01 July 2008

Barack Obama: The Hunchback of Cyberspace

Barack Obama has appeared in Unity, New Hampshire with primary opponent Hillary Clinton to put the campaign trail rhetoric behind them. He has given a speech about his personal brand of patriotism in Independence, Missouri to reassure voters that he "believes in America". I guess his next stop will have to be Compromise, Mississippi, where he will engage in an online town hall meeting to quell the internet firestorm that has erupted over his support for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

All of a sudden, it seems, Barack Obama has become the cyberspace version of Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame because he has changed his mind on how he intends to vote on this bill. The truth is, the number of laws that already weaken the protections of the Constitution are too numerous to count, and our legislators are piling even more on as we speak. If you believe Obama is anything but a consummate politician, you aren't as smart as you think you are. Personally, I’m tired of these one note FISA whiners, these mocka chocka frappacino sippers who probably waste their spare time measuring carbon footprints when they could be brainstorming how to get back the rights they've already given up long ago.

If the government already has the NSA, the CIA, and an unknown number of black bag organizations wreaking havoc out there in cyberspace, why are so many people with good sense wasting their breath and their brainpower on this Mickey Mouse bill that doesn't really control anything? We have been watched and listened to for decades, and it will continue, no matter what laws get put on the books, because the people in charge are scared of what we might do when nobody is looking.

That's probably what's gotten me riled up the most about these internet protesters who wanted to put Obama’s vote on the hot seat this week. What I am reading is ludicrous - there is no way Obama is going to take his middle of the road self and make a John Wayne stand against anybody. He hasn't operated that way his whole life. He is a finesse player, taking the advantage when he can get it, laying off when he can't.

I really think this is a cover for many of my paler internet brethren who were looking for a reason to turn tail, much like the rednecks in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky who hid their displeasure with the hue of Obama’s skin behind their dislike of his lack of “patriotism”. The specifics of what these netziens are saying is immaterial to me - it is the "I am righter than you, I am smarter than you, I am morally superior to you" vibe that gets me hot, because I've seen this before. It immediately brings to mind the Christianity zealots whose religious piety is so sacred it doesn't allow them to fraternize with the very people they profess to be called to help.

The last black guy who successfully acted like a saint on the national stage was Sidney Poitier. Maybe Obama could get Poitier to come on tour with him. Maybe he could get Morgan Freeman too, for the people who aren't familiar with Poitier's work. Hell, Will Smith can get some of this too - he ain't rapping no more.

All I know is, a campaign platform isn't built with one plank. A party doesn't campaign behind one issue. And if we want to get right down to it, America nor its citizens can make no claim on any kind of ideological purity - we have been a nation of opportunists since our inception.

I wish all of the Obama supporters who are willing to fall on their sword if any of their ideals are blemished could serve for just one session in Congress or the Senate. The amount of horse trading that has to go on to get ANYTHING to move forward would probably blow their minds - and that's between representatives in the same party!

    Ghandi would have been unelectable.

    Jesus would have been last in the field, if he could quit giving away his belongings long enough to accumulate the qualifying fees.

    Mother Teresa would have so few sound bites you would forget she was running.
    If you believed Obama was anything but a consummate politician, you aren't as smart as you think you are.

I won't be asking Obama to fall on his sword over this. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if this is the first of many Trojan Horses that will deployed via the internet - unnamed, unknown agents scattering under the cover of electronic darkness to infiltrate pockets of known Obama sympathizers, with the intent of turning Obama supporters against their candidate by fomenting outrage, by suggesting that something drastic be done, much the way some of our Hollywood actors and actresses pledge to leave the country every four years "if you elect __________ for president."


  1. It is about time that someone focuses on the facts and real issues of the election. I always say that the "vote or die" campaigns and "rock the vote" are nice and all. But I think that a large issue that we face is a lack of knowledge on the issues. someone should create a campaign that says "read or die"

  2. First smile I had all day - "read or die"!

    You might see that phrase again.

    There are a LOT of parallels between Lincoln and Obama - I'm reading a bio called "Team of Rivals" that looks at Lincoln's improbable electoral victory over better known candidates, and the delicate manuevering he and his surrogates had to engage in in order to get the cabinet members he wanted after he was elected.

  3. Hi Brown Man,

    Love your insight into the issues, writing style and ability to turn a phrase, and glad I found your blog.

    "there is no way Obama is going to take his middle of the road self and make a John Wayne stand against anybody."

    Ain't this the truth. He's in it to win it. Given the miserable state of our country and all the compromises he's had to make, I wonder if I should feel sorry for him if he does.


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