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Jean Valjean = Obama: Who knew?

September 14th, 2008 - 6:27 am

We all know that Barack Obama believes he is “the One we’ve been waiting for.” He told us that in Chicago in February 2008.

We know, too, that, according to Obama, we can look back on June 3, 2008–the date he wrested the Democratic nomination away from Hillary Clinton–as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

A new age needs a new hero, and Obama was not shy about putting himself forward for the job. But who is Obama? Is he Moses, commanding the oceans to recede that his people may escape from, and then obliterate, their oppressors? Or is that all prolegomena for the advent of “the One we’ve been waiting for,” namely . . . Who? A sort of Messiah? Maybe. Or maybe the actor and comedian J.D. Walsh comes closer in this glimpse of Obama Headquarters on November 3, 2008. Maybe Obama is not the Messiah, precisely, but a suffering martyr for liberty–Jean Valjean, in fact, Victor Hugo’s hero in Les Miserables signing “One Day More” with the rest of the cast: “One more day to revolution,” etc. etc.

[Update: As Faust's Blog points out, "if you have seen Les Miz on Broadway you’d know that the eager revolutionaries got wiped out right after that song. NOT a good metaphor for any electoral campaign." Indeed.]

Here’s a question. Is Mr. Walsh’s skit about life at Obama’s HQ just before the election a spoof, as it some people have described it? Or is an homage?

I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess. It seems like a parody to me–but then so does much of the Obama campaign. It is silly, no doubt about that: all those fresh-faced campaign workers bursting into tuneful revolutionary solidarity in the midst of their PCs and xerox copiers. But is it, really, any sillier than Obama’s “we’re-the-ones-we’ve-been-waiting-for” riff? Is it any sillier than his faux-Presidential seal, his follow-the-yellow-brick-road, somewhere-over-the-rainbow-bama logo, his vacuous invocation of Change, his school-boy, Bob-the-Builder Latin motto? The brief answer is, No, it isn’t any sillier or more extreme. And the fact that Mr. Walsh ends his little entertainment by flashing across the screen the English translation of the Bob-the-Builder motto–”Yes We Can”–tempts me to conclude that, sadly, his creation was meant in earnest. An English friend sent me the link to the performance and included this comment: “Obama. Or there’ll be blood.” That, mutatis mutandis, is approximately the message of Les Miz. It is the message, heard with increasing virulence, of the far-Left blogosphere. Perhaps it is also the message Mr. Walsh has endeavored to convey?

Maybe, And yet, and yet: J.D. Walsh, as I said,  is an actor and a comedian. Could he, just possibly, be a comedian with a sense of humor? Stranger things have happened.

A final question: what does it tell us that we cannot say with any confidence whether the performance is a spoof? Nothing good, of that you can be sure.

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