Sunday, October 26, 2008

This Is What We're Working For

Came across a nice pic at Attaturk's place:

Jayden Brown, 9 listens to Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., at a rally held at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Reminded me of an earlier find.

Isn't it going to be great to have a president that we can look up to?


Anonymous said...

What I don't understand about Glenn Loury is how he can fail so completely to appreciate the power of Obama's example as a leader, how he is going to completely transform the self-image of every black child in America. I can't recall the exact words, but he specifically dismissed the significance of Obama's ability to meaningfully transform the condition of black America by virtue of the example he will be to millions of Americans. Such a monumental blindspot on Glenn's part.

Is it just me, or is Glenn also fairly incoherent in trying to explain his position on Obama? I get the feeling he can't really come out and say what he really things. He snows you under with a blizzard of words, and I never really feel like I understand what his problem is.

Maybe it's just me; when I listened to that last episode I was doing other stuff and might not have paid close enough attention. But in general lately he has been (it seems to me) close to incoherent on the subject of Obama.

What do you think? Do I just need to pay closer attention?

bjkeefe said...

Hard for me to say. I have long thought that Glenn had a few things going on:

1. A genuine preference for "grownups in charge."

2. Resentment (maybe not that exact word) at a "post-racial" candidate who did not appear to be giving enough props to the people who laid the groundwork for him.

3. A worry that the election of Obama would lead too many to conclude that "racism is no longer a problem in the USA."

4. Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good -- he wanted the first black president to be without flaw, and related, worries that if Obama fails to be a great president, it'll do lasting damage to other black politicians.

5. Kneejerk resistance to liking what "everyone else" likes. Tie this in with the liberal intellectual's instinct to (fetish for) being skeptical at what might only be a fad.

However, I have to say that the last diavlog kind of made me run out of sympathy for Glenn. I think #4 is the one I had the most problem with -- his nitpicking seemed downright irrational. This is not to say that he made no good points, nor is it to say that I don't still respect his views. But I do think it's time for him to come to grips with the reality that none of us expect Obama to be perfect and make no mistakes, and that it's time for Glenn to be more supportive and optimistic.

John Evo said...

Remember that one diavlog, early on, when Glenn was still firmly in Hilary's camp and thought she would turn it around?

Do you remember his "talkin' 'bout my generation" rant on behalf of Hilary as the better candidate? It was thoughtful and articulate and, while I disagreed (despite being of "the" generation) I thought he gave the best possible argument for her that could be given. He even relaxed a bit of my then growing animosity at the Clintons.

Anyway, I think this might be part of that - kind of an inability to let go. He wasn't in Obama's corner from the gate, so now he wants to be able to hold on to a bit of his philosophy and be able to say "I told you so"... not about Obama losing (he clearly sees landscape for what it is) but maybe about his inability to generate the kind of change we are now expecting and demanding. That's a little sad and selfish, if true.

Twin: you said - "how he is going to completely transform the self-image of every black child in America."

And profoundly effect the societal image of every kid.

Anonymous said...

Underneath the flurry of words, after each diavlog between him and John M. I am always left with the impression that Glenn has a thinly veiled contempt for Obama - that he just can't stand the man. But he just won't be honest about why. He often prefaces so many of his long critiques with ..."this is not to berate the candidate ...." But I always come away feeling that that is exactly what he does. I've kind of lost respect for him because of this. There's something dishonest in his arguments.