Friday, June 6, 2008

A New Race (For American Idol)

"Looking over Obama’s relatively brief political career, it’s hard not to reach the conclusion that the probable next ‘leader of the free world’ has not led anything of significance to date. Part of the reason is that he always seemed to move on to a new role before even accomplishing much. Perhaps it is what he himself calls his ‘chronic restlessness’. At the same time, he seems unwilling to express political principles or thought-out policies. Consequently, if he were to be elected, we really do not know how he would govern. His vaunted ‘pragmatism’ could very well mean flying by the seat of his pants.

Obama gains most support when he attacks both Republicans and Democrats for the ‘politics of the past’. He parasitically feeds off the disenchantment for what stands for politics today. But when it comes to the future, he has little to say. Instead, we are offered Obama the person, someone we are supposed to ‘know’ through his books, speeches and other media appearances. And so far it seems to be working: many appear to treat Obama as a blank slate upon which to project their hopes. But in his disdain for ideas, and his substitution of personal biography in their place, Obama takes the politics of personality to a new low. Believing that a politician who has struggled with his divided personal identity will therefore know how to unite and advance a country really is a dream, one audacious in its naivety."


-- Sean Collins, in a review of Barack Obama's books, for Spiked!