Sunday, June 27, 2010

I felt a special kinship

This is a perfect little allegory on why Barack Obama is so goddamn dangerous. This lady is afraid her husband is going to be deported, so she writes to Obama for help. ICE comes and arrests him. The only reason he ended up getting released rather than deported is because she managed to attract media attention to the story.

Obama tricks people into thinking he's on their side. "I felt a special kinship to him because I'm of mixed race, and my husband obviously has a similar background," the story quotes her saying. But guess what: you can be "vice president of marketing at a new-media advertising company," you can be the sort of person to tell CNN that "All he wants to do is contribute to this economy...We want to be a productive couple," and still--he will not be on your side. "Mixed race" is not Obama's background, at least not for these purposes. Power is his background.

The only side Barack Obama is on is his own. If you're helping him gets what he wants, he'll be on your side, too; otherwise, in swoop the stormtroopers. This is what power is.
"I did everything I could and went into survival mode and pushed for all these connections to the press," she said. "We are fortunate to have that leverage. What about the people in the country who don't have access to those means?"
It's an excellent question, and not a rhetorical one, though CNN, in its own empowered self-interest, treats it as one.
Regardless of whether or not her letter was mishandled, the incident has deeply affected the couple's faith in the Obama administration.

"I feel really confused, I don't understand how something like this is possible. I can't imagine that at the top of the Obama administration that they realize that something like this is happening," Jamieson told CNN.
So much is contained in these paragraphs. "Mishandled"? "Faith"? The quote we leave on clearly indicates that that faith is still, against all evidence, intact. Because what Jamieson can't imagine, and what CNN does its damnedest to keep us from imagining, is that this, again, is the system operating exactly according to normal parameters.

3 comments:

ASP said...

People have faith in their leaders for the same reasons they have faith in God, because it helps them cope with things they cannot change. The same way they don't blame God when bad things happen, they're frequently not inclined to blame their leaders when something bad "happens," because it's easier to believe that bad things have to happen so that some other good things could arise from it. Believing Obama is on your side is just as imaginary as believing God is on your side, but both are helpful - both to people who are oppressed because it helps them cope with oppression (rather than resist), and to people who oppress because it gives them justification for it. If they're on your side, surely what they doing is, ultimately, in your best interest?

thebaronette said...

It's no wonder why America is crazy about pantheons - and I'm not just talking about the architecture.

Ethan said...

ASP, I'm glad you said that, because it ties in with something else I've been thinking about in connection with this story and with our general relationship with power.

I always find it very bizarre when people feel the need to praise, or express a "liking" for, or even make excuses for, people with extreme amounts of power. What are these expressions for? To me, saying "Oh, we should give Obama credit for x" or "We should give him a chance before we judge him" or "I just plain like the guy" is akin to worshiping and praising God--what does He need praise for if He is God? (Now I'm reminding myself of Kirk saying "What does God need with a starship?"--not quite the same, but not unrelated, goofy as it is.)

Power makes its own excuses, makes its own friends, makes its own praise--we don't need to add to that.

Even beyond my general position that we should always be skeptical of power just because it is power, this is what I find really bizarre about the attitude expressed by Ms. Jamieson in the article.