Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I've heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.
- Ezra Klein, January 2008
These days, Klein is reduced to fighting back against cries comparing Obama to Hitler by examining actual Nazi-style health care.
And then there was this:
"I give all praise and honor to God," Obama began. "Look at the day the Lord has made."
Obama's wife, Michelle, opened the rally with a description of her husband that could, at moments, have been a description of Jesus Christ.
"We need a leader who's going to touch our souls. Who's going to make us feel differently about one another. Who's going to remind us that we are one another’s keepers. That we are only as strong as the weakest among us," she said, echoing biblical passages.
Winfrey also touched on Christian themes that had not been highlighted in Iowa.
"It's amazing grace that brought me here," she began, adding that she was "stepping out of my pew" - television – to engage in politics.
It isn't enough to tell the truth, Winfrey said. "We need politicians who know how to be the truth."
- Politico, November, 2007
When you decide to engage in a high-stakes poker game called My Saviour is Better Than Your Saviour, expect blowback.
Does this excuse the right-wing extremism that's been going on? No.
Does it (at least partially) explain it? Yes.
The Obama administration has been busy throwing everybody and his dog - including his so-called progressive base - under the bus for years yet his staunch followers blog about how they will bow to his genius, how they cry every time the man gives a speech, and how he can stop a child's cries. Oh. The weeping!
And then they wonder how some right-wingers have come to be so crazed?
Bush had his 30-percenters; people for whom he could do no wrong.
Obama has his too. And they're just as fanatical. They might not be packing heat and making death threats, but they're equally as out of touch with reality.
You expected "unity"? "Bi-partisanship"? "Post-partisanship"? Kumbaya with the Repubs accompanying the Dems on guitars, maybe? Really? Just because of who (you thought) Obama was?
The next time you're up for a game of real poker, give me a call.