance of having a second term, then perhaps he’ll adopt doing so as an election strategy. If he does, then his presidency will be historically important because he will be an example of how people benefit by doing the right thing.

UPDATE: Many of you think my modest proposal is not too swift. That is not a bad outcome.

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Monday: Separation Anxiety

Melissa Ethridge

{{sigh}}

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.

Don’t forget to vote in the 2008 Weblog Awards. Here are our recommendations:

For Best Liberal Blog, vote for The Confluence here

For Best New Blog, vote for Uppity Woman here

For Best Small Blog, vote for Nice Deb here

For Best Hidden Gem, vote for Deadenders here

For Best Food Blog, vote for Cake Wrecks here

For Best Pet Blog, vote for F**k You, Penguin here

For Best Podcast, vote for This American Life or NPR’s Planet Money- here.

And then there are the Bloggies!  Today is the last day to nominate.  Thanks for your support!

Hmmm, here’s an interesting theory

Venice1789 at MyDD says that Obama will drop out before June. It doesn’t sound like just wishful thinking either. Here are the money quotes:

Some argue that the Wright debacle has had no impact and that the media has already moved on. But the truth is, these kinds of things work slowly on the consciousness. They linger even after the public discussion has faded; they seep in and they influence opinion sliently over time. And since race is an issue few people discuss openly because of the PC police and self-censorship, it will be especially true in this case. The test will com in PA and the states after. If his support among whites dries up then we know that this made a big difference. And that is what will swing the superdelgates in the end. Slowly this will make him unelectable against McCain even if the math is on his side a tthe moment. And, remember, despite what Pelosi and others say now, in the end this is not about the math. The supers were put there precisely for this purpose: to stop the nomination going to an unelectable insurgent who misled the American people early on in the campaign. The supers are there to correct just this sort of thing, and they will.

I think there is more than a nugget of truth in this. It takes a little bit of time for the thoughts and attitudes to take shape in the mind. The situation has to present itself several times to make an impression and it has to be discussed before the person “owns” it. That’s how Obama’s negative campaigning on DailyKos got to be so successful. You have literally thousands of people hearing a repeating the same lies and innuendos. But I digress. A lot of people in PA who thought that Obama was an African-American who they could feel confidence in and with whom they felt they could move past the politics of racial resentment, will feel hurt and betrayed by his pastor’s remarks. Obama knew about the pastor’s rhetoric last year but kept him onboard the campaign as a spiritual advisor. Pennsylvanians are going to wonder whether his spiritual advice was more like MLK’s or Malcolm X. If PA goes overwhelmingly for Clinton, it will send a signal that the end for Obama approacheth. I suspect that last week Clinton would have won PA comfortably. Now, I think we can expect a painfully lopsided victory for her. I see my fam next week at Easter and I’ll have a better idea then.

Then there’s this:

As this Wright controversary sinks into the American consciousness, the backlash will grow stronger. Presently, the meme coming out of camp Obama is that Hillary is the one trying to “steal” the nomination from him since he has the most pledged delegates etc. But my prediction is that as this Wright debacle sinks in, coupled with Michelle Obama’s anti-American diatribes…

Every day it appears more and more that Obama got as far as he did in this race by lying to the American people about his policy positions (re: his plan to withdraw from Iraq, NAFTA) and by misrepresenting himself as “post-racial” and such.

The best thing he could do at this point is to drop out and to strongly urge his “supporters” to back the true Democrat in this race: Hillary.

Well, that last sentence is certainly a twist, isn’t it? Let’s hope he takes the advice before he is trounced and humiliated.

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