Thursday, July 22, 2010

Olbermann: "Let Obama be Obama"

Olbermann: The witch-hunt vs. Sherrod, and those who made it possible

To paraphrase President Reagan's Secretary of the Interior, James Watt — Mr. Messina, and Mr. Emanuel, and everybody else in this White House who is gradually remodeling this President into something generic and safe and electable in 2012 by the slimmest of margins on the strength of being as media-circus-free and better suited to "this atmosphere" as possible.

Let Obama be Obama! And that advice must be heeded by one man above all others.
Let Obama be Obama?

Breaking news for you, Olbermann. This is Obama being Obama. Mr "No Drama" Obama who avoids confrontations at all costs until his back is against the wall and he has no choice but to respond.

What I find interesting here is that Olbermann is saying that Obama is simply a political puppet of stronger forces like Jim Messina and Rahm Emmanuel. So, I guess when he said, "The buck stops with me", he really meant that it stops with him after he's been directed by his advisors about what to do with it.

I suppose Olbermann had to include some excuse to cover for Obama in this shameful incident that saw a useless WH political machine throw yet another African-American under that now infamous bus to keep his Obama-loving fans happy. I doubt they even realize that Olbermann said Obama's presidency is being managed behind the scenes just as Dubya's was.

To top it off, Olbermann apparently believes that "Fired up?" was more than just some catchy campaign slogan.

The question used to be "fired up?" - and the answer: "Ready to go!" The question now is "fired up?" - the answer now is: "Not ready, because we cannot afford the impression of not looking sufficiently presidential and neutral and inviting a media circus in this atmosphere."
And he doesn't seem to realize yet that "hope" and "change" meant that starstruck fans like him would be hoping Obama would change all through his presidency to become this flaming liberal he never was during his campaign. That was blatantly obvious to anyone who was paying attention without fanboy blinders on.

There has been no gradual remodeling of Barack Obama during his presidency.

Obama is being Obama.

By stating, "Let Obama be Obama", what Olbermann is asking is that he be anyone but who he really is. And that is obviously not going to happen.

As for what happened to Shirley Sherrod, the Leave Obama Alone! crowd which has insisted he had no part to play in this travesty and who didn't think he owed Mrs Sherrod a damn thing because of that will now have to live with the fact that he has finally personally apologized to her - because he was ultimately responsible for the actions of his government.

Too little, too late considering just how quickly his administration jumped to get rid of her in the first place after (yet again) foolishly believing that right-wing nuts actually tell the truth. Some of his defenders even tried to claim that Vilsack wasn't a part of the administration. Apparently, they don't either don't know how government is structured or they were just grasping at any excuse to place distance between Obama and Vilsack. Either way, it's been quite the pathetic display of refusing to hold those responsible accountable.

Those defenders - comparable to Bush's 20 percenters - truly believe he is not responsible for anything that goes wrong in his administration while heaping praise on him for absolutely everything that goes right. They gaze at pictures like him as if he's some sort of teen idol - a phenomenon I never saw any Bush supporters engage in. Can you imagine the ridicule from the left if some right-wing blog had posted that kind of propaganda week in and week out during Bush's presidency while adding only Good News™ about what their dear leader was up to because they couldn't deal with reality?

That's why they cannot fathom any criticism being lobbed Obama's way. "Brand Obama", as described by Naomi Klein,  is too big too fail and must be bailed out continually at all costs:

Klein: One of the things in this-you know, a large part what I write about in No Logo is the absorption of these political movements into the world of marketing. And, you know, the first time I saw the "Yes, We Can" video that was produced by, my first thought was, you know, "Wow. A politician has finally produced an ad as good as Nike that plays on our, sort of, faded memories of a more idealistic era, but, yet, doesn't quite say anything." We think we hear the message we want to hear, but if you really parse it, the promises aren't there, it's really the emotions.

And, you know, I think that that explains in some sense the paralysis in progressive movements in the United States where we think, Obama stands for something because we-our emotions were activated on these issues, but we don't really have much to hold him to because, in fact, if you look at what he said during the campaign, like any good super brand, like any good marketer, he made sure not to promise too much, so that he couldn't be held to it.
Political consumers.

That does not bode well for a democracy that is supposed to be based on reason. And we're watching as the results of that marketing are being played out while dignified people like Shirley Sherrod become victims of that emotional consumption engaged in by the right, the left and all of those in between. It has produced the same outcome as unchecked capitalism: moral bankruptcy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

C'est dommage...

So, I had promised myself that I would finally get around to writing a new blog post today since I've been on a bit of a hiatus lately working on my little vegetable garden and then taking painkillers, naps and physio treatments to deal with the pain. Gardening with lupus, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, degenerative discs, bad feet and burning hips makes this effort a definite labour of love.

Just as I feared, however, after years of not having space to plant a garden and now actually having achieved that feat it was devastated by hail this afternoon. Not sure what there is to salvage yet besides some potatoes that look like they'll survive and perhaps a few garlic plants. I also managed to move some flower pots in time to save them from the storm but certainly not all of them, as you can see in the photos. All of this after having to wait through a very wet spring until the first week of June to actually plant anything. Murphy's Law as far as my life goes.

On top of that, I'm off to see my doctor on Wednesday after getting new x-rays of my hips and back last week which he would now like to discuss with me (code for: he saw something that concerns him.) Because I need yet one more thing to go wrong with my body. If he actually has a clue how to fix my back though, I will be grateful.

This week sucks so far... c'est dommage (literally).

Yes, it could be worse and, yes, others are suffering much more than I ever will. But - every now and then - it's okay to wallow just for a little while.