Monday, August 1, 2011

Ta-Nehisi Coates On President Obama's Recent Commentary on American Political History

photo by Liz Lynch


As I've said many times via the invocation of the first maxim of "Natambu's Law": One can always rest assured upon further investigation that whatever you previously knew or deeply suspected to be bad, backward, reactionary, or just plain disturbing is nearly ALWAYS far worse than anything you could possibly imagine. What the savvy political journalist and cultural critic Ta-Nehisi Coates is deftly describing/exposing here is just how thoroughly CLUELESS and MYOPIC (to say the very least!) President Obama actually is and how his smug, self serving arrogance about his liberal and leftist critics--whether they ultimately support him or not-- is in direct proportion to his consistently TIMID and SLAVISH response to his far more sinister, brazen, destructive, and contemptuous critics from the right who categorically despises him and virulently opposes every single damn thing he does or tries to do even when he's openly accommodating and weakly caving in to them and their twisted desires and demands at every turn (which he is obviously doing the great majority of the time)...

I've always said from Day One of this Presidency that the two major things that would ultimately soundly defeat this President and everything he said he "hoped" to accomplish if he were not very careful and stubbornly refused to FIGHT and courageously oppose their madness under any and all circumstances would be RACISM AND HUBRIS. Their Racism and His Hubris. Sadly/Angrily/Disgustedly (is that a word?) I feel the exact same way now as I did then--but only more so...


Obama and His Discontents

July 27, 2011

New York Times

The administration of President Obama has never held much regard for its left flank. Admonished by the vice president to “stop whining,” inveighed against by the president himself for “griping and groaning,” the liberal critics have been generally viewed by the White House as petulant children. “The Professional Left,” former press secretary Robert Gibbs dubbed them, a gang of nettlesome romantics who “ought to be drug-tested,” and would not be happy until “we have Canadian health care and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon.”

Keeping up the theme, the administration recently released a video of Mr. Obama waxing scornfully at the expense of his softheaded allies. The audience was an ideological cross-section of college students, no doubt picked to emphasize Mr. Obama’s ever open mind. The president invoked Abraham Lincoln, noting that the Emancipation Proclamation was a compromise that freed only the slaves in rebel territory. “Can you imagine how The Huffington Post would have reported on that? It would have been blistering. Think about it, ‘Lincoln sells out slaves.’ ”

Rendering the hallowed Proclamation as a seminal act of hippy-punching is understandably attractive to the Very Serious People of Washington. But, in Mr. Obama’s case, it also evinces a narrow politicocentric view of democracy that holds that the first duty of a loyal opposition is to stay on message and fall in line.

In fact, many of Lincoln’s most vociferous critics welcomed the Proclamation. Wendell Phillips, who once derided Lincoln as “the slave-hound of Illinois,” claimed the Proclamation as “the people’s triumph.” Frederick Douglass, who helped wage a primary campaign against the president in 1864 and once charged that Lincoln was “a genuine representative of American prejudice and negro hatred,” hailed the Proclamation as “the greatest event of our nation’s history.”

Douglass was not delusional. With a wave of his pen, Lincoln freed tens of thousands of slaves and opened the Army to blacks, an act that Lincoln himself once derided. “Never before had so large a number of slaves been declared free,” writes historian Eric Foner in his Pulitzer Prize-winning history, “The Fiery Trial.”

“The proclamation altered the nature of the Civil War, the relationship of the federal government to slavery, and the course of American history. It liquidated the largest concentration of property in the United States. ... Henceforth, freedom would follow the American flag.”

In sum, it’s true that the Proclamation was a compromise. But hailing it merely as such is akin to hailing “Moby-Dick” for being a book — technically correct, if painfully thickwitted.

Likewise, a pedantic focus on the document itself conveniently omits the work of abolitionists and radicals whose tactics, encompassing jailbreaks, treason and shootouts, far outstripped anything ever concocted by But Lincoln understood their relationship to the larger cause. “They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally,” he once said of the Radicals. “They are utterly lawless — the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with — but after all their faces are set Zionward.”

Obama, too, stands atop the work of a coalition of unhandy devils. In the fall of 2002, Chicago’s own professional left organized a rally to oppose the Iraq War and invited Mr. Obama to join them. He accepted, and the first unwitting steps to the White House were taken. It is considerably harder to imagine Mr. Obama’s path through the Democratic primary had he been just another pro-war Democrat insisting that the base activists stop whining.

Mr. Obama, of course, is not an activist but a politician held accountable by a broad national electorate. He is thus charged with the admittedly difficult task of nudging the country forward, even as he reflects it. That mission necessitates appreciating the art of compromise, but not fetishizing it. Mr. Obama need only look to his hero for an object lesson. Parcel to emancipation, Abraham Lincoln, against the howls of radicals and black leaders, pushed for the colonization of blacks in Africa or the Caribbean, as middle ground between full equality and slavery. The scheme ended in embarrassment; Lincoln’s point man was exposed as a con artist who attempted to effectively re-enslave the blacks he was charged with leading. A Congressional investigation soon followed. It was a fiasco — and it was a compromise.

Obama has been much praised for the magnanimity he shows his opposition. But such empathy, unburdened by actual expectations, comes easy. More challenging is the work of coping with those who have the disagreeable habit of taking the president, and his talk of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” seriously. In that business, Obama would do well to understand that while democracy depends on intelligent compromise, it also depends on the ill-tempered gripers and groaners out in the street.

The Party of Lincoln, whatever its present designs, has not forgotten this.

NOTE: The following video is what the previous article by Ta-Nehisi Coates is referring to in his New York Times Op-Ed piece above:

On March 8th 2011 President Obama surprised and took questions from a group of Boston area College Democrats, Republicans and Independents after his speech at Tech Boston Academy in Dorchester, MA.


Talk about absolutely SPECIOUS "logic" and boneheaded IDIOTIC "reasoning." This ludicrous display by the President is REEKING of wildly false claims, self serving nonsense, and utterly stupid "analysis." Who does he think he's fooling with this bullshit? I'll just address one ridiculous aspect of what he says to these college students and be done with it (I/you/anyone with half a brain and a cursory acquaintance with LOGIC 101 could easily obliterate the absurdity of what he's saying overall):

Let's examine the blatant LIE masquerading as an "idea" that "no one ever gets 100% of what they want in politics" from the standpoint of the historical example Obama culled from the national struggle over Slavery. From 1787 to 1863 the racist slaveholders from the Democratic Party--and those in the Republican Party who completely agreed with the-- were completely allowed by the U.S. government to legally buy, sell, and keep their slaves and maintain the vast institution of Slavery without any federal intervention in their affairs whatsoever! SOUNDS LIKE A 100% DEAL TO ME! FURTHERMORE: It wasn't until the Civil War (remember that?) from 1961-1865 that resulted in the brutal deaths of over 600,000 Americans and the serious wounding of millions more that slavery as a "political question" was ever seriously addressed let alone "solved" in this country! Given that horrible reality here's a question for DUMBASS Professor Obama: WAS THIS WAR TO END SLAVERY A 'POLITICAL COMPROMISE' between the Democratic and Republican parties AND was Lincoln the transcendental and "pragmatic" OBJECTIVE ARBITER in this "political conflict" between these "contending" forces?

Well that's really enuff for now folks 'cause Obama's egregious doublespeak here is the lowly "logic" of a miserable HACK...Excuse me while I GAG...