February 4, 2012

The Obama Reality Distortion Field

The force was powerful in 2007-2008 and remains strong today when it comes to race, although it worked best on Obama himself.

For example, Jodi Kantor did a Q&A for Reddit to promote her book The Obamas. Here's the funniest line: 
When I started covering him, in early 2007, he thought that he was going to be the Democratic candidate to finally win over evangelical votes, and that his own religious background (Jeremiah Wright, Trinity etc) was going to help!

Of course, nobody except Kantor notices that this is funny.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

So much for feeling Cantor is objective. In answering a question about how Obama feels when he's criticized by the Cornell West's and Tavis Smiley's of the world, the author states:

"But what no reporter can really get at, unless Obama suddenly decides to share, are the psychological burdens of the presidency. What is it like for him to look at the foreclosure rates among African Americans-- the way so many people who had just arrived in the middle class were wiped out by the financial crisis?"
_________________________

Haven't we yet established that a person/couple given a mortgage with little to no downpayment is and WAS NOT "middle class" from the get-go?

DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!

This is no writer. A writer should be able to think.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the reality distortion field, the commenters at reddit are all VERY sure that the story of 2008-present is Obama capitulating entirely to republican demands. Many expressed the sentiments that he and Democrats in general are too weak and don't do enough to defend liberalism against a continuous multi-generational assault from conservatives. It sounds exactly like what traditionalists/alt righters/gamers/etc say about the republican establishment. Both sides seem to think that the other side has been continuously dragging the country in the opposite direction, and for the worse. Very bizarre.

Of course, our side is actually correct about this...

Steve Sailer said...

Why, yes, of course ...

Anonymous said...

I see nothing controversial or absurdly ridiculous about that line: Obama may have over-estimated their ability to see past his race.

MQ said...

Both sides seem to think that the other side has been continuously dragging the country in the opposite direction, and for the worse. Very bizarre. Of course, our side is actually correct about this...

both sides are right. The country has been dragged very far to the right on economic / regulatory issues, and far to the left on immigration/social issues. On crime, which used to be a social issue, the right probably won out in most ways.

There is a tremendous amount of denial and flat-out fantasy on the right, particularly some of the folks who hang out here, regarding how much power liberals actually have. This usually shows up as a tremendous exaggeration of the effects of affirmative action.

Anonymous said...

30 seconds outside of the far right bubble and you'll see that a huge chunk of white lefties think Obama is a corporate centrist sellout.

Gringo said...

Anonymous
I see nothing controversial or absurdly ridiculous about that line: Obama may have over-estimated their ability to see past his race.

The line was ridiculous because it showed what little he knew about the US- believing that the populace would be copacetic with a politicized preacher like Wright who proclaimed “Goddamn the USA” from the Sunday pulpit. There is a lot more to religion in the US than politicized left-wing preachers like Wright, but Obama didn’t know that. There is a lot more to the US than the parts that Obama knew: Hawaii, NYC, the Ivy League and the South Side of Chicago/Hyde Park.

I can't say I am surprised by his 2007 prediction. When Obama made the "bitter clingers” remark at a SF fundraiser, he was acting as anthropologist thinking out loud about the natives, trying to figure out what made them tick.


Yet liberal politicians who know the US a lot better than Obama have made similar predictions about their ability to win over certain groups of voters. John Kerry believed that his Navy background would help him with moderates. Maybe it did, but his 1971 testimony where he compared US soldiers in Vietnam to Genghis Khan may have cost him as many or more votes. Kerry knew the US a lot better than Obama, but he had ideological blinders on.

Perhaps one could ascribe Obama’s 2007 remark not to ignorance about the US, but to having ideological blinders on. Or both.

Anonymous said...

"The country has been dragged very far to the right on economic / regulatory issues,"

Nope.avi

Anonymous said...

"30 seconds outside of the far right bubble and you'll see that a huge chunk of white lefties think Obama is a corporate centrist sellout."

Who here denies that he's a corporate sellout? Has Steve ever denied that? Obama was for the bailouts in 2008, remember? One thing I've never seen here is a defense of the TARP.

No Name said...

Yeah that's right. Other than controlling the entire cultural/legal/education establishment, liberals have no power at all.

Phillipi said...

BTW,

The greatest story thus far of the Republican primary just occurred not even an hour ago.

A caucus was held late tonight for Jews and Adventists and anyone who could not attend earlier caucuses. It was held at a school named after Shel Adelson and he was there.

Much of this was broadcast live from CNN.

Ron Paul won by a landslide.

Maya said...

"But what no reporter can really get at, unless Obama suddenly decides to share, are the psychological burdens of the presidency. What is it like for him to look at the foreclosure rates among African Americans-- the way so many people who had just arrived in the middle class were wiped out by the financial crisis?"

I would guess he feels what any liberal, middle class white man would feel in his place. Diversity is great, African Americans are oppressed and all that jazz, but I doubt Obama sees American blacks as his people whom he, somehow, failed as leader emerged from their ranks. Whereas Michelle Obama wears her race card as a sword and shield, using it for entitlement and victimhood, Barack seems to use his as a prop for understanding all the liberal pet issues. He won a white liberal activist lottery. So many times in college and in Teach for America, I've seen young liberal white men try anything to communicate to those for whose benefit they were volunteering/teaching/"raising awareness" that they are on their side- they are the "good" white men. The overall gist of the response is usually, "You must keep on trying to understand us, but do so with the knowledge that you will surely fail. You don't get it. You will never get it. You can't possibly get it, so don't you presume that you can offer anything other than meek service and unconditional support. And don't you dare think of it as charity or kindness. It's the LEAST you could do, and it's of more benefit to you than to us anyway- gives you a slight hope of salvation". But, you see, Obama can pretend to "get it". Having ancestors from the same continent as the descendants of American slaves gives him the magic ability to "get it". He doesn't have to be constantly scared to insult someone while trying to compliment them by calling them intelligent or articulate, for example. Obama got a shot at something every middle class, suburban activist kid wanted while reading Toni Morrison - play savior to these wronged, wretched people and be recognized as such. He doesn't seem to pull the race card to justify set backs in life and failures, but to prove that he is qualified to tackle issues concerning suffering, diversity and prejudice. There is a difference. When an activist of Italian descent tells you about his black girlfriend and how much discrimination his great grandpa faced, he isn't trying to say that the man's keeping him down. He's saying that he understands your pain as the man keeps YOU down. Props for open mindness have a different feel than props for victimhood. Almost everything I read about Obama suggests that he is an outsider, using African Americans, whom he objectified long ago, to build a certain image. It's about him, not them. I seriously doubt that their plight can be personal to him.

Zz said...

MQ is right. If you don't think the right has won on economics please explain Romney's very typical 14% tax rate and the massive public sector job cuts during a time democrats controlled the whitehouse and senate.

Anonymous said...

liberals have destroyed their foes in the culture/social war, and have all the power there

but when it comes to economics, the right certainly prevailed

the thing to understand is that liberal critics of Obama don't care that they've won the culture war

Anonymous said...

Are there any known politicians or leaders/activists who are economically populist, but socially conservative (in the broad sense to include being racist, even if covertly)?

I'm thinking Pat Buchanan to some degree, but I think even he drunk too much of the Austrian economics.

The alt-right has too much love for guys like Ron Paul (I suspect because of his shared antipathy towards Israel), but he's not nearly populist enough with regards to the average American.

Anonymous said...

BTW,

The greatest story thus far of the Republican primary just occurred not even an hour ago.

A caucus was held late tonight for Jews and Adventists and anyone who could not attend earlier caucuses. It was held at a school named after Shel Adelson and he was there.

Much of this was broadcast live from CNN.

Ron Paul won by a landslide.

------------

Two things

#1 - The type of person who would attend such a late night caucus is typically a zealot. And people are only zealots for Ron Paul, regardless of all other demographic variables (no one is passionate for Newt or Mitt).

#2 - Even though it's obvious Paul doesn't like the tribe that much, Jew's can't help but be attracted to anything resembling political radicalism.

I say this as a Jew.

veracitor said...

Uh, Zz, the only group apart from unionized auto workers that has been protected by Obama is state & local and federal gov't workers: all the stimulus money that didn't go to bank executives went to subsidize gov't payrolls (lots of financial sector peons lost their jobs). Remember all that eyewash about "shovel-ready projects" and it turned out there weren't any but Obama sent the money anyway to ensure no bureacrats would be laid off?

Anonymous said...

Jew's can't help but be attracted to anything resembling political radicalism.

Can you expound this [hopefully in some detail]?

Thanks.

formerly no name said...

but when it comes to economics, the right certainly prevailed

Because socialism was defined by the failed Soviet experiment like nationalism (for whites) and "whiteness" were discredited by NS Germany. The Masters of the Universe are doing well for themselves but have failed to create the right mix of markets, social welfare and regulation to appease the consuming masses.

Right now their plan (in Europe, N. America and Australasia) is mainly centered around the replacement of the First World populations that created the low TFR "free market"/social democratic paradise
with Third Worlders who will passively accept the destruction of welfarism and know that their only security in old age will come from their children.

Anonymous said...

"MQ is right. If you don't think the right has won on economics please explain Romney's very typical 14% tax rate and the massive public sector job cuts during a time democrats controlled the whitehouse and senate."

Public sector job cuts?!?!?!?!?

What color is the sky in your world?

MQ LOW IQ said...

MQ has it wrong again. The de-regulation we saw in the late 1990s was aimed at the financial system, with the support of Robert Rubin, Larry Summers etc. Sandy Weil at Citibank used it to walk away with One billion dollars. The goy he kicked out of Citibank was on Bill Moyers PBS program last week noting how greedy Sandy Weil was/is.

There are MORE regulations on the auto industry (mileage) and various energy and manufacturing industries today than there were just twenty years ago. The coal industry is being regulated out of business.

We should also note that true “Right Wing” ideas on economics would be TORY PATERNALIST and not LIBERTARIAN. Conservatives don’t believe in a ruthless and exploitative version of economics. The best easy read on this is the book the HUMANE ECONOMY by Ropke.

LIBERTARIAN ideas on economics come from a CLASSICAL LIBERAL tradition and not from a CONSERVATIVE ONE.

vinteuil said...

"The country has been dragged very far to the right on economic / regulatory issues..."

Nonsense. Lefties are constantly taken in by their own rhetoric about how Reagan and the Bushes slashed government spending and regulation to the bone. In fact total government spending as a percentage of gdp went up under all three of them, and none made a serious dent in the overall regulatory burden. Rather than general deregulation we have had regulatory capture, including little bits of deregulation that happened to suit the interests of some big players. If you think that's what the right wants, then you don't even begin to understand the right.

fwood1 said...

"politicians or leaders/activists who are economically populist, but socially conservative (in the broad sense to include being racist, even if covertly)?"

Anon 10:45

I can't think of anyone since George Wallace back in '68 and '72.

Difference Maker said...

Both sides seem to think that the other side has been continuously dragging the country in the opposite direction, and for the worse. Very bizarre.

Liberals are more womanly * and therefore nothing is their fault and they will endlessly rationalize everything away ;D ;D Oh yeah, I went there.

* Based on the laughable study that purported to show conservatives were full of fear.

The true liberal leaders of course, are not quite the same. Conservatism is the default position, which is why it appears every generation, even though kids are brainwashed from birth in the liberal narrative.

Anonymous said...

"I see nothing controversial or absurdly ridiculous about that line: Obama may have over-estimated their ability to see past his race."

Nothing in Obama’s behavior suggest he has faith, other than half-hearted attempts to claim with cheap talk he does. In his autobiography he admits not being sure about god existing.

Jeremiah Wright is not a mainstream Christian. He is from the “liberation theology” movement, a Marxist movement where God is unimportant and leftist central. Someone with a sincere would never choose a church like this for 20 years.

Politically Obama is strongly anti-life, recently forcing catholic institutions to pay for their employees to have abortions.

It is a sign of intellectual bankruptcy of the left to claim that the only reason evangelicals don’t like Obama is that he is black.

Do you think they would have loved a white liberal, agnostic, liberation theology, pro-abortion president?

Difference Maker said...

This usually shows up as a tremendous exaggeration of the effects of affirmative action.

Affirmative action is literally connections, which are the only thing that matter in a fractured multiethnic society. And to be able to impose such requirements means there are interested parties at the top with great power.

The undermining and subversion of all institutions with substandard personnel along with the doublethink is a great and compounding weakening of the country and entire society.

But I'm sure you know all this

Kids need to be taught that connections matter, and that connections don't have to be with some perverted whiners or retard losers, so that such unpleasantries don't turn them off of the whole matter. That focusing on connections does not necessarily mean effeminacy and yes mannage.

RKU said...

MQ: both sides are right...There is a tremendous amount of denial and flat-out fantasy on the right.

Exactly correct.

As a good example, I'd say that Paul Craig Roberts is one of the most widely popular Internet columnists throughout the Left, Right, and Libertarian camps, though strangely enough not within the Beltway Elite, among whom he was once a leading figure.

I think I remember a few years ago some leftist commenter here mentioned she always visited VDare.com to read PCR, and used to always laugh at all the rest of the crazy and ridiculous stuff they otherwise published.

Anonymous said...

"I can't say I am surprised by his 2007 prediction. When Obama made the "bitter clingers” remark at a SF fundraiser, he was acting as anthropologist thinking out loud about the natives, trying to figure out what made them tick."

As has been said before, Obama's religion is a mixture of Unitarianism and Anthropology.

Anonymous said...

"please explain Romney's very typical 14% tax rate"

Double Taxation:

Romney pays around 15% capital gains tax. The same earnings have already been taxed at the corporate rate tax, which (on average, after deductions) is 27%.

Similarly Warren Buffet paid $1.6 billion in corporate taxes last year.

The left has no argument for excluding the corporate tax rate from total taxes. They just do it because it benefits them. And the sheeps hate anyone the media tells them to hate.

Anonymous said...

"but when it comes to economics, the right certainly prevailed"

reality prevailed, when socialist countries collapsed.
Meanwhile the European welfare states underperformed, especially given their ethnic advantages, so even the European left quietly abandoned socialism.

It is fascinating that commentators here who realized through independent thinking that the left was insane about the culture wars accept what the same morons based on the same underlying theories say about economics.

at the same time you have libertarians who fight the left fanatically about economics, but accept everything the NYT writes about race, culture, gender by the same people.

Munch said...

MQ said: "both sides are right. The country has been dragged very far to the right on economic / regulatory issues,[ . . . ]"

You are confusing capitalism with an interventionist government handing out favors and money to favored or "essential" big enterprises.

Statist governments always use their force to benefit certain groups. In some places it is certain ethnic groups, in others it is certain connected families, etc.

Capitalism requires voluntary exchange and right of contract. Since the outcome of contracts may bankrupt you as well as enrich you, capitalism necessitates the possibility of loss or failure.

An exercise I read on another blog: try to think of three things in America that are not regulated or taxed.

If you want to sell your labor there is a minimum price. If you want to cut hair you need a license most places. Like to garden? Fertilizers and pesticides are heavily regulated. Sometimes regulation is delegated out to a private contractor. An inflammatory blog might be flagged and removed by Blogger, perhaps at an official's request. Making a video of people with your phone is limited by wiretap laws, burning trash in your backyard is banned by ordinance, feeding the fish is a federal crime if it is the wrong type of fish. etc.

There is no excessive economic freedom in recent America. The govt set lax bank reserve requirements, which was lax regulation. Lax regulation and failure to enforce is not a characteristic of capitalism either.

Ron*pantsed*Adelson said...

"Jew's can't help but be attracted to anything resembling political radicalism.

I say this as a Jew."

Come to think of it, the orthodox Jewish man in the middle of all that crowd, complete with black clothes, hat, and long beard, did kind of look bemused and like he was having a good time.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Of course, our side is actually correct about this..."

What you fail to understand is that WE do not have a side. There is no Alt-right / HBD / Reactionary party. We are but a tiny sliver in the political spectrum. Most people in this country who style themselves "conservative" are Republicans, and they actually seem to think that yutzes like Newt Gingrich, and John McCain, and Mitt Romney are really on their side. Then they wonder why the country keeps turning into some other country, not to their liking. Then they stop wondering about that because ........ Hey! It's Superbowl Sunday! Time to root for "our" team! Rah!

Mr. Anon said...

Obama must be pretty clueless if he thought that evangelical christians would vote for a candidate so firmly entrenched in the secular leftist wing of the democratic party, a candidate who embraces gay marriage, for example.

Then again, Jack Kemp was pretty clueless in thinking that blacks would vote Republican because of him. Same for Newt Gingrich. Same for G.W. Bush, in thinking that mexicans would overwhelmingly vote for him.

Being out of touch with reality is a defining characteristic of our political elites.

Anonymous said...

the thing to understand is that liberal critics of Obama don't care that they've won the culture war

I'm not sure if liberals would even agree that they've won the culture war. I watch Rosie o 'donnell all the time on the OWN network, and she's always saying how it feels like we're going backwards. That presidential candidates openly denounce gay rights and race bait, that beauty contests used to be taboo but now they're coming back, how female public figures are bashed over their appearance, how women on reality TV are objectified. I saw her talking to her hero Gloria Steinem and Rosie was asking if Steinem felt frustrated to see the culture slide backwards. Steinem seemed kind of annoyed because Rosie was unwittingly implying Steinem's activism had no lasting impact, but Steinem answered rosie's question by saying progressive movements have been so successful they've spawned a backlash, but Rosie wasn't buying that argument.

Anonymous said...

This is a function of BO and his minions' - Eric Holder in particular - having spent their student/adult years in an affirmative action environment in which people aren't supposed to notice what's going on if so doing violates the PC edict. They think:

Evangelicals will identify with Rev Wright's racist rantings.

Nobody will find it odd that the charges of voter intimidation were dropped against the New Black Panther Party when we all know that if it had been a white man with a night stick calling black people the 'n' word at a polling place, the charges would have been pressed with all haste and due ceremony and there would have been 6 books written about it by now.

EH's interview in which he basically says that whites can't be victims of hate crimes.

A racial spoils system set up for awarding grants for federally qualified health centers.

The Voter ID controversy aka there is no voter fraud.

And so on......

mansizedtarget said...

I think Obama's insane thoughts on this are a product of Chicago. The only protestsants in Chicago especially around Hyde Park that are not black are insanely liberal whites. The conservative Christians, if any, tend to be Catholic, but it's basically a big liberal town where politics consist of dividing the spoils of the corporatist regime of Chicago. He had little life experience with Southern Baptists and other American evangelicals, and literally has no idea how they think. He also has a pretty big blind spot for working class whites, whom his wife thought she would endear herself to by complaining about the cost of piano lessons. Anyway, protestant Christianity is very different among whites and blacks, and particularly so when one's only experience was the Marxist self-celebration that is Trinity Church.

Anonymous said...

he thought that he was going to be the Democratic candidate to finally win over evangelical votes, and that his own religious background (Jeremiah Wright, Trinity etc) was going to help!

Wow. Just...wow.

Svigor said...

The alt-right has too much love for guys like Ron Paul (I suspect because of his shared antipathy towards Israel), but he's not nearly populist enough with regards to the average American.

Whoops, better tear up my "alt-right" card. I have zero-to-very-little antipathy towards Israel, and Ron Paul doesn't blow my skirt up (too soft on borders, too ideologically libertardian).

Of course, when people like Whiskey get to define what is and what isn't antipathy toward Israel (in their world, refusing to let Israel pull down our pants and screw us is "antipathy"), everyone qualifies.

SGI said...

"masive public sector job cuts"????????

Name a single assistant or associate Dean at any large public university whose job has been eliminated.

The anti-feminine Feminist said...

I watch Rosie o 'donnell all the time on the OWN network, and she's always saying how it feels like we're going backwards. That (a) presidential candidates openly denounce gay rights and race bait, (b) that beauty contests used to be taboo but now they're coming back, (c) how female public figures are bashed over their appearance, (d) how women on reality TV are objectified.

Let's looks at Rosie's claims.

(a) is utterly ridiculous leftist hate fantasy they conjure up to justify their inhuman hatred.

(b)-(d) If true, would all be due to women and gay men who create, manage and watch female reality TV, fashion shows and beauty pagents.

Looks like joyless feminists like Rosie hate straight white women and gay men for popularizing and celebrating feminine women.

Anonymous said...

"protestant Christianity is very different among whites and blacks"


understatement of the day

Anonymous said...

he thought that he was going to be the Democratic candidate to finally win over evangelical votes, and that his own religious background (Jeremiah Wright, Trinity etc) was going to help!


Okay, I can believe Obama was that clueless, but his handlers/advisors?!

theo the kraut said...

OT, maybe of interest for Steve:

The NYT recounts the insane red-tape endured by Juliet Pries, an entrepreneur who decided to open an ice-cream parlour in San Francisco's Cole Valley. She had to pay rent on an empty storefront for over two years while the necessary permits were processed, and tens of thousands of dollars in fees (including the cost of producing a detailed map of nearby businesses, which the city itself seemed not to have).

Drunk Idiot said...

Anonymous (2/4/12 8:42 PM) said,

I see nothing controversial or absurdly ridiculous about that line: Obama may have over-estimated their ability to see past his race.

Ah yes, the world as seen through the bubble that clouds modern, bien-pensant, progressive eyes: everything is about race, and anybody who doesn't worship at the feet of the Great Man Obama (and who doesn't blissfully go along with all facets of the "progressive" agenda) is nothing more than a racist.

Whatever happened to all that self-congratulatory bluster from the Bush 43 era that centered on how the left wing "reality-based community's" deep appreciation for complexity and nuance was yet more evidence of liberal superiority to reptilian-brained conservatives, who saw the world in simplistic "black and white" terms? These days it seems like every formerly-nuance-appreciating progressive is preoccupied with twisting him/herself into contortions worthy of Cirque du Soleil in order to reduce everything under the sun to literal black and white terms (as in white oppressors vs. black victims and their progressive advocates).

In the worldview of such an evolved progressive, it's simply not possible that Evangelical Christians could have seen past Mr. Obama's race, but rejected his candidacy anyway, based on principled disagreements with candidate Obama's political positions and proposed policies.

No. Everything is about race. And anybody who disagrees with a progressive is an evil racist, pea-brained, Nazi.

And a poopy-head.

Kylie said...

"the thing to understand is that liberal critics of Obama don't care that they've won the culture war."

From their POV, they haven't. They are total absolutists. As long as even one website like this exists, even one person is seen to deviate from the party line, they feel they are living in a racist, sexist, homophobic authoritarian hell run by privileged white males who glory in their oppressive power.

I'm not kidding and I'm not exaggerating. I'm guessing most of you can't "pass" as easily as I can so you aren't privy to the constant, even reflexive hatred, fear and contempt the left has for any and every white person to the right of them.

Drunk Idiot said...

Maya said,

"Almost everything I read about Obama suggests that he is an outsider, using African Americans, whom he objectified long ago, to build a certain image. It's about him, not them. I seriously doubt that their plight can be personal to him."

Good to see that somebody else noticed. In "Dreams From My Father," the young Obama roams the Earth in search of an authentic black identity. He even details how he yearned "to learn" how to become an "angry young black man." So what did the would-be angry young man do to get in touch with his "angry black" side? He left Occidental for an Ivy League school (Columbia) that sits on the edge of Harlem. Then he moved to Hyde Park in Chicago -- a largely upscale black and Jewish neighborhood that sits on the edge of (but sheltered from) the South Side's "mean streets."

When he won a seat in the Illinois state senate representing Hyde Park and its aforementioned surrounding mean streets, the ambitious young Obama promptly had his district gerrymandered to exclude its black underclass neighborhoods in favor of wealthy, heavily-Jewish areas in downtown Chicago and on the city's posh near North Side (the geographic suspension of disbelief necessary to pull off such a map- defying feat is a post modernist cartographer's wet dream -- it's fitting that he drew his formerly majority black district up to be so Jewish, 'cuz he's got chutzpah!).

In 2000, when the wunderkind state Senator challenged incumbent U.S. Congressman and former Black Panther Bobby Rush in a black Congressional district, Obama was famously rejected for not being "black enough." So he ran for statewide office four years later (the U.S. Senate), most likely knowing that upper middle class white suburbanites would swoon for his "just black enough, but not too black" act.

Notice that a year after losing to Rep. Rush for not being "black enough" for black people, the ambitious state Senator and Law Lecturer went on a popular local Chicago PBS "foodie" show for the SWPL crowd and extolled the virtues of his favorite South Side soul food restaurant -- "The Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop." Note Obama's special mention of the peach cobbler (peach cobbler is really "black") -- it shows early evidence of Obama working his "authentic blackness" schtick on dopey white liberals. The glee with which the funky, hip white chicks discuss soul food says it all.

Angry black guys and ghetto black guys are scary to polite white liberals, but white liberals are loathe to admit as much. They can't resist a smooth, well-spoken black guy who sprinkles in just enough "authentic blackness" to count as black though. Guys like that are catnip for white liberals.

So Barack Obama knew that allowing whites to objectify his "blackness" was his ticket to the top. And he knew the psychology of the white liberals well ... since as you say, he'd been objectifying "authentic blackness" all his life.

Of course, deep down, he's got to feel weird about being objectified by white people. In "Dreams From My Father," he's even creeped out when his mother swoons over Harry Bellafonte and black guys in the film "Black Orpheus." At some level, he probably feels like he made a deal with the Devil: he got the power that he craved, but it's built largely on the pathologies of his supporters. Plus, ego aside, he probably knows that once you get past all the pomp and circumstance, he's not that much different than the "token" black guy in "Not Another Teen Movie" -- he's really just there to be the black guy who's "black enough" to allow white people get credit for having a black guy around.

swimming swan said...

"Of course, deep down, he's got to feel weird about being objectified by white people. In "Dreams From My Father," he's even creeped out when his mother swoons over Harry Bellafonte and black guys in the film "Black Orpheus." At some level, he probably feels like he made a deal with the Devil: he got the power that he craved, but it's built largely on the pathologies of his supporters. Plus, ego aside, he probably knows that once you get past all the pomp and circumstance, he's not that much different than the "token" black guy in "Not Another Teen Movie" -- he's really just there to be the black guy who's "black enough" to allow white people get credit for having a black guy around."

I'm no fan of BO. He's the kind of guy who will wield power with or without the consent of the people. What creeps me out, however, is this bizarre form of psychoanalysis you and some otherwise sensible republicans have dreamed up. No doubt Freud's rolling in his grave. The great significance placed on Obama's aversion to his mother's sexuality for instance; most people are disgusted by evidence of the very sex drive that allowed them to be conceived. Also, a guy who name drops arugula is advertising his membership in the upper middle class not trading on his blackness. Like a good politician, the O was attempting to appeal to potential voters by identifying with them. American presidents are paper tigers in many ways as everyone knows. And whose supporters don't have plenty of jerks and loons among them? Weirdos can vote.

If you wanted to be better than the opposition you'd avoid ad hominem attacks created out of whole cloth and focus on ideological differences instead. The best way to encourage integrity and foster mature, responsible dialogue is to demonstrate them in your own behavior. I guess it's not as much fun as coming up with fake mental illnesses but it's more effective in the long run.

Charlotte said...

"I'm no fan of BO. He's the kind of guy who will wield power with or without the consent of the people. "

These days, all my Democrat friends (I don't belong to a party) always preface any statement about B.O. with
"I'm no fan." Which means they are about to defend him and entirely ignore the particular criticism.
My problem with the Freudian psychoanalysis that goes on among some in this blog is that it so misses the point. As you rightly note, who cares about B.O.'s attitudes towards his mom. Or dad.
Everybody's got some kind of neurosis going on when it comes to that kind of thing.
What is unique to him is his profoundly shady past to which he has devoted over a million dollars to keep shady, most of it paid to a law firm in Oregon. This is in the public domain and the fact that the media does not question this and never has seriously, tells me that powerful forces were in collusion to put this person in the W.H. He certainly didn't win on merit because he had no achievements to speak of. Even the loathsome Bush had been a governor. As far as "wielding power" -- no president really does. He's not really supposed to. He wields influence which can be expressed as power through legal means, if Congress agrees. Only in rare occasions is presidential prerogative supposed to be able to legally trump Congress. The fact he's used no forceful influence to curb the the endless undeclared war, tells me he's their puppet. It doesn't take rocket science to see that.
Freud doesn't explain B.O. But no one really dares to expose in the MSM what really does go somewhere to explaining him, and many other "leaders."

Charlotte said...

"I'm no fan of BO. He's the kind of guy who will wield power with or without the consent of the people. "

These days, all my Democrat friends (I don't belong to a party) always preface any statement about B.O. with
"I'm no fan." Which means they are about to defend him and entirely ignore the particular criticism.
My problem with the Freudian psychoanalysis that goes on among some in this blog is that it so misses the point. As you rightly note, who cares about B.O.'s attitudes towards his mom. Or dad.
Everybody's got some kind of neurosis going on when it comes to that kind of thing.
What is unique to him is his profoundly shady past to which he has devoted over a million dollars to keep shady, most of it paid to a law firm in Oregon. This is in the public domain and the fact that the media does not question this and never has seriously, tells me that powerful forces were in collusion to put this person in the W.H. He certainly didn't win on merit because he had no achievements to speak of. Even the loathsome Bush had been a governor. As far as "wielding power" -- no president really does. He's not really supposed to. He wields influence which can be expressed as power through legal means, if Congress agrees. Only in rare occasions is presidential prerogative supposed to be able to legally trump Congress. The fact he's used no forceful influence to curb the the endless undeclared war, tells me he's their puppet. It doesn't take rocket science to see that.
Freud doesn't explain B.O. But no one really dares to expose in the MSM what really does go somewhere to explaining him, and many other "leaders."

Anonymous said...

This is in the public domain and the fact that the media does not question this and never has seriously, tells me that powerful forces were in collusion to put this person in the W.H

Great, another conspiracy theory. The reason the media doesn't question obama's past is because it's not smart to anger the most powerful man on the planet.

Drunk Idiot said...

swimming swan said...

"What creeps me out, however, is this bizarre form of psychoanalysis you and some otherwise sensible republicans have dreamed up. No doubt Freud's rolling in his grave. The great significance placed on Obama's aversion to his mother's sexuality for instance; most people are disgusted by evidence of the very sex drive that allowed them to be conceived. Also, a guy who name drops arugula is advertising his membership in the upper middle class not trading on his blackness. Like a good politician, the O was attempting to appeal to potential voters by identifying with them."

Where to begin...

First, the reference to Obama's mother has nothing to do with Freudian psychoanalysis or with her sexuality. It was a citation of Obama's own misgivings over what he himself described as his mother's objectification of men of color. Reading comprehension is a skill, but perhaps my comment wasn't clear: the purpose of the comment was NOT to arrive at some bizarre psychosexual take on Obama. The point was to respond to "Maya's" assertion that Obama objectifies black people and cynically uses underclass blacks for political aims (rather than really trying to improve things for them). I cited Mr. Obama's uneasy reaction to what, again, he himself described as his mother's "objectification" of men of color because it's something that stands out in his autobiography, "Dreams From My Father."

From an early age, Obama understood that a certain type of well-meaning liberal white person idealizes and swoons from afar over what African American Studies professors commonly call "authentic blackness." But he also knew that liberal whites' family friendly, Huxtable-ized idea of "authentically blackness" is an idealized construct, and that they're not necessarily so comfortable with most black folks consider to be "authentic," or "keepin' it real."

So after South Side black voters rejected his 2000 Congressional bid because he wasn't deemed "black enough," Barack Obama regrouped and began to base much of his political career on manipulating the good will of liberal and even well-meaning suburban Republican whites. In '04 and '08, Mr. Obama artfully threaded the "white guilt" needle: he knew that whites -- even liberals -- would be put off by a genuinely angry black man, but he also knew they'd line up to have the sin of their whiteness absolved by a smooth, non-threatening black Messiah (provided he retained just enough "authentic blackness" and "swagga" to count as "black").

But yours truly probably erred by not anticipating that some schmuck would reduce the reference to Obama's mother to some hazy Freud-inspired pablum about sex.

And that's fine. For some people, everything's always about sex.

Sometimes, however, a cigar is just a cigar.

Drunk Idiot said...

swimming swan,

To be clear, my assertion that Obama used his blackness to manipulate the racial good will of well-meaning liberal (and even Republican) whites for political gain is neither some bizarre Freudian attempt at psychoanalysis, nor an ad hominem attack. It's merely a characterization -- unartful though it may be -- of Obama's own personal and political history.

Yours truly has been following Mr. Obama's political career pretty closely since his unsuccessful 2000 Congressional run.

To be clear, I don't know Barack Obama personally. So contrary to your argument, I don't claim to know the inner workings of his psyche. But I've been around business and political circles in Chicago, and if the old "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game were changed to "Six Degrees of Barack Obama," my ties to Obama would be considerable (as is, obviously, the case for a lot of people in Chicago/Chicagoland). More to the point, I used to be close to an individual or two who played significant roles in Mr. Obama's U.S. Senate and presidential campaigns (and who might even qualify -- or at least would have qualified at one time -- as being in Obama's insular "inner circle").

Again, to be clear, none of that makes me an expert on Obama. But since I was paying attention to him long before most Americans ever so much as heard his name, I know more about the evolution of his political career than do most.

Prior to his run for the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama's focus was Chicago. Bill Ayers may not be lying when he says he used to think Obama's ambition was to become Mayor of Chicago. But after Mr. Obama's humiliating loss to Bobby Rush in 2000 (for not being "black enough"), some very astute Illinois politicos (mainly Jewish/white guys) suggested to Obama that he was capable of winning statewide office, and that he should entertain the idea of running for the United States Senate seat that Republican squatter Peter Fitzgerald was about to vacate (Carol Mosley-Braun's old seat -- Illinois' so-called "black Senate seat").

First, however, they had to chauffeur the skeptical would-be Senatorial candidate on a tour of the suburban and downstate Illinois wilds, in order to convince him that white people outside Chicago were ready for change (i.e., that they weren't too racist to vote for him), and that they would welcome him as a "transformative" figure (i.e., that white guilt was so pervasive that it even afflicted the yahoos in the suburbs and downstate -- Who knew!?!).

After becoming convinced that he could win white votes outside of enlightened Chicago (heh!), Obama was obviously pretty bullish about running for the U.S. Senate.

The rest, as they say, is history.

But for Obama, the entire franchise was built on manipulating the pathologies (white guilt) of white voters -- that is to say, being the accessible, but "authentic" black guy who makes his white supporters feel good about themselves (i.e., not racist).

Steve Sailer said...

Dear Drunk Idiot:

Thanks. Very interesting.

I'd like to get your opinion on the flip side of the question: how did Obama, Axelrod, etc. not seem to realize that Rev. Wright was trouble up until February 2008? I can understand Obama and Co. artfully exploiting white emotions on race, but I'm still having trouble with how obtuse they were about some things, especially Wright.

Drunk Idiot said...

swimming swan,

BTW, your take on Obama's arugula reference is wrong too.

Obama wasn't trying to advertise his arrival in the upper middle class. Believe it or not, he was trying to "relate" to Iowa caucus voters as a "regular guy" who understood just how hard "regular folks" had been hit by the hardships caused by "George Bush's failed economy."

Obama obtusely "name dropped" arugula to an audience of non-urban, non-upper middle class Iowans during the run up to the '08 Iowa caucus.

He said something to the effect of (paraphrasing), "I know how tough things are out there for regular folks these days ... I mean, have you seen the price of arugula at Whole Foods lately?"

Of course, the problem was, there were no Whole Foods stores in Iowa.

None.

And Hy-Vee -- the perfectly good, but definitely not upscale, grocery store chain that is prevalent in Iowa -- has never been known for its extensive selection of arugula (they've got nice produce though).

It never occurred to Obama that Whole Foods and arugula might have been outside the everyday reality of people in Iowa (and, more broadly, of people in "middle America"). What candidate Obama thought would show him to be in touch with Iowa voters instead turned out to be a gaffe that showed how out of touch the privileged Obama was/is with the people who politicos patronizingly refer to as "regular, everyday folks in the heartland."

That said, it still wasn't as bad as the time Howard Dean attempted to endear himself to Iowa caucus voters in 2004 as a guy whose upbringing had been so "hardscrabble" that his family had been forced to move his baby crib into their cramped Central Park apartment's servants' quarters (because what Iowan doesn't knowingly chuckle at the travails of Manhattan living!?!).

Drunk Idiot said...

Steve Sailer said...

"(How) did Obama, Axelrod, etc. not seem to realize that Rev. Wright was trouble up until February 2008? I can understand Obama and Co. artfully exploiting white emotions on race, but I'm still having trouble with how obtuse they were about some things, especially Wright."

First off, it's apropos that you bring the discussion back to Rev. Wright. Obviously, the post was about Ms. Cantor's unwitting description of Obama's Steve Jobs-style "reality distortion field," at least as it related to Mr. Obama's expectation that evangelicals would be impressed by his ties to Rev. Wright.

But it's also funny that we're on the subject of Rev. Wright, because back around midnight, yours truly was debating whether to go play basketball at a gym that's right down the street from Rev. Wright's new multimillion dollar crib in a predominantly white, suburban gated community (the brothers and the Palestinians run the courts until about 2:00AM at that gym), or whether to go to a different gym in a town further west (where brothers and a bunch of Filipino guys run the courts until about 2:00AM as well). Whenever I go by Rev. Wright's lily-white gated community, I have to wonder if living the good life has taken some of the edge off the Right Reverend's "God damn America!" schtick.

It probably hasn't, because guys like the Rev. always have to be angry about something. Rev. Wright probably goes around perpetually pissed off that he lives just like the white devils now (and that he even lives among them too). Hell, there might even be brothers back on the South Side that think Rev. Wright sold out when he moved out there. And if so, he's probably pissed off about that too.

Anyway, I was getting ready to go past Rev. Wright's place...

But then I got busy working on some stuff ... and then I got sidetracked from that when I started responding to "swimming swan" ... and now it's almost the next business day, and I never got to the gym, and never finished the original stuff I was working on. And the prospect of sleep is becoming increasingly less likely by the minute.

So what am I going to do?

Attempt to answer your question, of course.

And the short answer is ... your guess is as good as mine!

I don't know David Axelrod. But I'm at least somewhat acquainted with some very smart conservatives who do. And the impression one gets is that Axelrod is razor-sharp and ruthless (but he's also extremely ideologically driven -- his parents were Brooklyn communists, after all).

Obama can be really sharp too (much sharper than a lot of conservatives think), but he seems to have spent his life in a left wing cocoon. A little less critical race theory and a little more time spent driving his 300M out to suburban shopping malls would probably have served him well, at least as far as relating to everyday life in America is concerned.

I'll probably end up thinking about your question throughout the day. If I have some kind of epiphany, I'll come back to this thread and put it in writing. But really, it's pretty hard to believe that the brains in the Obama campaign could have been so obtuse. At the moment, my best guess is that Obama's urban, progressive cocoon was so thick (and the same may be true for Axelrod and company) that he was irreconcilably divorced from daily life in America. To steal another commenter's thunder, it may be as simple as Obama just having never even so much as known anyone who was a white Evangelical Christian (Jim Wallis and his ilk don't count).