Beast Banner March 2007
ISSUE #114
Issue 114 Cover Small
Last Issue Archives Blog Comix
Web BEAST Blog
 
Contact Download PDF RSS Subscribe Advertise Links Sign up and we'll let you know when a new issue is born.
Features

ArrowSchlep Boys
Failing forward in one act

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Britney Budget
Matt Taibbi

ArrowEeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe
Blogger and journalist Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog on the hijacking of democracy and more

ArrowObama
The best BS artist since Slick Willy

Matt Taibbi

ArrowSweet Nothings
Lies my paper told me

Allan Uthman

ArrowMenace in Seat 36F
Based on a True Story

Michael J. Smith

ArrowBEAST gets poetic on dat ass!
Saul Williams schools us on Hip Hop and our choice of lunch

ArrowCelebrity Buttholes Will Be the End of Us
A. Monkey

ArrowThe BEAST Melanin / Electability Index

ArrowThe Truth Spin
Sometimes, honesty really is the best policy

Allan Uthman

ArrowTV Highlights
CBSs Numb3rs signals the end of the end of the American Empire

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Departments
ArrowKino Korner: Movies
The Abandoned, Wild Hogs, The Number 23, Zodiac, Reno 911!: Miami, Amazing Grace, Black Snake Moan, Shooter, The Astronaut Farmer, Inland Empire

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
The Pussy of the Christ, How Great We Art, Dumb Shit, PhD, All You Need is Loathe and more

 

Obama
The best BS artist since Slick Willy
Matt Taibbi

Last Friday night a friend called and told me that Barack Obama had posted a sort of pre-announcement of the start of his presidential campaign on his website. I immediately cued it up and within ten minutes was writing a column blasting him for ripping off half of his campaign speech from a smorgasbord of '04 Democratic candidates -- then stopped when I realized that I'd already written exactly that column about Hillary Clinton's kickoff speech a few weeks ago.

So I went back and watched the speech again, and I actually felt chills run up my spine. A few weeks ago, Hillary Clinton's launch speech ripped off John Kerry and the DLC with its "Let's have a conversation" theme; Obama, meanwhile, went the Howard Dean route, nicking "A campaign to take America back" from Dean and RFK Jr., among others. The fact that Hillary, like Kerry, is set up as the DLC-acolyte candidate while Obama, like Dean, is set up as the antiwar candidate suggests a kind of permanent template for the Democratic primary process. Maybe soon the race for the Democratic primary will be like Everytown USA's annual high school production of A Streetcar Named Desire, where every year they find a new antiwar Blanche and a new pro-corporate Stanley. The faces are different, the lines are the same.

I've been on the fence about Obama for more than two years now, ever since his breakout performance at the Democratic convention in '04. When I saw that speech -- an iconic piece of inspired nonsense/political showmanship, one that set flashbulbs popping like Michael Jordan's virtuoso 1988 dunk contest performance -- I knew right away that he would be the Democratic presidential nominee someday, perhaps even in the next election cycle.

When I mentioned this to my friends, they told me I was crazy. Obama had had absolutely no national experience at that time, he was a political virgin, there was no way he was ready for prime time. My answer to that was, compared to what? Throw a guy who can speak like that against the list of likely Democratic candidates in 2008 -- a sorry collection of human saline drips that included Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John Kerry, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd -- and Obama could fucking walk to the nomination, even if he chose a page from the Betty Crocker cookbook as his stump speech.

Fast forward two years and that appears to be exactly what Obama has done. The Illinois Senator is the ultimate modern media creature -- he's a good-looking, youthful, smooth-talking, buttery-warm personality with an aw-shucks demeanor who exudes a seemingly impenetrable air of Harvard-crafted moral neutrality. If Hillary Clinton even dares to open her mouth within a hundred feet of him at any time during the campaign, she's going to come off like a pig digging for truffles. Even Edwards -- the so-called "slick" candidate from '04 -- sounds like a two-bit suburban Buick dealer next to Obama. You get past the "issues," and it's a wipeout.

Obama knows this, and so his entire political persona is an ingeniously crafted human cipher, a man without race, ideology, geographic allegiances, or, indeed, sharp edges of any kind. You can't run against him on the issues because you can't even find him on the ideological spectrum. Obama's "Man for all seasons" act is so perfect in its particulars that just about anyone can find a bit of himself somewhere in the candidate's background, whether in his genes or his upbringing. You can be white, you can be black, you can be Christian, you can be Muslim, you can be from the American heartland or from Africa... you can even, according to his book The Audacity of Hope, worship Norse Gods or bury your relatives according to Hawaiian rituals:

page 2

 

Ads

Textbook125x125

Banner 10000035button

Banner button

button

button



send your ill-informed ravings to us here
Affiliate Sponsors
MotoSport, Inc.|Netflix DVD Rentals. NO LATE FEES; Free Shipping. Try for FREE! | music123.com | Direct2Drive
T-Shirts only $14.99 when you buy 3 or more at CCS.com | Shutterfly.com | LinkShare Referral Prg
Popular Favorites from the Archive



© Copyright 2002-2006, The Beast. All rights reserved.