Why Obama is the new Teflon Man

I think I’ve finally figured it out. The reason mud never seems to stick to Barack Obama (in addition to the fact that it’s been such crappy mud thrown at him) is that most people don’t want it to stick. They want him to succeed.

The politics of division and fear, as it’s been practiced by George W. Bush and the GOP Congress for over seven years, may be effective for awhile from an electoral standpoint, but it sucks the life out of people.

You get tired of being afraid.

You get tired of the smallness of hate.

You get tired of feeling helpless.

Then along comes an unlikely guide out of the morass, in the form of an inspiring young black senator from the Land of Lincoln, and he tells you what you already know in your heart: he tells you there’s a better way.

This, I think, was the fatal flaw in the Clinton campaign’s attempt to ridicule Obama’s use of the language of hope — trying to recast it as empty air next to Hillary’s substance. At times like these, hope is substance, because it’s an essential element to moving forward.

And people don’t want to give that up. And you don’t have to be an Obama supporter to understand why. 

So I’m increasingly optimistic about Obama’s chances in the general election, assuming, as seems highly likely after last night’s debate, he becomes the nominee. The right wing sound machine can huff and puff and lie until Armageddon draws nigh — and no doubt will — but few people will hear them. Few people will want to hear them.

And until that changes, whatever mud they throw will just continue to slide right off.   

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7 Responses to “Why Obama is the new Teflon Man”

  1. Chuck Says:

    And speaking of hope, your remember how Maggie had hoped to be an architect someday? But of course with the kids, then the accident, then the marriage to Dr. John and the move to the Puget Sound area. Then a daughter named Margarite Stephanie the Stephanie part was named after Steve at the cafe, who she often calls Molly, (which I found out used to be a diminutive of Margret until it became a name of its own.) Dr. John usually call her Margi with the hard g sound.

    O.K. I strayed a bit. One day she was sitting at the kitchen table with little Margarite in that old farm house she and Dr. John bought and sketched out what she thought it could look like outside and in, and used the children’s water color paints to show the colors. Dr. John liked the look of it and thought it would be fine, so they called a contractor to discuss it. He looked it over and was impressed and inquired who designed it. Maggie said she did. Well that contractor hired her on the spot and now works for him whenever someone wants a house make-over.

    And here’s another strange part. The name of the company is “The Last Chance Construction Company.” Why is it named that? Well when it first started it specialized in rebuilding barns that were about to fall down. There are a lot of them in that area. They had an old ladder truck from some fire department so the guys could work safely at almost any height, then went on to other renovations. Maggie of course proved invaluable to him since she was able to visualize them differently. She even turned several old barns into large homes or townhouse type dwellings.

    And another odd coincidence, The owner of the company is named Steve.

    Ain’t life strange sometimes?

  2. Chuck Says:

    Remind me sometime to tell you how Alwayshope got her name.

  3. alwayshope Says:

    Good story Chuck. And so…ironical.
    I watched a show about barns tuned into beautiful homes. They were so open with all the lofts and one of them had a gorgeous fieldstone fireplace. I am a rockhound myself and always wanted to build a stone cottage. maybe someday. Anyway, good for Maggie!

    And……I’m waiting for the tale of how alwayshope got her name. That should be interesting.

  4. alwayshope Says:

    Steve, I agree completely!
    We don’t want to give up hope or inspiration. When your country has been taken over by greedy, war-mongering, ruthless and incompetent nutjobs and you feel so helpless to stop the assault, when you watch as their crimes go unpunished and their policies tear us apart, when you have lost confidence in the law and the legislature, when you feel the grief of all the death and destruction and torture continuing in your name, you NEED hope. You need to believe we can change the direction and find a meaningful purpose that can unite us.

    “There has never been a night so dark nor a problem so difficult that it cannot be defeated by dawn or hope.”
    I read that anonymous quote about 20 years ago in Readers Digest.
    never forgot it.
    Obama’s deflector shields will be working hard. Let’s hope whatever crap they throw at him bounces right back and sticks to them!

  5. DonnaWade Says:

    I think you might be right, Steve….even when you find out that at least one of people in Obama’s campaign isn’t exactly a champion of the poor and downtrodden like he is (from Robert Parry’s description, it seems like O’s finance chair is the Leona Helmsley of the sub-prime mortgages he so decries http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/022708a.html) Hillary can’t make an issue of it because the woman’s BROTHER works for Hillary. Guess it’s more important to have their money and rich friends on their side than people who are true advocates for us little guys. Hard to see how Obama could have missed this little chapter of her history…screwing depositors out of their savings and laying the foundation for the sub-prime debacle….the Rethugs will have a field day with that one! Nothing like giving the enemy ammo!

  6. Again Says:

    They want him to succeed…. Few people will want to hear them

    you don’t mean something like the three apes?

    Four elements required to form a wise crowd

    Diversity of opinion, Independence, Decentralization, Aggregation

    Failures of crowd intelligence

    Too homogeneous
    Too centralized (The Columbia shuttle disaster, which he blames on a hierarchical NASA management bureaucracy that was totally closed to the wisdom of low-level engineers.)
    Too divided
    Too imitative (Where choices are visible and made in sequence, an “information cascade”[2] can form in which only the first few decision makers gain anything by contemplating the choices available )
    Too emotional

    “You can be anything you want to be
    Just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be
    Be free with your tempo be free be free
    Surrender your ego be free be free to yourself”

    (Queen, Innuendo)

  7. enviroman Says:

    From my vantage point here in the conservative, Republican, Bible belt of southwest Virgina, I’m not so confident about Obama’s chances. This part of the state has been voting overwhelmingly Repub for so long most people don’t know why anymore. With the conservative domination of talk radio in these parts, and their constant attacks on “demoncrats” as the “end of our country”, the Repubs’ points of view are constantly reinforced. Most of these people would never vote for a Democrat. Even fewer would vote for a black man. I think this will hold true throughout the south.

    (Case in point, my father said the other day “I hope that n***** doesn’t get in there!” There is lots of latent racism here. We get along with black people if they say in their place. It doesn’t mean we would want one to be our president.)

    On the other hand, Obama might be able to take VA. The more populace east tends to vote Dem.

    I think Hillary has even less chance of winning the south. Southern Repubs hate the Clintons even more than they hate n*****s.

    So, while Obama’s message of hope sounds great (I like it), I feel that he will not be able to convert many Repubs in this part of the country.

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