"Barack-o-phobia" and "Bush-o-phobia"

Jonah Goldberg at The Corner:

I caught the beginning of the Daily Show the other night and saw what appears to be a recurring segment: “Barackaphobia.” This, as you might guess, is where Stewart mocks anybody who is overly concerned with Barack Obama’s ideas, background, whatever. In short, anybody who takes stark exception to Obama or the cult of Obama is paranoid.
[...]The left loves to characterize conservative dislikes and disagreements as “phobias” and other maladies of the mind. Specifically, conservative “hate” is based on “ignorance” and “fear.” Rhetorically, this tactic amounts to a way for liberals to avoid arguments on the merits….

Barack Obama, as we speak, is being added to that list. If you don’t love and embrace Obama, you’re afraid of him (and, again, fear is the root of racism, etc etc.). You’re fearful of change, scared of hope, terrified of progress.

…whatever fair examples of “Barackaphobia” may be out there for Stewart to beebop and scat on, there were tens of thousands of better examples of what could easily be called Bushophobia (or what many call “Bush derangement syndrome”) over the last 7 1/2 years, and I don’t recall Stewart mocking anybody on that score very much.

Well, of course. That’s because if you’re from the left, you’re really “smart”, “all” of your politicians are visionaries with flawless policies, and all of your opinions are true. If you’re on the right – or more exactly, if you’re not on the left – you are “stupid.” Your pols are “stupid” and all of your opinions are based on fear, prejudice or the lack of an inelegant education. That’s just how it is.

But there was a time when Jon Stewart knew a moment of self doubt, where he almost faced his own Bush-o-phobia, and it nearly shook him to his core:

“What if Bush – the president, ours – has been right about [Iraq] all along? I feel like my world view will not sustain itself and I may – and, again, I don’t know if I can physically do this – implode.”

Stewart wasn’t alone in his scary moment, as I noted back then.

Jonah is of course, quite right. You can easily find a bajillion examples of “Bush-o-phobia” both fair and unfair – mostly unfair, much of it intellectually dishonest and just running along a stream of narrative, like the dead thing Chesterton talks about when he writes in The Everlasting Man, “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”

You can find examples of people on the right (at least occasionally) agreeing that the Bush-criticisms from the left have some substance to them. I wonder if we’ll see anyone on the left ever conclude that maybe, just maybe, there is some substance to the observations of Obama’s shortcomings, that make them more than just “stupid,” or “phobic.”

That would be interesting.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Portones

    Barak must realize just how weak he is on any discussion beyond platitudes of Hope and Change. That is why he and his handlers want to emphisize his feel-good preaching, and defend him from substantive debate or discussion of any depth or detail. Often this defense results in charges of nit-picking, racism, asking gotcha questions, etc. when anyone asks for the details, or says his ideas lack in feasibility or depth.

    Barak is scared to death of an open debate of issues. Come on, Mr. Obama, why did you refuse Mr McCain’s invitation to participate in the 10 open format town hall meetings.

    Gallina!

  • TheAnchoress

    Come to think of it, you’d think he’d be itching for a chance to get into the townhall forum. He’s younger, better looking, more energetic and “smarter, so much smarter” than McCain…you’d think he’d jump at the chance.

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  • Pat_Patterson

    I remember John Stewart when he still was on the AVP Tour, as a minor volleyball player but more importantly a rep for the tour and the players. He came to my business without the promised players but gave an extremely funny description of life on the tour and some surprisingly conservative ideas on acquiring capital, which he wanted, and taxes, which he didn’t. Unfortunately the only time I watched his program was to discover that he was simply not funny anymore. How sad!

  • roylofquist

    As far back as I can remember (1952) the Democrats have used the same line about Republicans: “The president is a dunce and the attorney general is a crook”.

    You’d think that with the literary crowd on their side they could occasionally come up with a new line.

  • http://sailorette.blogspot.com/ Foxfier

    Seems obvious to me why Obama won’t agree to the ten town-hall type debates– have you heard him stumble and fumble when he’s talking off the top of his head?

    The guy really should’ve gone to hollywood.

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  • gs

    Paul Volcker has one way of looking at Obama:

    …I would just make other comment, which has struck me, when you look at those early election returns in Iowa or elsewhere, to exaggerate a bit, everybody under 30 was voting for Barack Obama, everybody over 60 was voting for Hillary Clinton. If you ask yourself, where does the future of the country lie, I think the answer is obvious.

    His extended remarks somewhat temper the foregoing, but he does not back away from his endorsement.

    Chicagoboyz commenter Tehag has another way:

    …Obama is the candidate of the new generation the anti-American, anti-Capitalist, anti-Semitic school system has created. Learn to live in it or be trampled underfoot.

    Learn to live in it? I fear that Obamamerica itself would be trampled by ruthless aggressors–perhaps sooner than one would expect.

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