The Age of Obama

Gwen Ifill, who is moderating the Vice Presidential Debate, is the author of a pro-Obama book that she plans to release around the time of his inauguration. She is that confident. And the sponsors of the debate are that brazen in abandoning the very appearance of objectivity and neutrality in tapping a journalist to do the questioning who is openly biased towards one ticket. See here for details.

But what intrigues me is the title of her book: “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” Obama has an “Age”! The most Ronald Reagan ever had ascribed to him was an “era”! We have had the Age of the Greeks, the Age of the Romans, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages. We have gone through the Age of Discovery and the Industrial Age. Modernism and Postmodernism were mere eras. But now we are entering the Age of Obama. It will be a reign that will last a thousand years.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://reformationfaithtoday.com/ Les Prouty

    The MSM is so far in the tank for Obama they now have no shame.

    Oh, and you didn’t mention the Age of Aquarius of the Fifth Dimension (an age of love, light and humanity). Sounds like Obama to me.

  • The Jones

    I wonder what kind of emotional turmoil and self-loathing will come about when Obama disappoints the masses. Perhaps mass suicides? Maybe a certain apathy for politics? Maybe just a shift to the Republican party?

    With the little experience as the man has as a politician and a deal maker coupled with the messianic tenor of everything going on, these outcomes may not be as farcical as they sound.

    So for all these “Age of Obama” and “Sing Songs for Obama” and “Believe and Hope in Obama” people: please, please, please don’t be so stupid. Please insert a little bit of rationality into what you’re saying. The man is just a man, flung into the moment by the intensity of your fervor, not by the overwhelming virtue of his talents proven through years of service. You are nuts, and it’s going to come down on your head sooner or later.

  • FW

    we lutherans, especially those of us trained in the classics, assume a precision of language that would be nice to see but simply does not exist in our post modern age…..

    I think you are pushing a phrase just a little too hard Dr Vieth.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    I’ve been thinking that for awhile, Les Prouty, that Barack Obama is the face of the age of Aquarius.
    I don’t doubt there are reasonable people who plan to vote for him, for reasonable reasons.
    But I think his popularity (not a strong enough a word really) is due to what Obama himself said, earlier in his career: that he serves as a ‘blank screen’ where ‘people project their own views’.
    Lots of people think he’s really of different stuff than the ordinary politician, and thus capable of different stuff, and lots of it ain’t reasonable.

  • CRB

    Thank the Lord that He has set an “age” when all creaton will be renewed and the Kingdom of Christ will come in its fullness. Remember Matthew 24:22!

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer TK

    1000 years? I give it four to eight years, if any. ;)

  • Peter Leavitt

    Barring some miracle in the next month, Obama will probably be our next president. No one really knows what kind of president he will be, as throughout his life, including in his books and his campaign, it’s clear that he is unsteady at the core. In the debate with McCain he got away with coming across in style as a thoughtful, moderate leader of presidential caliber, as if Wright, Ayer, Rezco, and Acorn were not for real.

    The country itself is most probably heading into a deeper financial crisis with a possible foreign bank run that would be the mother of all bank runs. Our enemies in the world are just now in ecstasy at the prospect of a deep American recession or worse.

    The probable next president, a young, basically rather confused man with no record of serious achievment, will be grievously tested by events. I will hope and pray that he somehow succeeds but have little real confidence that he will.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    I agre with FW there – don’t push things beyond reasonable limits – it makes you seem less credible.

    That said, the “Age of Obama” could also be indicative of the fact that the “Age of the Baby Boomers” is coming to an end. Hasn’t ended yet, but is winding down.

  • CRB

    Should Obama win, another factor to consider is what will be the make-up of his cabinet. While our form of govt. allows for checks and balances, it will be very telling in some ways whom he chooses and also whom he appoints in the judicial areas!

  • J

    Scylding and fw make sense.
    Does anyone have evidence that Ifill’s book is pro-Obama?

  • Bruce

    Funny, Scylding, but I’ve never heard of “the Age of the Baby Boomers”. I’ve heard of the Boomer “generation”. But nothing about an “Age”. Maybe I’ve missed it. I rather doubt though that Gwen Ifill is using it in that way. The word “Age” is intentional, I’m thinking, to imply that Obama is the firstborn, so to speak, of a New Kind of Man. There is this palpable sense that History Is Being Made, and I don’t think it is just that he is African American. Besides, 24 already has done that (and we sort of know how reality and fictional tv shows start to seem the same to lots of people).

    Anyway, I disagree with Frank that Veith has overemphasized the word. When you use a word of that caliber, especially in the title of a book, either you are ignorant or you are hyping a paradigm change.

    So. Tell me again why the Republicans are allowing this biased woman to proctor the debate? The PBS excuse, that “Hey, everyone’s known that the book was coming out month’s ago” just doesn’t quite satisfy.

  • J

    Bruce, if you downplay the African American significance of Ifill’s book, what are you left with? I don’t follow your “New Kind of Man” comment.
    We Lutherans are so painfully white.
    Also, be advised that most authors have little control over both the titles of their books and the release dates. Publishers are in business of selling.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Bruce: I invented the term to stand next to “The Age of Obama”. Just a bit of rhetoric… I know we speak of generations normally.

  • Ken

    The Fourth Reich, largely engendered by the Fourth Estate. Fitting.

  • J

    Let’s agree to call this the Age of Palin, to balance things out. I was going to say the Age of McCain, but thought you might think I was making a joke about his, well, age.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    J – good one. The battle of the Obamaniacs and the Palindrones, Episode IV: No Hope, or, The more things Change, the more they stay McCain, I mean the same…

  • Bruce

    Well, let’s be frank (Frank, you can be ernest). We don’t have an awful lot to go on with Obama, do we? Speaking for myself, I have to say that since he doesn’t have much of a track record–the same problem Palin has–then there is a tendency to look at the symbolism that he projects. For someone with the level of paranoia that I have carefully cultivated, the symbols are not encouraging. In fact these are sometimes downright scary. It is through that lens that we mere conservative citizens view things like a children’s choir singing a paean to Obama, or his putting a seal on his podium, or, uh, one of his admirers entitling her book-to-be-published-on-inauguration-day (shades of DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN!) The Age of Obama.

    Given the people he’s associated with in his past–forgive me but these thoughts do crowd into my sinful mind (Why can’t I just TRUST the man???)–I find myself in my more vulnerable moments imagining–easily imagining–a man who wants to charm this country into a sort of strange…fascist…state.

    And frankly (Frank..oh, .never mind), the symbolism that Palin projects is very reasuring to me.

    That is of course, if you forget that they aren’t running against each other.

  • J

    Scylding, great episode title.

    To all, let’s show some healthy skepticism about McCain’s raising of the matter of Ifill’s book, which has been public knowledge for months, just as the debate is to begin. When Palin stumbles tonight, McCain’s campaign immediately will blame Ifill, and hope thereby to direct discussion away from Palin. The ground has been laid. It’s of a piece with the campaign’s tactic to lower Palin’s expecations even further.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    J (@18), McCain hasn’t been complaining about the book. He thinks Ifill will do a professional job:

    I think that Gwen Ifill is a professional, and I think she will do a totally objective job because she is a highly-respected professional. Does this help that if she has written a book that’s favorable to Sen. Obama? Probably not, but I have confidence Gwen Ifill will do a professional job.

    It’s some people here who seem magically to know what the content of Ifill’s unpublished book, as well as how biased her questions will be tonight. No doubt, they will find their predictions fulfilled regardless of what happens.

  • J

    tODD, you raise again the question, which no one here answers, about the content of Ifill’s book.
    But I suggest that the McCain comment you quote means the opposite of what he appears to be saying. While he “thinks” Ifill can be fair, he accuses her, without qualification, i.e., no “I think,” of having written a book favorable (favorable? – where does he provide the evidence?) to Obama. He then says that such a fact (the favorable book) does not “help.” Help what?
    Well, he means that it does help or support his just uttered hope (“I think”) that Ifill will be fair. In fact, he wants you to see that his hope flies in the face of evidence to the contrary, e.g., the favorable book. He then goes on to say charitably that, in light of such contrary proof, he is confident that she will do a “professional job.”
    It’s as if he had said, “Ifill is biased; you can see that by the favorable book about Obama that she wrote. But I hope she can put that aside.”
    After the debate he will say that it was obvious Ifill could not put aside her bias. His proof will be Palin’s performance. Already McCain is charging Couric with asking “gotcha” questions, when Couric merely questioned Palin about foreign matters.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    J (@20), sure. A lot of this is playing the expectations game. Before the DNC, I think McCain or his campaign suggested Obama would get a 15-point bounce or some ridiculous number like that. Set the bar too high, and the other guy has no choice but to fail, at least by your definition.

    A lot of people are expecting Palin to do poorly tonight, so to the degree it can be pawned off as “media bias” (which Republicans will always buy), it’s no longer Palin’s fault. Just like when the New York Times reports something the McCain campaign doesn’t like, it’s proof that they’re not “by any standard a journalistic organization.” Right, which is why the McCain campaign refuses to talk to Times reporters.

    I just wonder why people here aren’t making better use of their prognosticative abilities. I mean, what particular passages from Ifill’s book do you most object to? Which sections show the most bias, do you think? If you have time to answer before 8pm CT, what question of Ifill’s was the most biased?

    And hey, think big — never mind the immediate future! Do we finally get hovercars? Do we colonize Mars? For those of us stuck in the present, tell us what you see!

  • Carl Vehse

    McCain seems to have changed his mind about having an Obaminite “moderate” the debate, according to the article, McCain laments selection of Ifill.

    But it’s also been reported that Ifill has been exonerated of any bias by an ethics commission as reported in an Iowahawk story, which noted in part:

    As expected, a blue ribbon panel from the Ifill Center for Media Ethics cleared award-winning political journalist Gwen Ifill of all charge today, ending a lengthy 20 minute investigation into “ethics” charges that most observers believe were motivated by politics and racism. Ifill, like dynamic groundbreaking President-in-Waiting Barack Obama, is Black. The complete exoneration clears the way for Ifill to moderate the Vice Presidential debate tonight between respected Senate veteran Joe Biden and former beauty pageant loser Sarah Palin…

    The Ifill Ifill commission was convened late yesterday in the wake of a whispering campaign by racist internet operatives for cancer-ravaged reactionary Senator John McCain. The scurrilous charges included objections to Ifill serving as debate moderator because of her coming best-seller, President Obama: The Audacious Winning Campaign of the African-American Adonis Who Healed the Planet and Stopped the Oceans’ Rise, available November 6 from Harper Collins.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Carl (@22), I find that reading the article is just as useful as linking to it: “But I have to have confidence that Gwen Ifill will handle this as the professional journalist that she is,” said McCain.

    Of course, McCain seems to have gotten the memo between his first Fox interview and this one that he shouldn’t praise the press (f.k.a. his “friends” and his “base” … oh, those were good times) quite so much, instead focusing on lowering expectations for Palin’s performance.

    Of course, McCain repeats the as-yet-unsubstantiated claim that Ifill’s is “a book favorable to Barack Obama.” If McCain truly has the ability to see into the future and know the book’s content before it’s published, you’d think he would have avoided some of his campaign missteps, but perhaps this clairvoyance is intermittent?

    But I doubt that is the case with you, Carl. What, in particular, do you object to about the book?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    In the article Carl linked to (@22), Palin is quoted as saying that “this ticket, I think it is safe to say, is in an underdog position”.

    Ah, but there’s one difference between Palin and an underdog: lipstick!

  • J

    My friends, make no mistake. No one could be happier than John McCain that Gwen Iliff is tonight’s moderator. McCain and his campaing know Ifill’ll be fair, but they will nonetheless blame her for Palin’s gaffes.
    Carl, I can now put your comments in perspective, now that you’ve identified your news source. :)

  • Anon

    The orientation of Ifill’s book is known, and it is indeed entitled _The Age of Obama_ and is set to be released on Inauguration Day. She has a *huge* conflict of interest, as she stands to make far more money if Obama wins. She should be removed from the debate ASAP. That Democrats say she shouldn’t show that they have no sense of fair play or democracy.

    Even seeing clips of her comments on Palin’s speech at the GOP convention showed how upset she was by Palin and by how the delegates liked her. She is biased through and through.

    She is as one columnist said ‘an umpire who has bet on one of teams.’

    Any Democrat with any ethics would also be pushing for her removal.

    Even any Democrat with any common sense. Do you really think the American People are going to be impressed with Biden if they know that the debate was rigged from the start?

    This incident also suggests that PBS’ taxpayer funds be cut off. With cable and dish, it is no longer necessary.

    In a fair debate there is no question that Gov. Sarah Palin would not only defeat Joe Biden, but wipe the floor with Baraq Hussein Obama, as well.

  • J

    Anon, thanks a bunch.
    Your comprehensive explanation of the contents of Ifill’s book – as opposed to merely mentioning its title – was what I had been waiting to read. Where’d you get your copy?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@26), the two things you cite as proof of the book’s bias are (a) its title and (b) its release date, something that, as J already pointed out (@12), are probably not under her control.

    So what in the book itself affirms that it is “pro-Obama”, that Ifill herself is biased? Just cite one passage, is all I’m asking.

    Does Ifill have a conflict of interest? Yes. Is that proof that her questions are biased? You’ve obviously already concluded its so, but of course, you have nothing to point to — neither book content, nor her debate questions.

    It sounds like you’re already lamenting Palin’s poor performance before it’s even been demonstrated.

    The debate moderators were agreed to by both candidates nearly two months ago, several weeks after Ifill’s book had been announced. It wasn’t an issue to the McCain campaign then. But then, Palin hadn’t had any nationally televised interviews at that point, either.

    Which raises the question: why has the McCain campaign sat on this complaint for nearly two months? Are they concerned about biased questions, or Palin’s poor performance? If the former, why wait so long? If the latter, that would make a lot more sense, since there has been more talk on that subject in recent days.

    You lamented, “In a fair debate …” — well, what about the debate wasn’t fair? What question was too hard for Palin, or too easy for Biden?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anyhow, the question of Ifill’s fairness is moot — the debate should be called off right now so McCain can rush back to D.C. and make sure that the House approves all that pork. The pork which he hates. And voted for, along with Obama.

    By the way, do you know the difference between the bailout bill McCain voted for and a pig? Miss Congeniality’s lipstick!

  • Bruce

    J: “McCain and his campaing know Ifill’ll be fair, but they will nonetheless blame her for Palin’s gaffes.”

    So tODD, you can add J to those of us who know the future.

    The interesting thing about Ifill’s last moderation of a vice presidential debate is: the libs thought she was being perfectly fair. The cons were pretty sure those were some softballs being lobbed at the Breck Girl, and a some nasties at the veep.

    But it doesn’t matter. The debates on. We’ll see how Lipstick does. I’m pretty sure the libs will think she bombed, and the cons will think she was pretty darn good.

  • James

    haha. That was well written, Dr. Veith.

    The Jones does pose a good question. I wonder what *will* happen when Obama disappoints the masses.

    Wilson’s idealism dashed the people’s hope with the fail of his 14 points after WWI which led to the despair and triviality of the `20′s, the loss of hope in hope and people in power.

    I wonder if Obama’s failure won’t be the tipping point for Americans in mass to start looking to political powers in the global realm, somebody outside our corrupted system, per se.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    James (@31), Jones (@2), did you all consider “suicide”, “apathy for politics”, “looking to political powers in the global realm”, or even “a shift to the Republican party” when Bush disappointed; when he turned out to be neither politically compassionate or conservative; when he didn’t actually restore dignity to the White House; when he in fact proved quite adept at being a divider, not a uniter?

    No? The world continued? You remained put where you were as far as party identity? And maybe you even question if Bush is as bad as I make him out to be?

    Do you have any reason to think that your reaction to Bush will be any different than the reaction to Obama will be?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grr. That should’ve read “a shift to the Democratic party” (@32).

  • Pr. Schroeder

    TK, #6 wrote: “1000 years? I give it four to eight years, if any.” If it is 4 or 8 years, it may seem like a thousand.

  • Anon

    Baraq keeps talking about 10 years. I don’t know if that is like his belief in the 57 States, or if it is Biden’s confusion about which article of the Constitution was which.

    Maybe they are going back to the Greek, the aiwn, or spirit that ruled a vast realm of time. The prince of the power of the air, in fact.


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