What A Cult Of Personality Can Do

Geekesque is one of my better blogging friends now. Ironically so, as a spat he and I had was the the first step to the mutual decision made by Kos and I to go our separate ways re: Daily Kos. He is a smart fellow. Very astute. But like I was with Clark in 2004, he defends Obama no matter what and dreams up ways to justify his actions. Take this diary:

In other words, if a candidate appears on stage with 100 black South Carolinians, 62 of them share the basic beliefs of McClurkin towards homosexuality.  (They may not have his zany ex-gay beliefs, but then most of them probably weren’t repeatedly raped by a male relative as a child).

If there are 10,000 people in the audience at a gospel concert, 6,200 hold the same basic beliefs as Donnie McClurkin.

Supposing that were true, the obvious point here is those 6,200 are not representing the Obama campaign, McClurkin is. Look, this whole thing was a monumentla STAFF fuckup. If they knew then what they know now, McClurkin would not be within a 100 miles of Obama. My own damage copntrol advice for Obama would be to ask McClurkin to “voluntarily” drop out because he is a “distraction.”

The other point to make here is that African Americans will vote Democratic, as they have for a while, even though Democrats have been in the main, pro-gay rights. This is not a deal breaker, or even a deal maker for them. If it were, they would all be Republicans.

Enough on the merits. Really, what I am trying to point out is the dangers of Cult-based campaigns. The Clark movement was a lot like that. The Obama campaign is very much that. It is a dangerous place to be as a progressive, and even as a supporter of a candidate.

I know I wrote some things in 2003 and 2004 that I wish I had not. I think smart folk like Geekesque are now traveling down that path. They should pull up.


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    • Armando on October 24, 2007 at 01:09

    Geek knows better. But he thinks he is helping Obama with that excuse making.

    He’s not.

  1. of inviting McClurkin was to appeal to the bigotry.

    I agree with what you say here, and find myself very disappointed with Obama, his staff, and Geekesque, whom I also otherwise like.

  2. 62:100 is a systemic fuckup that you and the geek are fuckin incapable of identifying, because you share the same self-serving assumption about AA demo:dem party: Black voters’ loyalty to Dem Party is ignorant; AA voters are capable only of differentiating Dem candidates from KKK thugs. Or as has been previously stated at Dkos, “they just don’t understand power.”

    As if affirmative action were a joke, like Vernon Jordan is one of a kind. I don’t fuckin thinkso, especially since Silverstein’s fingered his constituents.

    Well, maybe all those controllable factors are implausable when is you’re estimating Manichean ignorance in SC, where wicked segration politics has shaped the AA electorate for centuries. Alas, that rul o’ thumb loses its predictive power to distinguish preference among DEM Devils … in a beauty shop, for example. Therein lies the Geek’s naive assumptions he can guarantee Obama’s black constituency to the DNC.

    Fact is Obama goes nowhere near nomination without the rainbow “Joshua” coalition. And that freak knows it.

  3. that Axelrod seems to be making:

    The Clinton mystique with AA Voters is cutting into Obama’s support (a group he should be running away with), so he needs to drive a wedge between Hillary and Black folks. 

    One way to drive that wedge is on gay issues. Polls show that homosexuality is a hot button for may Black voters, especially in the South (see Mr. 62%). If the Obama Campaign can show Barack standing up for straights, it can draw a contrast with Sin City Hillary of New York and peeling away some of her support.

    Remember, this is not the first time Obama has shown traces of homophobic tendencies. Even as a marvel of studied neutrality on GBLT issues, Obama still appears uncomfortable even talking about them – like during the Dem debate at Howard University when he needed to clarify that the AIDS test he took in Africa was with his wife.

    Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware announced to the audience that he and Mr. Obama had been tested for H.I.V., the virus that caused AIDS. Mr. Obama peered quizzically at Mr. Biden as he shared this information.

    “I got tested for AIDS, I know Barack got tested for AIDS,” he said. “There’s no shame in being tested for AIDS. It’s an important thing.”

    When it was Mr. Obama’s turn to talk he clarified what Mr. Biden had referred to. “Tavis, Tavis, Tavis, I just got to make clear – I got tested with Michelle,” referring to his wife. The test came on a visit last summer to Kenya in which Mr. Obama highlighted the necessity for widespread testing to slow the spread of the disease.

    I don’t want any confusion here about what’s going on,” Mr. Obama said with a grin.

    While Obama’s reaction at the debate was spontaneous, Axelrod now appears to be deliberately incorporating the “Obama is Straight” message into his Southern campaign, in an attempt to weaken Hillary’s support among black voters.

    Bottom line: the gloves are officially off….

  4. …that Obama is not dangerous to non-progressives like me?

    Because that would be good to know.

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