Well, it’s been a while since I’veagreed with something posted here.
It’s really simple. The media needed some way to take down Barack Obama, and since they didn’t have anything on him (by all accounts he appears to have conducted his life with honor and integrity – something that makes him dangerous in Washington), they went after his preacher. And so we find ourselves in a situation where a presidential candidate is being attacked not for what he did, but for what someone else did. If I had been watching television, something I occasionally do just to see what shit they’re peddling, I would have written this a week ago – I’m sorry this is somewhat late to the game. And it appears the netroots have lost focus of what is really going on here. It is simply unacceptable to hold a candidate responsible for the actions of someone else who is not under their employ. I can’t believe people are falling for it.
If anybody gives a shit what I think of Obama’s speech, it’s that I was, as usual, impressed with him as a writer, and as usual, impressed with him as a speaker, and as usual, wondering with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, “Oh, what the fuck is coming down the pipenext?” Because it’s not the speech, of course, that counts. Talking about this over at the crack den, where there was actually some interesting discussion amidst the trolling, I said if anything, the speech was too subtle for me, I wanted Obama up at the podium saying something along the lines of “Fuck you, and by the way, tell your mom I want my change.” But then, there’s a reason I don’t work in politics. You can’t always headbutt your way to success, and screaming doesn’t always do much beyond making the headaches worse. Maybe subtle is what’s called for at this point. Maybe subtle is what needed to happen today.
Tomorrow, though? Tomorrow?
Tomorrow asskicking needs to happen.
Tomorrow beating down needs to happen.
Tomorrow a smackdown of monumental proportions needs to begin because you can’t stay on defense. You can’t stay in the place where the perception is that you’re explaining, because then you have something to explain, and if you have something to explain then you have a problem and if you have a problem you have a big problem and it’s one big echo of nonsense, repeating back on you until you’d like to stab out your ears with an ice pick. I made the unfortunate mistake of watching the local news over the weekend, which I hardly ever do because I don’t want to know which household products could kill my children, but the top story was, of course, “OBAMA’S CONTROVERSIAL PASTOR CAN HE OVERCOME DENOUNCE OMG BLACK PEOPLE ARE SCARY.” There’s a black mark on the wall behind my TV. The shoe missed.
Tomorrow, the speech needs to stop being about “We are better than this” and start being about “Fuck you for making it out we’re not better than this.” It needs to stop being about what Rev. Wright said and start being about how nobody is cold and hungry because of what he said. Nobody is poor because of what he said. Nobody is dead because of what he said. Nobody is any worse off today than they were yesterday because of what he said, recent DC-based whining about how sticks and stones may break our bones but words make us feel funny aside, and nobody is at war because of what he said.
People are cold and hungry because of what small, pinched, angry little men did, in this nation, these past eight years. People are poor because of what they did. People are dead because of what they did. People are worse off today than they were yesterday and they’ll be worse off tomorrow than they were today because of what the men in the halls of power today did. People are at war because of what they did. Not said from the pulpit, not shouted from the pews. Not spoken in anger or haste or even in righteousness, but done, calmly and deliberately, with Powerpoint slides and careful spreadsheet calculations, to destroy this country and all that for which it stands. And every minute we go back and forth about what Rev. Wright said is a moment we’re not focused on fixing what George Bush and Dick Cheney, Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld, DID. And of course, don’t think for one minute that’s not why this is an “issue” at all.
So while I am righteously glad Obama said what he said today, I’m even more eager to see what he says tomorrow.