Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama and the Politics of Fear

Cranmer is not Obamacon, and never will be. And neither will he be persuaded to be an Obamaroon, even if it be a better word. But, for some reason, Daniel Hannan MEP has decided to be a leading Obamacon and finds himself yearning for his idol to become president. It is not at all clear to Cranmer why the word ‘con’ is suffixed to Mr Obama’s name, for he is manifestly not a Conservative, and Mr Hannan cannot mean it in the pejorative.

Barack Obama may have youth and hue, he may exude charm and charisma, but he lacks intellect and nous, experience and integrity. He is a popular puppet on a sinister string of Democrat imprecision and hypocrisy. He is wedded to state intervention, corporatism and big government. He is committed to endless government programmes to ‘help’ individuals, with little awareness of costs or understanding of economy. It is not clear what his policies are on anything, for he is one of Donald Rumsfeld’s known unknowns. Or he may be an unknown unknown. Whichever, if he were elected to the office of the most powerful man in the world, the world would take a collective intake of breath, and wait.

There has been an outcry about this cartoon in the New Yorker magazine, which has hitherto been very supportive of Mr Obama's presidential campaign. Even the McCain camp called it ‘tasteless and offensive’. It is entitled ‘The Politics of Fear’, and depicts the Obamas standing in the Oval Office in front of a fireplace in which an American flag burns. A picture of Osama bin Laden hangs over the mantelpiece.

Mr Obama, wearing sandals, a dishdasha robe and turban, is giving his wife a ‘fist bump’ – a hip greeting that one Fox News presenter said had been dubbed a ‘terrorist fist jab’. Mrs Obama, in military fatigues, has an Afro hairstyle, AK47 over her shoulder and a bandolier of ammunition strung across her chest. The themes are manifestly terrorism and insurgency.

Mr and Mrs Obama profess the Christian faith, though he was born of Muslim parents. It is not clear at which point Mr Obama had his Damascus Road experience, though it appears to have been sufficiently experiential to persuade him to abandon the last prophet and embrace the Son of God. Good for him, even if he does keep company with some distasteful church leaders.

But Cranmer is not sure what all the fuss is about over this cartoon. It is, after all, a cartoon, and the hysteria with which it is being greeted is akin to the outrage expressed by the Islamic world to the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. No, of course Mr Obama is not a prophet, and lampooning him is not prohibited in the Qur’an. But satire is a very healthy manifestation in a free country, and ridiculing one’s politicians has a very long and distinguished heritage. And neither is simply associated with democracy; evidence of political satire has been discovered in ancient cultures like those of Greece and Rome. Politicians feed on people's grievances, promoting divisive, parochial and sectarian interests, and using prejudice and fear is the most effective campaigning tool in the armoury. It is, as the editor of the magazine states, ‘part of what we do, and it is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to prejudice, the hateful, and the absurd’.

Yet it is interesting that satirists pussyfoot around Hilary Clinton for fear of being labelled sexist, and tread equally carefully around Barack Obama for fear of being labelled racist. While John McCain’s age appears to present no problems at all for the satirists who have no problem with the ‘ageist’ label.

When a candidate offers optimism and hope, inducing fear is the only tried and tested antidote. It is not, of course, ideal, but the only antidote to fear is love, and no election has been won with promises of perfect love. The concept of ‘positive campaigning’ is a myth created by politicians to induce a feel-good factor to make us respect them. Plagued with the perpetual drip, drip, drip of sleaze accusations, lies, hypocrisy and the ‘snouts-in-the-trough’ mantra perfected by the anti-establishment Guido Fawkes, politicians above all professions need a makeover to ‘decontaminate the brand’.

Yet a little perspective is called for.

Which is worse? Being portrayed in Islamic dress surrounded by terrorist allusions, or given the eyes of a demon and equated with Satan? Tony Blair famously endured the latter, William Hague was humiliated under the permed coiffure of Margaret Thatcher, Michael Howard will forever be associated with Transylvania, and dear Ann Widdecombe will live with Doris Karloff until the day she dies.

So why is this Obama cartoon considered so utterly beyond the pale?

Is it because he is a practising Christian battling the smears that he is a radical Muslim? Is it because ‘Hussein’ is his middle name, and any portrayal of him as a Muslim shames him? The last point may be significant, for the Obama camp has created a website www.fightthesmears.com to debunk the rumours. It has also reported that they have paid Google so that searches such as ‘Obama and Muslim’ direct people to sites that rebut the smears.

His Grace thinks the man ought to protest a little less, lest people start to think they have hit a very raw nerve.

Or does Barack Obama have something to fear?


Blogger BrianSJ said...

Your Grace
Thank you very much for saying what needs to be said. The anti-Obama community come across as gun-toting hicks and the media love-in is quite nauseating.
Since I don't vote there, I have not been following things closely, but the process seems to be offering the US electorate two grossly unsatisfactory candidates, and the rest of the world needs to work out how to deal with that.

15 July 2008 at 10:30  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Your Grace


Ladies and Children and various animals visit this Blogge eruditissimum .... and cherish it as a haven, secure from Yankee Imperialism and other Transpondian Madnesses threatening the C of E


Spelling !!


I think your Grace means "armoUry"

I s'pose English Spelling Rules were so much less defined in your First Incarnation

I have the honoUr to remain your Grace's obedient servant etc

G Eagle

15 July 2008 at 10:50  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Quite so, quite so.

His Grace was little rushed this morning.

Bless you for your pedanticisms.

15 July 2008 at 11:01  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

its being cited as satire , on the fears that republicans will do a negative campaign .

never mind the cover read the article ??

15 July 2008 at 11:02  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Obama does not truly believe in god. This is because he reduced the religiosity of red-necks--"bitter gun clingers"-- to false consciousness caused by economic deprivation.

This is Marxist theory. Marxist theory is not spouted by people who truly believe in god. Ergo, Obama does not believe in god.

I think the centre of Obama's world is race mysticism.

And on the "Hussein" thing: why does Obama shy away from promoting his Muslim aspect? Anyone would think there is something negative Islam...

15 July 2008 at 11:57  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Barack Obama's background hardly matters. We have simply been thrown another 'oddball candidate' to gossip and argue endlessly about, whilst the real business goes on behind the scenes.

Obama is simply the glove puppet of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). As most of you may have already noticed, he is being guided and mentored by Zbignew Brezinski (the former Carter administration US Secretary of State) who is a long-time CFR member and regular speaker at Bilderberg meetings, etc.

Amazingly (and suspiciously) there is no Wikipedia entry for Zbignew Brezinski. This is the guy who authorised the training of "foreign terrorists" (the so-called Taliban) to fight in Afghanistan!

Obama has already performed his obligatory bowing and scraping at the recently convened annual AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference. So, he is also in the pocket of the all powerful Jewish-American lobby.

The only nice thing I could say about Obama is that he has a good looking, well-boned, and appealing wife, especially for one aged 44.

Zbignew Brezinski is yet another in a long line of Ashkenazi Jews who have destroyed the United States of America since they flocked there in huge numbers at the end of the 19th century. That country is no longer the USA, it is the JU-SA.

So long as this remains the case, the military might of the JU-SA will continue to be used to further the aims and ambitions of the International Banksters ... namely total world domination under a fascist hierarchy.

Therefore, and by a process of inference, we are obliged to assume Mr. Daniel Hannan Euro-MP, is as unworldly as he looks.


"The Bolshevik revolution in Russia was the work of Jewish brains, of Jewish dissatisfaction, of Jewish planning, whose goal is to create a new order in the world. What was performed in so excellent a way in Russia, thanks to Jewish brains, and because of Jewish dissatisfaction and by Jewish planning, shall also, through the same Jewish mental and physical forces, become a reality all over the world."
THE AMERICAN HEBREW September 10, 1920

"We Jews are going to bring war on Germany." - David Brown, President of American Hebrew, in 1934, quoted in Edmonson's I Testify, page 188.

"In everything, we are destroyers--even in the instruments of destruction to which we turn for relief...We Jews, we, the destroyers, will remain the destroyers for ever. Nothing that you will do will meet our needs and demands." - Maurice Samuel, You Gentiles, pages 152, 155, and 147.

15 July 2008 at 12:02  
Blogger Jomo said...

Zbigniew Brzezinski can be found alive and well on Wikipedia.

But isn't Obama just another leftie seduced by "terrorist chic" and fascination with actionman.

He would happily fit into left wing London where every terrorist has something to tell us about how best to achieve political change.

I am sure there are deep psychological aspects of this fascination with the gun but this is not the place to explore them.

Unfortunately,given the comatose state of the republican party he may get elected for at least one term.

I guess it will take another Reagan to sort out the geo-political mess he leaves behind.

Thinking about the cartoon - perhaps he is only Jimmy Carter in drag which brings us back to Zbigniew Brzezinski1

15 July 2008 at 13:57  
Anonymous Moomintroll said...

I am afraid that your Grace has it wrong when you say that Obama comes from an Islamic background. His Kenyan father, who disappeared from his life very early, may have been a Muslim, but his mother and grandparents, who were the main influences on his life, were white American Christians.

15 July 2008 at 14:31  
Blogger Margo said...

Methinks the candidate protests too much. hmmm.

Obama has a resume so thin, it is anorexic. His past is a mixture of hype and distortion. As for the single mother, it does not fly. Obama's parents divorced when he was a child of five years. His mother remarried when Obama was seven and produced two more children (both practicing Muslims) of which very little to nothing is ever spoken. It is not reported how long they remained married or when they divorced. If Obama's single mother theory is to fly, where was the second husband in all of this? Was Barack a Cinderlla type stpe-child? Did he sit under his stepfather's table and eat the scraps. Something is rotten in Denmark. His half-brother is quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying if Barack is elected he will be very good to the Jews in the Muslim tradition in which he was raised. (paraphrase) I scoured the American newspapers when I read this in an international paper and it was not reported. His half-sister seems to be among the missing. Ditto for his step-father.

If you believe in God punishing and destroying the world by biblical or modern means, then Barack Hussein Obama, if elected, is God's instrument of punishment. But then on the other hand, there are thos who believe that Barack, if elected, will be a disastrous one-term President, a la James Earl Carter. Perhaps Barack will be the "via media."

15 July 2008 at 14:37  
Blogger Holy Prepuce said...

The reaction to the New Yorker cover has been absurd.

If there is still someone out there who a) has never heard the rumor that the Obamas are America-hating Black separatist Muslim terrorists, but b) would believe as much if he heard it--is it really very likely that the cover of The New Yorker will provide his first exposure to those ideas?

The idea that it is racist is nonsense: the Afro and fist-bump are not generalized racial caricatures, but rather direct allusions to specific accusations leveled at the Obamas. The right's coöption of each concept is fair game for satire, and it's not clear how artist Barry Blitt could have depicted them in a non-racially specific way.

I have much more to say on these subjects here.

15 July 2008 at 14:44  
Anonymous Morus said...

Your Grace is not wrong in the specific thrust of the article (that the cover of the New Yorker is not worth getting worked up about - and for the record, Obama hasn't, but his supporters are up in arms).

However, on the general critique of Obama, I believe you are out on a rather ill-protected limb. How can you attack him for having no policies, and then castigate him for certainly being a statist, corporatist, liberal of the Marxist Left.

The fact is that Obama would be a Conservative in the UK. There is no evidence that his policies are particularly statist, the specifics given are all pragmatic steps (a CTO, reform of financial practices post SarbOx) - and he is no dangerous left-winger. The criticism of him is somewhat shrill - from those who worry that anyone called Hussein will leave Israel to the dogs, to the nutjobs who claim he is a paid up member of the Elders of Zion.

You said there were four things he lacked: experience, nous, intellect and integrity.

His experience is fair for criticism, though his grasp of economics and domestic policy is so far ahead of any of the major Republican candidates (save Romney) it was embarrassing.

Nous? Really? He who has played the political game well enough to beat the Clintons - which no Republican ever managed. Nonsense.

Intellect? The first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, and you suspect he isn't bright enough? The danger is he is too academic, not the other way around.

Integrity? I've heard the stories and the smears. To impugn his integrty, the Right needs to do a damn sight better than the petty smears they've tried thus far. For someone playing at this level, this is as clean as you get.

There is a chance he will speak to the Left - they gave him the nomination after all - but fundamentally I expect a competant, pragmatic Centrist Presidency if he wins.

That might not fit with the wonderful condemnation of the Right that decrees that any Democrat must be a closet Marxist, but there are plenty of Conservatives like myself who aren't ashamed to recognise that this guy is phenomenol, and that the criticism as presented doesn't, as of yet, stack up to more than the spluttering indignation of seeing the candidates of the Right distinctly outclassed. It's uncomfortable, but it doesn't make him a worse candidate, for all the trying.

15 July 2008 at 15:38  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Barack Obama will be George Bush Mk. II

He will never pull the troops out of Iraq (How can the personification of the multi-cult of ignorance oppose the American efforts to establish a liberal democracy dominated by Islamic and Arab nationalism in Iraq?)

He will not abolish the death penalty in America

He supports gun-ownership

He resists late-term abortion

He accepts the "special interest" lobby money he once said he was going to ban

He supports NAFTA

He is hawkish towards Islamic terror ("rogue-states")

In fact, replace George Bush's Texas twang, cowboy strut and evangelical Bible thumping with Barack Obama's mellifluous "hope and change" rhetoric, easy grace and leftwing Christianity and we may discover a flashy new cover to an old book.

15 July 2008 at 16:17  
Blogger Margo said...

Obama on abortion.

He supports "throw the baby in the corner and let it die." In the Illinois legislature, Barack Obama vehemently opposed the "Born Alive Act." this Act proposed that all babies born in a botched abortion must be given medical treatment. It had been the policy before the Act, that babies (fetuses to the pro-choice people) born in a botched abortion be left to die and not given medical treatment. His reasoning for opposing the Act was that to give medical treatment to fetus would be tantamount to giving personhood to the fetus, thereby endangering abortion rights. He does not believe that living breathing babies are "persons." He was the only one in the Illinois legislature to oppose the Act. Even the Naral pro-choice people passed on it and said it was so controversial that they would not oppose it.

Obama on taxes

> 28% on profit from ALL home sales How does this affect me?
> If I sell my home and make a profit, I will pay 28% of my gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your> home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.

> How will this affect you?
> If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama become president. The experts predict that 'higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.

> (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
> Single making 30K - tax $8,400
> Single making 50K - tax $14,000
> Single making 75K - tax $23,250
> Married making 60K - tax $16,800
> Married making 75K - tax $21,000
> Married making 125K - tax $38,750

OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax
> How does this affect us? Many families will lose businesses,
> farms and ranches, and homes
> that have been in their families for generations because they could not > afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will lose them to these taxes.
> * New government taxes proposed on> homes that are more than
> 2400 square feet
> * New gasoline taxes (as if
> gas weren't high enough already)
> * New taxes on natural resources
> consumption (heating
> gas, water, electricity)
> * New taxes on retirement accounts

Best Obama boondoggle of all is "the Global Povery Bill"

Now to show you that I am not a one issue voter. Here is Obama's latest statist, idealistic, pie-in-the-sky proposal: A nice-sounding bill called the "Global Poverty Act," sponsored by Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama, is up for a Senate vote and could result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States. The bill, which has the support of many liberal religious groups, makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations. In other words, the taxpayer ups the tax ante in the amount of $845 billion, sends it to the corrupt U.N. while the U.N. pockets the money, sends it to the local corrupt dictators for their retirement fund and then we get to watch the Third World starve some more. It is scheduled for debate next month.

15 July 2008 at 21:53  
Blogger Miss Snuffleupagus said...

Come now, Your Grace, surely you know that the situation is far more complex than the picture you paint in this post? Or don't you?

The question for me is whether you deliberately pretend to wonder why Obama's supporters are up in arms, (but then this would make you somewhat politically-minded and disingenuous, and that would disappoint me) or whether you are genuinely none the wiser.

I guess I'll never know.

15 July 2008 at 23:06  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Your Grace



This is all very worrying ... and beyond this Eagle's small brain

With all the hype, how does the ordinary voter discern the Truth about any of the Candidates

Perhaps it is as well that Eagles are not allowed to vote in America

I remain your Grace's hyper-pedantic servant and



15 July 2008 at 23:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for him, even if he does keep company with some distasteful church leaders.

Of course, he's not alone in that - McCain does too, as does Hilary Clinton behind closed doors.

Mission Impossible:
Zbignew Brezinski (the former Carter administration US Secretary of State) who is a long-time CFR member and regular speaker at Bilderberg meetings, etc.
Amazingly (and suspiciously) there is no Wikipedia entry for Zbignew Brezinski.

No, and that's a shocking and very telling ommission. I suspect a certain Mr. Jimbo Wales has been attending Bildeberg meetings. However, there is a Wikipedia entry on Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Advisor. I wonder if they are by any chance related?

If Obama's single mother theory is to fly, where was the second husband in all of this?

Somewhere in Slough, I believe. He was interviewed on BBC1 a few months ago, talking about taking Obama on a pub crawl when he came over to the UK for his half-sister's wedding in the mid-90s. She was interviewed too, so apparently not missing. Apparently, a gaggle of unremarkable British suburbanites aren't interesting enough for the American media to seek out, even if they are related to a Presidential candidate.

If you believe in God punishing and destroying the world by biblical or modern means, then Barack Hussein Obama, if elected, is God's instrument of punishment.

Frankly, if you believe that, then you've got bigger problems than who the next President of America is going to be.

Homophobic Horse:
Barack Obama will be George Bush Mk. II

Mark III, shurely.

16 July 2008 at 00:45  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Aaahh ... I know what must have happened now. Wikipedia saw me coming and deliberately hid their Zbigniew Brzezinski pages from me. This sure looks like a conspiracy to me! Those damned Wiki people.

George Bush is such an honourable, intelligent, and honest person. How could I have ever suspected he was being controlled by a bunch of Jewish NeoCons hell-bent on dominating as much of the world as they can get? Silly me.

How could I have doubted Barack Obama even though he has appeared completely out of nowhere to become the official Democrat nominee for the President of the United States, and therefore the defacto leader of the Western world? I am only being prejudiced when I worry over and question the strange alliances and friendships this person has engaged in throughout most of his life. Silly me.

I thoroughly agree with all those who believe private gun ownership should be banned. This would then allow our beneficent governments to run roughshod over everyone and act with complete impunity. We could then take pleasure in cowering in terror as SWAT teams, armed to the gills with assault rifles and what-not, continue to hold sway over our towns and cities. Being at the complete mercy of the thuggish state is far superior to living a life as free men and women.

Just how much Yankee garbage finds its way across the Atlantic to Blogs such as this? Perhaps we need a new website counter to determine the pollution?

16 July 2008 at 05:20  
Blogger Margo said...

I said: IF YOU believe. I did not say I believe, nor do I believe in God's punishment. This was directed to those who believe that. Whatever disaster befalls us on this planet, we have only ourselves to blame, to wit: nuclear war, environmental disaster, pollution, smog, hunger, famine, genocide, etc. Man (generic term so as not to offend feminists) is responsible for all of this. God is not a puppetmaster.

17 July 2008 at 15:09  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older