Skip to comments.Why the Right Really Hates Obama
Posted on 05/10/2012 4:39:21 AM PDT by Third Person
How much influence has the Tea Party really had in American politics?
The movement scored real successes in the 2010 election, when the GOP won control of the House and narrowed the Democrats majority in the Senate. That success bolstered the GOPs budget-cutting fervor and set up the debt-ceiling showdown last summer. And wins by Tea Party candidates at the state level have helped create the wave of abortion restrictions recently passed by state legislatures.
On the other hand, there have been major disappointments during the past year. Sarah Palin didnt run for the GOP presidential nomination, and one Tea Party favorite after another ascended in the primary race, then crashed, until Republicans settled for perhaps the least conservative candidate in the race: Mitt Romney.
And electoral successes havent guaranteed passage of hardcore conservative legislation, as the Tea Party-approved governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has learned. Scott began his term by nixing federal funds for high-speed rail in the state, and his approval rating dropped to the low 30s. Since then hes been forced to move slightly toward the center, proposing more funding for education and backing off his campaign promises to pass Arizona-style legislation that targets immigrants.
But the Tea Partys influence cant be measured by its legislative and electoral victories alone. Its main achievement over the past three years has been to help the Republicans advance their goal of creating total cynicism about our institutions. The religious conservatives who form the core of the movement have theological reasons for decrying government as hopelessly broken. That makes them a perfect match with the modern GOP, whose leaders decry the corruption and overweening power of government as a strategy for gaining power within the corrupt, overweening government.
The classic example is Newt Gingrich. Its hard to remember now, after his flameout as a presidential candidate, but Gingrich was the most powerful Republican in the nation in the 1990s, and he rose to that position by coordinating a relentless attack on precisely the institutions that he sought to govern.
As Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein wrote recently in the Washington Post, From the day he entered Congress in 1979, Gingrich had a strategy to create a Republican majority in the House: convincing voters that the institution was so corrupt that anyone would be better than the incumbents, especially those in the Democratic majority. Ultimately, Gingrichs strategy activated an extreme and virulently anti-Washington base and helped drive moderate Republicans out of Congress.
What makes this so damaging and dangerous is that cynicism breeds only cynicism, and hopelessness is a self-fulfilling prophecy. So its interesting to consider that, at the heart of the biblical narrative that so many of the Tea Party faithful claim to believe, theres more than sin and corruption. There is also the possibility of redemption and a basis for hope. There is a Messiah.
Liberals often say that the Rights hatred of Obama is about his race. Conservatives say its about his socialist agenda. But theres something more going on, and its captured in the way that the Right has often mocked Obama as the chosen one, the Messiah. Dig a little under the surface of that derision and youll discover a world of confusion and ambivalence.
Obama is a deeply familiar figure among tea partiers and conservative Christians. He has the energy and charisma of a pastor, and hes the sort of authority figure many on the far-Right are conditioned to respect. But the context is all wrong. The messenger is a black man. The hope he offers is grounded in the possibility that human institutions can be expressions of the common good.
In truth, they want to respond to this kind of hope-affirming message, because balancing despair with hope is fundamental to their theology. And the redemptive promise doesnt even have to be otherworldly. Ronald Reagan became a demigod among conservatives by holding out a bright future for the nation while separating America from its actual institutions. He spoke to conservatives need to actually believe in something. And he made it possible for them to believe in Americas future while despising its government.
Obviously, no Republican since Reagan has rivaled his rhetorical gifts or his deftness at fusing electoral politics with a quasi-religious vision. George W. Bush seemed to understand the power of Reagans rhetoric but didnt have the skill to pull it off. John McCain had no feel for it at all.
So the source of the Rights hatred of Obama isnt just that hes a black man and a liberal. Its also that hes so much better than any Republican at articulating that hopey changey stuff, as Sarah Palin once derided it. The mockery of Obama as the Messiah reveals far more about the Tea Party than it does about the president. They long for a Reagan-style message of hope and possibility. What they get is Mitt Romney.
And who wouldnt despair at that prospect?
Of course, theres far less talk of hope and change this election cycle than four years ago, especially since the Obama campaign has formally changed its slogan to forward. And yes: Its hard not to feel disappointed, perhaps even cynical, thinking about the gap between Obamas rhetoric and his actual record these past three years.
But the Tea Party has only its cynicism, which leaves the field of positive solutions wide open for Democrats and progressives to occupy. Its important to critique and shine light on the endemic corruption of our institutions, but Obama was onto something importantin fact, radicalwith the hopey changey stuff.
Going beyond critique and offering an alternative visiona measure of hopeisnt just a rebuttal to the Tea Partys cynicism and a good way to get under that movements skin. Ultimately, its the only path to reform.
I dislike Obama, because I can see no honor in him.
He is a pure Marxist who seeks to destroy the American Dream.
Wait a minute.....since when has the Tea Party been about anything theological? This guy is projecting his beliefs about what the Tea Party is about. Did I miss the Tea Party talking about abortion? Less spending is not a religious issue.
Obama is like an invasive cancer in the lower extremities.
He is politically manufactured, a blanked out past, investigators into his past eliminated almost weekly, opponents are demoralized from battling faux legal battles and then branded a “quitter”.
He is the fruits of success of an organization counter to what built America. And they are going to be very hard to eradicate unless everyone gets with the program.
The ONLY thing accurate is that Romney-the-RINO is the least Conservative of the group.
The TRUTH is that the GOP-e, and the complicit State-Run-Media, systematically destroyed through innuendo and false (annonymously-sourced) smears, beginning in 2007 with Sarah Palin, and continuing with EVERY challenger that was NOT a GOP-e pick, or DNC-wanted opponent for The Messiah.
There is NO way, in my lifetime, to see the Constitutional Intent restored, save if a CWII or Revolution occurs, period.
Ya wanna know why, YA WAANA KNOW WHY?!! Because none of the them, not one saw the cause bigger than themselves... Romney played them, and none of them was willing to throw their support behind one of the others... conservatives got played because there was no real sacrifice to a cause, they all wanted to be leaders of the cause... so Mitt beat them like a drum...
He’s a divisive troublemaker with an evil agenda. He’s anti-American on so many levels, it makes your head spin. Every day it’s something new with this Indonesian man-child dictator.
He’s not one of us.
SSSTTTTRRRRIIIKKKKKEEEEE ONE, swing and a miss by the author.
The derision of Obama as the Messiah/the Anointed One, etc. has to do with the media's treatment of Obama, and how EVERY story, every mere mention of his name, resulted in the media fawning adoringly at how he was this "transcendent" character whose every thought and motive need not be questioned, but is obviously for the greater good. No vetting, because he was Obama!
What makes this so damaging and dangerous is that cynicism breeds only cynicism...
I don’t agree with author AT ALL.
Americans sorely need a healthy dose of cynicism!
Their breezy, giddy and irresponsible approach to the selection of Pepsi commercial type personalities to lead the greatest power in the known universe has lacked gravitas for as long as I can remember.
Even if you disregard the current, most objectionably unqualified President in our history... and just consider the intellectual and professional light-weights like Gore, Kerry, Edwards who were considered previously, it’s proof positive of American voters lack of wholesome cynicism requisite in the selection of Presidential candidates.
The DNC has an absolutely free hand here. I would be willing to bet that most Liberals exercise more mature cynicism in the purchase of a car or big screen TV than they do in the consideration of Presidential nominees!
“...youll discover a world of confusion and ambivalence...”
The Tea Party is neither! We are focused on the Constitution and the restoration of America, from the regulatory abyss Obama has created.
“The hope he offers is grounded in the possibility that human institutions can be expressions of the common good.”
Obama “offers” NO “hope” and what he pretends to offer certainly isn't “grounded” in anything but hatred for America.
Mouthing the words is NOT the same as having the capacity to “offer” anything.
“...isn't just that hes a black man....”...Race has NOTHING to do with anything! How do you explain Alan West?
What's not to hate about liberalism, that preaches the destruction of America and freedom from responsibility and consequences.
“Its also that hes so much better than any Republican at articulating that hopey changey stuff,
How does the author conclude that nebulous platitudes successfully masquerade as “articulating”?
Suggesting that the government will steal from the productive job creators and redistribute the proceeds to the unmotivated is NOT “articulating” anything beyond vote buying via class warfare.
“But the Tea Party has only its cynicism...” No, Theo, we have ANSWERS, which focus on the return to the Constitution and personal responsibility, minimum government intrusion on our lives, elimination of regulatory strangulation of our business and industry.
They long for a Reagan-style message of hope and possibility. What they get is Mitt Romney
Can't argue with this statement, though!
IOW we do hate him because he's a black man, among other reasons.
Theo, Theo, Theo — you don’t have a clue-o, clue-o, clue-o.
I searched in vain for a single paragraph in that article that did not contain an error. Most paragraphs were based upon an error.
I want my five minutes back.
“The basic and crucial political issue of our age is: capitalism versus socialism, or freedom versus statism. For decades, this issue has been silenced, suppressed, evaded, and hidden under the foggy, undefined rubber-terms of conservatism and liberalism which had lost their original meaning and could be stretched to mean all things to all men.
The goal of the liberalsas it emerges from the record of the past decadeswas to smuggle this country into welfare statism by means of single, concrete, specific measures, enlarging the power of the government a step at a time, never permitting these steps to be summed up into principles, never permitting their direction to be identified or the basic issue to be named. Thus statism was to come, not by vote or by violence, but by slow rotby a long process of evasion and epistemological corruption, leading to a fait accompli. (The goal of the conservatives was only to retard that process.)” A. Rand
“O” has come out of this very miasmic sewer which Liberals have created. He is the fullest expression of both the process and the result.
Growing up we all nursed a dread of what the final and most dangerous manifestation of successful Liberalism would be for America our wait is over!
There has never been an absence of ghastly examples of failed Liberalism on this planet. I really blame Conservatives as well because they have not been energetic enough in opposing Liberal trends.
This article is nothing but a bunch of BS. The author doesn’t have a clue about the Tea Party, Republicans, or conservatives.
We don’t want a Messiah. We just want someone who will uphold the U.S. Constitution and a government that will live within its means like the rest of us are required to do.
Obama is the epitome of “the other”.
He’s not one of us. He shares no common values with traditional America, Western Civilization, or Christian culture.
I always respond to the left when they bring up the race card:
Are you honestly going to say that we’d support 0bama’s agenda if he were white,
or that we’d oppose Herman Cain, Alan West, or Thomas Sowell because they’re black?
Ah, yes, (t)hat power of accurate observation which is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. ~ George Bernard Shaw
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