December 30th, 2008

Anticipation: waiting for Obama

Journalist Chris Smith is impatient for Obama to take office. He’s sick of that long countdown to Bush’s final day as President, even though the numbers have now become so small, and the clear and brilliant light can be viewed at the end of that long dark tunnel. In this, Smith probably has a lot of company.

Smith’s remedy? Move the date of Obama’s office-taking forward. Time for preparation? Obama don’t need no steenking preparation—or at least he’s had enough time for it already.

And what does Smith think we need? Why, Obama in charge, that’s what, and we need him now.

It’s probably not necessary to point out that this sort of thinking—the idea that Obama will magically soothe us, heal us, kiss our foreheads and make it all better—is part of a dangerous trend originally noted when Obama first became a candidate. I wrote “thinking” in the previous sentence, but it’s really more of a feeling that Obama will fix it. Or, if he can’t fix it, at least he’ll talk about it in a way that doesn’t involve abominations such as “nucular. And even if he doesn’t talk about it right, we’ll all experience such a sense of relief about his mere presence that maybe that will be enough. Because feeling good is a major part of what this is all about.

The idea of a magical transformation to be wrought by Obama as President is not just a strange characteristic invested in him by his followers and supporters. It is an idea he consciously and systematically fostered during his campaign—in fact, you might say it pretty much was the core of his campaign. So it’s not surprising that the raised expectations of supporters such as Smith have now reached a fever pitch after all the interminable waiting. And delayed gratification doesn’t appear to be the strong suit of Obamaphiles.

There are two possibilities for their reaction when Obama actually takes office and harsh, fickle, complex reality intrudes on the dream. Either he will disappoint his followers when they understand that he cannot work the unrealistic transformations they expect and yearn for, or they are so in thrall that they will forgive him everything and just be happy this cool, liberal, smooth dude is in there at last. That just might be enough.

In the meantime:

22 Responses to “Anticipation: waiting for Obama”

  1. colagirl Says:

    I would love to see the disillusionment set in among the rabid Obama fans once they realize that their expectations were way overblown, but I’m not counting on it, sadly. I think what is more likely to happen is that the Obama fanatics will go on worshiping the One and simply blame everything on teh EEEVOL Republicans in Congress.

  2. Baklava Says:

    Hatred of Bush and Republicans is non-factually media driven based usually.

    For instance, If somebody hates a Republican because they think they were ‘for’ cutting Medicare in 1995 by 270 billion because Clinton and the media said it – then that was non-factually based hatred.

    Moving forward to today, since facts do not matter, Obama will not suffer any damage except for the 1% of leftists who are not getting what they dreamed of.

    Republicans will continue to be battered by non-factually based media driven stories and will continue to be hated.

    I was reminded for instance about this crapola when watching a replay of Diane Sawyer interview Bill O’Reilly months ago. Her questions were identity politics questions about why there is no African American Republican Senator or Representative in Congress.

    I guess that is the trump card question. No matter what the policies and solutions put forward are – it’s chic to be ‘for’ Democrats based on identity politics and ideas and solutions and thinking be damned.

    Nevermind that Republicans and Ward Connerly are ‘for’ no discrimination or preferences based on race (I can’t generalize – there are Republicans for discrimination and race preferences).

    We have to move forward in America.

    This will require us to think – to think of the ideas and implement solutions based on those thoughts.

    If Obama moves forward with a tax rate increase like he plans – the economy will be negatively impacted no matter what people ‘feel’.

  3. Baklava Says:

    He’d also be the only black member of the U.S. Senate, putting Harry Reid in a spot, as Allahpundit notes.

  4. Baklava Says:

    Congressman Bobby Rush: ‘This is a matter of national importance. There are no African Americans in the Senate, and I don’t think that anyone, any U.S. senator who’s sitting in the Senate right now, wanna go on record to DENY one African American from being seated in the U.S. Senate. I don’t think they want to go on record doing that’…

    Laying on the guilt…. Sorry state of affairs when this is the methods that people resort to.

  5. gcotharn Says:

    “delayed gratification doesn’t appear to be the strong suit of Obamaphiles.” LOL

    “Obstructionism” will become the new media buzz. Mitch McConnell – as reasonable a Senator as one could ever hope for – will be promoted by media as the new demon: an intractable, unreasonable backwoods bumpkin from a racist illiterate Evangelical state.

    The never-ending meme: Left ideas are always and unquestionably brilliant. It’s inadequate or evil people who mess up the Utopia which we certainly could create. A long streak of bad luck, really – which will surely end on some glorious day when righteous leadership is not opposed and blocked by low down and evil opposition.

  6. Baklava Says:

    Obama’s lack of leadership once again….

  7. spoot Says:

    I do think Obama has encouraged this worship since it was a big factor in his victory but I don’t think he is actually such a megalomaniac that he believes it. His ego is huge but not delusional. Of course even the best can become delusional.

    I think it’s more likely he’s sh*tting his pants thinking “How the Hell am I gonna be able to fix the immense FUBAR facing the nation? And really things are so weird now and so frightening that people are looking for miracles in all sorts of places, Obama, Jesus, Bernanke, Gold, booze or guns, what gets you through the night.

    I think this magical thinking is what has plagued this nation ever since somebody blew a hole in President Kennedy’s head. We want trouble and chaos to go away and instead it keeps multiplying.

    So what to do? Just take a breath and relax. We’ll muddle though somehow, like we always do.

  8. huxley Says:

    …or they are so in thrall that they will forgive him everything and just be happy this cool, liberal, smooth dude is in there at last. That just might be enough.

    That’s what I expect. Obama will take care of Obama. He will avoid hard decisions and whatever doesn’t work will be blamed on nefarious others.

  9. Helen Says:

    Well, harsh reality is very harshly in evidence in Gaza. We know where Bush stands. Where does the President-Elect stand, given his statements earlier this year about rockets and his daughters?

  10. T_C_Mits Says:

    You Guys are all wrong. The PE will pass all problems to his Cabinet members. His job will be from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM with an hour off for lunch. And the rest of the nation and its problems can go to hell.

  11. huxley Says:

    I can be cynical as the next center-right person about Obama, but I’m willing to be surprised.

    George W. Bush struck me as the most mediocre man to become president since WWII. I was wrong about that. I don’t know if it was the office or 9-11 or whether Bush that capacity all along, but he far exceeded my expectations. Bush wasn’t perfect, but I think we were lucky to have him for the past two terms.

    Obama has been pushed into the office prematurely by a perfect storm of events. He is a very unlikely president. He too faces serious challenges. It’s possible Obama may rise to the occasion and surprise even those of us who did not vote for him.

  12. Cappy Says:

    If the liberals are so eager for the slackers to take over, they ought to go to YouTube and find commercials.

  13. james williams Says:

    Obama is the magical negro. Everything is going to be OK. Just like in the legend of bagger vance.

  14. mrbill Says:

    I think T_C_Mits has it right:

    Obama will likely pass the hard decisions onto his cabinet and frame things in such a way that when things go sour, the cabinet members better watch their backs. It’ll be another case of “That’s not the that I used to know.”

    That’s been his previous track record and there’s always more room under the bus for his support staff.

    And, if the MSM’s track record is any indication, they’ll back him up all the way.

    Sometimes I get so depressed thinking about what’s ahead for this country.

  15. Deekaman Says:

    Living in Milwaukee, I have a number of Leftists friends and acquaintences. They are already disillusioned and wondering what’s really coming from The Chosen One. A gay couple said to my wife that they were thinking they may have made a mistake in voting for Obama. The guy was elected because he was a rockstar; no other reason. His cabinet indicates he is trying to play to all sides. Don’t be surprised to see a one-term president here.

  16. Baklava Says:

    To be clear, Obama didn’t have people voting ‘for’ him based on stated policies and solutions….

    Mostly it was rockstar and anti-Bush. Change.

    To what?

    People divesting and bracing themselves for his tax rate increases. People spending less (bracing themselves). People not investing and in fact divesting.

    As it got closer to the election and it was clear Obama and his horrible policies would be the policy – people divested and braced. It exacerbated the problem of the housing market problem and recession.

  17. SteveH Says:

    Hey we’re just one big community in need of organising. Wasn’t that on his resume? Piece of cake.

    And i vote Carly Simon as having the sexiest mouth on the planet.

  18. Hogarth Says:

    Re colagirl:

    A politician with good rhetorical skills can create a new Garden of Eden in people’s minds, though only in their minds. However, that is sufficient, if that vision or illusion can be kept alive until election day, and its failure to materialize afterwards can be explained away by the obstruction of villains.

    — Thomas Sowell

  19. Trimegistus Says:

    The One cannot be wrong. When he screws up, it will only mean that counterrevolutionary elements, deviationists, and Jews are sabotaging his miracles. Therefore they must be purged. Every failure will be the pretext for more witch-hunts, more use of government power against political enemies, more blatant media attacks, more criminalizing of dissent.

    Just listen to the things the liberals have been accusing Bush of for the past eight years: that’s what they really intend to do.

    The coming decade will be a dark one for America and the world. Obama’s plans to “fix” the economy will destroy trillions of dollars of wealth. His plans to bring peace will unleash war on a scale not seen in half a century. His plans for “uniting” us will bring the country to the verge of civil war, if not past the brink.

  20. Carol Ward Says:

    The capacity for self delusion is limitless.

    Those who drank the Obama Kool aid will not, indeed can not, be jolted by reality. They will twist themselves into pretzels to avoid facing the not always pleasant real world. I am not even sure they will blame the Eeeevil Republicans, because I am not sure they will recognize that things are not sunshine and lollipops now that Obama sings.

    I fear those who think there will be a stunned awakening by the Obamaphiles are the ones who will be stunned when nothing of the kind happens.

  21. Hyman Rosen Says:

    Hey kettle, there’s a pot on the line for you!

  22. Adriel Says:


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