Thursday, December 04, 2008

Obama the ... what?

Well, I notice I haven’t posted in December, and its already the fourth, so …

I have been thinking that it seems like a lot of conservative bloggers and commenters characterize Barack Obama as a communist or socialist (as well as a Muslim or terrorist). Truly I am not sure how they get this stuff. Apparently there are people who spend all day just digging up dirt on other people, comb through records and probably make stuff up too. So Obama received a letter of recommendation from an PhD with an Arabic sounding name to get into Harvard Law, I think it was (K something) and apparently financial assistance from this K something as well. I thought recommendation letters were confidential, but I guess the right can appeal to people's patriotism or something. I guess the community organizing was part of his communist training as well; you know, ACORN and all. I think this is all supposed to come from the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) or the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) or something. The New York Times (a front, clearly) did a story recently about how the office of the Communist Party in New York was like this two (tiny) room setup in Brooklyn, filled mostly with leaflets. But, whatever, they are the threat, not that the Soviets are gone and the Chinese are … capitalist?

Obama is different from other US Presidents – he’s black. But he’s not really American black, in the sense that he spent his early school years in Indonesia, where he was also different, in being American and not Muslim. So Obama spent his years from six to ten as a curiosity. He probably was assumed to be smart, and probably found he was. When he returned to the US he was enrolled in a private school, where he was one of three black students (out of a couple of thousand), so again he didn’t pick up any American black culture. The point being its not surprising Obama is comfortable around a lot of different types of people.

I haven’t read his book, but I gather in some senses Obama was a troubled youth, doing drugs in high school. I’m not surprised, he had that odd childhood, a father he didn’t really see much of, a step father, life in a foreign country, coming back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. But as far as I can see his issues didn’t move him towards politics. I don’t know what he studied at Occidental, but he graduated in Political Science from Columbia.

It’s hard for me to see where Obama would have found the time to become a secret communist, or some part of an American terrorist group. It’s also hard for me to see how a communist group would know that Obama would be a good choice for such a project. Obama did not really get national attention until his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention. Even then, no one really saw as much more than a rising Democratic star. By then he was a US Senator, someone who a) would be hard to reach and b) hard to convert.

This business about Obama being a communist and his election part of a plot really does seem like the height of paranoia and silliness. With all the issues facing the US, and the huge need for intelligent policy, the right is giving away its credibility with this stuff.


Schultz said...

I don't know if I would classify someone who smoked pot in high school as having a "troubled" youth. So he smoked some pot, but he graduated high school and went on to college. I would consider that to be a little rebellious, sure, but it was in the late 70's. Ever see the movie Dazed and Confused?

EdHeath said...

Not only did I see Dazed and Confused, I think I lived a good part of it. But I gather Obama's High School drug use was a bit more than just some pot, there was also alcohol and cocaine use of some unknown quantity involved. If I ever get through "Slavery by Another Name" maybe I can read Obama's book. Then I could tackle SuperCapitalism.

Dazed and Confused is a good reference, though, in that there were no African Americans (that I remember) in that film. Obama's drug use in High School was serious in terms of the possible consequences (legal and physical) and strikes me as indicating he had some unresolved personal issues (like a lot of children of divorce). But just like Dazed and Confused, it does not seem to have any political meaning. Not that the drug use and commerce in poorer African American communities has an explicit political meaning. But I think there is an implicit self-segregation involved in the activities in those communities (or an acknowledgement of the rejection of African Americans by surrounding white communities) that Obama was not a part of in his youth.

Schultz said...

How can you forget about the brotha who had the paddle nicknamed "The Soul pole", come on Ed!

EdHeath said...

Probably because I lived a good part of Dazed and Confused.

There goes this site's PG rating. Although sometimes a paddle is just a paddle.