October 31, 2008

It's David Axelrod's Reality Show ...

and we're just living in it.

From the NYT:

Following the Script: Obama, McCain and ‘The West Wing’
By BRIAN STELTER

When Eli Attie, a writer for “The West Wing,” prepared to plot some episodes about a young Democratic congressman’s unlikely presidential bid, he picked up the phone and called David Axelrod.

Mr. Attie, a former speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore, and Mr. Axelrod, a political consultant, had crossed campaign trails before. “I just called him and said, ‘Tell me about Barack Obama,’ ” Mr. Attie said.

Days after Mr. Obama, then an Illinois state senator, delivered an address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the two men held several long conversations about his refusal to be defined by his race and his aspirations to bridge the partisan divide. Mr. Axelrod was then working on Mr. Obama’s campaign for the United States Senate; he is now Mr. Obama’a chief strategist.

Four years later, the writers of “The West Wing” are watching in amazement as the election plays out. The parallels between the final two seasons of the series (it ended its run on NBC in May 2006) and the current political season are unmistakable.

Italics are mine.

Isn't it remarkable that 20 months into the Obama campaign, the New York Times doesn't pay any attention to the candidate's own 460 pages about "a boy's search for his father, and through that search a workable meaning for his life as a black American;" and how he realized "I can embrace my black brothers and sisters, whether in this country or in Africa, and affirm a common destiny ..." and instead prints as fact the talking points of his hired gun spinmeister: "his refusal to be defined by his race and his aspirations to bridge the partisan divide"?

The man wrote an entire book defining himself by race. He subtitled it "A Story of Race and Inheritance" so you'd get the point. And it sold millions of copies. But who cares, because we've got David Axelrod to set us straight.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

13 comments:

Born Again Democrat said...

That's history now, Steve. People change, in this case rather dramatically. He was one person when he grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, another when he hit American shores, and yet another after he complete his memoirs.
Maybe it was a matter of getting it out of his system, that self he wrote about in his memoirs? I don't know the answer frankly, but I am not very worried.

In any case, the notion that, once in office, Obama is going to suddenly reveal his true self, a person who is completely the opposite of the one he has presented to the American public, seems pretty preposterous at this point, at least in my opinion Have you watched him on tv much lately?

Uther Pendragon said...

Steve, what do you think is the right word or short phrase to describe Obama's personal calling or program?

He's not a "chauvinist," nor precisely a "race hustler" like Jesse Jackson. As you point out in your book he's not (and his father wasn't) a garden-variety universalist* "socialist" or "communist."

I'm seriously asking. Do we have a tag for the likes of Obama, a kind of leftist who wants to build, not proletarian socialism, but a sort of socialism chiefly to benefit those of a certain race? I can't think of a snappy label for Obama, but I have the feeling that I could recognize and adopt one if it were offered.

Indeed, I think one small reason there is so much confusion about Obama's policy preferences is that they are never summarized into some handy tag. People are stuck with calling him a "liberal"-- which doesn't seem too bad, and doesn't capture the more interesting aspects of his desires.

For any consideration you give this question, I thank you in advance...


*Socialists and Communists are famously more universalist in their propaganda than in their practice-- just ask Ho Chi Minh, who was sorely disappointed by the French Left after WWII-- but still, it's no good calling Obama a socialist, because he doesn't match the popular stereotype so people won't accept that label for him, no matter how well his program dovetails with college Marxist thinking.

turkey said...

We need the right wing to shape the heck up quickly to force the media to ask the correct questions needed to box him into acting as the post-racial technocrat he has the rubes believing he has always been.

Instead we have the neocons trying to lay rails towards him bomb, bomb, bombing Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Russia, Venezuela, and everywhere else, and the meatheads believing whatever dumb e-mail detritus they happen to shove into their tasteless media-holes and endlessly generating "Jesus' face in the grilled cheese sandwich" incidents that can be used by the left to embarrass.

Martin said...

"Born Again Democrat said...

That's history now, Steve. People change, in this case rather dramatically."

Funny, that's not what liberals said about Richard Nixon (unscrupulous paranoid) or George W. Bush (callow, irresponsible frat-boy drunk).

I find it far safer to assume that people don't change much (at least beyond the age of 30 or so), and vote accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Steve, what do you think is the right word or short phrase to describe Obama's personal calling or program?

I think it's clear Obama is a Black Nationalist or Afro-Nationalist.

Anonymous said...

Steve, what do you think is the right word or short phrase to describe Obama's personal calling or program?

Soviet rule was in reality an ethnocracy of ethnic Russians (after they had gotten rid of the Jews at the top). Maybe this will help someone come up with a new word for Obama's program.

I'm a Jew and I feel that David Axelrod is not doing my people any favors. I'd say that he is someone I am ashamed of.

David said...

Do we have a tag for the likes of Obama, a kind of leftist who wants to build, not proletarian socialism, but a sort of socialism chiefly to benefit those of a certain race?

Black Zionist?

Baloo said...

Afro-National Socialist?

Anonymous said...

Do we have a tag for the likes of Obama, a kind of leftist who wants to build, not proletarian socialism, but a sort of socialism chiefly to benefit those of a certain race?

I think there was some party in mid-20th c. Germany that advocated something along those lines. I'm a little fuzzy on it all, but I seem to recall that like Obama, they had a pretty charismatic orator heading it up.

michael farris said...

As interesting as a lot of Steve's book is, his interpretation depends largely on Obama telling the truth in "dreams". I'm not convinced about that at all.
Again he reminds me of nothing so much as your classic sociopath who says whatever he needs to score points with a particular audience and is willing to dump those no longer necessary to feed his ego or ambition, starting with his mother (the quote from the second edition of 'dreams' about her is actually pretty cruel and I think it's intentional, obliquely flipping the bird at her in her grave).

Anonymous said...

"...the quote from the second edition of 'dreams' about her is actually pretty cruel and I think it's intentional, obliquely flipping the bird at her in her grave..."

Which quote are you referring to?

Ronduck said...

Do we have a tag for the likes of Obama, a kind of leftist who wants to build, not proletarian socialism, but a sort of socialism chiefly to benefit those of a certain race?

Yes, we do have a phrase to describe Obama: African kleptocrat. Just like the dictators in the multi-tribal countries of Africa promise to funnel foreign aid to their tribe alone and pervert justice to let their tribe attack everyone else, Obama wants to have as much internal aid directed towards his tribe as possible while giving a green light to African attacks against Whites. He would be at home in Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe Rwanda.

michael farris said...

"I think sometimes that had I known she would not survive her illness, I might have written a different book -- less a meditation on the absent parent, more a celebration of the one who was the single constant in my life."

No less than four hedges to lessen the impact of havig to write something nice about his mother.
'sometimes' - the feeling comes and goes
'had I known' - his print treatment of her isn't his fault, you perceive, he didn't know
'might' - and might not
'less' 'more' - it's all relative, the fundamental focus would all be about deserter dad but he might have given a few more lines to meandering mom
Also, the single constant in a life of abandonment and alienation. If you think that's a nice thing to write, then think again.

"she was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known, and that what is best in me I owe to her"

Basically, he's writing about how great _he_ is, not how great she was. Extra style points for 'that what' instead of the more acceptable 'that which'. Maybe the strain of writing something nice about her strained something in his (and his editors') brain(s).