You’re a Bitter Stranger: Barack Obama’s Campaign Song

Filed under:Music,Politics — posted by Anwyn on April 15, 2008 @ 4:29 pm

Part One: The Pitch, Suitably Vague and Feelgood

However you feel, whatever it takes
Whenever it’s real, whatever awaits.
Whatever you need, however so slight
Whenever it’s real, whenever it’s right.

Part Two: The Woo–You’re Bitter, Right? Come On, Baby, I Can Fix It

I’ve been thinking long and hard about the things you said to me–
Like a bitter stranger
Now I see the long and short, the middle, and what’s in between
I could spit on a stranger.

Part Three: The Truth

Honey, I’m a prize and you’re a catch and we’re a perfect match
Like two bitter strangers
Now I see the long and short of it and I can make it last
I could spit on a stranger
You’re a bitter stranger
I could spit on a stranger
You’re a bitter stranger.

Part Four: The Desperation–Come Back, Baby, What’d I Say?

I see the sunshine in your eyes
I’ll try the things you’ve never tried
I’ll be the one that leaves you high, high, high …

Song written by Stephen Malkmus, performed here by Nickel Creek

You Said It, Lady

Filed under:Jerks,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 2:46 pm

Yes, Michelle Obama, you most certainly are out of touch. Say on.

Got it, of course, from Hot Air headlines.

“War Is Not Pro-Life”

Filed under:Bumper Stickers,Language Barrier — posted by Anwyn @ 2:15 pm

Seen on a bumper sticker.

Pro whose lives? Pro the lives of tyrants who rape, murder, and imprison at will? No, it is not. Pro the lives of those who serve such tyrants? No, it is not.

Pro the lives of those living under the tyrant’s boot-heel? Yes, it is. Pro the lives of those killed in gas chambers? Yes, it is. Pro the lives of those, including housewives, being trained to kill “even one American” as Japan prepared to accept invsasion rather than surrender? Yes, it is. Pro the lives of soldiers proud to give their lives, if need be, in support of other lives? Yes, it is. Pro lives lived in freedom, pro lives lived without fear, pro lives lived with a voice in how they’re governed? Yes, it is.

Say On

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 12:28 pm

Must-reads on Obama. Mary Katharine Ham has the story of a Democratic advisor who understands the importance of “serving up basic respect” and the Democrats’ failure to listen to such as him, since they clearly have no reliable compass of their own on this group of voters:

Liberals routinely assume small towns are unfailingly desperate places filled with helpless people largely because they can think of no other explanation for people living in them. They project their own values on those communities, mistake proximity to a sushi bar with quality of life, and assume these people must be waiting for someone to rescue them.

But the man who owns a mechanic’s shop or a contracting business with his wife and raises a family in a house of his own on a decent chunk of land is not looking for the government to rescue him from anything. He has troubles, but he is not helpless; he may lack a Ph.D., but he is not stupid, and the suggestion thereof is not appreciated.

H/t Hot Air Headlines.

George Will gives the history of the evolution of this mindset in leading Democrats and notes Michael Barone’s observation that FDR would never have said–or thought–anything so arrogant and condescending. Me, I wonder if that’s mainly because FDR was far too smart and experienced a politician for that, rather than his “celebration” of the working class, but as I’ve said before, knowing how to get along in public is really half–and for a politician sometimes more than half–the battle.

The emblematic book of the new liberalism was “The Affluent Society” by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. He argued that the power of advertising to manipulate the bovine public is so powerful that the law of supply and demand has been vitiated. Manufacturers can manufacture in the American herd whatever demand the manufacturers want to supply. Because the manipulable masses are easily given a “false consciousness” (another category, like religion as the “opiate” of the suffering masses, that liberalism appropriated from Marxism), four things follow:

First, the consent of the governed, when their behavior is governed by their false consciousnesses, is unimportant. Second, the public requires the supervision of a progressive elite which, somehow emancipated from false consciousness, can engineer true consciousness. Third, because consciousness is a reflection of social conditions, true consciousness is engineered by progressive social reforms. Fourth, because people in the grip of false consciousness cannot be expected to demand or even consent to such reforms, those reforms usually must be imposed, for example, by judicial fiats.

The iconic public intellectual of liberal condescension was Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter, who died in 1970 but whose spirit still permeated that school when Obama matriculated there in 1981. Hofstadter pioneered the rhetorical tactic that Obama has revived with his diagnosis of working-class Democrats as victims — the indispensable category in liberal theory. The tactic is to dismiss rather than refute those with whom you disagree.

Obama’s dismissal is: Americans, especially working-class conservatives, are unable, because of their false consciousness, to deconstruct their social context and embrace the liberal program. Today that program is to elect Obama, thereby making his wife at long last proud of America.

H/t: The Blog at The Weekly Standard.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace