Saturday, May 28, 2011

Barack Obama's Milkshake

From Phyllis Chesler at the generally alarming FrontPageMag, a question: Who Can Beat Obama?

As 2012 approaches fast, this is becoming a subject of immense interest, both to Republicans, and to people who've convinced themselves on no evidence that Barack Obama is a pro-terrorist, anti-Zionist type. It is an good question. I suspect the answer is 'no one', and that the President will smoothly take a second term, however a strong Republican candidate who can make a convincing showing on the economy might have a shot. However, Chesler has a different tack in mind. She writes:

President Obama’s election is due, in part, to the desire among many American liberals and leftists to be seen as “atoning” for the sin of racism and the crimes of slavery. The fact that Obama is bi-racial—his mother was white—matters little since he looks like an African-American. Indeed, the President’s own writing focuses on his African, Muslim roots, especially because his Kenyan father abandoned both him and his mother.

This is, patently, bullshit. American liberals and leftists were going to vote for the Democrat, especially in the absence of a viable Green candidate to distract the leftists, regardless of what color he might be. Was there some excitement about the idea of a black president? Sure. As there should have been. But to suggest that the 'in part' is significant is dishonest and silly, especially when you immediately jump to the damfool, 'He's not black, he's BIRACIAL' meme. Plus, of course,we gotta mention those Muslim roots.

This is off to a great start.

Chesler then goes on to announce that since Obama got his job through white liberal guilt, the only person who could defeat him would be--you see--a black woman, as "Only such a candidate could symbolically address the sin and crime of sexism as well as that of racism." Chesler then goes on to describe it as 'ironic' that a black woman first ran for president in 1972 (Shirley Chisholm) and then in 2004 (Carol Mosely Braun) and that neither received the nomination. I have to say that this is not 'ironic' any more than rain on Alanis Morrissette's wedding day, it might, instead, be a suggestion that being an African-American woman does not make you the shoo-in to take away the sins of the American electorate that Chesler appears to imagine. I mean, maybe you could argue that things have changed since 1972, but have the liberals and the leftists really gotten that much guiltier in the last seven years?

Leaving that aside, let's examine for a moment the reasons Chesler wants someone to beat Obama. She believes that he hates Israel. She believes that he does not acknowledge the elaborate pathology she attributes to Islam and Muslim cultures. She believes he is out to get the Jews. I think she's entirely mistaken on all of these points--but let's get back to her search for a candidate who will agree with all her foreign policy points, and yet be black and female enough to beat Obama (because God knows, being black and female has historically gotten you whatEVER you want in this country...uh...sure has...oh hell. I give up. Obama Derangement Syndrome has apparently caused Phyllis Chesler to have some sort of selective amnesia about American history.)

First, she looks to Congress.

Currently there are 31 African American men and 13 African-American women in Congress; there are no African-Americans in the Senate. In the past there have been only six such senators in American history. Currently, there are 18 women in the Senate. In all of American history a total of 39 women of all races, including the current 18, have served as Senators.

See, this, this is sort of interesting, because apparently we liberals and leftists don't vote exclusively enough for black candidates out of guilt to, say, get black Americans proportionate representation in the House of Representative, let alone the Senate. Chesler also leaves a key part of this out--of those African Americans currently serving in Congress, two of them are Republicans, and both of those Republicans are male. The rest are all Democrats. It seems unlikely that one of the black Congresswomen is going to suddenly start running for the Democratic nomination on a MORE-pro-Israel ticket against an incumbent POTUS from their own party. Call me crazy.

Phyllis Chesler knows this as well as I do, of course, because having put out a few stats on blacks in Congress, she switches tacks to this:

Given how many Americans confuse voting for the Presidency with voting for an American Idol; given how good so many Americans feel that we have “overcome” and have elected an African-American as our President; given how deep, high, and wide emotions are running in terms of racism (which trumps sexism as an issue even among establishment feminists), clearly, obviously, the next election is ripe for an African-American woman candidate. Obviously, she can be as inexperienced as President Obama was as long as she is charismatic, charming, eloquent, glamorous, and well connected to Hollywood, the media, and the academy. .

Maybe Oprah should run.

She will never run against her “guy.” Not a chance in Hell. (And I would never vote for her). But she represents the zeitgeist, what’s popular in America right now. And Obama has all the African-American hip-hop and rap artists and Hollywood stars sewn up tight. We can’t turn to them. Obama’s their “guy” too.

Oh, Lord.

Is it me, or is ODS making some people a little crazy, and making them say things that THEY THEMSELVES would easily be able to define as borderline racist under normal circumstances, those circumstances being that Barack Obama had not driven them stark raving looney-tunes?

I admired Phyllis Chesler for a long time. I read some of her work on feminism in college. I read "The New-Antisemitism" with great interest. I understand how difficult it must have been to take a strong pro-Israel stand after a lifetime in left-wing feminist academic circles.

But she's starting to sound like a nut.

Two final notes:

1. I notice that nowhere in this discussion is there direct mention of the one black woman I think might actually stand a chance as a Republican candidate for POTUS, former US SecState Condoleezza Rice. There are several reasons I can imagine for this, one of which being that Condi has made it perfectly clear for some time that she will never run. However, one has to point out that, given that Chesler's dearest wish is for a president who will meet her rather improbable foreign policy demands, we should point out that Condi, acting for the Bush administration, repeatedly criticized 'settlement expansion'. The fantasy that Obama's administration reflects any kind of a break with extant U.S. foreign policy is just that. And the idea that there is a black female politician out there who would adhere to the Chesler Plan for U.S. involvement in the Middle East, PLUS get all the liberals to vote for her out of guilt seems--fantastical.

2. Speaking of 'hop-hop and rap stars', I would totally vote for Kelis for POTUS.

My milkshake brings all the voters to the box,
And they're like,
It's better than Barack's,
Damn right, it's better than Barack's,
I could teach him, but I'd rather be elected President of the United States of America instead.

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