Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Obama: Everything To Everyone

Perfection through emptiness.

It’s no secret that people, especially his supporters, project their own beliefs and feelings onto Obama and thereby perceive his values to line up utterly with theirs. Even Obama knows and acknowledges this… I’d have found the exact quote, but Google is so bogged down by people pointing this very thing out that I can’t actually find his own words for the phenomenon.

But he’s definitely aware of it, and it’s pretty clear that he’s cultivated this trait to at least some extent. His “Present” voting record is the most obvious of these, even its very existence allowing his supporters to make up reasons for his having done so. (A favorite seeming to be “He just didn’t want to make waves, so he could be elected and become an awesome President!") Much about Obama is groomed to be charming while also slightly bland and designed not to stand out too much… almost like the politician equivalent of Garfield.

I think, though, one of the most interesting things is just how far people will take this, up to the point that they will assign him views that specifically go against his actual actions or stated opinions. Whether they make the excuse of “He’s just saying that because he needs to play politics”, or just simply refuse to acknowledge his actions and statements, leftists will convince themselves that Obama really actually thinks as they do. It’s almost become a game to see just how much of this you could spot.

So in a way, I wanted this to be a kind of open thread. Post something that you’ve seen people currently claiming Obama believes, thinks, or will do (links optional). Bonus points if you can then post something Obama’s said or done that’s in direct conflict with this. Extra heresy bonus points if it’s really out there.

I think the most amusing belief I’ve seen ascribed to him is probably atheism. I’ve seen more than a few hardcore/staunch/fundamental (whatever you wanna call them) atheists say that Obama simply must have the same disdain and dismissal for organized religion (read: the Christian type belief systems) that they do. That his going to church for all those years and all his claims of being guided by faith are just pure politics, and that just under the surface is a diehard Nietzsche reader. Obama has given absolutely no indication of this… if anything, he’s gone further than he needs to in touting his faith credentials (whether because he really feels it’s that important or is trying for “crossover"). The closest he’s ever come to an atheist-ish statement is the “Clutching their guns and Bibles” insult, but even then, it’s still a pretty big stretch to think that he’s just covering up a complete disbelief in any kind of God or spirituality. And yet, because people are just so desperate for some of that Hope and Change…

(Kinda ironic, when you think about it, huh?)

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 09:59 AM (Discuss this in the forums)


Posted by on 05/28/09 at 11:38 AM from United States

By the way, Jim, could I request a new category? Nothing quite fit for this since it was so specifically about Obama. Perhaps “The Cult of Personality”?

Posted by Sean Galbraith on 05/28/09 at 12:05 PM from Canada

Very true.

I have no idea how anyone could think he was an athiest. Aside from the fact that if he was, there is no way he would have been elected in the first place, he hasn’t exactly been covert about his beliefs. The converse of that is people’s belief that he is a Muslim. Both sides are idiots.

Reminds me of this posting from The Onion after the election.

Posted by JimK on 05/28/09 at 12:07 PM from United States

Rann, done. You’ll see the re-organized Politics category when you log in to the control panel. I split off Politics, added Law & economics as a sub, and added Cult of personality as another sub-category.  You can edit the post to pick the new cat if you want.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 12:12 PM from United States

He’s already a “closet muslim”, so why not also a “closet atheist”?  Personally, I see him as a commie racist, which is exactly the opposite as how some of my coworkers view him (the messiah).

He really is everything to everyone…

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 12:12 PM from United States

Actually, I find it perfectly believable that a very significant number of politicians are lying about their faith and are agnostic at best underneath it all.  In particular the more intellectual ones are likely not believers.  Is Obama included among those ranks?  Who can tell?  It’s possible however.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 12:23 PM from United States

Actually, I find it perfectly believable that a very significant number of politicians are lying about their faith and are agnostic at best underneath it all.  In particular the more intellectual ones are likely not believers.


You know, “Thanks for proving my point” is such an overused line, and yet…

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 05/28/09 at 03:47 PM from United States

Well, here’s Lou Dobbs claiming that Obama supports a North American Union...probably the weirdest was the one that claimed he was actually born in Kenya (or was it Indonesia?)

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 04:26 PM from United States

Let me get this straight. The point of this post is not that voters tend falsely ascribe their beliefs to politicians they support, since you are too lazy to do any real research on that, but simply that you assume it’s the case and to ask for supporting research in the comments?

Newsflash: This concept isn’t unique to Obama. Every popular political figure goes through this: Reagan, JFK… all the way back to Athens.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 04:29 PM from United States

Exactly what I wanted you to post, hazehead. Good job! Still helping me out tons.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 05:44 PM from United States

it’s still a pretty big stretch to think that he’s just covering up a complete disbelief in any kind of God or spirituality.

I don’t know if he is an atheist per se, but I doubt he spends as much time thinking about God as he does himself.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 08:09 PM from Canada

Seriously Rann, how old *are* you?

At least WVR had the smarts to keep his trap shut if didn’t have a response.

If you think I’m a troll, ignore me. If not, join the conversation.

I still maintain this is a common political dynamic, and that by trying to use it in a derisive manner you are exposing your inherent bias. In addition the post is rambling and border-line incoherent.

Hope that helps.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 09:16 PM from United States

Doncha just looove a good nerve exposure?

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 09:18 PM from United States

If not, join the conversation.

You are quite the comedian.

I’ve never seen you initiate or engage in anything even remotely resembling a discussion. You show up roughly once a week and carpet-bomb the front page posts with condescension and insults, and then sneer at everyone when they don’t rub their chins and say “Hmmm, fascinating, yes, tell me more.”

You’re barely even a troll. A decent troll might at least try to be entertaining or attempt to lull us into some false sense of you actually participating. You’re… sub-troll. I’m quite serious that you are exceptionally useful to us in that someone like you opposing us makes us look better.

I mean, look at you, you keep trying to dig into me with those comparisons to WVR like you think that’s going to make my head explode, despite the fact that I’ve never given any indication of having a rise at it. It’s not like I find WVR offensive on a personal level, or I’m going to lose my mind at someone saying they prefer him to me. (Especially you, considering you’re exactly the audience we don’t want to appeal to.) You keep hammering that one attempt to rile me up over and over again until it’s run into the ground, while simultaneously throwing everything you can at me in hopes that something will stick. You’re the Family Guy of blog trolling.

I guess what I’m saying here is, you’re not a troll… you don’t seem quite competent enough to be one. You are someone who’s only here and only interested in politics as an excuse to be a dick to other people, though. You’re only useful as a bad example, but at least you’re highly useful as that.

Posted by on 05/29/09 at 10:39 AM from United States

The Oministration keeps talking about fiscal responsibility while jacking up the national debt exponentially. And they haven’t even touched health care yet.

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