Dec 10 2008

Obama Really Is Clinton 2.0

I really did flirt with the idea of supporting Obama early on. The concept of new blood and fresh ideas in DC was so appealing Obama was worthy of consideration on that aspect alone. But Obama has a record of being very liberal, has taken liberal positions on votes, even though he talks more centrist. 

And one of the things that really bugs a Bush supporter like me is the lack of candor and commitment from politicians. The one thing you could trust with Bush is he meant what he said and did what he said. Obama has been too much the chameleon, even when he is changing his colors to the conservative hues  (like he did on the NSA-FISA votes and has been doing with his national security transition team).

Obama’s success has been his ability to be a cypher – upon which people project their hopes, desires and views. He has been, as I mentioned many times, like the Mirror of Erised from the fictional stories of Harry Potter:


According to Dumbledore, the Mirror “shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts”; which is why Harry sees his family, while Ron sees himself achieving more than his older brothers — but cautions Harry that the mirror gives neither knowledge nor truth and that men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they see.

This ability to not be tied down to anything specific allowed huge numbers of Americans to project their expectations into their view of Obama. It is a great political gift, this kind of illusion. It mesmerizes the news media and politically obsessed. But it also has an Achilles’ Heel (everything does). When reality breaks the reflection and starts to collide or replace the projection, the loss of the perfect world view on the part of the viewer can elicit a serious backlash of anger. It is an interesting analogy that the Potter books present about projection and disillusion of that projection. Some will walk away angry, some will hold onto the vision while ignoring all else.

So we come to the question of who is Obama, now that a close associate has been arrested on stunning charges of corruption – with Nixonian tapes to boot. I am a firm believer in our laws and their foundation. Innocent until proven guilty is a great one, especially of you look at the politics of the extremes which tend to he opposite paradigm (guilty until prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt innocent). The Cult of The Culb and the 9-11 Truthers run in those streams. So we need to give Obama reasonable space to explain his situation with Governor Blagojevich.

However, that does not include Clintonesque parsing of words and lame excuses for conflicting comments. For example:

Asked what contact he’d had with the governor’s office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening”.

But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.

While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a “kingmaker” Axelrod said, “I know he’s talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them.

I think we will learn the fact is Obama was in contact with Blagojevich on this matter. People plan out these things ahead of time and the seat transition of a US Senator is no minor detail to leave to the last minute. 

But what is saddening (for Illinois and America) is Obama has come out with this ridiculous and laughable claim. Bill Clinton’s finger-wagging denial about having ‘sex’ with Monica Lewinsky looks down right Boy Scout in comparison to this fib. It would seem to me we might have a case of Obama distancing himself from the train wreck that is clearly Blagojevich.

As I noted early, it would seem Blag (say it like Vlad, since both represent blood suckers anyway) was probably pressuring Obama to give up something for his preferred pick (or some list of ‘don’t pick’). I can see team Obama turning in Blagojevich for these brazen acts. But apparently that was not the case – or else Obama would be announcing how he stopped corruption from every hill top in the land.

So we have a lame attempt to deny Senator Obama and the Governor of Illinois never discussed transition, and we have the Governor of Illinois on wire taps saying he knows who Obama likes and dislikes, and we have reports of some sort of Rahm Emmanuel (Obama’s Chief of Staff) connection to the news. This does not look good for the Obama administration. This will dog him worse than Clinton was dogged with his skeletons, mainly because there is no doubt of the crime and no simple and obvious disconnect for Obama.

What concerns me is that the lame denial is probably the best the team could come up with, which means the truth may be really, really bad. Again, if it were nothing then admitting to talks on transition would be an easy and obvious response. Talking transition and being privy to Blag’s greed are two different things. The blanket (and unreasonable) denial of any contact is worse than any admittance of contact with a fellow state leader.

This is really not a good start for the new administration. Now, the only thing to hope is the far right doesn’t do what they did on Clinton and go overboard as well. Little chance of self control happening, but one can dream.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Obama Really Is Clinton 2.0”

  1. tarpon says:

    Yes, but Obama is not as good at the lying side. Obama really needs to work on that.

  2. WWS says:

    Obama reminds me of Peter Seller’s character Chauncey Gardener (Chance the Gardener) in “Being There”. A man who is a perfect cipher with no thoughts of his own rises to the Presidency solely on his abiliy to allow others to project their own hopes and dreams on him. If you haven’t seen it in a while, it might be worth a watch – turns out to have been a pretty prophetic film.

    While I’m on the topic of politically prophetic movies, “A Face in the Crowd” (1957) is a bettter portrayal of the rise and fall of Bill Clinton than anything else that has ever been done.

  3. jimmylewis2007 says:

    Exactly … Obama is Clinton 2.0; Ayers 2.1; Rev Wright 2.2; Rezko 2.3; Daily 2.4; Ryan 2.5. And how bout his straight A in this year’s course entitled: “Falsifying Birth Certificates”.

    I agree, stay the course liberals and let BHO hang himself … his past will eventually catch up with him.

    Jimmy Lewis
    SCS, Michigan

  4. Mike M. says:

    AJ, you bring up a very good point. If Obama or somebody in his campaign had turned Blag in, they would be trumpeting it as proof positive of their integrity and a symbol of the New Age of Honesty. And quite right to do so.

    But they didn’t.

    Which implies that at absolute minimum, they KNEW that Blag was selling that Senate seat – and were OK with that. They were only haggling over the price and the buyer.

    This is going to get VERY interesting. It’s not like the Clinton impeachment, where the Clintonistas and their propaganda press toadies were able to decieve the electorate about the nature of the charges.

    No. This time, the crime is blatant, its nature quite clear. The only question is how much of the Chicago Machine gets taken out…and whether or not Obama gets caught in the implosion.

  5. dbostan says:

    Actually, the best thing would be for Bush to appoint a special prosecutor, like Giuliani, and a special grand jury with the express purpose of weeding out the corruption in Illinois and the results to be released by January 20th, let’s say.
    Unfortunately, Bush will not do it, the same way he did not fight back NY Times when they leaked secrets…

  6. AJStrata says:

    Mike M,

    Agreed. This has the smell of something bad. I kept thinking that if Obama was truly affronted by Blag he would do what so many did with Blag as outlined in the FBI charges – threaten to expose the deal or just expose it. As President his power and protection is second to none, there is no risk to him on exposing it. Even physical threats are baseless against Obama (the mob type of stuff).

    Something is wrong with this picture. As the indictments spread out I would not be surprised to see more and more disconnects. People will not waste away their lives in jail for this garbage (again proved out in the charges as people have been plea bargaining left and right).

    Bottom line, I would not be surprised to see President Biden by 2010.

  7. Birdalone says:

    A.J.: “President Biden by 2010.” Well, I have no opinion yet on whether Blag will drag Obama down, but my conclusion as to why Hillary accepted SecState was that it puts her in the line of succession after Biden, Pelosi, and Byrd (as of now). If you are right, then it is more likely President Clinton – so easy to get the other three to step aside…

    I still have no clue as to why Obama offered State to Hillary except as political payback for something.

  8. Neo says:

    I wonder exactly what “at no time” means …

    Ill. governor meeting with Obama today
    By Carol Sowers
    Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.

    CHICAGO, ILL. — Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.
    That’s one of Obama’s first priorities today.
    He’s meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it.
    Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement.

    Appears Axelrod was right. Even the “gov” has the meeting on his web site.

  9. ivehadit says:

    AJ, imho, obama will wait until all dead bodies have been cremated. No trace of them ever existing. THEN he will become outraged over this and indignant. Just a matter of time. To me, that has been his pattern.

    Maybe THIS is what he meant when he said, Things are going to get much worse. Yep, they sure are.

    On another note, Americans spent more the day after Thanksgiving this year than last. Seen that shouted out in the news?