Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Obama’s Campaign Of Smoke And Mirrors

Original Link: http://jay1949.wordpress.com/2008/06/01/obamas-campaign-of-smoke-and-mirrors/

While some view Barack Obama as a “rock star” politician, it may be more apt to think of him as a kind of magician and of his campaign as an exercise in smoke and mirrors. The phrase “smoke and mirrors” originated as a description of magician’s illusions which use real smoke and real mirrors to fool the eyes of the audience and later progressed to a broader description of using the “smoke” of obfuscation and the “mirrors” of fabrication to hide or obscure the truth, in order to deceive the audience. I must give credit to Bill Clinton for applying the metaphor to Obama in February (“. . . all the rest is smoke and mirrors”); that comment was overshadowed by the furor over the “fairy tale” description Clinton used at the same time, but I think it fits very neatly, so off we go, having a look through the smoke and behind the mirrors.

Item 1: “Lay off my wife!” Give me a break. Michelle Obama is actively campaigning for her husband, making public appearances and giving speeches. She is fair game - - and, come to think of it, the Obama campaign has been more than a tad bit rough on the aforementioned Bill Clinton, the spouse of the other contender. Sexist double-standard? Not really - - it’s smoke. The lay-off-my-wife speech is yet another attempt to divert attention from Obama’s weaknesses. And there’s a mirror to look behind as well: the arrogant I-will-not-tolerate-this-treatment-of-my-wife declaration. Yikes! The indignation inherent in the I-will-not-tolerate remark is all too real; it springs directly from Obama’s narcissistic personality, which I have pointed out in an earlier screed. Such individuals as Obama see their spouses, children, and other significant persons as extensions of themselves. In psychology lingo, they have incomplete ego boundaries. Criticism of the wife is, therefore, criticism of Barack, and criticism of Barack is never tolerated.

What I would have said, were I in Obama’s position, is something like this: “Well, I don’t like the criticism of my wife, but let’s be realistic - - she’s with me on the campaign trail, she’s in the public eye, giving speeches, so she has to expect to draw some flak. She can take it; she’s a strong lady, and I’m very fortunate to have her with me in this campaign.” But Obama didn’t say that, or anything close to it; he said he considered any attacks on Michelle to be attacks on him and thus intolerable. That, folks, is a look behind the mirror.

Item 2: Back-fabricating Michelle’s “Proud” Remark. Unless you’ve been vacationing in Mongolia for the past several months, you must have heard (over and over) the video replays of Michelle Obama saying that the present Presidential race was the first time in her adult life she had “been proud of my country.” That’s what she said; I heard it at the time; I’ve looked at and heard the video since. The Obama campaign and its surrogates are now promoting a new, revised version of that awful truth, claiming that Michelle Obama didn’t say what she said, but instead said she had it was the first time she had “been very proud” of her country, then arguing that the “very” makes a difference and poor Michelle has been misconstrued and mistreated. This is a lie - - a small one, but an outright lie nonetheless. It is being posted on political blogs and was parroted by Obama apologist Keli Goff on a news program this past Monday morning. This, folks, is an example of smoke. Expect more.

Item 3: Geraldine Ferraro Specifically and the Race-Baiting Problem In General. This is where things begin to get really, really interesting. The Obama campaign initiated an ill-considered policy of race-baiting. This became obvious after the South Carolina primary when Bill Clinton was accused of racism when he pointed out the unarguable truth that Barack Obama was not the first black candidate to win the South Carolina Democratic primary, Jessee Jackson having done that first in 1984 and again in 1988. In response to this observation, Clinton was accused of “playing the race card.” Bill Clinton??? Bill “The First Black President” Clinton, who has his office in Harlem????? This palpable nonsense only got worse, however, and later resulted in a shrill condemnation of Gerry Ferraro, a liberal Democrat who has, like Bill Clinton, a long track record of NOT being racist but, quite the opposite, being an advocate for equal rights for and fair treatment of black citizens. The race-baiting accusations are a smokescreen, designed to ward off examination of Obama’s personal history and personality faults.

The Obama campaign has already set this country’s race relations back by a discernable amount, in a campaign where no one of any significance, Republican or Democrat, has actually attacked him on the basis of race. The racial divide he has inadvertently injected into the campaign is likely to haunt Obama. Following the ridiculous condemnation of Ferraro, white Democratic voters in general and white, Democratic, blue-collar voters in particular, have begun to re-think the matter. This has been demonstrated by the results in West Virginia and Kentucky. Instead of inspiring voters to rise above the country’s racially-divided history, Obama’s race-baiting is forcing voters - - Democratic Party voters, no less - - to make a choice. Ferraro has now announced that she may not vote for Obama in November. She sees through the smoke.

Item 4: Howard Dean and the Party Line. The gross overconfidence of the Democratic Party of 2008 is nowhere better examplified than by the choice of Howard Dean to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dean comes across as a pathological liar and is clearly a rabid far-left partisan. The Obama “smoke” is that he is some kind of great uniter who is beyond partisan politics. The guy behind the smoke, however, is Howard Dean. Obama obviously follows Dean’s lead every step of the way. Howard Dean declares that John McCain is running for a “third term for Bush;” Obama parrots the same line. On point after point, Obama’s agenda follows Dean’s agenda, but we are supposed to see only the reflection of Obama in the mirror. Ignore the smoke, folks, and look behind the mirrors - - it simply is not possible for Obama to play the role of non-partisan “uniter” while being prompted and directed by Howard Dean. You can bet that Obama’s idea of “unity” will be, “agree with me or be silenced.”

* * *

There seems to be no question that this is going to be a good year for the Democratic Party, at least in the Congressional races. Democrats - - and these are the folks I normally vote for - - are polling very well in all categories, except one. The big one. Certainly it is a political lifetime or two until November. Yet while it seems that Obama is virtually certain to be the Democratic candidate for President, nevertheless, like Geraldine Ferraro and yours truly, Democrats may jump ship in large enough numbers, and independents may be put off in even larger numbers, that Republican John McCain will be elected President in a year of Democratic Party ascendancy.

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