“The Ambiguously American Candidate.” That’s what I thought yesterday when I saw this photo.
It is striking to note that Obama’s plane flys around the world sporting an iiiiittty bitty American flag (out of camera range when he walks down to tarmacs) and many prominent O symbols. I wrote to a pal yesterday:
“A tiny little flag near the serial numbers, the big Obama symbol everywhere – including, apparently, on HIS seat in first class.
It’s starting to really make me uncomfortable. Obama is clearly trying to send a signal that he is a “citizen of the world’ type before he is an American. That Obamaland is a state unto itself. Or a state of mind.
Apparently the Great Seal of Obama was not a mere glitch in his campaign. The O symbol takes precedence over the American symbol for this candidate, and – to his credit – he’s being really up front about his priorities.
And I thought Bill Clinton was a narcissist.
In fairness – to some extent, you do need a big ego to run for the American presidency, but on the other hand, this pre-dominant O symbol begins to make me uncomfortable. Is all of this meant to instill confidence in a man who has only 143 days working experience in the Congress (with no signature piece of legislation to his name) a whisper thin resume and some dubious policy ideas?
Or is it a promise of things to come: Obamaland! – we don’t know what it means, yet, but it’s change, and it’s hope and we hope in change, because apparently, America is just not acceptable in its current hopeless form, so unchanged, these last 230 years.
Obama’s seeming ambiguity about his own citizenship, his own allegiance and his need to put his own self and his own symbol before the symbol of the nation he says he loves and wants to lead…it’s Un. Comfortable.
Shouldn’t the American President be – at the very least – unambiguously American?
“Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon.” Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel July 23, 2008 – [emphasis mine - admin]
He’s not on that committee. What’s that about?.
So, today – we learn that Obama really really wants photos of him amid an adoring crowd in Berlin. He wants it so badly, he’s distributing flyers in German to help bring out the adorers.
Big O symbol on the paper, nary an American flag in site. He is an American running for the American presidency, right?
Say this for Obama: he’s being very upfront about his preferences and his ambitions. If he wins, no one can say we didn’t see megalomania from, well…say this moment:
Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. — Barack Obama, June 2, 2008
And his wife has already promised us that if Obama wins:
Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.
Every time I read that, I think of the opening of Orwell’s 1984, when Winston Smith gets out of bed to begin his compulsory exercises and – when he’s not quite attending and not touching the floor with his hands – the inter-active drill leader (who can see him) calls out to Smith by name, admonishes him and gets him re-focused.
Smith was certainly involved and informed.
But this is America. In America, you’re free to be uninformed, if that’s what you really want. It’s called personal liberty. Your choices may not be the best choices, but they’re your own. And that is invaluable.
“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.” – G.K. Chesterton, Broadcast talk 6-11-35
If Barack Obama wins the White House, we can expect the return, I suppose, of the greatly mocked and quickly hidden Great Seal of Obama, in that slightly nauseating shade of UN-blue. And there will be lots of non-campaign campaign types of events, too, I’ll bet.
If the congress and senate remain in Democrat hands, and the SCOTUS gets a few new members – well, it’s going to be very interesting to see all the change.
UPDATE: More on Joe Klein’s meltdown, which is linked to above under “dubious policy”.
UPDATE: Was very interested (but only mildly embarrassed) to receive this picture from an Obama fan, showing McCain’s plane with the small flag by the registry numbers:
So, McCain does not have a prominent flag on his plane, either. But it must be said, McCain is also not passing out flyers for a big campaign speech in Berlin or designing his own “presidential seal.” McCain has not yet declared that his candidacy became the moment – FINALLY! – when America started to employ her millions of unemployed workers and began taking the old and sick off the teeming streets and bringing them into hospital. And his plane is not carrying around a guy who is an “ambiguous” American. McCain is unambiguous about his country, so perhaps his little flag is less jarring; we DO know who he is.
In fairness, it would be objectionable to see Obama use the flag merely as a “prop” when he has more than once suggested that he’s uncomfortable with the “flagwaving” stuff. He’s sort of roped himself into a corner now. If he doesn’t use the flag he’s ambiguous; if he does, he’s a “phony” – the flag has become a lose-lose for Obama, and I can appreciate that at this point he’s better off not waving one. He should probably find out what committees he is actually named to, in the Senate, though.
Still…there may not be – as I suggested below – a nefarious idea behind “pictures of Dear Leader exiting his plane without an American reference in sight.” I was writing late on three hours sleep as I mentioned to Rand, so I will plead only a half-addled, not fully-addled case.
MEANWHILE: Over at Maggies’ Farm, they’re looking at another quasi-religious-sounding quote from Obama and saying they don’t want Obama or any other politician trying to bring “meaning” into their lives via government.
“They want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives, something that will relieve a chronic loneliness or lift them above the exhausting, relentless toll of daily life. They need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them — that they are not just destined to travel down a long highway toward nothingness.“
Sounds like “these sheep” need a shepherd. I know a good one I can recommend! Hillary talked about the “politics of meaning” years ago and everyone said, “what does that mean?” Do we know, yet?