Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Obama's Predictable Posturing as Centrist and the Shocked Libs in His Wake

To hear the Kossacks tell it, you'd think Barack Obama's Centrist pose was something shocking and wholly unexpected, rather than the flagrantly predicable product of the typical American campaign season. What the Koskeyites forget is that Obama knows he's already got them in his pocket, and he won't spend a minute of his general election campaign tending to that particular flock. And why should he?

American campaigns have never been about ideas, and this year's product offers nothing contradictory to that nature, despite the presence of the Orator-in-Chief and Maverick himself. McCain has spent the campaign trying to prove he's just as crazy as Bush, and Obama will spend the rest of it proving to middle class, white America he's just like them. If the Joneses get a flag pin, he'll wear a bigger one. If McCain wears a flag tie on Independence Day, Obama and Hillary will wear a matching flag blazer and pantsuit.

You see, Americans don't really care about ideas. Most Americans don't even care enough to inform themselves about anything at all that can't be found by reading US, Star, or watching TMZ. What the liberal blog denizens forget is that the opposition to the Iraq occupation isn't so prevalent because of opposition to war in general, it exists because the war turned out to be more difficult than it was supposed to be. Americans don't like long wars, but that doesn't mean they don't support sending 18-year-old men into foreign nations to teach them the ways of being a better country.

Americans don't want to hear about Shia and Sunni. Americans don't want to know that there are different factions within those delineations. That's complicated. What Americans want is an enemy. An 'other.' And, Obama, in his quest to get elected is not about to break tradition in the rush to give them one.

We will also use all elements of American power to pressure Iran. I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, everything.
What the left generally forgets is that Americans have a short memory. While the boys and girls at Kos hold out hope that the country has learned the lessons of Vietnam, Americans demonstrate quite readily that they have already lost the lessons in Iraq that are still ongoing.

American foreign policy should serve American interests, but what American can't fathom is that every other country's foreign policy doesn't do the same. It's inconceivable that the Iranians would foster relationships they found beneficial to their own interests rather than seek America's guidance. It baffles the US that Russia would have the gall to support Russian interests.

That is why, with a prescient example of the likely outcome of an attack on Iran still happening in Iraq, the public is still hungry for candidates tripping over themselves to prove their willingness to do the same in Iran. That is why, despite all available evidence to the contrary, Iran can still be discussed as a nuclear power, and a blockade of Iranian trade can be considered without the slightest concern of its impact on the Iranian population.

But foreign policy isn't the only arena in which Obama has shown himself to be par-for-the-course. Timed well with the coming holiday, he has donned his best Super-Patriot cape and trotted out the dual symbols of flag and Cross.

I believe those who attack America's flaws without acknowledging the singular greatness of our ideals, and their proven capacity to inspire a better world, do not truly understand America.

This statement seems innocuous enough, as some tend to see flaws in America without recognizing its positive qualities, but then it diverges into a Bushian worldview in which those ideals, instead of being admired, are thrust forcibly upon the rest of the world. Patriotism no longer means an appreciation of America, it means the militaristic imposition of that appreciation on the 'others.' In that regard, Obama proves himself no different than the current administration or the potential next administration of his rival.

Asking for America to back off dictating how Iraqis or Iranians should live is not unpatriotic. It's anti-imperialistic. Bushian rhetoric dictates that America has, rather than colonized, liberated Iraq, and that instead of forcing its view on Babylon it has merely presented them the opportunity to choose their own path. But looking beyond the rhetoric and into the reality paints an entirely different picture.

The status of forces agreement that infinitely-benevolent America planned to foist on the Iraqis was nothing more than a contract in which the Iraqis would sign over any potential sovereignty to the Americans. But a position which holds that the Iraqis should choose their own path is indeed very rare in America. When it does appear, it is is instantly denounced as anti-American, rather than pro Iraqi sovereignty.

Americans aren't tired of war. They're tired of wars that can't be won post haste. That makes them open to conjecture on Iran, and Obama proves he has the audacity to conform to that ideal in his quest for the Presidency. Encyclopedic knowledge of world affairs is cute, but it won't win the hearts and minds of Americans anytime soon. In the two-party buffoonery of American politics, he who wears the biggest lapel pin wins the race.

Watching the coverage of the Presidential campaign, it becomes clear that it is not about ideas, it's about building constituencies. That means pandering to the ones you don't have and ignoring the ones you do. Where the liberals blindsided by Barack's about-face are mistaken is in their belief that his posturing is somehow antithetical to the system we've built. It's not.

On the contrary, it is the very essence of American politics. Pick out a demographic, tell 'em what they want to hear, then move on to the next. Those that see that aspect of politics as the sham it is are still lost on how to resolve it. The solution never hinges on making significant changes to the system, but always on finding better politicians. But politics is a capitalistic exchange, and as long as there's a market for bullshit, there'll be rich lawyers willing to exploit it.

The system won't be changed by better politicians, and they certainly won't come from the current bi-polar universe. No, change will come when Americans take away the market for hollow rhetoric and empty platitudes.

I'm not holding my breath.

Related:

American Foreign Policy, June 25
Obama Would Retain Contractors, March 3
The Folly of Iranian Policy, May 19


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1 comment:

Data Entry said...

obama has dark side . I guess all us is getting emotional. us want black president and we are not taking notice of his dark side.