Sunday, March 23, 2008


I missed one of Sam Smith's posts last week over at Undernews I would have to agree with this part of his appraisal of Barack Obama. -- [my emphasis] --
So it may not seem hopelessly weird for me to admit that when I see Obama my first image is not that of a black man, but of a Harvard Law School graduate. If I had to choose one stereotype that would be it, which is to say an intelligent, analytical, somewhat self-possessed and arrogant fellow of innate caution and limited imagination. The sort of person you'd want around to handle your divorce or complete your merger, but far from the prophet whose role he has been assigned.

If you examine his politics even slightly, you would be hard to find one example of Obama saying or doing anything much out of the ordinary. You will, however, find many things with which progressives would have cause to disagree: his lousy healthcare plan, his support of the Iraq war after 2002, his approval of Bill Clinton's assault on social welfare, his uninspiring record on environmental issues, his support of the war on drugs, Real ID, the PATRIOT ACT, the death penalty and No Child Left Behind.

Does this matter, and it is cause for something less than applause? I think so.

Then there are his words. The embarrassing truth is that Obama bores me. I find him platitudinous, single toned, , sometime pompous and often guilty of that classic Washington sin described once as confusing somberness with seriousness. To be sure, I don't like listening to most politicians these days, but there is something so predictable and annoyingly didactic about Obama, as though he was trying to bring a bunch of freshman students up to speed, that I tend to turn him off and read the text instead.

I have a suspicion that my reaction may be one reason why Obama has a hard time reaching less than elite whites. It's not that he can't reach across the ethnic divide; it's the class divide that keeps him apart. He talks like someone who considers himself better than his audience.
But also understand that Hillary Clinton doesn't have much to offer, either. Both are cut from the same arrogant centrist Democratic Party cloth.


  1. "Obama bores me..."
    you're not wrong.
    But my (perhaps) embarassing truth is that i'm actually kind of longing for a boring president at this point. entertainment i can find on my own.
    and in the absence of Al Gore [sob] and John Edwards [double sob], Obama is starting to look wonderfully, blessedly dull.
    we can only hope.
    yours in the struggle,

  2. Obama is not the savior of America, but he is significantly better than right-wingers like Hillary McCain and John Clinton. I would prefer a liberal like Kucinich, but the centrist Obama would make it less difficult to stop the war and make progress on other issues I care about than the other two would.


Thanks for visiting.

Please be considerate... no off-topic, racist, sexist or homophobic comments.

Comment moderation is on.

No anonymous comments will be accepted..