Andrew Sullivan – The Rose Colored Glasses Conundrum… Or, The Man-Crush That Just Won’t Die!

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Sullivan writes:


I rather glibly wrote recently that one reason president Obama has not opened a can of rhetorical whup-ass on those actually seeking the default of the US Treasury, is that he wants to avoid the “angry black man” trope. Once he is defined as that, the GOP needs nothing more to use the race card silently against him. That’s why they keep arguing that the president who killed bin Laden, prevented a Second Great Depression and achieved universal healthcare in his first term is somehow another Jimmy Carter.

But of course he isn’t. And of course he understands the political dynamic out there. He just knows that the one thing the far right wants – and needs – to do is get into a fight with him, elevating them, dimnishing him, and alienating the middle of the American electorate. His approach is the classic civil rights movement approach with a black leader addressing a largely white electorate: non-violence, reasoned argument …

If you have to see President Obama through the prism of  the civil rights movement in order to see him as a success??? You have a huge problem.

(A)    Many, maybe most of the current crop of voters never experienced the civil rights movement first hand. They may have encountered bits of clear racism in their lives, but for many, those were but tiny sparks compared to the all out raging flames of civil unrest and violence experience in the full fires of racism during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. It’s impossible for so many of us to relate to it because we didn’t live through it. Even if you did live through it, your perception of it depends on your point of view. Example –  I grew up in the 70’s, smack dab in the middle of the Cold War. Yet,  my generation as a rule did not perceive the Soviets as a threat the way the previous generation just ten years older did.  Yes, we thought they were dangerous, but, because we didn’t live through the Cuban Missile Crisis, and never had to hide under out desks for a nuclear  bomb drill, we simply did not grow up with the same abject fears as our older brothers and fathers.  We related to Brezhnev more as a joke on a Saturday Night Live skit than we did as an evil ominous world leader…. And our generation is better off for it.

More important


(B)     When you have to put on any lenses in order to perceive a leader as a success, you’ve got problems…. Because most of us don’t wear that odd prescription of corrective lenses, and the lenses we do wear, will never distort the world enough to paint President Obama as a phenomenal success the way that Andrew Sullivan HAS to see him as [Meep Meep].

Now, of course, I could be wrong and history could judge Obama to be a much better President than I give him credit for. However, history is not kind to weak Presidents, even if they get some good things accomplished. Carter, after all did get the Camp David Accords done on his watch and did actually deregulate more Federal programs than Reagan did. But I don’t see Carters star rising to anything other than “Better ex-President than President” status, which, by the way, seems to be the trajectory of Obama Predicessor-In Chief G. W. Bush.

And there’s a maybe unintentional funny ending to the Sullivan post. After posting a comment from another site exclaiming how wonderful Obama is and how…

“Obama is winning. Democrats are uniting behind him, although some white progressives think that they could do the job better. Independents are flocking to him.”

Sullivan ends saying this:

Let the Dish say Amen.

OK. First, President Obama has just this week-end hit an all time low in his polling numbers – 39 percent! So the voter are definitely NOT flocking to him… And, in the face of reality, that he’s losing support from Democrats themselves, one does have to be religious about this President to think otherwise…. Which is ironic, because Sullivan takes great pains to criticize the religious fervor that has gripped the base of the GOP!

It’s past time for him to look in the mirror.

PS…. And…. Meme Alert!

Obama has taken a seat at the negotiating table and said “There is no reason why we cannot work out solutions to our problems by acting like responsible adults.

The “Adults In The Room” one is alive and well!

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