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Sisyphus

"messianic" Obama?

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Obama is often sarcastically described as "the messiah," "golden boy," "the one," etc., due to his allegedly fanatical support base and media bias. I've been pretty much accepting that description, but it occurs to me that the reason why I've accepted it has a lot more to do with him being described that way than actual direct evidence. Yes, Obama supporters tend to be a lot more enthusiastic than McCain supporters, but a) isn't that more to do with the Republican base distrusting McCain, and b) since when is that a bad thing? Yet commentators can't seem to go two minutes without sarcastically reinforcing the notion of Obama as the object of substance-free "Obamania." Can it really be media bias if I can't turn on the TV or open a newspaper without hearing about media bias?

 

So the question is, has "substance-free celebrity" become the official Republican talking point caricature of Obama for this election cycle? Is it working?

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I think the point is that there are lot of Obama supporters don't really know Obama's positions or why they're supporting him. They hear his talking points in a few second sound clips and see that he's an attractive guy with celebrity status.

 

Especially amoung young voters (which are the least reliable, btw) they don't even understand why they're supporting him.

 

This is one reason why I don't think Obama has got the election in the bag yet.

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Cargo cult voting?

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I think the point is that there are lot of Obama supporters don't really know Obama's positions or why they're supporting him.

 

Is that different from any other politician, though? Is it different from John McCain?

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It's absolutely a valid concern, but let's see if we can narrow the focus a bit further with a simple question which I recognize was not directly asked by the OP, but which I think cuts right to the heart of the matter: Is Barrack Obama a "demagogue"?

 

From the Wikipedia:

 

...refers to a political strategy for obtaining and gaining political power by appealing to the popular prejudices, emotions, fears and expectations of the public — typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist or populist themes.

 

The point that I think is most relevant here is that the word has a negative connotation not because of the leadership aspect but because of the aspect of leadership through counter-productive, alienating, anti-social, prejudicial, or illogical themes. But Obama in no way discards logical, thought-provoking discussion, decision-making based on reason, listening to what the other side has to say, and avoiding stereotypes of all kinds. In a sense, he's the very antithesis of a demagogue, at least from where I'm sitting.

 

Of course, this is only one aspect of the problem, and does not address the issue of "blind followers", if you will. I'm sure many people are just jumping on the bandwagon or doing what seems fun or popular. No question about it. But that's one of the inherent "expenses" of democracy, isn't it? People rarely look beneath the surface, pay attention, do the right things for the right reasons, etc. It's up to those of us who are paying attention to make sure they get the right information so they can make the most informed choice.

 

None of which requires us to vote for Barrack Obama. None of this says "you have to vote for him because if you vote against him then you're voting against freedom", etc -- I'm not trying to be a snob about it. :) But I think it goes directly to the question of whether it's okay to vote for Obama for reasons that aren't related to the issues.

 

Put another way, just because a candidate doesn't map to your personal set of "what should be dones", doesn't mean you can't vote for them. That rarely happens anyway, with so many issues and only two candidates. What we actually do is pick the candidate that we feel will be the most true to our overall, general intent and purposes. We ALWAYS do that. Every single time.

 

Well, my overall intent and purpose is to have this country discard partisanship, inappropriate lobbying influence, and uninformed fumbling in foreign affairs. And I haven't seen a candidate come closer to that ideal than Obama in the 25 years I've been voting.

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So the question is, has "substance-free celebrity" become the official Republican talking point caricature of Obama for this election cycle? Is it working?

 

More of the same infuriating nonsense. Too much talk about why Obama shouldn't be president instead of why McCain should be...

 

 

The Daily Show offered a well-supported position on this just last night:

 

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=178207&title=dick-move-of-the-week-mccain

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Is that different from any other politician, though? Is it different from John McCain?

 

Well yes, because people aren't as visible excited about McCain as they are about Obama.

 

To the younger "progressive" voter Obama represents change and is easy to get excited about. McCain is your average rich white politician.

 

Now, I don't believe this assesment is accurate, and I don't believe Obama will do so much as change the drapes if he gets into the Whitehouse. But, I understand why people would believe that and why Obama would emphasize that as a talking point.

 

I think that McCain, of course, is going to shake things up even less, so he has to use different tactics to make himself look good for the camera... and that's by making his opponent look worse by comparison.

 

Lets face it guys, if McCain wins it will be mostly because Obama is too inexperienced, not because McCain has great policies.

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We had a Canadian Prime Minister who pointed out that an election was no time to discuss policy. She lost the election, she was really a sacrificial lamb tossed in to take the fall for her predecessor, but I think she was right.

 

An election is kind of like professional wrestling...a lot of posturing and yelling...theatrics, but not much deep thought. The thought happens before.

 

I've looked at Obama's record and his policies, and I'm of the opinion that there's more depth there than I've seen from presidential contender in my lifetime.

 

Does that translate into campaign rhetoric? Not a chance. It might fit into a long format print interview in the format popular in the early 1960's, but trying to explain any real policy in today's media environment is almost impossible.

 

Do all of his supporters understand, or even know about, the policies and the record behind the rhetoric? Hell no. It's complex and a lot of it is dull as hell.

 

If you look at any political campaign, successful or not, there are always a lot of supporters there for emotional gratification, not because of policy.

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It seems his appeal is not limited to citizens of the US. This implies to me that there is some actual content and rational reasons underlying why he is receiving the response that he is.

 

While they cannot vote in our elections, I find that this article lends further support that this isn't some mere support from his base:

 

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7606100.stm

All 22 countries in a BBC World Service poll would prefer Democratic nominee Barack Obama to be US president, ahead of his Republican rival John McCain.

 

Mr Obama was favoured by a four-to-one margin across the 22,500 people polled.

 

In 17 of the 22 countries surveyed the most common view was that America's relations with the rest of the world would improve under a President Obama.

 

If Mr McCain were elected, the most common view in 19 countries was that relations would remain about the same.

 

In total 22,531 citizens were polled in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE and the UK. A parallel survey was conducted with 1,000 US adults.

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I suppose much of it is (again) due to the antipathy against Bush.

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Well, and his policies, but yes, definitely. I wonder if Obama's invade-Pakistan statement was even widely reported in Europe.

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Mc Cain will be president. Wish it wasn't so, but the GOP will pull enough strings. Maybe Osama Bin laden will be found just before the election?

 

However, Obama won't change anything much. He's just as much a company man. But he may stop nuclear war, which will happen if that disturbed ex POW Mc Cain gets in.

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Obama appeals to the young and the liberal using the same techniques Hollywood uses to create cult heroes and pop super stars. The older and more mature crowd doesn't bite as easily. Obama is analogous to Britney Spears on the rise, where everything negative is overlooked and everything else exaggerated up to a Messiah analogy. Then you sell, sell, sell until they buy, buy, buy. If he sold records he'd be rich now, even with limited talent.

 

Obama was a little taken back when Sarah Palin got into the picture. It was feared she could also gain cult status maybe like one of the more wholesome pop stars. Luckily for the Democrats Hollywood is liberal and they used the the "bring Britney down tactic", on Sarah Palin, using the rag blogs like valid information, with the hope other liberal rag publications will stimulate their voter base.

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Somebody's been drinking the Republican kool-aid. :rolleyes:

 

You know, the same people lying to you about all of those things are also doing this:

 

Edited by iNow
multiple post merged

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Obama appeals to the young and the liberal using the same techniques Hollywood uses to create cult heroes and pop super stars. The older and more mature crowd doesn't bite as easily. Obama is analogous to Britney Spears on the rise, where everything negative is overlooked and everything else exaggerated up to a Messiah analogy. Then you sell, sell, sell until they buy, buy, buy. If he sold records he'd be rich now, even with limited talent.

 

Obama was a little taken back when Sarah Palin got into the picture. It was feared she could also gain cult status maybe like one of the more wholesome pop stars. Luckily for the Democrats Hollywood is liberal and they used the the "bring Britney down tactic", on Sarah Palin, using the rag blogs like valid information, with the hope other liberal rag publications will stimulate their voter base.

 

That's certainly the narrative the Republicans are trying to push, yes. I was asking more for thoughts about that narrative than a straight repetition of it.

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Obama appeals to the young and the liberal using the same techniques Hollywood uses to create cult heroes and pop super stars. The older and more mature crowd doesn't bite as easily. Obama is analogous to Britney Spears on the rise, where everything negative is overlooked and everything else exaggerated up to a Messiah analogy. Then you sell, sell, sell until they buy, buy, buy. If he sold records he'd be rich now, even with limited talent.

 

Obama was a little taken back when Sarah Palin got into the picture. It was feared she could also gain cult status maybe like one of the more wholesome pop stars. Luckily for the Democrats Hollywood is liberal and they used the the "bring Britney down tactic", on Sarah Palin, using the rag blogs like valid information, with the hope other liberal rag publications will stimulate their voter base.

 

This is certainly how I've seen it. Although, I don't think it's a "coordinated" event by Hollywood, or the media, I just think it's the nature of their interests. They would never treat Palin like that if she were the democrat candidate, or more accurately, if she were not pro-life, pro-god, pro-drilling and etc - well fox news would, but the rest would give her the same fair shake they gave Hillary and Obama.

 

They love minority status and they hate minorities that don't seem to appreciate the policies they feel led to the rise of minority candidates in our political process in the first place. Add in the pro-choice obsession and Palin fits the archetypal alter-ego of the democrat's vision of a woman candidate.

 

Of course, Palin is a tactic, just like Biden. McCain was your experienced old guy on the republican ticket while Obama was the young blood promising change. Obama owned the spotlight. Obama added the old and wise to his VP ticket, and McCain just countered with the same balance, young blood promising change, albeit to a different tune and she has unexpectedly stolen the spotlight.

 

This is very bad for the democrats. I don't know how bad, or if they'll come up with something to counter it, but I think they were counting on Obama exclusively representing youth, energy and change all the way to November.

 

So the question is, has "substance-free celebrity" become the official Republican talking point caricature of Obama for this election cycle? Is it working?

 

It was working until Obama started getting more specific and going on record. I liked his interview with Oreilly. He stood up to him, while outclassing him. Billy tried to inflate his chest and get loud and Obama would just deflate him with a gesture and regain control of the conversation - except when Billy would badger him before he could finish a sentence.

 

Obama has earned the substance free label though. The dude really flowered up his language from the get go and has only become more and more specific over time. Now we're starting to nail down his positions. Before, we'd get responses about how all of his positions are "on his website" or "just look at his record" - research appeals. I didn't have to look up squat to know specifics on Hillary's positions, she was substance driven right out the gate.

 

That's not to say one shouldn't do research, after all actions speak louder than words. But in terms of non-specifics in his speeches, rallies and the few interviews we'd see him on - he seemed to compliment the very nature of a legislator - opinions on easy things, base things, and then ambiguous beating around the bush on the tougher things that can polarize him.

 

This is why I have more respect for executive experience, since they must take a stand one way or the other. They'll try to be equivocal as long as they can, but ultimately they must show their hand.

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Ah. More content free a vacuuous nonsense from the Republican side.

 

 

Here's a response more people should appreciate:

 

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/09/lipstick_on_a_pig.php

 

 

(specifically, I'm talking about the short video clip)

 

 

Not pertinent to this thread - "messianic" Obama?

 

Perhaps you should move this to…

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=35147

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How Obama could be thought of as sexist for this comment is beyond me. I think it's the Republicans that have actually shown their cards by making the accusation. It was obviously on their minds not anyone elses.

Edited by bombus

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Well I didn't really get the "sexist" part of the comment, even if Obama uttered this phrase to undermine her joke. What's sexist about calling someone a pig?

 

Of course, we're doing the same thing the media does...we say how stupid it is for people to make a big deal out of it, while we particpate in making a big deal out of it.

 

If I was Obama, I would say it again, and again, and again. And everytime someone wants an apology, I would tell them that I'm terribly sorry that they're an idiot.

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Well I didn't really get the "sexist" part of the comment, even if Obama uttered this phrase to undermine her joke. What's sexist about calling someone a pig?

 

Of course, we're doing the same thing the media does...we say how stupid it is for people to make a big deal out of it, while we particpate in making a big deal out of it.

 

If I was Obama, I would say it again, and again, and again. And everytime someone wants an apology, I would tell them that I'm terribly sorry that they're an idiot.

 

Especially when McCain used the same analogy to refer to, of all things, Hillary Clinton's healthcare plan.

 

I was just imagining an Obama\McCain debate:

 

McCain: I met Jesus when he was alive...and your no Jesus. :D

 

I'll admit to 'lol'ing.

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I was just imagining an Obama\McCain debate:

 

McCain: I met Jesus when he was alive...and your no Jesus. :D

 

I like it :D:D:D

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Well I didn't really get the "sexist" part of the comment, even if Obama uttered this phrase to undermine her joke. What's sexist about calling someone a pig?

 

Of course, we're doing the same thing the media does...we say how stupid it is for people to make a big deal out of it, while we particpate in making a big deal out of it.

 

If I was Obama, I would say it again, and again, and again. And everytime someone wants an apology, I would tell them that I'm terribly sorry that they're an idiot.

 

The only meaning I can see if was anything other than a term of phrase was that he was referring to Palin as the lipstick and Mc Cain as the pig. Still not really sexist though IMHO.

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