So this is the plan of attack, eh? If you can’t get the man, take on the movement …
From Crooks and Liars:
The backlash against “Obama-mania” has really begun in earnest in the last week or so. Last night on CNN’s The Situation Room, Carol Costello treated viewers to a Fox News-like presentation of more recent examples …
L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein is cited, calling it “Obamaphilia. Then two of the very serious people sect have their opinions presented, Conservative columnist David Brooks in the NY Times, through his alter-ego Dr. Retail:
Meanwhile, Obama’s people are so taken with their messiah that soon they’ll be selling flowers at airports and arranging mass weddings. There’s a “Yes We Can” video floating around YouTube in which a bunch of celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and the guy from the Black Eyed Peas are singing the words to an Obama speech in escalating states of righteousness and ecstasy. If that video doesn’t creep out normal working-class voters, then nothing will.
Now I’ll admit, sometimes I’m taken aback at the exuberance of some Obama supporters. But I’m a prude with a patrician facade. I rarely show public exuberance over anything, but this cult chit-chatter is reeking with the stench of Ann Coulterish hyperbole. Did anyone accuse the Republican Party of creating a cult of personality over their Savior of Conservatism, Ronald Wilson Reagan? Every Republican debate this year and last turned into a “Reagan off,” where each opponent invoked the name of Ronnie over and over again like they were hot with the Holy Ghost. They all disgustingly groveled, flailed about with convulsions, routinely paying fealty to the legacy of Reagan. Ululating their tongues whilst arguing who could loudest sing his praises.
As much as Democrats revere John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt nary is constantly tossing out their names left and right fighting over who is the heir apparent to the house of the New Deal and Camelot. The closest you get is a blessing. Some colorful, flowery praise and some applause. But no one dares to compare themselves to the icons out loud.
On the GOPer side, the dick-measuring contest over who was the biggest Reagonite got so ridiculous that when John McCain became the front-runner and there was that surge of outcry among the pious pew of the Grand Ol’ Party that I half expected the church-nicks to dig him up and try to run the Gipper’s reanimated corpse against him.
Seriously? A cult? Are they kidding?
Strangely enough, Papa Snob, a wise old sage, predicted this very early on. He reminded me how during Jesse Jackson’s first run for president in ’84, (As it was when Rev. King was still alive in the 1960s) — Black men who can give a rapturous, sermon-like speech scare the good sense out of certain white people no matter how anodyne the message. Obama is a bright guy and good politician, but he’s crafted himself into one the most rapturous, charismatic speakers. He can’t help it if McCain’s putrid speech game is as charming as three-day-old turd. Obama can’t help it that he’s so appealing.
Cult of personality. That’s the best they can do? Was that what they came up with?
When people cried when they saw Michael Jackson in the 1980s … When millions mourned the death of Pope John Paul II … When Ronald Reagan invoked the 11th commandment, “thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican,” and the Republicans held dear to that mantra until 2008 when the shit officially hit the fan … When folks get excited about seeing the man who may be the first black president, representing the ascension of a point that began at the nadir of human suffering, a people in bondage, entering this country through the servant’s door as chattel, forced into a cycle of servitude passed on to their children and their children’s children, and so on … To see a people who started out cleaning the massa’s house to possibly being in the White House?
You can’t call it a cult just because people stop to notice. You can’t call it a cult when they turn their heads around. Folks are going to take notice. You can’t blame the people for their slacken, gaped jaws, for their disbelieving stares.
They’ve never seen this before.
“This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains, which now became insupportable, and the filth of the necessary tubs [toilets] into which the children often fell and were almost suffocated. The shrieks of the women and the groans of the dying rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable.”–Olaudah Equiano, from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African (London, 1789). (From American Abolitionist)
It was a long way from Goree Island’s Door of No Return to the zenith of the world stage.
Those glassy eyes ever adoring do not belong to a cult of personality. I never once confused Michael Jackson with Jesus Christ no matter how much I loved “Thriller.” I’ve thrilled at Prince’s guitar ripping up “Beautiful Ones,” but I didn’t think him God. I merely felt God’s touch through his art. And those people of every color, creed, class and stripe crying and in throws over Obama are that way because they believe they’re witnessing history. They ce
lebrate because they can’t wait for the day when George W. Bush exits stage right, trying to keep doorknob of the White House from hitting him in the ass on the way out. They cry out for a revolution because they need one more than they’ve ever needed one before.
If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. But don’t hate. After all, my Republican, ever devout Christian brothers and sisters, what would our dear Reagan … I mean Jesus do?