you say you want a revolution?

turdfrgsn

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Mar 7, 2005
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#1
February 16, 2008, 9:00 a.m.

You Say You Want a Revolution
Political worshippers of the new Messiah.

By Mark Steyn

These days, Obama worshippers file two kinds of columns. The first school is well represented by Ezra Klein, the elderly bobbysoxer of The American Prospect:

Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair.

Er, okay, if you say so. I got a bit bored halfway through and switched over to the Golden Girls rerun. But to each his own. Still, it seems to me that Barack Obama is the triumph of flesh, color, and despair over word — that’s to say, he offers an appealing embodiment of identity politics plus a ludicrously despairing vision of contemporary America (sample: “Trade deals like NAFTA ship jobs overseas and force parents to compete with their teenagers to work for minimum wage at Wal-Mart”) that triumphs over anything so prosaic as a policy platform. Mrs. Clinton, the earthbound wonk, is reduced to fulminating that this race is about “speeches versus solutions.” But a lot of Democrats seem to have concluded that Hillary’s the problem, and Obama’s speech is the solution.

On the other hand, if you’re running for president not as an unexceptional first-term senator with a thin resume but as the new Messiah, the new Kennedy, the new Gandhi, the new Martin Luther King, you can’t blame folks for leaping ahead to the next stage in the mythic narrative. Around the world, a second instant sub-genre has sprung up in which commentators speculate how long it will be before some deranged Christian-fundamentalist neo-Nazi gun-nut deprives America of its fleeting wisp of glory. Setting a new standard for fevered slavering Obama-assassination porn, Earl MacRae warned Canadians in the Ottawa Sun this week:

To be black and catapulting towards the presidency on charm, intellect, and popularity is unacceptable to the racist paranoid and scary in America the beautiful… They do not want to hear that he is a better American than they are, these right-wing extremist fascists in the land of America who no doubt believe it’s God’s will Barack Obama not get to the White House, no method of deterrence out of bounds, in their zealotry to protect and perpetuate Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Mom's apple pie, and the cross of Jesus in every home.

And you can’t protect and perpetuate Roy Rogers without a Trigger. By this point, Mr. MacRae wasn’t so much warming to his theme as typing up his first draft for Miramax: “Barack Obama is waving his arms. The crowd is cheering. I see the image I don’t want to see. I see the image that is the terrible sickness in the great republic. I see Barack Obama one minute smiling, the people crying his name. I see Barack Obama grab his chest and his eyes widen and his mouth opens and the crowd screams as Barack Obama, black candidate for the presidency of the United States of America, falls to the ground dead, an assassin’s bullet inside him.”

Er, okay. But would it help if I made you a nice cup of chamomile tea and you lie down in a darkened room for half an hour? Right now Obama’s more at risk of being taken out by traces of polonium-210 left in his hotel by a Clinton operative than by Roy Rogers saddling up for Jesus. Every president is a target for assassination, though George W. Bush is unique in having been the subject of explicit murder fantasies by so many non-right-wing non-extremist impeccably reasonable artists (the British movie Death Of A President; the novella Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker) and even the occasional straightforward exhortation: “On November 2, the entire civilized world will be praying, praying Bush loses,” wrote Charlie Brooker in London’s Guardian in 2004. “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?”

Well, wherever they are, they’re probably saying: “Why bring us into it? When ol’ Lee Harvey decided it was time for JFK to get assassinated, he didn’t sit around whining, ‘John Wilkes Booth, where are you now that I need you?’ Get off your butt and do it yourself, you big Euro-ninny.” Ah, but for the armchair insurgents of the western Left, the vicarious frisson is more than delicious enough. Anything else would interfere with dinner plans.

The Bush-assassination fantasies are concocted by his political opponents and at least arise from his acts — invading the world; slaughtering 14 million Iraqi civilians or whatever it’s up to by now; shredding the constitution. By contrast, the Obama-assassination porn is written by his worshippers and testifies to one of the most palpable features of the senator’s campaign — its faintly ersatz quality, its determination to appropriate Camelot and every other mythic narrative. A few days ago, a local news team went to shoot some film at the Houston campaign headquarters for Obama. Behind the desks of the perky gals answering the phones were posters of Che Guevara and Cuban flags. Needless to say, the news reporters were either indifferent to this curious veneration or too sensitive to mention it, and it was left to the right-wing extremist Roy Rogers fascists of the blogosphere to point it out.

Do Obama’s volunteers even know who Che is? Apart from being a really cool guy on posters and T-shirts, like James Dean or Bart Simpson, I doubt it. They’re pseudo-revolutionaries. Very few people in America want a real revolution: Life is great, this is a terrific country, with unparalleled economic opportunities. To be sure, it’s a tougher break if you have the misfortune to be the victim of one of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs or a decrepit inner-city grade school with a higher per-student budget than the wealthiest parts of Switzerland. But even so, to be born a U.S. citizen is, as Cecil Rhodes once said of England, to win first prize in the lottery of life. Not even Obama supporters want real revolution: They’re messy, your cities get torched, the economy collapses, much of your talent flees. Ask the many peoples around the world for whom revolution means not a lame-o Sixties poster above your desk but the carnage and horror of the day before yesterday.

Poor mean vengeful Hillary, heading for a one-way ticket on the oblivion express, has a point. Barack Obama is an elevator Muzak dinner-theater reduction of all the glibbest hand-me-down myths in liberal iconography — which is probably why he’s a shoo-in. The problems facing America — unsustainable entitlements, broken borders, nuclearizing enemies — require tough solutions not gaseous Sesame Street platitudes. But, unlike the whose-turn-is-it? GOP, Mrs. Clinton’s crowd generally picks the new kid on the block: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama. I wonder if Hillary Rodham, Goldwater Girl of 1964, ever wishes she’d stuck with her original party.

© 2008 Mark Steyn
National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NGJkMWFmZmIxMDY0M2Q5NzdjN2I0ODU4MGFiNDdmNzA=
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#2
tl;dr but what I did see was this

To be black and catapulting towards the presidency on charm, intellect, and popularity is unacceptable to the racist paranoid and scary in America the beautiful…
So if we want our President based on experience and policy we're racist. Fuck off shitdick.
 

Sinn Fein

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#3
Thanks Don, now I know it's not worth even reading all of it. That one part tells enough.
 

BroGonzo

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Jul 3, 2006
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#5
Mark Steyn is a competent writer and columnist, but what his argument boils down to is this: Obama's campaign and appeal are based on his charisma and rhetoric, and ultimately he's just a junior senator from Chicago and doesn't have to experience to run the country.

Where was this "inexperience" criticism when George W. Bush was running for president? Sure, he'd served as the governor of Texas (a dubious qualification at best) and had a president for a father. But no one seemed to be concerned with his inexperience in national politics.

And I'm not concerned about Obama's relative lack of experience. The approach Obama has expressed about the United States responsibility to its citizens and its role in the world are enough to convince me that he's the right guy for the White House.

And since when does the president need foreign policy experience, anyway? That's what you appoint a secretary of state for. The other members of cabinet are experts in their respective fields (well, they normally are -- unless you're Bush, and you just give jobs to your old buddies).
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#6
Mark Steyn is a competent writer and columnist, but what his argument boils down to is this: Obama's campaign and appeal are based on his charisma and rhetoric, and ultimately he's just a junior senator from Chicago and doesn't have to experience to run the country.

Where was this "inexperience" criticism when George W. Bush was running for president? Sure, he'd served as the governor of Texas (a dubious qualification at best) and had a president for a father. But no one seemed to be concerned with his inexperience in national politics.

And I'm not concerned about Obama's relative lack of experience. The approach Obama has expressed about the United States responsibility to its citizens and its role in the world are enough to convince me that he's the right guy for the White House.

And since when does the president need foreign policy experience, anyway? That's what you appoint a secretary of state for. The other members of cabinet are experts in their respective fields (well, they normally are -- unless you're Bush, and you just give jobs to your old buddies).
Most of the better presidents were governors prior to being president. It's the closest experience anyone can have to the job.

I'm not worried about Obama's lack of experience too. I'm worried about his record as one of the most liberal guys in the senate. I'm worried about his refusal to take a position on anything. I'm worried about the people he's motivating to vote that don't know DOGSHIT about politics or what he stands for.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

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#7
The only rEVOLution I support is the Ron Paul type.

The rest of them are just different variants of commie/fascist tyranny.
 

BroGonzo

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#8
Most of the better presidents were governors prior to being president. It's the closest experience anyone can have to the job.
Maybe most of the better presidents were governors first, but now one of the worst ones was a governor first, too.
 

Plunkies

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Jun 28, 2006
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#9
Maybe most of the better presidents were governors first, but now one of the worst ones was a governor first, too.
The quality of president has nothing to do with the fact that being a governor is about the best experience you can get to prepare you for the presidency.
 

Vyce

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Feb 11, 2006
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#10
Thanks Don, now I know it's not worth even reading all of it. That one part tells enough.
Do you even know who Mark Steyn is?

Steyn wasn't endorsing that statement.

He was MOCKING that train of thought. He was saying, this is what we're going to run up against in the months to come if Obama is the nominee - his supporters making that sort of claim.

Steyn points out the horrifying reality about Obama: he's brutally unqualified and inexperienced for the position, but he's feeding people all the sort of empty bullshit that people want to hear. Which is why Obama is so fucking dangerous, because he has no solutions to our problems, only promises to dig us into a deep hole with his quasi-socialist agenda, and people are likely going to buy it, because all people WANT to hear is his platitudes and simplistic rhetoric.
 

Vyce

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And I'm not concerned about Obama's relative lack of experience. The approach Obama has expressed about the United States responsibility to its citizens and its role in the world are enough to convince me that he's the right guy for the White House.

And since when does the president need foreign policy experience, anyway? That's what you appoint a secretary of state for.
Yes.

This.

This is the attitude I'm talking about.

It's so frightening and ignorant that it literally sends chills up my spine.
 
Feb 20, 2006
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#12
Obama can spin his bullshit platitudes for now but when the real race starts and he is pressed for details his aura will falter. The only thing that will secure him the White House is a 1930s style Depression.
 

Vyce

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#13
Obama can spin his bullshit platitudes for now but when the real race starts and he is pressed for details his aura will falter.
Oh, I hope so.

But I don't count on it.

Because you know full well, if he gets the nomination, the mainstream media is going to do a full-court press, and fucking fall over themselves to get him elected. Months later, you'll get some sort of study done which shows that the press gave him something like 75% (or higher) positive spin, that sort of thing, and the press will just shrug and pretend, like it always does, that it has no idealogical bias.
 

mikeybot

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#14
I'm glad that I still have relatives in Ireland that'd help out if I moved there because things got really shitty here.
 

Plunkies

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#16
New Obama video sweeping the nation...Barack Obama: A Tribute to Hope

[YT]K6AYrYZCQig[/YT]
 

Jimmy's Dignity

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#17
Mark Steyn said:
The problems facing America — unsustainable entitlements, broken borders, nuclearizing enemies — require tough solutions not gaseous Sesame Street platitudes.
that's the biggest problem we have...and there's no way that he'll be interested in venturying a fix at Social Security. Say what you want about the man's lack-of-bonafides, he's going to push the agenda towards creating more entitlements. Universal Health Care will make Social Security look like a mere drop in the bucket when it comes to the budget


yes I know we're spending XYZ Billions in Iraq. Yes I know that "if we leave now!" we can have that money for use elsewhere...instead of paying down the debt like we should, it'll just wind up getting put into some random bullshit that won't benefit me
 

Don the Radio Guy

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yes I know we're spending XYZ Billions in Iraq. Yes I know that "if we leave now!" we can have that money for use elsewhere...instead of paying down the debt like we should, it'll just wind up getting put into some random bullshit that won't benefit me
Not to mention the trillions we'll spend in 20 years if we "pull out now" and we have to go back to do the whole thing over again....
 

BloodyDiaper

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Oct 7, 2005
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#19
Months later, you'll get some sort of study done which shows that the press gave him something like 75% (or higher) positive spin, that sort of thing, and the press will just shrug and pretend, like it always does, that it has no idealogical bias.

So when a post election study showed that Bush got twice the positive coverage that Gore recieved in 2000 it didn't prove ideological bias the other way, correct?
 

MrAbovePar

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Mar 14, 2005
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#20
So when a post election study showed that Bush got twice the positive coverage that Gore recieved in 2000 it didn't prove ideological bias the other way, correct?
I'd like to see a source that says that. It could probably be ripped apart quite easily.
 

Vyce

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#21
So when a post election study showed that Bush got twice the positive coverage that Gore recieved in 2000 it didn't prove ideological bias the other way, correct?
Where did I say that it did? The line has always been that Gore was hurt by his ties to the Clintons, specifically because of the lingering shadows of the Lewinsky scandal and other Clinton scandals / shenanigans.

However, studies did show that in the past election, where Democrats took over, they were getting favorable-to-unfavorable press coverage by a large margin. I think around 70-30. It's going to be the same with Obama. You're going to get tons more of the bullshit about how he's the Messiah, and virtually no in depth challenge of his position on the issues, i.e. calling him out on the empty rhetoric and platitudes and making him actually explain how he's going to do what he makes generalized claims he'll do.
 

Vyce

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#22
tl;dr but what I did see was this

So if we want our President based on experience and policy we're racist. Fuck off shitdick.
Mark Steyn wrote this....what? Just a day or so ago?

[And for the record, to Sinn and any others who thinks that Steyn was TAKING that ideological position, he wasn't - again, Steyn was mocking it, and warning us that if Obama is the nominee for the Democrats, you're going to see people assert that any criticism against him is racist.]

And lo and behold, Frank Rich of the New York Times (surprise!) is ALREADY STARTING THE BULLSHIT.

I generally do NOT agree with Anthony's general theme in his opposition to Obama (I'm against the man more for his politics rather than I am this perception that he's going to just create entitlements for minorities). But I do agree with him on this one point: we're about to enter into a period where we will be bombarded with identity politics of the WORST sort, and it's going to be ugly.
 

BloodyDiaper

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#23
I'd like to see a source that says that. It could probably be ripped apart quite easily.
Gore's coverage was decidedly more negative, more focused on the internal politics of campaigning and had less to do with citizens than did his Republican rival.

In contrast, George W. Bush was twice as likely as Gore to get coverage that was positive in tone. Coverage of the governor was also more issue-oriented and more likely to be directly connected to citizens.

These are some of the key findings of a major new study of press coverage in newspapers, television and on the Internet during key weeks in September and October.

Overall, nearly a quarter of all Bush dominated stories were clearly positive in nature, while that was true of only 13% of Gore stories, according to the study. Bush was also less likely to receive negative coverage than Gore.

One reason for the hard time for Gore may be the penchant of the press to focus coverage around strategy and tactics.

The study produced, for the Committee by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Princeton Survey Research Associates, examined 1,149 stories from 17 news publications, programs and websites.
http://www.journalism.org/node/309
 

Lil' Alex

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#24
The only real revolutionary politician is Ron Paul or possibly Dennis Kucinich. The fact that the media loves Obama should tell you all you need to know, they never like anyone who stands for real change, only phony change. Obama is in the CFR and will push the same bullshit agendas of every other President, he's a controlled man just like all the others. He just delivers a really good speech and is a likable guy.