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Ho hum

By Michael J. Smith on Monday May 5, 2008 08:57 PM

The Jeremiah Wright flap provided, what, a week's worth of excitement, but the dreary campaign is back once more on its stupefyingly tedious track. The Note is again full from end to end of soporific, sophomoric inside-baseball wiseacre-y. How long, oh Lord, how long? Who cares, oh Lord, who cares?

The only mildly interesting thing to come out of the Wright-o-machia was a dog that didn't bark. The whole carpet-chewing brouhaha appears to have made very little difference to anybody. Which is actually a phenomenon worth pondering, especially since nothing else of any interest is going on. (The gas tax holiday? Puh-leeze.)

Better a non-phenomenon than none at all.

The pollsters have been busy:

In Poll, Obama Survives Furor, but Fall Is the Test

WASHINGTON — A majority of American voters say that the furor over the relationship between Senator Barack Obama and his former pastor has not affected their opinion of Mr. Obama, but a substantial number say that it could influence voters this fall....

This is a classic slow-news-day exercise in squeezing blood from a stone. The poll shows that nothing has happened. Stop The Presses! Day Passes! Nothing Happens! Experts Baffled!

But some of the people polled allow as how the Wright flap might perhaps make a difference to some unspecified other people -- though it's made little or none to them. So that is the news. It hasn't made any difference -- yet. But some people think it might. Stop The Presses! Subjunctive Mood Alive And Well!

Mixed feelings, as usual, seems like the right response. The good news is that the ogreish cartoon of black anger which the media tried to construct out of Pastor Wright doesn't seem to have scared anybody very much. That is unquestionably progress. Score one for the good sense of the public.

The bad news is that Obama isn't utterly disgraced for his weak-kneed response. (Whatever you say, officer! I'll talk!)

One wonders how anybody who ever believed that the guy represented something really new, and hopeful, and positive, can continue to believe that after his barefoot penance at the frigid windswept Canossa where the infallible Papacy of received ideas retired to sulk after the intolerable insults Wright offered it.

But maybe even within the bad news there's a silver lining. From the same Times story:

... nearly half of the voters surveyed, and a substantial part of the Democrats, said Mr. Obama had acted mainly because he thought it would help him politically, rather than because he had serious disagreements with his former pastor.
In other words, the process of discounting the shiny new Obama coinage is well under way, and probably was so even before Jeremiah Wright made the National Press Club look like a foot-shuffling gaggle of ignorant, ill-bred schoolboys.

Which brings us back to the old story -- Obama is the quadrate term of lesser-evillism, the lesser evil of the lesser evils.

But that, ah that, is apparently the inoperable tumor of American political thinking. How do we persuade people to stop caring which evil is lesser?

Comments (8)

So, I wonder what Maya Angelou and Alice Walker -- and Alice's pantheon of Pagan Spirit Goddess Beings -- have to say for themselves now that their Glorious Savior has thrown his own pastor under the bus.

(Hell, I think they're all bozos on that bus.)


amazing how the deal goes down

why for the liking of ralph's pose
you gotta pee freely
on canossa's fortress door

with its groaning
iron hinged dynamics
frigid white welcome mat

David D:

The only way, I imagine, is to have a good candidate dedicated to leadership of greater interest instead of some cocksucker motivated by a factor that fails to connect w/ the majority or minority. The American way of life dosn't cease to be superior ( like all developed areas), thus 'Industrial Society and its Future' is an interesting point of view(not that I think the authors beliefs were worth while to adopt). Unless we were to live in East Timor where survival is a roll of the dice, most people live a meaningless life full of surrogate activities dedicated only to self gain. Contributions to humanity are considered a suckers way of life unless you can capitilize and feed an enormous ego. Unless an American really fucked up they should have a job, healthcare, and a retirement in their future. What are the real problems people are concerned with? Immigrants aren't stealing my job(but if I make my career expendable I deserve to lose it we live in a highly educated society, if a poor mexican can do a better job kudos), commodities aren't cheap or out of controll, we have clean water, a surplus of food, heat, AC, power windows, locks, mirrors, heated power seats, moon/sun roofs, ridge vents, prime rib, harnessed strength of atoms ect. What the fuck do I care who the next president is? It's a pretty boring time. Untill we have a wave of progression past this point ie: Super conductors, element 150 on the periodic table, inter-galactic travel, I guess w/ just Keep on Keepin' on? Which evil is lesser or least, Wesley Clark, Wesley Snipes? I don't know either, but hay, it sure is fun watching this super bowl of cock sucking the american pubelic so someone can say they're presdient. If it were possible I'd support Ceaser Milan, no evil in that man...besides being affiliated w/ Okra Winfrey. He's the fuckin' Dog Weesperer.

But there's another cloud within that silver lining -- the twin fact (no other explanation is plausible) that a) Obama has never agreed with Wright/always used him as a first-step up a ladder he has always planned to kick away; and b) this mega-obvious point is nowhere to be found in public discourse.

The correct answer to the poll is he acted for political gain AND he seriously disagrees with Wright.


I suspect citing the poll question about what other people thought was indeed just an attempt to force a dog to bark, but it's a standard question on polls for a reason. People lie on polls. They represent themselves the way they want to think of themselves or be thought of, and attribute their own opinions to other people.

Polls are useless. Some clown called me last week to ask me about Obama vs. Clinton II in OR's primary. I told them I was a registered Green so screw both candidates and screw the primary. So the house gets marked down on some idjit's virtual clipboard as "Green" even though if my husband had been home to pick up the phone it would have gone in Obama's column. Feh.


So which is it? Did Obama believe in the words of Wright and yet ultimately cast him aside in the name of political gain/reality? Or did he sit in a pew every Sunday for 20 years in the hopes that he could eventually use this religious connection to swindle all us rubes out of some sweet, sweet pork? (Apparently, the most plausible possibility possible.)
So the dichotomy is either 'lesser evil' or 'paragon of truth and goodness'? Will people be punished for reacting positively to a positive candidate, even when he (gasp!) disappoints them? Will cynicism be rewarded so that we can wrap ourselves in it like a warm, dryer-fresh blanket? So many questions.

Al Schumann:

Most of the people supporting him will be self-punished by the failure of their cynical emotional blackmail. They'll suckle the "betrayal", cynically, into grounds for reviling anyone who didn't want to play their fatuous game. Idiot optimism isn't the problem, after all. The problem is breaking the magic by not being idiotically optimistic enough.

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