'It's Not That He's Black. It's That He's An Enigma.
The more I think about it, the more the townhall anti-Obama anger isn't explained completely by the issues (sorry, Frank ). There's also something about Obama himself-. But that something (or the main something) isn't his race. It's that he's a relative newcomer, as Presidents go--an unknown quantity, an enigma, with a short track record and patches of that record left fuzzy. That means opponents can fill in the blanks with ominous possibilities. It makes paranoia more rational, if you will.'
Yes, or as they say, no. I agree that the dissatisfaction with Obama goes considerably beyond the laws he has so far enacted, and the ones he is trying to enact right now. There are other things that mainstream, non-partisan Americans don't like about Obama personally. But I don't believe he is an enigma. How can he possibly still be an unknown quantity for heavens sake?
You are an enigma right up until you start taking actions- and Obama has a raft of those already. I read this piece with great anticipation, because I thought Mickey Kaus was going to get specific. But he doesn't, not really. What is it that people instinctively don't like about the whole Obama fandango?
I believe it is fundamentally his persona. He is about as American as Udang Pete Balado. All the aspects of his life story add up to 'NOT AMERICAN'. He can't throw a baseball. He likes poncy Grey Poupon rather than French's plain ole mustard. He has a very foreign sounding name. The policies he loves are French, German and Russian in origin. He seems to be more at home talking to muslims in Egypt than Americans in Peoria. He doesn't consider America exceptional, apart from in bad ways. He doesn't respect American political traditions. He doesn't respect traditional American allies; indeed, he seems to mildly despise them. In a contest between 'them and us', you get the distinct impression he'd drift towards them. The man sat in a church that constantly spews anti-Americanism that 99% of Americans find disgusting and abhorrant for twenty years without apparently caring.
The gut feeling of millions and millions of Americans is that he just isn't one of them. Forget the birth certificate and the 'he's a muslim' canard; the bare facts do enough to mark the man out as an outsider. To paraphrase an old commercial, he is not an American- he just plays one on television. And so when it comes to defending American interests and the American way of life, they absolutely don't trust him to do the business. And I totally understand.
Like I said before, Bill Clinton, even in his darkest days, never lost the deep and abiding affection of tens of millions of especially poor working class Americans. So he ate too much, shagged as many women as he could and was not particularly dependable- those are badges of honour is some parts of the American population! The contrast with Obama is severe. What is most shocking to me though, is the extreme racist slant of the black population in the US. Over 90% support Obama; who isn't an 'African-American' by definition at all. His mother was white, and his father was African. The only presumption which can be made is that it is not his IDENTITY with which they identify, but his skin colour. That is truly disgusting. Martin Luther King would be weeping. What happened to 'judge a man not by the colour of his skin but by the contents of his soul'? Not only is it disgusting but it bodes very ill for future race relations in the US. Rather than finally once and for all rejecting a retrograde black American identity, and joining the vastly richer and more successful mainstream, it signifies a deepening and concretion of a competitive and confrontational separateness. Down that road leads poverty and violence.
Nothing Obama says will stop millions of Americans from seeing him as foreign. And that is because psychologically its true.