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.
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 . . . .
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?
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.
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.