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View Diary: To my fellow Obamab*ts - Snowden/Greenwald bashing is Missing the Point (318 comments)

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  •  Yep. (6+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, we're particularly conditioned to refract our understanding of historical forces through the lens of individual actors.  And these actors are freighted with a ton of symbolic meaning.  Obama is at least as much a symbolic figure as he is a flesh-and-blood man.  That goes for all those folks on your list.  In addition to everything else, these people become shorthand gestures for our hopes or fears.  Archetypes, bumper stickers.  And their symbolic freight isn't stable either -- it's contested.  There's no question that the right wing version of Obama is almost entirely symbolic -- he represents something to those folks, something far bigger than who he is.  And it's in this realm we often disagree here, because there's so much negative freight being thrown at the guy, so much baggage that fundamentally misunderstands him.

    Anyway, Americans love to reduce everything to the individual level.  And we love the idea of good and evil duking it out in front of the saloon.  And the fate of American politics hangs on this problem.

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