Skip to main content

View Diary: I Refuse to Buy into the Obama Hype (673 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  well, he's kind of swoony too. (31+ / 0-)

    But that and a subway token, you know, get you a ride on the subway.

    It's his record of accomplishment, what I perceive to be his solid good intentions, and his ability to work well with others that got my vote.

    •  He certainly makes me (19+ / 0-)

      swoon and I have a deep admiration for his rhetoric.  Rhetoric gets a bad rap and is often portrayed as dishonest or lacking in substance.  "Less words, do something!"  The problem is that in politics you can't do anything unless you can form a consensus or a plurality.  And you can't form a consensus or a plurality unless you use language effectively such that you cause people to identify with you and your cause.  I fear that Clinton, with her very poor rhetorical skills, would be a one term president, mired in scandal and ineffectiveness, accomplishing nothing, and returning us to a republican majority after that term.  This strikes me as an obvious point, but maybe not.  At any rate, look at the most successful politicians in the last 20 years and the least:  

      Successful:  Reagan, Clinton, Bush Jr.  

      Unsuccessful:  Bush Sr., Dole, Gore, Kerry

      What did the first have that the latter did not.  The former were all talented rhetors (I know, I know, Bush can't speak his way out of a paper bag, but for some reason people found him appealing).  The latter group consisted of terrible rhetoricians who focused on policy and made no appeals to ethos (collective narratives, values describing what America should be in its "essence") and pathos (various passions and emotions).  While Reagan's speeches were mostly vague and flimsy, lacking in logos or concrete policy and details, he nonetheless wove narratives so powerful and effective that he drew many democrats to him and was able to fundamentally re-align the most basic political assumptions of the country (so much so that Goldwater is to the left of many of our democrats today).  Obama is our Reagan moment.  He is our chance to effect a narrative change, a paradigm shift, in the most basic political assumptions underlying the electorate.  I have no illusions that he'll enact all the legislations and agendas I'd like to see.  But his ability to shift the paradigm, the basic framework, basic assumptions that are so fundamental that we don't even articulate them because they're "given", is more valuable than short term policy successes.  

    •  His record, his inner wonk, the swoonability but (10+ / 0-)

      also all of his choices since college, how he learns from experience, his way of thinking, his unusual poise, his way of relating with peers, his way of teaching, what his students say, how he led the ardently opposed groups in law review and on and on...

      When I went to choose a candidate there was so much information, old articles from way back before he was THE Obama. I hadn't even heard him speak yet and I was simply awed. He was the last one I'd expected to support as I started the research but it was his work and his ways and experience that won me

      Then when I first heard him speak I did swoon some. All of this and he can give this kind of speech too? Unbelievable!

      That's why it always got to me when I'd hear this empty suit, rock star stuff. His "lofty rhetoric" struck me as the well phrased philosophy that his whole adult history had shown being developed.

      I have to admit I have a bias toward intelligence, deep thinking, honesty, self control...all those things demonstrated in his life.

      I can't imagine us missing this opportunity to have him be president.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (181)
  • Community (80)
  • Baltimore (76)
  • Bernie Sanders (57)
  • Civil Rights (46)
  • Freddie Gray (43)
  • Elections (35)
  • Culture (33)
  • Hillary Clinton (32)
  • Law (28)
  • Racism (27)
  • Labor (26)
  • 2016 (24)
  • Education (23)
  • Media (23)
  • Economy (23)
  • Politics (22)
  • Texas (21)
  • Rescued (21)
  • Barack Obama (19)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site