Dec 10 2008
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.Â
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 theÂ chameleon, even when he is changing his colors to the conservative hues Â (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 â€œshows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our heartsâ€; which is why Harry sees his family, while Ron sees himself achieving more than his older brothers â€” 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.Â
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.