Goodbye, Consultants

June 7th, 2008

Out of respect for the feelings of my friends (you know who you are) who supported Hillary Clinton, I?ve suppressed my celebration of Barack Obama?s assuming the Democratic nomination for a week now. I don?t see Obama?s success as a triumph of misogyny so much as a victory over the kind of overly crafted politics that has far too long been the hallmark of Democratic presidential politics.

Goodbye Mark Penn with your micro demographic groups. Goodbye Terry McAuliffe with your money bags. Goodbye Bob Shrum with your advice to waffle opposition to this obscene war in Iraq. Goodbye James Carville with your mean and petty loyalties. Let?s hope none of them finds work at Camp Obama.

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The A Word

May 24th, 2008

Like every sentient American of my generation, I remember where I was when John F. Kennedy was shot in November 1963. A professor who was trying to put some physics into the heads of a classroom of liberal arts majors told us the news. Proving just how old he was, he recalled the assassination of William McKinley (in 1901). I remember the kindness in his voice, the agony he conveyed that this was our lot. Our young president was dead.

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I am NOT Barack Obama

May 10th, 2008

When the progressive internet organizer Moveon.com invited people to create thirty second spots for Barack Obama recently, the submissions included more than a few ads in which women and girls, men and boys of multiple ethnicities declared themselves to be Obama.

?I am Barack Obama,? they chanted in ad after ad. ?I am Barack Obama.?

I assume the chanters thought they were bold by embracing the identity of a man of color. Or perhaps they thought they were saying that race and gender are not important. Whatever their intention, I was relieved to see that they had been eliminated by the next round submitted to subscribers.

Which is a good thing. Because none of us is Barack Obama. Or ever will be.

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