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April 05, 2008

Too Cool To Rule [Cuffy Meigs]

Joe Klein of Time finally discovers Obama's biggest problem, that which we conservatives instinctively zeroed in on after Rev. Wright appeared. And it is NOT race:

Patriotism is, sadly, a crucial challenge for Obama now. His aides believe that the Wright controversy was more about anti-Americanism than it was about race. Michelle Obama's unfortunate comment that the success of the campaign had made her proud of America "for the first time" in her adult life and the Senator's own decision to stow his American-flag lapel pin — plus his Islamic-sounding name — have fed a scurrilous undercurrent of doubt about whether he is "American" enough.

Welcome to the party, Joe. While we should applaud liberal Klein's tardy epiphany, he does give us implicit permission to now question the inherent (lack of) patriotism of the Left, for Klein fired the first shot:

This is ironic and weirdly self-defeating, since the liberal message of national improvement is profoundly more optimistic, and patriotic, than the innate conservative pessimism about the perfectibility of human nature.

But back to Obama. While some slack-jawed peckerwoods have exclusively latched onto the racial aspects of Wright's poison, the fundamental America-hatred/shame demonstrated by Obama's inner circle (Wright, Michelle, Weather Underground, Obama himself) is the much wider and deeper issue. It, ahem, transcends race. Funny that.

In a much discussed piece, Michael Barone reaches a similar conclusion, but from a different, geographic/demographic angle --- Academics vs. Jacksonians:

But looking at these electoral data suggests to me that there's another tribal divide going on here, one that separates voters more profoundly than even race (well, maybe not more profoundly than race in Mississippi but in other states). That's the divide between academics and Jacksonians. In state after state, we have seen Obama do extraordinarily well in academic and state capital enclaves. In state after state, we have seen Clinton do extraordinarily well in enclaves dominated by Jacksonians.

I've touched on the Obamas' Bubble before. He and Michelle come from a different place than most Americans, and I'm not talking about Kenya-Kansas-Hawaii-Indonesia, but Columbia-Harvard-etc. The preternatural and persistent America bashing that occurs in the liberal academic cocoon (take that, Klein!) has exposed the Obamas to the wrath of the Jacksonians, asserts Barone:

Jacksonians, in contrast, place a high value on the virtues of the warrior and little value on the work of academics and public employees. They have, in historian David Hackett Fischer's phrase, a notion of natural liberty: People should be allowed to do what they want, subject to the demands of honor. If someone infringes on that liberty, beware: The Jacksonian attitude is, "If you attack my family or my country, I'll kill you." And he (or she) means it.

If you want to hear an eloquent version, listen to Sen. Zell Miller's speech endorsing George W. Bush at the 2004 Republican National Convention. The academic who hears the Rev. Jeremiah Wright declaiming, "God damn America," is not unnerved. He hears this sort of thing on campus all the time. The Jacksonian who watches the tape sees an enemy of everything he holds dear.

Obama doesn't "get" America. He is aloof, condescending, and finds it extremely difficult to make even a phony (too him) gesture to demonstrate what Americans require of their Presidents --- a basic love of country. As Klein concludes, Obama is too cool to rule:

But now, to convince those who doubt him, Obama has to make the implicit explicit. He will have to show that he can be as corny as he is cool.

Good luck with that.

(Cross-posted at Perfunction)

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posted by xgenghisx at 10:15 AM

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