Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama puts Bush's big lie to the test

Sometimes it takes someone with a keen eye to portray what's happened politically in the U.S. during the past 20 years or so. Bradley Burston writes from New Orleans in the Aug. 27 in Israel's

In the end, Bush's inexplicable air of harmlessness may be his real legacy. His genius was the glorification of ineffectuality. He played to perfection the part of the good ole boy who revels in the knowledge that things are not as bad as these insufferable, effete, under-manly liberals, intellectuals, elitists, eggheads, high talkers would have us believe. Here was the common man with the common man's truth -- be happy with what you've got, and as for these nay-sayers, may they not bring all o us down with them.

And no one was as good as Bush at promulgating -- perhaps, also, at himself believing -- the big lie. Here, after all, was the man, the moneyed, Yale Skull and Bones legacy son of a moneyed president, grandson of a U.S. Senator trading on his identity as the caricature of the common man, this self-styled rancher, this apparent dirt farmer. A lie as big as the great Texas sky. And Americans lined up to buy it.

It was too scary not to.

What could be more scary, at this point, than Obama bring right? The extent of the changes that need to be made are, in fact, frightening in dimension. There is, undeniably, something in human nature that suggests that if things are this bad, changing them could only be worse. What frightens me, at this point, is the possibility that Americans have come to prize mediocrity over excellence, turning a blind eye to facing hard truths full on. Fox News, meanwhile, has gone back to trying to persuade America that global warming may be a fiction, after all. Who better than Fox to know a fiction when it reports one? What may frighten some Americans about Barack Obama is his very excellence. His fiercest critics have so far had little else to go on.

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