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Monday, February 18, 2008

Barack Obama: The Cult of Specifics

It may look like we're getting a break from the media's obsession with America's "readiness for a black president" or whether or not Barack Obama is "black enough." But, we're not. Rovian sycophants have simply moved on to new propaganda: “Obama as cult leader” and “Obama is like Kennedy. Aren't you skeert he'll be shot?”

Obama has all kinds of faults. He's too smart, too well educated, too effective an orator, too nice, too conciliatory. Oh, and he's got them fainting in the aisles. Which means, of course, that he's a “black Jim Jones.” Holy Toledo. Some people's kids.

Mixed up in this absurdity is an accusation that Obama is full of soaring rhetoric, but has no substance. He's lacking in specific solutions. I would submit that inspiring the youth of America to get off their butts, get politically active and vote is quite an amazing solution to our country's woes. I also hear, within all that supposedly empty rhetoric, that Obama uses “we will” more than “I will.” Getting Americans to join him in taking personal responsibility for the fate of our country is another powerful, tangible solution. But that's too “touchy feely” for the pundits.

For those that think Obama is all smoke and mirrors, I challenge them to read all of his solutions on his campaign website and in his 64-page Plan For America (PDF). It's full of specifics, many of which I question. Afterwards, come back and argue with me. And be specific, OK?

You'll find more amusement on the same subjects over at FireDogLake.

UPDATE (Wednesday 2/20): Evidently, Obama made the longest speech of any candidate so far in this campaign Tuesday night, and focused on specific issues. I haven't been able to find a video or transcript yet, but an article in Salon.com says that Obama, and the people behind him, looked a bit bored. Detailed specifics are, well, pretty dull. But I'm glad he made this speech. I also noticed that the Obama campaign published a post called "Specifics" that says the same thing my post does...go download his Plan...and read it. They have a simple little video that shows boxes and boxes of printed Plans.

10 comments:

Hungry Mother said...

I never like John Kennedy, but he and his administration sure did inspire a lot of people. Because of that, he counts as one of the best Presidents. Nixon was smarter and did more on the international scene, but he turned off a lot of people. Because of that, he counts as one of the worst Presidents. I think I might be talking myself into voting for Obama.

Hungry Mother said...

I hate typos. "I never liked..." is what I meant. Sorry.

kellypea said...

Good one. After listening to Chris Matthews lambaste and Obama supporter who couldn't name any of the requested Congressional accomplishments. I was wondering who made the first call after the interview -- the supporter for being hammered on national television, or someone from Obama's campaign saying thank you, but never mind. I continue to be intrigued by who makes the comments in criticism of Obama's charisma, hope, can do attitude, etc. All they have to do is wonder why Dubyah is now in Africa scratching the dirt to find something -- anything to attach to some semblance of a presidential legacy beyond his perception of 911.

kellypea said...

Okay, so it's late, and I guess my syntax sucks after nine? Just read through the typos in the first couple of lines. heeee..

OMYWORD! said...

I'm delighted to have your comments...typos or not.

I would be disingenuous if I said that I know Obama's stance on all issues or his congressional record. I was a fan of Kucinich and Gravel, based entirely on where they stood on the issues. The three front runners pissed me off on their stance on gays, which I saw as pandering to the freaking Christian right, something we have done entirely too much of in the past.

Then, as the field narrowed, I moved into Edwards territory. Edwards was also the only one so far that had clearly stated he would not support permanent bases in Iraq. This is a huge issue for me. When Edwards bowed out, I made the completely non-scientific decision in favor of Obama, based on "anybody but Hillary."

Obama saying in an earlier debate that he would not take nuking Iran off the table, is a big concern for me. Iran is just the next Neocon target in their quest to control the world's oil. Iran is troublesome, but nuking them is NOT the answer. Nor is invading them. This still remains a concern for me.

So far, in my Obama research, he has stated in his Plan that he does not support permanent Iraq bases, he will begin withdrawal immediately and complete it over a 16-month period, and his health care plan does not contain mandates. These are important to me. I continue to learn more about him as the contest progresses.

Oh, and Chris Mathews is a dick. Just needed to say that.

mgroves said...

I understand the John Kennedy comparisons as a personality, but if anyone is drawing comparisions between policies, there is almost no common ground. But which one is more important for a president?

OMYWORD! said...

Hey Matt - thanks for stopping by - clean website by the way. Anyway - you bring up a good point. When hungry mother spoke about Kennedy in his comment, it sent me into research mode. I was a kid in Catholic grade school when Kennedy was shot. And I was growing up in an extremely conservative home, so anything that I might have heard about Kennedy from my family would have been derogatory. But I wanted to learn about the psychology of Kennedy worship. I am still researching.

But...in answer to your question, I think leadership, to be effective, has to capture the hearts of the people, in addition to creating and implementing effective policy.

Which is more important? I'm not sure. I think they go hand in hand. If you don't have the people's hearts, you have a more difficult time implementing policy. If you fail at creating and implementing effective policy, you lose people's hearts, or trust, however you want to put it. I think BushCo figured out what people needed to hear, told them what they needed to hear, in order to do whatever the feck they wanted. At some point, that house of cards comes down all over your head, oh and also all over the peoples' heads, as it is doing now. Which makes the time ripe for capturing people's hearts.

Anyway - from what I read, some of Kennedy's policies were extremely troubling. So I don't care how dynamic and mesmerizing he was, I probably would not have agreed with his policies.

I would be delighted to have a woman prez. But I don't like Hillary's policies AND, she SAYS she "won't forget me" but I KNOW that's bullshit. Will Obama forget us after he is elected. GREAT question.

Simonsez TM said...

Great article - I just had a discussion (well more like a heated argument) with a Faux News groupie that believes McCain is the RIGHT CONSERVATIVE leader for our nation. GAG. I told her the same thing to go read and research and stop following the sheep off the cliff. Thanks for the blog! Good stuff.

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

If I did not read the latest e-mail notification from John Reese, founder of BlogRush, I wouldn't be here, because he led me to Traffic Jam where I saw this post linked to your blog.

I am one of the HillRaisers who are not afraid to tell Senator Hillary Clinton the truth, whether sweet, sour or bitter.

I am very critical of Senator Barack Obama and the truth is he is HYPOCRITICAL. Yet, I cannot deny the fact that Barack Obama is like a wake up call to all Americans to save the American Dream that is fast turning into the American Nightmare since 9/11.

Barack Obama provoked me to write a new book of over 230 pages within 90 Days.

Barack Obama's presidential ambition was a fantasy that is fast becoming a reality.

Only the political blunders of the Democratic Party will stop Barack Obama from becoming the next President of America.

OMYWORD! said...

Hey simonsez - gracias! I can't imagine anyone wanting to continue the Iraq war, which is what we'd get with McCain. No matter what your party preference, I can't imagine anyone believing it's a GOOD thing for America at this late date. sigh.

orikinla - I'm very glad you found me and stopped by to add to the discussion. I went over to your blog list and holy toledo! You have a lot of blogs!! I will need to dig in to learn more. Are you saying you have Hill's ear? Man, there are so many things I would love to say to her. I would LOVE for her to be my favorite candidate, but there's so much wrong about her right now. Anyway, I'm interested in your views about Obama so I'm off to see what I can learn from your blogs.