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Just Who Is Barack Obama?

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Hearing the brouhaha over the July New Yorker cover, one would think that the New Yorker had never done a satirical cover before. The cover of the magazine set off a hailstorm of racism charges and in the downpour of outrage the contents of the well-written article have been ignored.

The in-depth analysis in How Chicago Shaped Obama, gives us a new look at Barack Obama, and what we see is a picture of the consummate politician.

Contrary to his claim to want a new kind of politics, Obama has learned well how to use the old politics to further his ambitions. One of the early examples of his dissimulating was the denial from his campaign that it had made accusations of racism against the Clintons while in fact the Obama campaign was circulating a memo with detailed charges of perceived racism.

Love him or hate him, credit must be given to Barack Obama for his ability to use the people around him to his advantage and to know when to cut them loose. "Throwing people under the bus" is an art form with Obama. I’m sure we all remember his word regarding Rev. Wright in March, 2008 – "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother…..” (Source) And yet, in April 2008, Obama holds a press conference to unequivocally denounce Wright, saying "I want to use this press conference to make people absolutely clear that obviously whatever relationship I had with Rev. Wright has changed, he said. "I don't think he showed much concern for me … and what we are trying to do in this campaign." (Source)

When distancing himself from supporters and mentors who have become a liability, Obama has stated on a number of occasions that the person he now finds no more use for isn't the person he knew. I wondered how that could be – how could he "know" a person for years but not really know him? I have come to believe that Obama sees people through a filter of "what can they do for me" and chooses his associates accordingly. That practice doesn’t necessarily lend itself to having close personal relationships and truly knowing a person.

In what I can only call calculating moves Obama sought out the right church, the right friends and the right neighborhood to further his political career.

Obama is portrayed in the New Yorker article as a cocky (but smart) opportunist who not only knows how to use people but also recognizes the importance of timing. When Obama ran for the Illinois Senate in 2004, the Illinois Republican Party was mired down in corruption and scandals and the timing was right for the message of hope and change. And Obama realized that the conditions were much the same for the presidential election of 2008 as Bush's popularity plummets and Republicans in Washington deal with scandals of their own – thus, the “fierce urgency of now.”

While Obama often condemns politics as usual he doesn't fore go politics as usual, and it's this practice that has stunned some of his supporters. His yes vote on the FISA bill infuriated and stunned many of his more liberal supporters, but had they just done a bit of research they wouldn't have been surprised.

I finished the New Yorker article feeling disgusted that once again millions of American voters were taken in by empty words of hope and change and a promise for a new kind of politics. One would think that by the year 2008 most voters would realize they have heard this all before and that Obama is in fact just another politician selling snake oil.

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About MountainSage

  • http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/ Notyoursweetie

    My second to initial impression to him was: another Bush. The more I read and see , the more this impression is cemented. Arrogance, ignorance, sense of entitlement – and political machines, media carrying water for both….

  • bluemorning

    This article hits the nail on the head.
    Obama is marketed as “new” while he actually uses
    all the political strategies of the past and quite ruthlessly
    at that.

  • jlake

    I think you nailed it!
    Obama represents no change. He is just a second rate con man with a worldclass PR machine.

  • Saracat

    Brilliant. I couldn’t agree more. Strage to say , many think it is a “sin” to andmit Obama is a poltician and a product of “machine politics, but that is what he is. People should “know” what they are voting for ” love him or hate him” Just be informed.

  • Tellurian

    It would be nice to know at some point in time…Who IS Obama? I was banned from a forum for asking to see his Birth Certificate.

    We need more articles like yours BV getting out there to the mainstream..

    Thanks..

    Tell

  • Moo

    Excellent article BV, meet the new style politician, same as the old style politician. That is Obama. I too see Obama far too similar to Bush in far too many ways.

  • catchawave

    Mr. Hopechangery hasn’t convinced me yet that his actions match his rhetoric. I think the American public will understand this when he throws that big party, formerly known as the Democratic Convention, for himself :(

    McCain may be boring, but at least I’ll sleep better at night.

  • Shakespeare

    Barack Obama is a David Axlerod production, as George W. Bush was a Cheney/Rove product. Axelrod rolled out Deval Patrick as a prototype candidate in Massachusetts, attacking all other Democrats as racists, promising progressive reforms, and preaching hope and change.
    Barack is proving to be just as much a fraud as Deval has been turned out to be. We had a chance to run a Progressive against McCain, but Axlerod turned out to be much smarter than the average Democrat. Now we’re left with a two-bit Elmer Gantry, and all we can do is Hope he’ll Change.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    You appear to have brought your fan club to Blogcritics with you, Sage. It’s interesting that no-one who’s commented on this piece has ever posted here before…

    I’m just saying.

  • IowaGirl

    “I have come to believe that Obama sees people through a filter of “what can they do for me” and chooses his associates accordingly.” I think this explains so much about Obama’s actions. How he can sit in a church and listen to a racist minister year after year. He was only focusing on what the minister and that church would do for him. With Rezko, he didn’t really care about knowing how Tony got the money, just that Obama got his cut. Ayers was never questioned about his past, just that he could help him attain new connections. It isn’t that he necessarily is a terrible judge of character, he just doesn’t CARE about their character–it’s only about their usefulness. Good insights, MountainSage.

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    Dr. Dreadful – I’m fairly confident Blogcritics likes getting new readers.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Oh, we do. I’m not trying to discourage folks. This just isn’t a phenomenon we see very often.

    Carry on!

  • zingzing

    wait, so your big point is that obama is a politician? of course he is. and this is the damn PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, the part of being a politician that brings out the most bullshit in politics. it’s once you’re president that you get to actually do what you want (to some degree) (just ask senor bush).

    every politician knows that the way to the presidency is getting the swing voters, the swing states, the independents, the middle of the road. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS STUFF. (unless you want to waste the hundreds of billions of dollars you’ve been given.) (although that would be some joke to pull.)

    that said, i’m not all that impressed with obama right now. and i want him to be his own independent mind as well, not just another politician. but, you can’t win the presidency unless you are a damn good politician (or have some backing you up). if it takes giving a little to get what you want, that’s what has to be done. i see more presidential potential in obama than i’ve seen in a while.

    but still, if you’re going to knock a politician for being a politician, you might as well knock a door for being a door.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Doc,

    I’ve posted an occasional comment on BC, and think that MountainSage has hit the nail just about right on the head — which is exactly what I would wish for someone living in the Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to do. Having often visited my maternal grandparents there more years ago than I care to remember, and often having wished that I lived there, I know that there is something about the place which simply can’t be experienced elsewhere.

    As to MountainSage, keep up the good work!

    Dan

  • Golddigger

    Your article is spot on. He reminds me of new repackaged Bush. What has this man DONE in this country? Nothing! What I see is a clever marketing candidate who can’t get by without his teleprompter. Why? Because he’s afraid to say where he really stands. He knows that will finish him. Just who is Obama? He’s a Axelrod, Deval Patrick fraud. It’s so sad that Americans really have become so uninformed and ill-educated that we can’t get a viable presidential candidate. The Democratic party is riddled with “Sure Thing” candidates who lost.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Zingzing,

    you can’t win the presidency unless you are a damn good politician (or have some backing you up). if it takes giving a little to get what you want, that’s what has to be done.

    But, but, I mean, you know, I thought Senator Obama was bringing change we could believe in.

    if you’re going to knock a politician for being a politician, you might as well knock a door for being a door.

    My poor old memory may be faulty, but I seem to remember that Senator Obama knocked a few doors for being doors himself.

    Dan

  • KayC

    Great article-sums up Obama pretty good. When it serves his purpose he is White, otherwise he is preaching to the Black community. Obama has flip flopped so many times that he isn’t sure just where he stands on certain issues, but just wait awhile, he will come up with a new neocon idea and swear be-damn that’s where he stood all along. Confront him on his ideas-you’re a racist.A bigger bus might more appropriately suit Obama in the near future as dissenters are going under at a rapid pace.

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    zingzing…I think you missed the point.

    When one packages oneself as different, new and improved and a change, one should actually be those things. Obama isn’t.

  • Hoofy

    Well. You learn something new every day don’t you? I had heard that Obama was supposed to be some kind of money machine but I had no idea he HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars to waste. Has Carl Sagan been overseeing his fundraisers from the other side?

    How many times did we hear that Obama was some kind of “new” politician who didn’t play the game? “I’m asking you to believe” Obama says. Indeed. Only idiots and suckers ever believed that shit.

    I’m encouraged to know that just over half of the Democratic party – the ones who voted for Clinton – are not idiots. Disparaged as bitter, old, stupid, racist, FEMALE (the ultimate insult in our society) we were dismissed and told that we were not needed. We heard that message loud and clear.

    Good job Obama. Great job Dean. Way to go Pelosi. Have a nice party without us.

    GO PUMA! GO PUMAPAC!

    I hope you don’t mind that I’m new Dr. Dreadful. Is there some secret knock I should be made aware of or something? I wanna play in the tree house too.

  • zingzing

    “different,” “new,” “improved” and “a change” don’t necessarily mean that the basic composition of the thing is going to change. what are you electing, a president or a banana muffin?

    obama promised to be a different kind of politician, a new kind of politician, an improved kind of politician and a change from previous politicians. he’s been that most of his career, methinks. to get to where he is, he had to appeal to a certain constituency, and he did that.

    campaigning in the presidential election is a totally different ballgame. you have to appeal to EVERYBODY. or at least some part of those you wouldn’t normally appeal to. it takes some bending. isn’t this what every politician does? isn’t this what every politican HAS TO DO?

    if you thought obama was going to be different in this way, well you’re just fooling yourself. it’s called political survival, and when you’re fighting at the highest level, the fighting gets more nasty. he’s in a fight right now. he’s gonna do things he normally wouldn’t do, he’s gonna get dirty. or else he’ll lose.

    if you thought it would happen any other way, you’re just naive. ever seen a presidential campaign actually won on principals?

    obama is different. from the surface qualities on down to his frank honesty (some of the time). he is new, he will be a change, and he is an improvement. he’s all those things. he’s just not ENOUGH of those things to satisfy you.

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    zingzing….what surface qualities? He reads a teleprompter well?

    He’s not new, he’s not nor will he be a change or an improvement and if you think so you are the one who is naive.

  • http://www.radiocoach.biz Sam weaver

    Regardless of the office, no one ever knows what a politician actually stands for. We only know their talking points on a position and not the reason for it. Flip flopping is fine. What I can not stand is someone who knows their original idea needs to be adjusted, but continues to be stubborn and stay the course regardless. Politics is an art form. If you do not play the game, no one can be elected to attempt to change anything. There are very few true conservatives or liberals. Just like business and organized religion, there is always a game.

  • Hoofy

    His frank honesty?

    That is the most accidentally hilarious things I’ve read today.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Hoofy,

    Ich bin ein Berliner? No, wait a minute.

    Ich bin ein Hamburger? No, that’s not it either. Ah, I have it.

    Ich bin ein Frankfurter.

    Dan

  • Lee Richards

    This is a strange piece, with plenty of innuendo and not much to support it. It seems that MountainSage read an article in The New Yorker and was given deep and rare insights into a complete stranger’s mind and soul.

    “Throwing people under the bus is an art form with Obama.” Is this from the NYer piece or do you have firsthand knowledge? Either way some specific examples would make this more than an uninformed opinion.

    “Obama has stated on a number of occasions that the person he now finds no more use for isn’t the person he knew.” Reference from magazine, or can you list some of those “number of Occasions”?

    “In what I can only call calculating moves Obama sought out the right church, the right friends and the right neighborhood to further his political career.” What criteria are you using to judge his motivations, actions and choices since you know they are “calculating”? Do you have any facts or just hearsay and personal judgements?

    “I finished The New Yorker article feeling disgusted that once again millions of American voters were taken in by empty words of hope and change and a promise for a new kind of politics.”

    ONE magazine article completely blighted your optimism? A single job of feature-writing makes you give up all expectations? That’s either naive, a little gullible, or else the rationale you’ve been hoping to find somewhere for dumping on Obama. Interesting that he’s taken in millions, but not MountainSage, a New Yorker reader!

    Sure, he’s a crafty politician–you don’t get to run for POTUS otherwise. Yes, he changes some of his positions and views;doesn’t every president?Don’t you? This is not news, or even, at this stage, significant. Candidates and campaigns evolve and change. Most political observers realize this, and don’t go to pieces over it.

    If you have some facts, knowledge, information or sound reasons for opposing Obama by all means write them. But gossip, rumor, and some magazine writer’s opinions that you’ve filtered for us don’t make a case for abandoning any candidate.

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    Lee Richards….just a few points.

    First…. I’ve thought Obama was a con artist since I first started hearing about him and started doing research. I just thought it was interesting that the New Yorker article had pretty much been ignored because of the cover.
    So, NO one magazine article didn’t form my opinion….I’ve been writing about Obama for months.

    Secondly…IT’S AN OPINION PIECE. See, right at the top of the page it says OPINION. You do know what that means, right?

  • Lee Richards

    MountainSage:

    Unsupported opinions are hot air.

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    Lee Richards….that would make your opinion of my opinion hot air as well, eh?

    Maybe you shouldn’t read opinion pieces since you don’t quite get the concept.

  • Clavos

    “…I’ve thought Obama was a con artist since I first started hearing about him and started doing research.”

    And in that he’s different from every other pol, how?

  • Conrad Dalton

    It’s not that Obama is smart. It’s that his competition isn’t.

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

  • http://www.radiocoach.biz Sam weaver

    McCain is a former prisoner of war and that makes him a hero. However, just like Obama, sinse 2000, McCain’s views have been all over the road. But I believe it is okay to rethink views. Only an immature person would ever stick with a thought even when they know they are wrong. It is fine to admit a mistake. It is not okay to try to justify in an attempt to save face. I do not know who Obama is, but he is running a better campaign than McCain. I do believe that the new guy running McCain’s camp has him on point a lot better. All president’s are con men. For a con man, Barack certainly organized one hell of an organization. The better question for this election is who is the better con man, McCain or Obama? Being a great salesperson is important to the job. Some of best con men in presidential history were FDR, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. They all made a few flubs in office, but overall, they accomplished a lot and the country was relatively in good shape.

  • bliffle

    Merely being a POW does NOT make one a hero.

  • NacMacFeegle

    Thanks for confirming my opinion of not only who BO is, but who is he not. Looking forward to reading more from you, Mountain Sage.

    Oh, and bliffle, merely being a media construct also does NOT make one a hero.

  • Zedd

    This article reflect in immaturity of sorts. Off courts he has to be strategic to win. Are we really that naive?

    I think you misunderstand what is different about Obama. It is that he can THINK or express (and hopefully deliver) ideas in a pragmatic manner not that he is a strategic planner.

    Your charge that he has a strategy to win is naive and perhaps ill considered. Being able to cease opportunity and make the best of any situation is good. Being able to maneuver is a very good thing for the leader of a nation. Being able to do so without sounding stupid is even better. Being able to do so AND change things for the better is a home run. That is what we are hoping for.

    As for addressing the situation as it changes (Rev Wright), that is also a good thing. Lying to the public and claiming to NEVER change your mind is condescending in that it presumes that the public is stupid and it’s simply silly. I want someone who addresses a situation as it changes and not worry about “flip flopping”. I am assuming you value that in a politician. Was Wright hurting Obama’s campaign? Yes. Did Obama walk away from him? Yes. Was that so bad? No, it was a rational decision. What’s the prob?

    My thinking is that we are used to being played by politicians. Having them tell us that they are not really strategic and that they are folksy and have no personal ambition, only driven by the love of America. My suggestion is that we mature past those notions and understand that anyone who wants to lead the world is ambitious. We sorta need to grow up don’t you think?

  • Lee Richards

    #28:
    MountainSage:

    No, You don’t get the concept. I supported my opinion with REASONS in #25, and asked for yours, which you have yet to provide.

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    I gave some of the reasons and if it’s not enough to suit you that’s really not my problem.

    If you and Zedd want to excuse Obama’s behavior as merely his strategy to win then you are the problem with this country. Anything is acceptable as long as you win.

    I find it sad that winning is everything and conviction, principles and honesty are nothing.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Already by this point, anyone who thinks Obama is anything other than another lying, conniving politician who’ll say or do anything and betray anyone in order to get that power – well, they’re just fooling themselves, aren’t they?

    I’ve been wondering about this Rev Wright stuff though. I would not find it difficult to believe that the whole blowup between them was orchestrated, with Rev Wright willfully doing Obama’s will. The whole thing where Wright publicly goes off the deep end and gives Obama a good, new reason to cut him loose and remove him as an issue was awfully damned convenient for Barack. It certainly worked out to his advantage.

    It could be that this was just a dumb public blowup between them exactly as presented – or could it be that Rev Wright voluntarily set himself up as the goat, taking one for the team?

  • Clavos

    “If you and Zedd want to excuse Obama’s behavior as merely his strategy to win then you are the problem with this country. Anything is acceptable as long as you win.”

    All american politicians (not just Obama) operate that way.

    What you say about Obama is, for the most part, true.

    But, he’s not alone. He’s not even the first; nor will he be the last.

    It’s the underlying culture of the country: winners are good; losers are bad.

    Winning is what counts.

  • Lee Richards

    #36:
    I find it sad that you want to write for publication but become defensive, dismissive, condescending, judgmental and petulant when honestly and politely questioned or differed with.

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    You ignored the reasons I did give, Lee Richards, and declared they weren’t enough for you.

    If I point out to you my reasons I’m being defensive, if I point out that no matter how many reasons I gave you you aren’t satisfied I’m being condescending, judgmental and petulant, and if I ignore you I’m being dismissive.

    There’s nothing I can say that would suit you as you are looking for a fight which I won’t give you.

    Thanks for playing. Have a nice day.

  • Zedd

    Mountain,

    You didn’t really give reasons. You made broad accusations. None of which would warrant a serious indictment.

    The fact that he distanced himself from an old friend who was knowingly jeopardizing his chances of becoming President is not EVIL or cunning. It’s reasonable if not rational (that word again).

    Again, I think the point that you miss is that the change that he is talking about has to do with how we SOLVE issues. The best example is how he addressed the RACE issue. We have been dancing around this issue for CENTURIES. For the first time someone said, “yes this is an ill and yes no one has the answers. Being confused or wrong about this issues does not make one a bad person.” How refreshing and yes RATIONAL that was. He didn’t play politician revert to sentimentality and play good guys vs bad guys without EVER getting to the crux of the matter.

    Hope that helps you.

  • http://polemicscat.wordpress.com Polemicscat

    Your title is THE question of this campaign. Your answer is good as far as it goes. Obama is certainly the consumate politician. But that skill, like intelligence, is found in tyrants.

    I am amazed at the speed with which he became a contender for the office of President. No President in history came this far toward election with such a meager track record.

    He became a Senator soon after 9/11 and served only a relatively short time before wrapping up the nomination for President. It’s as though the mainstream media and the Democratic party are suffering from an acute case of Stockholm Syndrome.

  • http://www.radiocoach.biz Sam weaver

    Al Barger, lying and conniving? You just described FDR, Ike, Kennedy, Johnson, Reagan, and Bill Clinton. And these gentlemen did pretty well. Strategy and conniving are the same thing. But it is not sinister or bad. Lying? What has Obama said or done that has been proven to be a lie? Adjusting one’s views is normal. Conservatives or liberals that never even consider re-examining their views, are dangerous and have closed minds.

  • Clavos

    I think we’ve pretty well managed to establish that, at bottom, Obama is no different from any of the politicians who have preceded him.

    This, of course, means we’ve also punctured and deflated the myth surrounding him thus far in the race; that he is somehow a “new” and “improved” american politician, offering “Change We Can Believe In.”

  • http://www.radiocoach.biz Sam weaver

    Clavos, Obama’s strategies are some of the same types of actions that one has to do in an office place. In the long run, whether it’s in the office or politics, one is judged by how well they lead. Every leader, and that includes the Pope or a factory foreman, maneuvering is part of the equation. Sorry, it is part of life. It is naive to think otherwise. Obama and McCain have to win in order to hold the office of president.

  • Lee Richards

    #40:
    Nope, never wanted a fight. I wanted a discussion with reasoned and supported points of view and something to back up opinions, which are not all created equal.

    At least Zedd and I now know that we’re what’s wrong with the country, having no convictions, principles or honesty(THAT’S the judgmental part of your comments).

    And, just for the record, I’ve often commented elsewhere on BC that I don’t want either Obama or McCain as president. Obama because I’ve been fooled before by the difference between appearance and reality in politicians, and McCain because he knew God when they were little boys growing up together.

    You have a nice day, too.

  • comradebillyboy

    The truth hurts. The more I learn about Obama the less I like him. Six months ago, I was willing to support him if he won the nomination, but no more. I can not think of any politician in my lifetime who has shown less political courage or fewer real principles. He is a little bit more articulate version of George Bush, and just as annoying as Jimmy Carter.

  • Clavos

    Sam,

    “Obama’s strategies are some of the same types of actions that one has to do in an office place. In the long run, whether it’s in the office or politics, one is judged by how well they lead. Every leader, and that includes the Pope or a factory foreman, maneuvering is part of the equation. Sorry, it is part of life. It is naive to think otherwise. Obama and McCain have to win in order to hold the office of president.”

    I agree.

    My point is, Obama, despite his much touted “newness,” etc., is in fact more of the same old, same old.

    That’s not a criticism; I never really expected anything different.

    What it DOES mean is that, as usual in our races for POTUS, we have a choice of a pair of typical american politicians; which is to say, not much choice at all.

  • Conrad Dalton

    How is “change we can believe in” to be interpreted?

    From the outset, Obama made his mark by being against the Iraq War and proposing a withdrawal of all US troops, as well as opening diplomatic relations with adversaries.

    During the primaries these were his defining issues.

  • zingzing

    mountain sage: “zingzing….what surface qualities? He reads a teleprompter well?”

    jesus christ… think a little.

    “He’s not new, he’s not nor will he be a change or an improvement and if you think so you are the one who is naive.”

    you don’t think he’d be an improvement over bush?

    i really don’t think he’d be as bullheaded, nor such a moron as to stand on some outmoded principle and watch the world drag itself toward nuclear war.

    i’m gonna guess at something. you’re an embittered hillary supporter, aren’t you?

    i’ve also got a question: do you think any of the possible (including hillary) presidential candidates’ true nature is accurately reflected by a campaign slogan?

    another: what candidate isn’t running on a “change” platform?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    The author comes off like she thinks she’s the child in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” but instead comes off rather naive and poorly informed as she states the obvious, like she just discovered Santa Claus was really her parents as if no one else knew.

    Thanks for revealing Barack is a politician, as if running for office wasn’t the first clue, and “change” has long been a slogan when either challenging incumbents and/or Washington. Let’s see, Bush used it in 2000, Clinton in 1992, Reagan in 1980. Feel free to do some research if you need anymore examples. It’s a proven successful strategy. I assume he wants to win, so why wouldn’t he use it?

    Thanks for the laugh, though. The irony of calling out Obama supporters for not thinking for themselves then to see so many “new” commentors repeat phrases is adorable.

    Hillary has moved on. You guys should as well.

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    LOL….nice try. It was Obama’s campaign and his supporters that declared him a change from politics as usual, a new kind of politics! Now, they are saying “of course he’s a politician, didn’t you know that?” Yes, I did. I knew it the first time I heard the hope and change crap.

    You’re entitled to your opinion but not your own “facts” and you don’t get to re-write history.

    Obama said he would bring a new kind of politics…and he’s not. I knew he wouldn’t but his supporters obviously didn’t.

    You guys are just unbelievable.

  • zingzing

    no one really expects obama to come in and change the way american politics work.

    you’re totally overstating your case.

    many of his supporters (and i wouldn’t even consider myself a true supporter) are disappointed that he has begun to really play the game. but that’s the way it goes. he wouldn’t be able to survive without doing so.

    but remember that the campaign is a different thing than holding the office. he does offer a huge difference from bush, et al.

    it’s really obvious that you’re a hillary supporter. that’s fine. but it’s also obvious that you’re quite obsessed with obama, for some reason or another.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    You’re entitled to your opinion but not your own “facts” and you don’t get to re-write history.

    Look who’s talking. You claim to know what’s in the minds of millions. You have no idea every supporter of his believed he was going to change things. There are likely plenty of people who agreed with his stand on issues, which aren’t much different from Hillary’s, but didn’t want to deal with her baggage in the general. After eight years of Bush, she would have been the change candidate, but Obama trumped on the Iraq War vote. Would you have believed her claims of change?

    What’s unbelievable is Hillary supporters acting like spoiled brats because they didn’t get their way.

  • morninmist

    Your’s is a typical bully comment–bullies like to name call and try to belittle others.

    “July 20, 2008 @ 21:46PM — El Bicho [URL]

    You’re entitled to your opinion but not your own “facts” and you don’t get to re-write history.

    Look who’s talking. You claim to know what’s in the minds of millions. You have no idea every supporter of his believed he was going to change things. There are likely plenty of people who agreed with his stand on issues, which aren’t much different from Hillary’s, but didn’t want to deal with her baggage in the general. After eight years of Bush, she would have been the change candidate, but Obama trumped on the Iraq War vote. Would you have believed her claims of change?

    What’s unbelievable is Hillary supporters acting like spoiled brats because they didn’t get their way.”

  • http://texashillblog.wordpress.com Texas Hill Country

    Mountain Sage… Brilliant Article. Perfect and Spot On.

    These people that attack you have no understanding of what they are talking about…

    It doesn’t take an “embittered Hillary supporter” to dislike Obama, to see thru his BS, and to know that he would be a naive disaster!

    This is a friggin democracy and I am tired of the Obots trying to tell the “dissenters” to shut up. I will not shut up and I will contintue to scream that I want my party back!

    Mountain Sage… you get a tip of the hat.

    Obamatrons… you get a wag of the finger.

    Texas Hill Country

  • http://nv1962.net nv1962

    Well-written: brief, to-the-point, crystal clear.

    The stuff more people need to read more often.

  • Clavos

    Why is everybody so surprised to find out Obama’s a politician?

    Are you all so naive as to believe any politician is telling the truth about anything at any time?

    If their lips are moving, they’re lying.

    If Obama is elected, he’ll move right back to the left, where he came from.

    Idealists don’t get elected – look at Ron Paul.

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    El Bicho…I only claim to know what I heard. I saw the comments all over the Internet about how Obama was going to change politics because he is different. I heard the news reports about the candidate of hope and change, ad nauseum. I heard the screams of thousands of YES WE CAN.

    And of course Obama’s positions aren’t much different from Hillary Clinton’s…he copied a lot of them. She’d put out a policy stand and a couple of weeks later he’d put out one that sounded just like hers. Or, when asked in a debate about a policy he obviously didn’t have a grip on his answer was “I agree with Hillary.”

    Me not voting for Obama has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. I’ve always known she’s a politician and have no delusions about what she does and doesn’t believe. And yet, Hillary Clinton isn’t the one who claimed to be the candidate of a new kind of politics, now, is she?

    Barack Obama said, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” You know what that really means? His beliefs are so obscure, his policy statements so ambiguous and cryptic that the politically naive hear what they want to hear and attribute to Obama their own belief system. THAT is why he’s dangerous…not only do WE not know what he believes, I don’t think he does either. People with strong convictions can’t and WON’T serve as someone else’s blank screen.

    If refusing to allow the DNC to bully me into voting for someone who I think is unqualified, irresolute and egotistical, makes me a spoiled brat, then yes, I’m guilty as charged. However, I’m not the one kicking and crying that everyone else HAS to vote for the candidate of my choice…that would be the Obama supporters. I am merely stating that I won’t vote for him and pointing out the reasons why.

    I think the best example you can find of a spoiled brat just might be the reflection you see in the mirror.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jamastiene Jamastiene

    You nailed it. He is portrayed as this sort of savior who can do no wrong, yet he will go back and forth so much, we don’t know what to believe about him. He talks about hope and change, yet he’s just the same old politician as the rest of them. He goes back and forth so much, it’s hard to tell where he really stands. I just don’t trust the guy. I’ve never this kind of gut wrenching feeling of distrust for a Democrat before. That’s saying a lot.

  • Lee Richards

    Hysterics and obsession–that’ll convince a lot of people.

  • CJ

    Great OpEd!

    Interesting. The supporters of “The One We Have Been Waiting For” excuse his arrogant hypocrisy with “he’s just a politician?”

    Ok, then it’s about time they start talking about his resume, his lack of any real accomplishments, his judgment, his flip-flops and his pandering to the right.

  • Baronius

    Lee, you wanted examples of Obama dropping friends when they become political liabilities? There was Wright, Ayers, and Rezko. Considering how few old friends of Obama we’ve met, that’s a pretty strong pattern.

  • jessica alba

    the obama will be a great presdient

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    the Obama?

    As in the Messiah?

    Great Zeus, what are we coming to?

    Dan

  • http://orenlicus.blogspot.com orenlicus

    Chill Dan…lets just treat it like we do the Donald

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com/ MountainSage

    I need something more than an anonymous message on an Internet site saying the Obama will make a great president to convince me. I like evidence and I haven’t seen any.

  • zingzing

    you ask for the impossible.

    evidence of future events?

    seriously…

    some of obama’s supporters have certainly spit out some hyperbole about the man. he’s not the messiah or the destruction/rebirth of american politics. he hasn’t ever claimed to be.

    but you claim that he has claimed such nonsense. look at mccain, look at hillary. they’ve done the same things, sometimes worse. but you only point it out in obama.

    why? “because he said he would be a ‘change.'” yeah, yeah, yeah. he already has changed some of our foreign policy. what with the iraqi leader stating that his plan for iraq sounds good and the bush administration ACTUALLY TALKING to iran, well, it seems he’s making waves before he even takes office.

    what do you want from him? does he need to wash your feet and walk on the fuckin water?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’d say the writer of this piece only talked about Obama because the title of the article is “Just Who Is Barack Obama?”. I mean if the piece was titled, “Just who are Obama, Clinton and McCain?” then the piece would obviously speak to the other candidates.

    And to say that Obama never claimed any of this is really disengenuous to say the least, come on now, he painted “Change We Can Believe” on the side of a freaking plane! What change? It’s politics as usual!

    Has Obama ever pissed off his own party? I mean, before he won the nomination, he’s obviously pissing off the extreme left now.

  • zingzing

    “And to say that Obama never claimed any of this is really disengenuous to say the least, come on now, he painted “Change We Can Believe” on the side of a freaking plane! What change? It’s politics as usual!”

    well, that’s not what i said, is it? i said: “he’s not the messiah or the destruction/rebirth of american politics. he hasn’t claimed to be.”

    if you’d read the rest of my comment, you’d note that he already has forced a few changes. he’s got the bush admin reevaluating their ideas on how to deal with iraq and iran.

    and, if you read mountainsage’s website, you’d note that she (?) has upwards of 1-2 articles PER DAY written about obama. at this point, she’s not pro-anybody, only anti-obama. which is a fine thing to be. i don’t really care. but i asked her (?) to look at mccain and clinton in a similar way and see if they don’t look even worse. i didn’t ask her to write a damn essay on it.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Do you really think the present administration is doing what they’re doing because Obama said so? I think you give him more credit than he deserves.

    He (Obama) claims to be “Change we can believe in” ,but I don’t.

    I did read your entire comment, because I was initially gonna say that a guy washing another guys feet is just wrong, but then I realized that Mountainsage is in fact a woman, I guess it wouldn’t be so wrong…but I get the impression that she wouldn’t like it…at all.

    So, A change and change are different?

    I have read her website, I liked it so much I added it to my blogroll!

  • bliffle

    Mountain makes a good point: we need to know more about Obamas policies. Looks like we’re slowly finding out. But it’s a little late to make a good choice between O and Hillary. Let’s hope we know enough soon enough to make a good choice between O and Mc.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The reason you don’t know more about Obama’s policies is because they aren’t being reported as much. For every Obama mention on cable news networks, including CNN and FOX, there are about 5 McCain mentions. It isn’t that difficult to figure out where Obama stands on the issues, but you have to look beyond conventional media sources. Corporate media sources have a vested interest in this election, so it’s no surprise that they’re covering who they’re covering.

  • zingzing

    “Do you really think the present administration is doing what they’re doing because Obama said so? I think you give him more credit than he deserves.”

    maybe, maybe not. but it is a pretty funny coincidence if not. i mean, “we will never talk to iran until they stop enriching uranium” turned into “we’re talking to iran” overnight. funny, eh?

    “He (Obama) claims to be “Change we can believe in”, but I don’t.”

    it’s just a slogan. do you think coke adds life?

    “I did read your entire comment, because I was initially gonna say that a guy washing another guys feet is just wrong…”

    it’s a jesus reference. but i bet you got that.

    “So, A change and change are different?”

    he’s not promising a total rehaul of the system, just a different approach to it. which, for the most part, he has. at least when compared to bush, et al.

    “I have read her website, I liked it so much I added it to my blogroll!”

    i didn’t ask if you liked it. i just told you that it’s pretty damned obsessed with obama. and blatantly slanted against him. which i said is fine–at least the slanted part. the obsession… well, it’s just kind of strange.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Are you kidding? I read today that all the talking heads are following Obama around the middle east and europe and when McCain landed in NH last night there was one reporter there!

    Just now on Drudge, six Obama stories and two McCain stories. NYT publishes an Obama piece on Iraq but refuses to publish a McCain piece on the same subject.

    It really is amazing how folks see the news differently.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’m talking about cable news networks. I’ve had CNN on pretty steady for the past few days and I’ve actually counted that ratio. When Obama arrived at the flood zones in the US, for instance, there was barely a mention. As soon as McCain arrived, it was OMG MCCAIN’S HEEEEEERREEE!

    Plus, there’s that whole McCain plane bullshit and the complete and constant ignoring of his changes in policy and his “flip-flopping.” McCain is constantly allowed off the hook.

    A recent example of this is of McCain’s claim that Obama was planning on “attacking Pakistan.” There was no such claim, yet ABC News and Diane Sawyer never said otherwise and reported McCain’s claim as factual. Then FOX’s Hannity picked it up and ran with it, also claiming Obama was going to attack Pakistan. McCain’s reference to an Iraq/Pakistan border was also completely glossed over, yet Obama’s trip to the Middle East is seen by CNN as a “photo op.”

    I kid you not, when they reported on the story of Obama’s Middle East trip a few days ago, the anchor on the morning news show (a supposedly unbiased independent morning show) said that he hopes Obama does more than “take pictures.” This picks up RIGHT AFTER what McCain said about the trip being a photo-op. Now you tell me that CNN is earning “the most trusted name in news” when they introduce such obvious repetition of McCain’s rhetoric. And tell me ABC News is doing their job to report to the public when they don’t challenge McCain’s untruthful assertions. We already expect that nonsense from FOX…

    And believe me, when they do the same to McCain (which is few and far between, as he’s been able to get away with a lot over his alleged “charm”), it’s just as terrible. It’s no wonder the American people have no earthly clue as to what’s going on, but if you really think there’s no McCain bias on corporate cable news, you’ve got another thing coming.

    As to Drudge, you should probably READ the Obama stories. He’s (Drudge) not exactly known for being “independent” either.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And then there was the whole Jesse Jackson “nuts” commentary and how that was blown up while McCain’s “disgrace” comment was utterly ignored. Check here for more information.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    zing – I got the reference, we’ve had that religion talk…I think…it’s still weird!

    It is a coincidence, I have to believe. I just don’t see gwb agreeing with anything Obama says or does…and as rigid as he is in his belief that he’s right and everybody else is wrong, I don’t see how it dcould be any other way.

    I think coke added life when coke added coke, but that’s just me.

    Yeah, there is a bit of obama coverage there…but I still like it.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Well, honestly, the social security system is a disgrace!

    But you’re right, I hadn’t heard that comment by McCain until you just pointed it out to me. More reason for me to vote for him, because I agree that the SS system is a mess and needs to be fixed.

    The Jackson thing could’ve been worse, if they released the whole comment about Obama talking down to…I’m not gonna use Jackson’s word here, because it’s an ugly word and I’ll be branded a racist.

    I don’t see how the press could think otherwise of Obamas’ trip, when you put out your policy on a war BEFORE you even visit the area what else could it be? Obama let us all know what his plan is for Iraq before he even talked to the commanders on the ground, how could it be anything but a photo op if he’s already got his opinion of what needs to be done?

  • zingzing

    “zing – I got the reference, we’ve had that religion talk…I think…it’s still weird!”

    well, i agree. but that’s not the point.

    “It is a coincidence, I have to believe. I just don’t see gwb agreeing with anything Obama says or does…and as rigid as he is in his belief that he’s right and everybody else is wrong, I don’t see how it dcould be any other way.”

    you know, i have a hard time believing obama influenced old bush as well… but it was a remarkable turnabout. maybe he convinced himself that it was his idea.

    “I think coke added life when coke added coke, but that’s just me.”

    i concur.

    “Yeah, there is a bit of obama coverage there…but I still like it.”

    that’s fine. still, it’s like her pet obsession. she’s not really (it seems) FOR anything. she just likes putting obama down. there’s a place for that, surely, but it just seems like muck-raking.

    “Well, honestly, the social security system is a disgrace!”

    yeah, but the irony! he takes it and calls it a disgrace… come on now…

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’m not sure if he gets SS. He gets $58k a year from the VA, he may not be eligible for SS…

  • zingzing

    yeah, he gets it.

    “McCain’s 2007 tax return shows Social Security benefits of $23,157 for the year, an average of $1,929.75 a month. He said he started receiving the payments “whenever I was eligible.””

    from the associated press article. i think he’s got a right to criticize it… but, you know, you can opt out of it. and he doesn’t particularly need it… his wife is a multi-millionaire, ain’t she?

    “multi” in that last sentence means 100+.

    i’m sure that extra $2k a month will do someone else some good, and, to them, it won’t be a disgrace.

    but that’s not really a big issue to me. social security needs work. fuckin’ baby boomers.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Hey! I resemble that remark, if only barely. It’s my understanding that ’59 or ’60 is the last year for baby boomers…

    Back to one of the earlier comments about McCain getting better treatment from the MSM.

    I hadn’t heard about this cartoon until today.

    Strange how the MSM makes a big deal out of a magazine beating up on a liberal, sorry progressive, but they have nothing to say about the relatively conservative guy getting the same treatment.

    Just how did the MSM miss this one, guess they were all busy attempting to keep their heads out of Obamas ass while they follow him around like puppy dogs…

  • Clavos

    1946-1964

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Guess I’m deeper in it than I thought…

  • zingzing

    gimme my money back

  • zingzing

    “guess they were all busy attempting to keep their heads out of Obamas ass while they follow him around like puppy dogs…”

    how many puppy dogs do you have up your ass, andy? you big asshole. i kid, i kid. but that was too much to pass up.

    anyway, the msm’s reaction to the obama cartoon was BECAUSE OF the furor that erupted, especially from liberals.

    the mccain cartoon produced no such furor, because nobody reads rolling stone, as it’s an awful music magazine with the occasionally decent political/social article. still, it’s probably not read by too many conservatives or republicans, because they have such bad taste in music. little do they know that rolling stone has taste just about as bad (except dave fricke)…

    both cartoons are pretty funny though.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Right now I have two dogs attempting to crawl up my ass…one of them is about 65 pounds!

    you see, we’ve got a little thunder off in the distance and it’s scaring hte hell out of them!

    I’d buy that, but you’d think that no liberals listen to Imus, but somehow they got a hold of that one! Maybe they’re like Dave and they spy on the other side…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan Miller

    Andy,

    You should not permit them to do that. PETA would not approve. Speak gently to them and tell them to stop. That seems to have worked with our five dogs, several of whom weight at least 65 pounds. What ever you do, do not tell them “Ich bin ein Hamburger.”

    Dan

  • Clavos

    …Or ein Frankfurter…

  • http://themountainsage.wordpress.com MountainSage

    Andy, I’m glad the dogs only managed the attempt. I can’t imagine it would be very comfortable to have a 65 pound dog up your ass. :-)

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    It wasn’t even comfortable having the big guy attempt it!

    When the weather gets like that I’m constantly tripping over them.

  • zingzing

    ok, so now this thread has been taken over by dogs crawling up andy’s ass.

    a fitting conclusion, i believe.