Matt Taibbi's wrong: Obama is still the same, dammit.
Most of you have seen Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone article by now (see it here: http://www.rollingstone.com/po... ). But the first few paragraphs are what is endemic about the current mess, with this quote being one to which I take immediate exception:
What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history.
No. It's. Not.
Those who have been aware of me for the past two years know full well that I recognized Barack Obama right off as a Chicago machine-style politician. And while some of those can be effective leaders -- those out of any machine (such as Harry S Truman, from Kansas City's Pendergast machine) -- unfortunately the odds, shall we say, are against.
Taibbi's problem is simple -- he didn't recognize Obama's type of politician because he flat-out bought into the hype. As did much of the media. They saw only what they wanted to see -- an intelligent guy, and because he was personable, and interesting, and charismatic, they wanted him to be more than he is.
And because they looked at all politicians with a jaundiced eye, but they didn't see Obama this way, suddenly Obama was promoted as "the non-politician's politician" -- or the politician for the people who couldn't stand other politicians. Because the media liked him, Obama couldn't be a politician like any other. Even though he is.
As for me, I want substance. Passion. Style, yes, but not to the detriment of competence and intelligence.
I'm not a person who needs to believe the individual who holds the highest elective office in the land isn't a politician like any other -- which is why I wanted the best available, canniest, and most skilled politician available. And I wanted someone I felt could best help the country right away -- and since I'm a Democrat, my choice was obvious. Hillary Clinton.
Now, as most Clinton Dems know -- I've made no secret of it -- I originally was hoping for John Edwards to emerge out of the pack in Iowa. (This was before Edwards' mistress scandal, which bothered me on two levels -- Edwards, like Tiger Woods in sports, packaged himself as a family man, and held his wife, Elizabeth, to be supremely important. Yet he had no trouble cheating on her? (This I found too egregious a personality flaw -- the hypocrisy, and unwillingness to see the hypocrisy. So maybe it's just as well, in retrospect, that Edwards got out in late January/early February '08.)
And I'd never really warmed to Mrs. Clinton -- though I admired her legislative record and felt her to be competent, intelligent and well-qualified for the position of POTUS -- before the media started attacking her, day after day, for odd stuff when they gave Obama a major pass day after day. (With a few exceptions. Lou Dobbs was fair to all. Dan Abrams, while he had his MSNBC show, was fair for the most part, and called out mistakes on all sides. Greta Van Susteran has a high sense of justice and liked Mrs. Clinton, but would call her out when she felt HRC had done something wrong. Those three were the best journalists on TV.)
However, I watched how she behaved. Nothing fazed her -- nothing. And that quality -- plus how she went to former enemies like Richard Mellon Scaife (who'd called her really nasty names and vilified her whenever possible for years) and made them into allies -- was the one I most wanted in my POTUS.
But the DNC, in its infinite non-wisdom, made that impossible with its ridiculous 5/31/08 rulings as to how the Florida and Michigan Democratic delegates would be apportioned. This handicapped Mrs. Clinton, yet she still won two of the last three primaries -- handily.
The DNC did not listen. They did not care what the will of the people -- those who voted in primaries -- was. Instead, they listened to caucus-goers -- some of whom were bullied and/or harassed -- see Gina Gaston's "We Will Not Be Silenced" for how the Obama campaign behaved (read: misbehaved) if you don't believe me; available on YouTube in four free installments. And allowed the will of the people -- the Democratic base -- to be stifled, while Obama's supposed broad base of support (read: media sycophancy coupled with the cult of personality thing Obama's media team was depending upon) was held up as a virtue.
I will never, ever forgive the DNC's actions. And I will never, ever forget.
This Hillary Clinton Democrat says no to Obama's campaign staff -- I might well like Obama personally, if I ever met him, but I do not like how they campaigned. I do not support such thuggery in action, and never, ever will.
While I continue to hold out a slight bit of hope that Obama will be a competent one-term POTUS, the problems Taibbi described in such detail in his latest article are real, they are systemic, and they are growing.
That's why I continue to say: Hillary 2012.
(cross-posted at Alegre's Corner, which is why this might well look odd)