Sunday, June 10, 2012

Obama Faithful: Watch Your Words

I rarely lift someone's post or comment intact, but this comment by micki at FDL recounts an incident that is so perfectly on target about the problem I have with the Obama faithful that I cannot resist reposting most of it:
I don’t usually try to buttonhole strangers in parking lots, but I just returned from the market where I saw a vehicle with the bumper sticker:

For Obama then…
For Obama now

The driver was about to get into his car. I said to him (very politely), “Excuse me, I noticed your bumper sticker. I was wondering if you can tell me how you square the Obama of “then” to the Obama of “now” given what he’s done while in the Oval Office.”

The guy looked at me and said, “F**k you.”


Perhaps that response has some appeal to one of the Obama faithful. But you know what? It repulses the Obama apostate like me, and makes me even less likely to return to the fold. I voted for Obama in 2008 because he inspired some hope in me. That hope was largely misplaced. If I vote for Obama this year, it will be not out of hope but out of fear of the havoc Mitt Rmoney would wreak as president, and a highly questionable assumption that Obama would wreak any less. Being told "fuck you" by an Obama acolyte is unlikely to enhance my hope that Obama will change anything. Sincere Obama supporters, please take note... because you can't do it without me and a lot of people like me.


  1. Constance ReaderJune 11, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    You'll probably recall, Steve, my opinion of Obama in 2008 and why I refused to vote for him.

    I watched the inauguration and had the same emotional reaction as the people on the mall that day. And wanted very, very much to be proved wrong.

    But he undercut even this cynic's ability to disbelieve.

  2. Constance, I always recall Helen Thomas's assessment of George W. Bush, the muttered remark that almost got her banned from presidential press conferences: "Worst. President. Ever." At the time, I could not imagine that any future president would be worse.

    In 2008, I was still a card-carrying Democrat, a Hillary Clinton supporter (with some reservations), and when Obama defeated Hillary I allowed myself to be persuaded... wanting, as you did, to believe the mythology.

    It was not to be. Obama first showed that he is more conservative than most Democrats, then that he was more conservative than several Republican presidents in my lifetime, and finally that he is more "conservative" (radical rightist) than any president to date, willing to shatter the Constitution, willing to assassinate people and apparently able to sleep nights despite his actions.

    If there were such thing as that oxymoron, a "moderate Republican", I might be persuaded to vote for her or him. But Republicans did what they always do... double down on the worst they are capable of... and are selling Rmoney to a somewhat reluctant public, in a Citizens United‑driven campaign that is effectively a purchase of the presidency as a rich man's toy. And I truly fear what Mittens would do as president, especially if he has a GOP Congress. Is Obama any better? I don't know. But as I said in my earlier post, Obama is a Tyrant and a Killer. Please Vote for Him, the alternative is still more terrifying to me.

    Maybe these are the last days of the republic; I don't know. Maybe it has another thousand years of existence as a monument to tyranny; I don't know that either. All I know for certain is that this is not how I planned to spend my old age!

  3. It's the last days of a democracy, surely. It is still a republic although it is bearing some truly frightening parallels and similarities to the Roman republic beginning in the generation before Gaius Julius. My opinion is that Caesar genuinely believed he could bring back the old Republic, but by the time he reached his majority, the senate was already too viciously, rabidly protective of the power and privilege of the patricians.

    He really seemed to believe that they would eventually listen to one of their own, all he had to do was find and present the magical proof that their way lay destruction. But like the ersatz-patricians of today, they committed themselves long ago to rejecting every form and function of evidence. I don't think it occurred to him that they were so far gone that they would actually kill him to preserve their privilege.

    Would today's patricians kill to protect their privilege? Yes - because technology makes it possible for them to execute those who threaten them with the weapons of technology and media. Wellstone, Kennedy, Moynihan, even the McCain of 15 years ago - drown them out, go to any lengths necessary to unseat them, to dissolve their legislation, to poison their means and message. And if that doesn't work, just use your numbers to change the laws in your favor.

    They may not be intelligent or make good use of their expensive college educations, but they most certainly read their Gibbon.

  4. c, you're not the usual commenter who posts as "c", are you? the one I know from the old days?

  5. Constance ReaderJune 19, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    Yes, I am, I sometimes hit return before the autofill highlights "Constance Reader", so all that gets posted is "c".

  6. Constance... Ah! that explains it! There's another regular commenter who goes by "c" because she has a professional need for anonymity, but I've never known her to discuss the Roman republic!

    I shall take your word for it because I haven't read my Gibbon. Regrettable, I know, but I am only gradually getting around to history late in life, and I am unwilling to let go of all the other fine things I learned in my "expensive college education[]" apart from history (expensive for someone else; I was poor enough to be awarded full scholarships).

    You are certainly right about one thing: access to "hands-free" killing technology tempts the powerful to use it in ways that are far from the spirit of the US even as recently as post-W.W.II... we haven't always been so vicious.



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