Monday, November 21, 2011

It'll be our fault -- in fact, it already is

One of the stranger logical pathologies of the Obama phenomenon is the way in which his acolytes reconfigure the known universe around his blankness, emptiness and passivity. There's no questioning of his own agency in what happens to him, or to us. He is the still point in a changing world, and it is the responsibility of that world to ensure that his actions (or, rather, non-actions) come out (or are seen to come out) right.

Case in point, this post by Earl Ofari Hutchinson. He ticks off a damning bill of attainder as if it were a litany of silly personal objections by self-unaware dilletantes. A more reasonable reading of that list would be that the needs of this moment in history were pretty clear, and Obama flunked in responding to them -- most centrally on the economy, not because he didn't kiss the right historical icons, but because he failed to step up to what this present situation demanded.

Ford didn't lose to Carter because of Reagan; he lost because of Watergate. Carter didn't lose to Reagan because of Kennedy; he lost because of recession and Iran. If Obama loses in 2012, it won't be because liberals fail to fake an orgasm -- it'll be because he flunked. It's a bizarro kind of tautology to insist that whole populations reorient their perceptions and attitudes to make cause not equal effect.

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