Monday, September 1, 2008


Gerald Warner, writing in the British paper, The Telegraph, offers us
a unique perspective on the candidacy of Barack Hussein Obama for the Presidency of the United States:

New insight: this election has never been about Barack Obama
Gerald Warner

August 29, 2008

Barack Obama: "This election has never been about me - it's about you!"
Shucks, and there were we thinking maybe it was about the guy stepping out through the Pearl & Dean Corinthian gate to stand in front of a mock-up of the West Wing. But no, this multi-million-dollar razzmatazz is not about Barack Obama, it's about li'l ole Joe Public. Or so he will have persuaded that section of the American electorate that is in the market to buy the Brooklyn Bridge or watermelon mines in Argentina.
It will be a tough race to the finish for Barack Obama
Obama knew that he could not get away with just a rehash of his all too familiar Story, another dollop of sub-Kennedy rhetoric and an appeal to Democrat core prejudices last night (at his acceptance speech in Denver). This time he had to go into policy specifics. By November 4 or earlier he may wish he had not.
The specifics were actually strikingly non-specific, except for one thing: the mind-boggling expense of even the most minimalist construction that could be put upon the wish list he passed off as a programme.
In 10 minutes he spent $250 billion dollars. He plans to end US dependence on Middle East oil in 10 years. Sceptics will note that target is two years after the latest date at which he could constitutionally end his putative term of office. Over that same decade he will invest $150 billion dollars in "renewables" ("Y'all stock up on candles, now, Gran'ma"...), the modish, non-substitutes for effective energy with which we have already fiddled unproductively in this country. And he is into biofuels in a big way, which means more rumbling bellies in the Third World.
He hit out repeatedly at John McCain, as he was bound to do, interspersed with Uriah Heepish tributes to his opponent. When he blustered about looking forward to debating with McCain about who had the character and temperament to be commander-in-chief he struck a note of false braggadocio he may come to regret; ditto his claim that McCain lacked the will to hunt down Osama bin Laden. As always with Obama, the rhetoric was smoothly delivered. It will be surprising if the impressionist images on television do not give him a significant poll bounce.
Now, however, his opponents can take the scalpel to his half-enunciated programme; they can start peeling the onion. This election is now an intelligence test for the American electorate. For British viewers, this was a moment not of nostalgia, but of deja vu: the early Blair years revisited. Western pseudo-democracy is fuelled by politicians' speeches: the cynical manipulation of public emotion through the confection of ever more meaningless patterns of words. It is the few relatively factual passages that may now scupper Obama. But he will not mind because, as he said, this election is not about him.

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