Shiny, Happy Faces: What I Learned By Revisiting 2008

I read this now-bizarre and I’m sure embarrassing pre-2008 election article on Obama (of course I didn’t stick it in my full-to-bursting “Post” file and now can’t find it).  You know the sort of thing, though: exuberant, hopey-changey, full-on brain freeze, idealistic, certain that Obama was more than human, maybe even a god.

In other words: delusional.

It was truly sick-making to be pulled back in time to 2008 and read the fawning, deaf, dumb, and blind near-worship that gripped our nation.  I was completely tossed back there:  to the gleeful, shiny faces of Obots en masse, and I was dumbfounded (I so wish I could find that article again, but I can’t even remember where it was posted or what it was called, so can’t do a realistic search for it–“realistic” meaning it won’t take me freaking hours to find it).

I remember sitting across the table from a then-colleague and now former friend (thanks, Divider in Chief) as she waffled on about how fabulous it was that Obama was elected.  Gag.  I smiled, nodded, tried to pretend that I wasn’t heart-broken inside (not because I wanted McCain, who the hell would want that?, but because even McCain would have been better than what we got saddled with. Twice). After some careful questioning, I realized that she-like so many others back then-didn’t really know why she liked Obama, but she did.

Magically.

Our friendship dissolved a couple years later, when I could no longer pretend that I was indifferent.  It was weird, really, that incident:  she started attacking Sarah–not at all sure why, really, since it had been a couple years since Teh Won won, but she just kept going on and on about how stupid Sarah is (yes, even citing the SNL “I can see Russia from my house” line as if Sarah had actually said it /smh).  After a while, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and full-knowing the risk I was taking, came back with a few choice dumb-frak asshat drooling idiot remarks that Obama had made.  Oh, erm, that’s different, everyone (insert: “whom I like”) can make a mistake.  Hey, I just hate talking about politics . . . .

Uh huh.

I remember that it took all the tact I had (and I am not endowed with an abundance of that, let’s be honest here) to write a post after the ’08 election debacle saying that “maybe he can.”  It was the low-point in my blogging life, actually, and I wish now I’d never written it.  I tried to find it, but I couldn’t because I guess I didn’t migrate my posts from Multiply (where I was blogging in ’08) to either blogger or WordPress.  Anyway, it’s out there somewhere.  And if it’s not, I remember it.  And feel shame.

I knew better.  I wrote all the way back in 2006 that Obama was sketchy, empty, useless.  Oh sure, back then I wasn’t quite so attuned to the problems we are now facing (read: I was beyond clueless), but I heard him speak for an hour and say absolutely nothing.  That wasn’t just once, that was every time he spoke.  And I knew something was wrong, plus my inner cynic (who very much resembles my outer cynic) recoiled at all the unspecific hopeandchange.  I didn’t like it.

I didn’t like it at all.

I remember sitting at lunch with some leftist loon I worked with as he sung Obama’s praises (almost literally, I half-expected him to hoist his considerable bulk off the chair and start jiggling and singing), and I just sat there wondering what the hell was wrong with everyone.  Finally, when the Obot incantations stopped, I asked this person what Obama stood for, what he represented, what his plans were for America, what “yes we can” even meant in real terms.  The person, after giving a pretty impressive impersonation of a large-mouth bass, mumbled something about “hope” and “change” and how great was the “race speech,” anyway?!

You mean the “race speech” a white guy wrote and that Obama read off a teleprompter?

Eye roll.

These people weren’t alone; there was (nearly) a whole nation under the same spell, and they could easily connect and sing in near-unison the early version of the Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm song.  I was the one who was alone (or felt like it) because I didn’t buy the charade.  I heard what Obama said to Joe the Plumber, I knew about Bill Ayers being his bestest bud and the bad Reverend Wright being his preacher, and I listened hard to his speeches, then I read them.  Then I read them again.

Talk about no there there.

But the media was swooning all the way back to 2006, as was almost everyone I knew.  I have to admit that there were times I doubted myself.  Could all these people be right?  What the hell was wrong with me that I didn’t trust him, didn’t think he should be elected president?  OMG, was I a racist without even knowing it? Was that even possible?  I mean, don’t you have to hate people because of their race to be a racist?  I didn’t hate Obama (not back then, anyway, and even now, I don’t hate him for his race. Obviously.).  Frankly, I didn’t even think about his race (most conservatives don’t think about race, as you know).  So I determined that I wasn’t racist; I was just alone in doubting this person, alone in thinking he was too good to be true, alone in thinking that he was purposefully presenting an empty canvas upon which every voter could paint their own hopes and dreams.

Obama was the second coming, the “one we’ve been waiting for,” the messiah back in ’08.  He was articulate, handsome, presidential.  He was everything and anything to everyone and anyone all the time.  He was intelligent, intellectual.  He was tech savvy and the epitome of the rational man, no knee-jerk “dead or alive” comments from him.  He was going to change everything we hated and double-down on everything we loved (that this varied from person to person didn’t seem important).  He was a unifier:  post-racial, post-partisan, post-American.

Barack Obama:  better than sliced bread, better than sex.  The young, the old, the white, the black, the Hispanic, the Asian, the gay, the straight, the bi and transgendered, the Christian, the Jew, the male, the female, the rich, the poor, the middle-class, the center-right and center-left, the left, the right, the far left (okay, not the far right :P)  . . . nearly everybody loved Obama.  Except me.  I didn’t love him.  I didn’t know him, and I didn’t trust him (I trust no one who can speak for an hour and say absolutely nothing, let alone anyone who can do that and somehow inspire cheers and literal swoons from an adoring throng. Gag.).

Election night, 2008: across the country people cheer, dance in the streets, hold up lighters, hug one another (often with tears in their eyes), wave American flags (yes, even leftists!).  The entire nation seemed to have been swept up in the Obama fervor.

It was chilling.  Like witnessing a real-life episode of the Twilight Zone or wondering if everyone had been replaced with pod people.  All those happy, shiny faces, all that glee and joy, all that faith in unclear, nonspecific hopeychangey stuff.

Unsettling.

That was leading up to and into November 2008.  By spring 2009, the hopeychangey stuff wasn’t working out so well, and the shiny, happy faces sort of froze into a grimace.  A grimace that still held hope in its eye.  A hope that started fading in 2010 and was pretty much extinguished by 2012.  That’s the year Obama ran not as the messiah who could stop the oceans from rising and heal the planet while simultaneously eliminating poverty, inequity, and those horrible boils unicorns sometimes get, but as the exact opposite.

He ran in 2012 as the divider: everything is about race, class, gender, sexual orientation, red state, blue state; everything is about ensuring that each voting bloc stays not only separate but feeling the Obama “love” (which is very like the Obama “hate” except that with the former he’ll smile at you indulgently and condescendingly as he bankrupts you. If you’re a particularly good Obot, he won’t send the IRS after you.  Or the ATF, FBI, EPA, DOJ, etc.  Yay!?!).

And now, here we are in 2013, and some of us are still feeling the pain and disillusionment from the last election.  But here’s what I learned from my foray into the recent past: there is absolutely no comparison between today’s Obama and the 2008 Obama.  Not only has he shown his true tyrannical and treasonous colors but even his Obots have an inkling that all is not what it seemed with their messiah, their chosen one.

He’s inarticulate (let’s face it, he can barely stutter out a coherent sentence that he hasn’t practiced–probably for days–if he can’t read that practiced line off a teleprompter), he’s not tech savvy (remember the president who had over a million followers on Twitter tell a Chinese audience that he had no idea what Twitter was?), he has nothing new to say (what he does say is either “it’s Bush’s fault” or “I have no idea what the hell is going on in my own administration”), and he has nothing new to offer (the world has seen petty, paranoid dictator wannabe bullies who oppress, intimidate, imprison and otherwise silence opposition).

When Obama was first elected, the dissatisfaction with President Bush was palpable, even amongst die-hard republicans (I don’t consider myself a republican, btw, I’m a Constitutional conservative–the GOP, generally speaking, are not), and Democrats outnumbered Republicans by a somewhat shocking margin.  That changed quickly, and by December 2009, the disillusioned had jumped ship, and the percentage of Democrat and Republican voters evened out again.  Floating indies (who seem to change parties, at least in part, on a whim due to some perceived wrong or because it’s Thursday) tend to be more conservative, at least fiscally, so the numbers aren’t set in stone.  But what they do offer is a glimpse into Obama’s popularity.  Or lack thereof.

His star is falling and falling fast.  Whatever his plans were, he will never be able to fulfill them because there is no way in hell he’ll ever again reach the exalted high he enjoyed in ’08.  America knows him now and has his number; it will take a great deal more than fake Greek columns, phony presidential seals, and dramatic readings of other people’s scripts to get those faces shiny and happy once more.

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12 thoughts on “Shiny, Happy Faces: What I Learned By Revisiting 2008

  1. *sigh* there’s nothing like looking back to the past and cringing at your mistakes. I do, however, take some comfort from the fact that you slapped me to my senses. Thank you for that.

    • Aw, I still can’t imagine what I said that changed your mind, but whatever it was, yay! 😀 I’m just glad that so many people started wising up as early as Spring of ’09. Besides, even with the Obama-mania going on, he didn’t really win ’08 by some sort of awe-inspiring landslide; it wasn’t a popular vote landslide at all. It was a measly 10 million votes (52/45) and in 2012, even with his Obots voting several times, not letting military votes count, illegals voting, etc., he won by less than 5 million votes (51/47). Out of a country with over 300 million people, that’s not that many votes.

      No idea why I’m babbling about that. I have no point to make at all. Heh.

  2. i saw the media faux President for the fake, radical he always was. The morons will always be morons but they should not control the destiny of the USA.

  3. The Obots may be less enthralled, but they’ve been indoctrinated that those on the right are an enemy to be crushed – and they still see Obama as their protector against the evil tea parties, constitutionalists, pro-lifers ‘n such.

    What worries me more than Obama are the Republicans who work feverishly to help Obama maintain his sense of momentum. Sen. Johnny Isakson who rounded up fellow Republican senators to dine with O at the White House… Marco Rubio, who insanely seems to think more Democratic leaning, entitlement recipient immigrants will be good for the GOP… Karl Rove rounding up resources to battle the Tea Parties at primary time…

    Obama told he was pushing fundamental transformation (aka revolution), and while his dangerous policies appear to be failing, the organized power structure in DC still seems to prefer his insanity over a true politically conservative revival in the US.

    • That Obots even see the TEA Party, constitutionalists, pro-lifers, et al. as a threat at all is amazing to me. This is America, I’m not only allowed to but have a Constitutional right to express my political (and if I choose, religious) opinion. This impetus to literally hate–let alone use the full-force of government to silence–anyone who thinks differently than you do is dangerous not only to our republic and to whatever semblance of democracy we have but also to us all as people. It’s soul-crushing, and the leftists who hate so fervently anyone who dares not tow their line don’t even seem to notice that they’re rotting from the inside out.

      Republicans are not constitutionalists, generally speaking, so it’s not at all surprising that the neocons like Rove, the regressives like Isakson, and the big government “compassion conservatives” like Rubio are all lining up to make government bigger and more powerful than ever. They all think that more government is good, just like leftists, they just want that more government goodness in other, but equally-intrusive, equally-unConstitutional, equally-expensive areas.

      When so many conservatives sat out the last election–to our nation’s great loss–they whined that Romney was “just like” Obama. Of course he’s not, he’s nothing like Obama and would never ever in a million years have left those men to die in Benghazi, sent the IRS, ATF, FBI, and/or EPA after normal American citizens, or illegally spied on the media. To Obama–a communist–this is just what you do; you strike the fear of the state into any perceived enemy. Arrests and mass-roundups were next, I’m quite sure, and may still come depending how this all plays out (if he gets away with this, as Hitler did in his early days, then the next step has been written already. History repeats itself, after all).

      Anyway, these conservatives who sat out the last election (grrr, yes, I’m still fuming about that idiocy) didn’t understand the difference between Obama and Romney–or between old school GOP and the new regressive Democrats–because they thought big government = big government. That’s just not true. What’s happened is that the old school GOP are more like the old JFK Democrats, and the new regressive Democrats are actually communists. That shift has been a long time coming, and the pols know that the TEA Party threatens to bring the big government, big spending GOP (more like Democrats about 50 years ago) back to the Constitution, to limited government.

      Listen to them talk. Every damn Republican, including some of the new ones who were supposed to be TEA Party, have this bill to propose, this idea for new federal programs, this wonderful new something that the feds can spend money on and make something better. That’s not what freaking government should be doing. Not in America. But it’s gotten to the point where they actually believe that unless they pass “x” number of bills, institute “x” number of new programs, they aren’t doing their job. That has to change. No bills at all is far better than an avalanche of bad ones that suck money from the people, create more government bureaucracy, limit liberty, and don’t even work at the end of the day.

      Sorry for the long rant. I’ve really had enough of all this, and totally lost sight of your point paragraphs ago. Yikes!

  4. The current incarnation of the Left in America is in its death throes. Their policies are either fiscally impossible and, more often then not, morally repugnant to the average American. California is leading the way, and will likely be the punch line to jokes in about 10-15 years, much like Detroit has been since the 1970s.

    In the meantime, we get Obama who absolutely did reflect what the non-Black Left wanted in a Black president. He was elected by telling the White Left exactly what they wanted to hear– while grinding down his opponents (remember Hillary and her supporters in the primaries?) Chicago-style.

    The reason that Obama never really said much of anything specific is because the Left really don’t have much they specifically want. Sure, individuals want specific things, as do certain groups (identity and otherwise). But, honestly, sonce they’re based around a revolutionary theory, the only thing the Left really have is criticism against America. The only thing the Left really “wants” is to gain privilege and power by crying foul. They use race, gender, or an appeal to ethics by wordplay to gain concessions and favors, but there is no real cohesive or workable agenda beyond that. It’s a limitation that’s baked into identity politics. And once any power is attained they’re saddled with an economic theory which has proven to not work under any conditions– no matter how draconian (China), nor relatively benign (California, Detroit, etc.)

    Obama may be clueless about a lot of things, but he’s not clueless about Leftist theory and using race to an advantage. Obama didn’t say much in 2008 because he didn’t have much to say that would fly to an audience that wan’t made up of either Black Leftists or White Leftists. And in 2012 he won by splitting up America, having every major news organization that wasn’t Fox in his back pocket, and by illegally using the IRS and other executive powers target his political enemies. You may recall that the GOP’s “Get out the vote” computers mysteriously brokedown on election day. I may not be much of a conspiracy theorist, but do you think that was a coincidence?

    Obama’s politics are not mysterious. He’s a Black Leftist from Chicago. So we get the hard Left’s exclusively urban takes on their hot topics– health care, gun control, Israel, Muslims, etc.– while he tells those he finds useful what they want to hear, lies to the rest of us, uses the problems of others to enrich himself, and uses his executive powers to assault and undermine his political enemies. It’s deplorable, but not unexpected.

    • I totally agree with everything you say with one caveat, they do know exactly what they want (not most citizen lefties, they’re truly clueless), and identity politics is the means not the end. You mention that they are against America, are revolutionary, are intent on splitting Americans, and your last paragraph deftly explains what he does . . . but you don’t say why he’s doing it. What the end goal is, what the fundamental transformation is supposed to be. He’d not doing these things for their own sake, right?

      it’s all there, the dots just waiting to be connected. Obama wants to “go Bulworth,” he’s been quoted as saying He wants to, is dying to, stand up and explain what he wants, but he can’t. Because, as you note, it would never ever fly with the American people, even with many leftists, certainly not with center-lefties. You see him as somewhat benign, while I see him as totally malignant. We could both be right, of course. 😉

      • I don’t see Obama as benign. I see him as ineffectual. If we had a different political system, I would find him to be a great threat to the lives of Americans.

        Obama will always be ineffectual because the systems of his beliefs– Marx and the various constructs from him– are all wrong. The simple fact is that you cannot control an economy efficiently enough to make a centrailzed system work effectively (Marxism is wrong about a great many other things as well). Obama, and the Left in general, are completely befuddled by this.

        And Obama’s response is predictable. Namely to say “I need more power to fix things.” This is what Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. all declared and wholesale death 100 million+ from just Mao and Stalin was the result. A main difference is that we didn’t gift Obama with absolute power, and the American system of government is set up to defeat and frustrate people like Obama.

        “…but you don’t say why he’s doing it.”

        Does it matter? I don’t want psychoanalyze Obama. At this point, I don’t care what makes him tick. Shelby Steele wrote “A Bound Man” and why not? His guess is OK. Obama is an academic Leftist that likes to identify himself as Black, so his behavior is based on that.

        “What the end goal is, what the fundamental transformation is supposed to be. He’d not doing these things for their own sake, right?”

        Obama’s end goal is heaven on earth, like all starry-eyed Leftists. I think that he truly believed that he could put us on our way to both redemption (past racial sins, past colonialism, past free market greed, past “unfairness” etc.) and salvation (heaven on earth, social justice, coexist harmony, etc.). He’s the Left’s great Black hope for this. To that end, he sets about to accumulate and centrailze power and to stifle or destroy the evil opposition. And, as I said, he’s going after the exact goals you would expect from an urban, academic, Leftist– green initiatives, health care, gun control, radicalize education, “social/racial justice”, attack greedy big business, and centralization.

        Beyond that, what we’re watching is a baselessly arrogant, thin-skinned dummy floundering in the real world. He makes stuff up as he goes, he’s grossly incompetent, and completely unprepared for the way things work outside of academia and in bitching and playing the race card for more money– er, I mean, community organizing. He makes excuses, blames others, tries to back-talk his mistakes (“I was largely right except that my conclusion was wrong”), doesn’t work hard but claims that he slaves away, takes long vacations, sucks up to people who can elevate him. You know academia pretty well. Doesn’t this sound familiar?

        As far as the American Left goes, it’s an uneasy coalition of people who think a thousand different ways, have a thousand different goals, and are only united in feeling put-upon and foolish enough to believe that an enlightened despot will institute their goals once given power. There is no unity in the sense of national pride, religion, nor any other factor that would allow them to combine into something more effective. Look at Occupy and compare it to the Tea Party. The people in charge, those you claim do know what they’re doing, are in power only as long as they suck up to the people beneath them. I think Obama is truly shocked at how the grief he gets from the far-Left is effective against him, even with a water-carrying media and Hollywood behind him.

        But then Leftists always have a poor opinion of common people (even other Leftists), and a high opinion of themselves. It’s baked into their ideological cake.

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