Work and Days

Obama Rules

Ten new regulations for the 2008 election

Barack Obama is a gifted politician who has led an exemplary life. His run for Presidency for many offers redemption that America has finally moved beyond race. But that laudable proposition is beginning to foster surreal rules of campaigning from both the media and Obama himself that do no one any good.

1. The 2008 campaign must stick to concrete issues and detailed policies. That said, Barack Obama can continue to speak only in vague terms of “hope and change.”

2. Rev. Wright’s racist tirades must be contextualized and only understood in their proper historic milieu of white racism—that is, unless he suddenly turns on Barack Obama, in which case one is now free to deride him as “mean-spirited,” “malicious” and on a “vendetta.”

3. Rev. Wright is like “an old uncle” and his church “not particularly controversial.” Those who insist otherwise are using “snippets” and “loops” out of context for cheap political advantage. But should the Rev. repeat his serial lunacies at the National Press Club on national television, and insult the sympathetic liberal DC press corps, then he is suddenly expendable and inexplicably not the same pastor that Barack Obama knew for 20 years—and so now to be freely derided as a “spoiler”.

4. It is assumed that Barack Obama’s exotic middle name Hussein can provide authentic multicultural fides and hope of projecting a new, more globally sympathetic American image abroad, but to voice ‘Hussein’ aloud is assumed to be nefarious.

5. It is legitimate to appeal to, and thus win en masse 90% of African-Americans of all classes over a rival liberal candidate, but it is absolutely illegitimate and a sign of a racialist strategy should someone else win two-thirds of that total of the white working-class vote—and, worse, acknowledge it as such.

6. John McCain can be written off as “losing his bearings” and wanting U.S. troops in Iraq for “100 years.” But to repeat the fact that a Hamas advisor has praised Obama, or that one of his own foreign policy advisors has met with officials of that terrorist organization, is “divisive,” “a distraction,” and the “old politics as usual.” McCain’s fuzzy references to Shiite/Sunni terrorist cooperation are signs of his senility. Obama’s repeated confusion over how many states there are in the Union (48? or is it 58?) is proof of exhaustion and lack of sleep.

7. Racial generalizations of any type in connection with the candidacy of Barack Obama are out of order. Barack Obama is free to characterize his grandmother as a “typical white person” and to lump the middle-class voters of Pennsylvania together as nativists, racists, and superstitious in their reliance on religion and guns. Only endemic white racism—never anger over Obama’s overt racialist stereotyping of the white middle class and his Reverend’s slurs—can explain that group’s rejection of him at the primary polls.

8. Substantial campaign contributions and the money nexus in politics are pernicious, proof of the “old politics” with a long history of distorting campaigns. The record fund-raising and enormous war-chest of Barack Obama are instead proof of a healthy American democracy and preclude any need for public campaign financing.

9. If a zealous pastor endorses John McCain, then his past illiberal talk about Catholicism demands a formal rebuke. If Barack Obama’s spiritual advisor of some twenty years addresses a meeting of a branch of the NAACP and announces that blacks and whites have genetically different brain chemistries and learning abilities, then one simply keeps quiet about it.

10. For conservatives to have suggested that the media was biased in favor of the Clintons in the 1990s was McCarthyesque. For Clintonites to suggest that it is now even more biased toward Obama is even more McCarthyesque.

This is the new political landscape that we are in, and those who object to it should expect to face hysterical outrage—in the manner of anyone who suggests that a messiah should at least try to practice what he preaches. And the problem is that those he will face as President—whether an Iranian religious nut, a Hamas terrorist, a Chinese communist, a Castro, Chavez, or North Korean extortionist—will follow no such Obama rules.