Category Archives: Obamamania

“A Radical Presidency”

A must-read column, from Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal. (More Henninger, on video.)

It’s scary that we (and by that I mean Obama voters, of course) got ourselves into this mess…..will the nation ever be able to recover from what Obama plans to do it?

But hey, don’t worry – the powerful Mr. Obama is going to provide for:

Peggy’s gas and mortgage….

Henrietta’s house…

and Julio’s welfare benefits…

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How will the the Obama movement’s image change?

Recently a young president came into office and immediately launched a charm offensive. He spoke of bi-partisanship and promised to “change the tone” in Washington. That president, of course, was George W. Bush, who left office last week the object of widespread unpopularity and intense media ridicule.

President Barack Obama has soared to high office on the wings of hope and change. He promises to transform our small politics into something bigger. His supporters believe that together we can make America and the world a better place. Yes We Can.

So, how do you start doing that? Naturally, by accosting the outgoing president in the rudest of ways, in the most inappropriate setting. Sherman Frederick of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes about Obama supporters booing President Bush at last week’s inauguration.

This bit of news might seem a bit old hat by now,  but I think it is an interesting occurrence to examine through this lens: how will the image of Obama and the movement he inspired change during the course of his presidency?

Obama supporters pride themselves on bringing change to Washington, on moving beyond old political divisions and promoting a spirit of cooperation and bi-partisanship, yet in their first appearance in Washington, their actions are nothing less than acrimonious.

As far as Obama’s personal image, well, that is also sure to evolve. Will his cool personal vibe be revealed as less than the total picture, something short of a wholly precise depiction of the man?

On Thursday, Obama visited the press corps and became irritated when a journalist asked him a question, as reported by The Politico. The episode was reminiscent of Obama’s seeming frustration during the campaign when he was asked by reporters during press conferences about topics he did not want to speak about. It will be interesting to see how such incidents, should they continue, affect Obama’s public image moving ahead in his presidency.

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Filed under George W. Bush, Obama, Obamamania

Collectivism ushers in “leader worship”

A serious thought for today:

The further we move towards collectivism, the more we will idolize those who lead and direct our collectivist efforts.

I have maintained as a political theory, anthropological observation and theological analysis that an individual can – and will – worship one of three things:

The LORD – Or some divine being. Those with an abiding faith in a supernatural power fall into this category.

The IndividualAyn Rand, for example, through her theory of Objectivism, exalted Self, the Individual. Single, solitary Man was her idol. (Incidentally, I believe that the Soviets got the last laugh on Rand, given her embrace of their atheism.)

Humanity – Like those building the Tower of Babel, today’s collectivists exalt humanity’s ability to achieve perfection through cooperative effort.

As the American societal worldview slowly moves from faith in God to faith in Humankind, the LORD will be replaced by the Leader of collectivist efforts as the object of our worship. While America has not yet fully reached this point, the manifestations of fascination and mass adulation of our new leader suggest the nation has succumbed at least in part to this tendency.

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Filed under Obama, Obamamania, Statism

How long will Obama mania last?

I spent a wonderful weekend in the Windy City, but as always I’m glad to be home. On stark display in Chicago was Obamamania.

The new Pepsi logo bears a striking resemblance to Obama's campaign symbol

The new Pepsi logo bears a striking resemblance to Obama's campaign symbol

Obama was EVERYWHERE. Splashed in a loud, hip kind of way throughout the city’s inner loop was Pepsi‘s ad campaign not so subtly linking Obama and the soda brand. On taxi cabs, bus stops and other spots, the original Pepsi logo and Obama symbol merged, embedded in words playing on attitudinal and emotional themes evoked by the candidate’s campaign and surrounding media hype.

At every gift shop, drug store or kiosk was Obama knick knacks. Every news and entertainment magazine seemed to boast a flattering picture of the incoming president on its cover. Media broadcasts knew of nothing else but the coming inauguration and presidency. At the bookstore, in addition to the wall of Obama-related books (Abraham Lincoln books were also being marketed heavily, no doubt attempting to create/capitalize on the running commentary endeavoring to compare the two figures) was a Chicago Bulls jersey bearing the name and number (44) of the president-elect and a book of paper pop-up dolls. Magnets, stickers, buttons and t-shirts, of course, were also on display.

As a patriotic dissenter (ha!) from the incoming Obama administration, all this became quite nauseating. Or should I say, my nausea reached new heights this weekend, and gave rise to my thoughts and questions of how long all of this will last.

One the one hand, surely some of the glow will wear off. Right? Presidents deal with reality where as candidates deal only in rhetoric. Eventually and inevitably, the public realizes it has elected not only a human being – but a politician! Neither tends to maintain auras of perfection over time, under scrutiny. Thus the infatuation at least tempers to something more akin to mere admiration, support or favored status.

On the other hand, Obama hasn’t even become president yet. Which means he is not even at full power, at least in real terms. He will command the attention of the nation: at large if nothing else by his newness; but for his partisans, by the intensity of their devotion. Could the public give him a pass, at least in the near and medium term future of his first term (say, up to two years), out of simple good will and a recognition that even the president should not be expected to be able to fully and quickly lead an economic recovery? These factors, aided irreplaceably by mainstream media support, could mean Obamamania might not be over any time soon.

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St. Louis naming street after Obama

The City of St. Louis is preparing to name a street after President-elect Obama, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Delmar Boulevard will now also be named Barack Obama Boulevard, an honorary designation.

While this is unsurprising, it is also premature. While I would likely never be enthusiastic about naming a street after Obama, I certainly understand the interest in doing so.  But can’t the city at least wait a few years, if not out of office? That would seem the sensible (and customary?) thing to do.

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Filed under Missouri Politics, Obama, Obamamania