Yesterday Barack Obama gave a very long speech in which he dissed his dead white grandmother. His dead white grandmother who raised him. His dead white grandmother who raised him because his hippie white mother was too busy saving the world with her idealism — HA HA SARCASM — and his black father was off taking new wives in Africa where pagan nonsense like that is allowed. But his grandmother, the grandmother who raised him, was a teensy bit racist! Well now Barry, why do you think that was? So there was that, and some boilerplate standard fare liberal ideology and some empty words meant to appeal to radical communist Jane Fondaphiles and some people actually fucking cried. Can you believe these guys? What in the name of Judas do they expect all these pretty stories and idealism and disarming rhetoric and terrible granny talk to achieve? What good is supposed to come of all this "hope" shit anyway? Everyone knows that pessimists are the only ones who get anything done, and pandering shamelessly to long-established poll-tested demographic niches is the only route to the White House. "Hope" is just a distraction, a nuisance. Fuck that noise! The cynics have an election to win. (If, uh, no candidate.) Glamocracy Megan agrees with me, after the jump.
MEGAN: Gosh, it's soooo hard to decide what to talk about today
MEGAN: Like, should we talk about the fact that the runaway bride's jilted beau just got married?
MOE: Oh because that's news I can use!
MEGAN: Hey, I thought it was service-y! Victim of the wedding industrial complex, etc.
MOE: Is it time to do one of those The Iraq: A Look Back editions of Crappy Hour?
MEGAN: Well, I already have a wicked headache, so, sure, why not.
MOE: Ugh I, too, have a headache. And I overslept. And my roommate broke the coffee grinder and so I had to go out and get coffee. I am a simple person, Megan, but seriously, don't fuck with my coffee grinder.
MEGAN: Those are truly words to live by. Do not come between me and my intense caffeine addiction, world. I may not have any fingernails, but I will cut a bitch.
MOE: Okay so speaking of COFFEE and how it is the color of certain people's skin, though not mine...
MOE: Do you think Obama threw his grandma under the bus?
MEGAN: My grandpa's from Kansas. This came as utterly unsurprising news to me. It was more like, duh.
MOE: Mickey Kaus called it the most "disastrous" line of the whole speech.
The most disastrous sentence in the speech. If Obama's saying that those who fear young black men on the street are racists, the equivalents of Rev. Wright in offensiveness, then he's just insulted a whole lof ot people. If he loses the votes of everyone who fears young black men, he loses the election. People fear black men on the street—as even Jesse Jackson once momentarily admitted—because they cause a wildly disproportionate share of street crime. Does Obama want to be the candidate who says that thought is verboten?
MOE: You know what, Mickey? I think he does want to be that candidate.
MEGAN: Mickey Kaus blows goats.
MEGAN: Also, can I say? They guy that stole money from me? White. The one who sexually assaulted me? White. The only dude who has ever laid a hand on me in anger? White. If we're going by statistics, here, I should pretty much only hang out with black men. I'd probably be safer.
MOE: The thing that strikes me about all the opposition to this speech is the "Wait a sec! The words may sound pretty and stuff, but if you listen to the message, it's CENTRAL CASTING LIBERAL. And what's more, he's basically saying WHITE RACISTS ARE WRONG. That he empathizes with them, but they're not seeing the big picture. It's just so ...leftist! It won't play well!" And then they use "voters" to give their outrage/distaste/discomfort with the speech some sort of moral authority.
Wait. I thought Obama just told us that welfare exacerbated the decline of the black family. So white "anger over welfare" wasn't misdirected. It was directed toward what Obama himself fingers as a prime source of the black-white disparity. And if a culture of broken homes tends to produce more crime, it was also directed at a prime cause of urban disorder, the impoverishment of working class-white neighborhoods, and of white flight. In other words, it was directed at a "real culprit, not a phony culprit. Is Obama too locked into standard left "welfare is a scapegoat" ideology to admit this?
Standard left "welfare is scapegoat" IDEOLOGY? That's the standard left dogma? But "guilt about slavery is the reason everything went to hell in this country" ...that is a perfectly sound argument?
MEGAN: I would say something cutting here, but I'm actually legitimately stunned.
MOE: After I watched the speech on Fox News yesterday they cut straight away to Brit Hume, who just sort of raised his eyebrows and was like "Wow." It took a full four minutes for them to regain their composure and figure out that the SPEECH WAS AN ABJECT FAILURE. because liberals = communists and no one who wasn't a communist would allow himself to be roused by such STANDARD FARE LIBERAL BABBLE.
MEGAN: Right. No need to talk about race or bridge the divide because racism doesn't really exist. We all have black friends now, so we can't be racist.
MOE: Sometimes people raise the bar so high for Obama's oratory I feel like they actually expect him to go back and rewrite history so it can be more hopeful without falling prey to standard fare liberal ideology.
MEGAN: Like, is he supposed to be a bad speaker? Not inspire people? Is he supposed to run on a platform of cynicism and accepting the status quo? Because, if that's the case, I got at least the first half of that down solid, I should totally run for office to not change anything.
MOE: The thing that really gets be about Mickey Kaus saying, "Can we not talk about race? Please? Why the fuck would I want to talk about race?" is that DID IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU MICKEY THAT THERE ARE 30 MILLION OR SO PEOPLE WHO REALLY DON'T GET THAT CHOICE? Who never get it ever ever ever? Who can't escape that conversation, even if it's all inside their heads and they repress it like some schizophrenic Condi character, because it never goes away? Because, you know, Mickey, if this thought didn't occur to you, I was about to say you should go back and read more books, but that makes me sound like a standard fare liberal ideologue, so instead I'll just recommend the movie Something New.
MEGAN: I never did see that! Was it any good?
MOE: The thing that the right never seems to understand, too is the fucked upness black people have over affirmative action. Like, the average black person I know is really fucking conflicted over affirmative action. It's like, great, here's a high minded government policy that undermines everything I ever achieved. Not that everything I ever achieved wouldn't be a chimera just because I am black. Etc. etc. etc. I dunno. I don't want to overstate. I don't want to sound like a leftist ideologue.
MEGAN: Right, we must avoid AT ALL COST spewing ideology. Ahem.
MOE: Yes, we must abide by reason, and I think we can all agree — and Immanuel Kant, if we figured out how to clone him using stem cell research or something like that — that there is absolutely no reason underpinning the notion that black people still face legitimate racism not of their own defeatist victim mentality-borne creation in this country.
MEGAN: Affirmative action is a difficult thing to grapple with, because now we're talking about institutional racism/discrimination rather than overt discrimination, and affirmative action is just a shortcut to the ends we think might be right since we can't figure out how the means are fucking it up.
MOE: My brother just sent me this. From America's favorite Op ed section!
How to turn one's blackness to advantage?
The answer is that one "bargains." Bargaining is a mask that blacks can wear in the American mainstream, one that enables them to put whites at their ease. This mask diffuses the anxiety that goes along with being white in a multiracial society. Bargainers make the subliminal promise to whites not to shame them with America's history of racism, on the condition that they will not hold the bargainer's race against him. And whites love this bargain — and feel affection for the bargainer — because it gives them racial innocence in a society where whites live under constant threat of being stigmatized as racist. So the bargainer presents himself as an opportunity for whites to experience racial innocence.
This is how Mr. Obama has turned his blackness into his great political advantage, and also into a kind of personal charisma. Bargainers are conduits of white innocence, and they are as popular as the need for white innocence is strong. Mr. Obama's extraordinary dash to the forefront of American politics is less a measure of the man than of the hunger in white America for racial innocence.
MOE: Ummmmmm, what??
MOE: "Racial innocence"? Hey, you know what has been the defining theme in my lifetime, Megan?
MOE: The pursuit of RACIAL INNOCENCE.
MOE: Until I find a charismatic black man who can wash away my Original Sin of Whitness
MOE: I will continue to go throughout life, dogged, tormented really, by the slaves held by people who were not my ancestors but who, you know, could pass for my ancestors maybe if I didn't look quite so Slavic.
MEGAN: Yes, I strive every day to feel good about myself again knowing that some Americans (long before my ancestors arrived to face religious and ethnic discrimination) once had slaves, and I do nice things for black people who don't make me feel guilty for being white.
MOE: I really really wish that most bleeding heart liberals were as irrationally, self-destructively all-abidingly GUILTY as conservatives would have us believe. They probably wouldn't be such dickheads to date.
MEGAN: Right. And what guilt I do have totally comes from being white and liberal and NOT AT ALL from being raised Catholic, except that Catholic is totally a liberal religion because, according to Baptists, it's a pagan one.
MOE: So yeah, I am now left with a sense of ...I guess "defeat" would be the word. Like, seriously? If you didn't think that speech did the job, we're lost. Seriously, we're fucked. Did you watch it? Did you listen before you allowed them to butcher it with their blockquotes and their unnecessary overuse of bold? Can we get a copy of the Gettysburg address in here and go at that with our strikethroughs and our "italics mine"s? Am I hypocritically blaming blogs for fucking up America? Yes I am.
MEGAN: Well, I'm definitely doing my part to fuck up America. I did watch it. I had trouble keeping my eyes open after the first 15 minutes, but I'm a cynical blogger bitch who hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before and had been up at 7:30 to dance for the crowds.
MOE: Obama, dear, if you had only gone after your pastor and spiritual leader like that Columbia guy did Ahmadinejad, we might forgive you this once.
MOE: Oh, did Edwards endorse Hillary by the way?
MEGAN: Right, Barack, it's better to just fuck people you love over as you claw for the top rather than letting your love and respect for them cloud your judgment.
MEGAN: I haven't seen anything definitive on that, no, just this article that I skimmed. I can't see him doing it this week.
MEGAN: She did get endorsed by John Murtha though.
MOE: I wonder how that speech went over in Philly.
MOE: Well, voters at Philly.com are almost evenly split over whether the speech was a success. 742 said yes, 686 said no. Though what percentage of the Philly electorate uses the internet is hard to say.
MEGAN: Probably about another hundred people more than that voted.
MOE: oh man did you look at the AP pix of people watching the speech?
MEGAN: No, are they crying?
MEGAN: Do you vote for the guy that makes you cry?