by Daniel Greenfield, The Canadian Free Press: (Z: This might be the best thing I've read recently about Obama; I think this guy really nails him exactly right):
The Obama Campaign, that strange 4 year
marriage of Generation X hipsters, inner city bosses, suburban college educated
boomers longing for racial healing, Big Green businessmen and shady Saudis,
appears to be finally sinking beneath the waves. It isn’t going out in a blaze
of glory, but with mumbles of trending topics.
always a petty man and his campaign has descended into pointless pettiness, into
Team Big Bird, binders full of women and bayonets and horses. Like so much
hipster culture, it exists so that the participants can entertain each other
with something that no one else thinks is funny or clever. And that elitism is
precisely the point. It’s the last resort of losers who hide from their lack of
taste behind walls of exclusivity. Abandoning mass appeal, Obama is getting back to his
roots of entertaining upper middle class college kids with his ‘hipness’; both
actual college kids and the overgrown middle aged variety that make up the
professional class of the mediacracy who treat the rest of the country the way
that they treated the natives on their Peace Corps
Campaign was never serious, but it once aspired to an Oprah level of
seriousness, to the dignity of the self-help sections where trite observations
are recited with great solemnity so that they sound like they must mean more
than they do.
Northeastern New York Times reader, Obama held out the promise of atonement for
the country’s grave racial sins. For the San Francisco wind farm executive, he
offered the prospect of a presidency that would be one long endless TED talk
with plenty of subsidies for the cunning Greenvestor. And the college student
would finally have a president who watched the same shows, listened to the same
music and got the same jokes making him the perfect Resident Adviser for the
Obama wasn't actually interesting, he just seemed interesting in a cursory sort of way.
biographies and four years later those same people have learned that like that
party guest who mentions that he’s a nuclear physicist, a poet and an explorer
of supernatural phenomena, Obama wasn’t actually interesting, he just seemed
interesting in a cursory sort of way. Obama’s biography made him an interesting
party guest, but not past a 5 minute chat, and it in no way qualified him to
hold the country’ top job during an economic crisis and two
seriously intent tone, the one that signals you to pay attention, no longer
works on even the faithful. Like Pavlov’s dogs, they have stopped coming once
they realized that just because the bell rings doesn’t mean that dinner or a
functional economy will be served. The weighty tone that he once used to deploy
to great effect, borrowing the tricks of the preachers that he encountered in
his huckstering days, has come to seem as empty as Oprah’s smile or Bill
Clinton’s sincere head nod, just another of the tricks of hollow public
personalities signifying nothing.
and years, he has talked and said nothing of any import. All the talk, the
endless speeches and addresses, the verbal and facial tics that indicated
seriousness of purpose, have never led to one single thing. Not one problem
solved, not one crisis resolved and not one plan laid out and completed in four
years with something to show for it.
Somewhere along the way, Obama became boring
He became that one man at a party that you don't want to talk to because he will go on forever and all his chatter leads nowhere, because for all his conversational skills, he is capable of nothing but talk. And after talking to him for ten hours, you don't know him any better than you did after ten minutes.
Voting for Obama was never the right choice objectively, but it was the right cultural choice, it was the trend, the impulse that everyone seemed to be following, the style that everyone was wearing, and the book that everyone was reading. But trends like that don't last. How many people will have Lady Gaga songs in the players or Fifty Shades of Grey on their bookshelves ten years from now? This too is the fate of the president of the trending topic, the commander-in-chief of the pet rock and the mood ring with his binders full of women and t-shirts with pictures of horses and bayonets on them. A joke that like Snakes on a Plane or All Your Base Are Belong To Us never gets old until 5 minutes later.
times are bad, people have a well-known escapist streak. During the Great
Depression, lavish musicals were popular. After September 11, Zoolander topped
the box office. Facing two wars and a failed economy, the American people
followed their own escapist streak to a smooth talking trickster with a soothing
bag of promises that were too good to be true. Who wanted to listen to McCain, a
man who looked like a walking war injury and kept talking about sacrifice, when
you could get big bags of free stuff from a man who offered a post-racial
society as a free gift with every vote.
Americans escaped to
Obama and now they’re escaping from Obama
The vacation was already
being cut short in 2012 and now it’s approaching its blackout date. Instead of
taking Americans away from everything, Obama took everything away from them, and
now they’re gearing up to take it all back and put him on a back shelf next to
last summer’s beach reads and last decade’s pop hits.
over. And confronting his ‘overness’, that deadliest of fates for a hipster, he
is crawling back to pander to his original audience, the graphic designers who
put together posters of him on their free time, the celebrities who were eager
to form his Jack Pack, to be his Joey Bishop or his Marylin Monroe, the
musicians singing about him, the netroots bloggers cranking out their sensations
of euphoric immediacy at being in his presence and the professional leftists
cheering for him to take down the American Empire like Godzilla took down
the trending memes with hashtags and Tumblr pages, the calculatingly overexposed
Instagram photos and the celebrities scribbling things on their hands and
Twitpiccing the results, can’t bring back the thing that’s over. And even if
they could, it won’t make a difference to the election. Hipsters like things
that are different before they become popular, because it makes them seem like
interesting people. Once something is popular then liking it no longer means
that you’re interesting, instead it comes with the ego-deflating revelation that
you are just like everyone else, except more so.
no point to liking Obama anymore. Not when Obama is everywhere, more overexposed
than Instagram, grinning from every corner, from every screen and magazine
cover, selling out to get ahead and making the old faithfuls wonder if he ever
stood for anything at all. Theirs is the sad burden of knowing that they will
never have their own JFK who died, tragically and horrifyingly, before he could
dive all the way into Vietnam, before stories of his carousing hit the papers
forcing him to go on television and insist that he never had sex with any of
will not be immortalized by a Communist with a rifle. Instead he is doomed to be
mortal, his hair turning white and his musical tastes turning worse. Any day now
he will admit to a fondness for Kenny G and after that there will be no saving
him from the dread ravages of time. And so he is over because the alternative to
him being over is the tastemakers having to confront their own overness. Their
were cannier than he seems, then he would embrace his own fakeness, becoming a
self-constructed celebrity, glorifying in his own artificiality, until like Lady
Gaga or Lana Del Rey and every third hip hop star with a pulse, his very
fakeness would serve as proof of his inventiveness and his media savvy. Such an
Obama would present a birth certificate showing that he was born in Kenya to
challenge our notions of identity, admit to squandering all the country’s money
for its own good and keep us entertained with his latest antics. It might not
win him the election, but considering the example of Zoolander, it might,
because then instead of being over, he would be a new escape all over
is determined to be a hipster to the very end, instead of embracing the
shamelessness of his own media manipulations, he veers erratically between an
insincere sincerity and the sneer of the spitefully superior. It’s the
performance we saw in the third debate, the antics of every college kid you ever
argued with, that combination of smugness and insecurity that marks the hipster
as an impossible conversationalist.
The only thing
sadder than a hipster is a wannabe hipster and that’s what Obama is
now ... a
man in search of a meme, a one-man band in search of an artfully touching
documentary about its travails in the wilds of Portland and a flat line in
search of its trend.
does not know how to govern. He does not know how to address the economy or war.
The one thing he knows how to do is be popular. That is the one and only skill
that he has cultivated in his life. And it is a good skill for a politician, but
a politician whose only skill is popularity had better avoid taking
responsibility for anything that might make him unpopular.
Popularity is a trend, and like every reality show star
still pounding away on Twitter five years later, trying to move their latest CD
or comedy club appearance, Oprah’s most popular boy toy since Dr. Oz has failed
to realize that he is no longer popular, his moment has passed, his relevance is
through and no one wants a man whose only skills are on-camera skills to be the
one standing between them and economic oblivion.
country doesn’t hate him, but it is tired of him. It wakes up every morning,
remembers the time everyone got drunk and decided to vote for the cool black
dude who talked a lot about hope, winces and then forgets about him all over
again until it looks at the latest economic news. It’s over him and it wishes
that he would show some dignity and walk away from a job that he isn’t qualified
for on his own.
emails walk the thin line between emotional blackmail and
gotten desperate. His fundraising emails walk the thin line between emotional
blackmail and hysteria. Increasingly they read like Cousin Larry phoning for
bail money from Tijuana. Shrilly needy they demand that we pay attention to him,
that we love him, adore him and spend money on him. They are the missives of a
man who cannot conceive of a life outside the spotlight, the vapid fear of a
celebrity who cannot confront the real world and cannot understand why their
public is walking away.
last stages of his career, Obama has become Norma Desmond, waving around a
social media gun and shouting, “No one leaves a star. That’s what makes one a
star.” But the country has left and what they leave behind is a star falling
from the sky over Chicago .
Z: Let's hope so.