I’ve written almost nothing about politics since the election because there was so much noise out there in the days following it that I thought it best to step back, reflect, process and pray. One thing I’ve come to realize is that the instant busyness of the right – the call to “win in 2010, win in 2012″ – before election day was even over, was off-putting to me. I think if you’re too busy scurrying and too busy moving from fury-to-fury, you’re going to make many missteps. Be a little angry, sure, particularly when the people who have been calling in “unteachably ignorant” and “nazi’s” for 8 years suddenly start saying “lets be fwends, we wuvs you.” But beware the easy descent into the ignoble hellhole of hate where the left has stewed for the past 8 years. There’s nothing worse than looking up and realizing that one has become the very thing one has hated.
Anyhow, I’m still processing and silent beyond noting that there is something obscene in anyone spending over half a billion dollars (some of it dubiously obtained and apparently free-from scrutiny; thanks, press!) to win a presidency (and oh, the press would be howling if McCain had spent it while Obama chugged along on public money), and that it will be interesting to watch the press (who begrudged every dime the RNC spent on Bush’s inaugural in 2004, and crabbed about celebrating “in a time of war”) and see how they’ll justify and promote the DNC’s inaugural excesses “in a time of war” (still) and while “economies are crumbling” and “people are losing jobs.”
But the rest of my thoughts on the Obama presidency are tied up in spiritual perspectives and I’m not ready to say much about them, yet.
I know this much: God is not done with any of us, yet, and that includes Barack Obama. Do I trust Obama? Not especially, and with reason. I have doubts about Obama, mostly because I suspect that Obama has doubts about America.
But that’s where faith comes in. I’m hopeful that some of Obama’s own doubts about America will disappear during the transition, that as he watches his gracious predecessor assist hugely in the peaceful transition of power and stands on the inaugural platform to address the nation and the world, he might – might – suddenly understand how truly great (and stabilizing) are the underpinnings of the nation, and work to preserve, rather than re-tool them.
His unfortunate leaking of the traditionally private discussions between incoming and outgoing presidents the other day, has dulled some of my hope, though, and has once more raised my suspicion that Obama is not here to serve America, first and foremost, but to serve himself, and then something else.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to discuss this president as we have every other president, without fear of retribution. We’ll have to see. Meanwhile, do read Camille Paglia, who says pretty much everything I want to say – on Obama, on the press, on America and on Sarah Palin – and who wonders, as I do, whether America might, someday, be allowed to see the birth certificate of the man it just elected to the most powerful office in the world.
In the closing weeks of the election, however, I became increasingly disturbed by the mainstream media’s avoidance of forthright dealing with several controversies that had been dogging Obama — even as every flimsy rumor about Sarah Palin was being trumpeted as if it were engraved in stone on Mount Sinai. For example, I had thought for many months that the flap over Obama’s birth certificate was a tempest in a teapot. But simple questions about the certificate were never resolved to my satisfaction. Thanks to their own blathering, fanatical overkill, of course, the right-wing challenges to the birth certificate never gained traction.
But Obama could have ended the entire matter months ago by publicly requesting Hawaii to issue a fresh, long-form, stamped certificate and inviting a few high-profile reporters in to examine the document and photograph it. (The campaign did make the “short-form” certificate available to Factcheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.) And why has Obama not made his university records or thesis work widely available?
Pursuing the truth about Ayers, I recently rented the 2002 documentary “The Weather Underground,” from Netflix. It was riveting. Although the film seems to waver between ominous exposé and blatant whitewash, the full extent of the group’s bombing campaign is dramatically demonstrated…he news footage of the Greenwich Village townhouse destroyed in 1970 by bomb-making gone wrong in the basement still has enormous impact. Standing in the chaotic street, actor Dustin Hoffman, who lived next door, seems like Everyman at the apocalypse.
Ayers comes off in the film as a vapid, slightly dopey, chronic juvenile with stunted powers of ethical reasoning. The real revelation is his wife, Bernardine Dohrn (who evidently worked at the same large Chicago law firm as Michelle Obama in the mid-1990s)…
The mystery of Bernardine Dohrn: How could such a personable, attractive, well-educated young woman end up saying such things at a 1969 political rally as this (omitted in the film) about the Manson murders: “Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild!”
Given that Obama had served on a Chicago board with Ayers and approved funding of a leftist educational project sponsored by Ayers, one might think that the unrepentant Ayers-Dohrn couple might be of some interest to the national media. But no, reporters have been too busy playing mini-badminton with every random spitball about Sarah Palin, who has been subjected to an atrocious and at times delusional level of defamation merely because she has the temerity to hold pro-life views.
Just read it all and be grateful that Paglia – a true classical liberal – is saying this stuff from the left.
UPDATE: And this lady speaks a lot of truth, also