Friday, April 23, 2010

Spiro Agnew 2

'Presidents speak to all of America and they best build consensus through argument and persuasion—not by singling out political targets, cultivating resentment, questioning motives and mocking differences of principle or political philosophy. Mr. Obama's bellicosity is no more attractive than Sarah Palin's attempts to pit "the real America" against the big-city slickers. And his rhetorical method seems especially discordant coming from a President who still insists, in between these assaults, that he is striving mightily to change the negative tone of American politics.

If the President and his advisers are wondering why his approval ratings are falling even as the economy is recovering, they might look to his own divisive conduct and the contempt he too often shows for anyone who disagrees with him.'

From the very beginning, I had a sense that Obama was a small man. A small, vain, pompous man extremely good at camouflaging those traits. The trouble is, when Obama relaxes, like he does in front of black crowds or trade union meetings or Democrat fundraiser crowds, the mask slips. His bile, his anger and his disdain come pouring out.

Perhaps a billion articles have been written in the legacy media extolling the cool, calm, scholarly, detached Obama. And that is just Newsweek. His fanatical acolytes don't seem to notice when Obama isn't like that.

Which brings us to the nature of Obama acolytes. Judging from their blog comments, blog posts and purple-faced rants, they are full of hate and rage. I recently scanned through a compendium blog post reminding people of what went on at the 'anti-war' rallies- the disgusting lies and vitriol, the violent language and treasonous signage. Those people have not gone away. Their hatred is still just as raw. But there is no Bush now. They have to direct their rage at something else.

For them, Obama is not nearly angry enough. Despite his extreme lack of class, despite his obvious disdain for the traditions and folkways of the presidency, despite his demonisation of opponents acting in good faith, it is not enough. His acolytes want him to tear the Republicans and Tea Partyers limb from limb, take all their money, humiliate them. They want to change the country irrevocably and stand before the people of America with a big grin on their faces, laughing with triumphalist glee. You wanted your country free and rich and capitalist, and look what we did with it! We smashed it to pieces.

A couple of years ago, I watched a travelogue/history about Alexander the Great. I'd always admired Alexander... until I watched this series. When Alexander got to the capital of Persia, he burnt down the glorious temple at its heart simply because no one could stop him. When I watched this episode, I burned with anger. This is not the behaviour of a creator, of a builder, of a contributor. It is the behaviour of an ignorant despoiler, a selfish arrogant bully.

I don't believe in my heart that Barack Obama wants to build a successful, bountiful, harmonious America. There is too much hate in him. He wants success and bounty and harmony for his people, for progressives, for campus marxists, for trade union leaders, for radical agitators, for liberal lawyers and unionised teachers and public workers. But he hates the other. He hates the working white poor, and the small business owners, the bread-and-butter Americans with whom he has never spent any time and who embody for him alienation, non-acceptance and quiet hostility. He doesn't care if they rot. He will not act in their interests.

He said he would. He gave lots of speeches saying exactly that. But it was an act, a ruse. The real Barack Obama is quite seriously unpleasant. And Americans have noticed. I wouldn't put Obama quite at the level of Alexander the Great, but I don't doubt that his presidency will be used by future historians as a warning about not paying attention to presidential candidates.

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