Thursday, August 21, 2008

Obama hatred

The Anonymous Liberal has, as usual, a nice piece this morning about the hysterical, but predictable nature of Obama-hatred that is now taking shape in conservative corners of the TM and blogosphere.

It’s an especially interesting, and troubling, phenomenon in regard of this particular candidate, since the portrait of Obama that people like Andy McCarthy are painting in their minds is so completely, and comically at odds with the Obama that exists in the real world – that is, the one we see and hear when we actually bother to look and listen.

One can disagree with Obama’s policies. One could think he’s all talk. One could mistake his rope-a-dope for weakness, if one likes, but honestly now, go to Youtube and check out a clip of the man, ANY clip, and ask yourself if a more moderate, reasonable-sounding, measured, likeable, dignified, respectful, or ultimately calming presence ever graced the American politic stage.

Not in my lifetime.

This is not to say the man is a saint, or that the devil isn’t known to wear excellent disguises, merely that one is hard pressed to find, in Obama’s comportment, his demeanor, or in anything he has ever said or written (with the possible exception of the gun-clinging line, which was merely sloppy), any evidence that he is anything but an uncommonly thoughtful, balanced, evolved individual, or the kind in which evil does not happily find harbor. Face it, being a malicious or destructive thought trapped inside Barack Obama’s head would suck. There would be nothing to eat. And even if Obama did not seem so basically decent, the emerging right-wing portrait is so internally inconsistent, such a mess of spittle and contradictions, one wonders that it doesn’t dissolve from its own complete lack of integrity. The arugula chewing elitist subversive? Pick one and go with it, fellas. You’re giving Spock a braincramp.

It is, in fact precisely that - the figmentary nature of the current right-wing portrait, that ultimately calms the nerves regarding all these narrowing national polls. The truth is, a lot Americans probably haven’t gotten to know Obama very well yet. All they’ve seen are the negative ads. Roundabout convention time they’ll tune in and judge for themselves, and I suspect they’ll be amazed at how much they like the guy. You really have to hate yourself a lot not to.

And that is my point, I guess, that in order to preserve and nurse the supremely paranoid view that Barack Obama, of all people, is the human embodiment of some profound and dangerous liberal malignancy, people like McCarthy and those who read him are forced to shutter themselves from reality almost entirely, to go to the closeted place where only the purest fears and hatred can fester and grow, free from the sanitizing bother of fresh air and sunlight.

They are, that is to say, going to a very dangerous place. For all of us.