Friday, October 10, 2008

Obama: Between Mephisto and the Beloved

There is something of almost mythical importance in Obama' s fairy tale, exemplified by a jousting between the bad adulator and the good advisor. So far Obama has followed the path of virtue, by shunning one man and entrusting his future hopes to the other. The difference could not be any greater, between the vainglorious antisemite and the low-key Jew.

Addressing a large crowd ... Farrakhan proclaims,

"You are the instruments that God is going to use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth. And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn't care anything about. That's a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking."

"Barack Obama to me, is a herald of the Messiah. Barack Obama is like the trumpet that alerts you something new, something better is on the way."

Farrakhan points out that the man Nation of Islam followers refer to as "the Savior," Fard Muhammad, had a black father and a white mother, just as Obama did.

"A black man with a white mother became a savior to us," he said. "A black man with a white mother could turn out to be one who can lift America from her fall.

"Would God allow Barack to be president of a country that has been so racist, so evil in its treatment of Hispanics, native Americans, blacks?" he asked. "Would God do something like that? Yeah. Of course he would. That's to show you that the stone that the builders rejected has become the headstone of the corner. This is a sign to you. It's the time of our rise. It's the time that we should take our place. The future is all about you." (H/T: NWO)

David Axelrod, The Captain of Obama's ship: Steady as she goes...

That decision – to stick to a largely positive message rooted in hope and change, convinced it was the one that would resonate with the public – is due in large part to Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod.

"Barack was the insurgent here, and he won, and that's a testament to Barack and to David, because history is against the insurgent," says Rahm Emanuel, a Democratic congressman from Illinois and a friend of Mr. Axelrod. "These guys decided to double down on 'change' ... They took a gamble that people's attitudes would still be hungry for more of the same."

I think that early on Obama realized that if he was serious about getting there, he had to speak to non-black America and establish the fact that he shared with them their history and sentiments. It did not happen spontaneously or easily. The whole Reverend Wright episode is a testament to the kind of learning he had to do. But he understood that in order to gain people's trust, he had to establish a direct lineage to what America had done for the world in benighted times. By doing so, he was signalling that he was part of that history, not from an African-American point of view, but from an American point of view.

Thus he learned to speak of his white great-uncle's WWII experiences, to shun the hateful messages of black separatism espoused by Wright and Farrakhan, to speak to Jews in the language of loving Israel, to carefully qualify his early promise about talking to crazy regimes without pre-conditions. He distanced himself from friends like Khalidi and Ayers. He listened to what his advisor told him he needed to do in order to ascend to the presidency which was roughly what Lee Iacoca once said about true leadership: I forgot to shake hands and be friendly. It was an important lesson about leadership.

Senator Obama would not be where he is today had he remained tethered to his radical friends. I would guess that it was not hard to make the case to him that a message of hope and change could not be made in good faith while remaining on good terms with a "God-damn America" preacher or an arch antisemite like Farrakhan.


Arundhati Roy, as cited by Norm, seems to be in something of an agreement with my take on Obama's ascent, though she takes a dim view of it:

"She predicts the coming months will see Obama turn into a white man and warns against expecting a miracle: "He'll have to prove that he is whiter than the white man. "

President Obama will be a white man, because he will be president of all Americans, and not just African-Americans, only the latter option being what she would consider a real change... Nothing short of the "Africanization" of America will do for her. Since Obama is becoming a president for all Americans, in a way he becomes a traitor to his race, according to Roy, that is. Imagine, a president who actually puts America first! Appalling notion!


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