Wednesday, January 28, 2009

His Holiness

I skipped watching most the Obama Inauguration. I may be sorry someday since it was haled as the most momentous event of my lifetime and I let it pass me by. I watched enough to see people screaming and crying and praying. I read enough to know that the two million in attendance came from all over the country and that there was dancing in the streets in Africa and maybe other continents besides. I heard enough to know that the pedastal the media put Barack Obama on way back last year at the start of the primaries is higher than ever.

And this is my problem. Yes, I was for Hillary and yes, I was bitter about the way the primaries were decided but what was done was done. Barack was it and at least it wouldn't be Bush anymore. I accepted the situation, voted for Obama, and have been satisfied with most of the decisions he's made so far.

But, the reverence with which he's being treated is literally nauseating - the awe in the voices of the media, the ecstasy in the expressions of the people being interviewed. The superlatives that are used to describe him : fearless, brilliant, amazing, flawless, transcendent, enlightened. I expect to hear Mika Brzenzski on Morning Joe refer to him as Saint Barack any day now, to see stigmata forming on her hands. We've heard a lot about the circumstances of Obama's birth and upbringing but considering the worshipful attitudes so many have about him, can the theory of immaculate conception be far behind?

The fact is that President Obama is a man, just a man. Yes, he's smart and handsome and charming, etc. etc. but still, just a man.

I'll be able to pay more attention to what the Obama administration actually does when the cloying smell of sanctity about who he is dissipates a little.


  1. I see the same adulation of our President and smile. In that adulation, in the faith that so many of us have in him, in our belief that he can really be a transformational character at a time when that is exactly what we need, I see hope.

    Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Senator and will, I think, be a great Secretary of State. But she was never going to be the transformational character President Obama might be. Too polarizing, she energizes the Republican base more than any other Democrat including Ted Kennedy. And too traditional a politician.

    I have never understood the bitterness of Hillaries supporters. I never saw the Obama bias that her supporters saw. The press was hard on all of them at one time or another. Hillary had commentators wondering whether her emotion after losing in Iowa as real or feigned. Then there was weeks of the Reverend Wright being played over and over again.

    I guess its just persepective, but I don't see the press treating him with a lot of reverence. I see them far more attracted to right wing talking points in their coverage of his first week.

    And whatever the press does, what he is doing right now is incredibly important. He has to face more challenges his first month in office than any President since FDR, perhaps more than any President in our history.

    He needs our critical, not fawning, support.

  2. Sorry, but I can't agree. In my book, adulation is always, always a negative. If you didn't see the reverence of the press, then you weren't watching the same programs I was. Mika practically genuflected whenever she said Obama's name. Keith Olbermann salivated when discussing him. Rachel Maddow kissed his ring. Chris Matthews said Obama made a "thrill run up his leg" or words to that effect. I could go on. The best thing they did for him was go on "racist watch", turning Bill Clinton into practically a ku klux klanner. Look sideways at Obama and you were a racist. Make the tiniest wrong comment (calling Barack "kid", or instance) was taken as a bigoted remark. Meanwhile, they all just trashed Hillary at will and no one said boo about sexism. Chris Matthews said she "cackled" and her voice was like "scratching on a blackboard". Tucker Carlson called her the vaginal candidate. They all publicized the infamous "Hillary nutcracker" with great glee. Tim Russert et al asked the most fatuously sexist questions at debates. It made lots of Hillary supporters bitter because Hillary was them. Her experience and intelligence and hard work was discounted as the media all went gaga over the hip young black man. They fell in love with Obama's story and ran with it.

    And, yep, everyone who was for Obama was able to convince themselves for one reason or another that Hillary just couldn't be allowed to be our candidate - her "divisiveness" for instance. I think that is pure bull.... It only gave people a rationale for doing what they wanted to do anyway.

    We had a proven quantity so far as the economy was concerned with Bill and Hillary but the Obama romance trumped competence and experience so as you say we have one of our least experienced presidents ever at a time when he has "more challenges in his first month of office than perhaps any other president in history."

    Well, it doesn't matter now. What is, is. Of course, I "hope" he does well for my sake and my family's sake as well as the country's sake. I also hope the passion for politics I once had returns someday but for now, I'm a bystander.