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Obama histeria watch

vastleft's picture

For one last time, in honor of the delightfully civil progressives at Rumproast (see comments thread), we'll see how many items Google News finds that include the words: "Obama" and "Historic."

11/23/08: 65,212
11/22/08: 66,672
11/21/08: 65,687
11/20/08: 64,551
11/19/08: 65,523
11/18/08: 62,639
11/17/08: 62,297
11/16/08: 57,868

I like what columnist Rickey Hampton said, in a way that may or may not qualify him as a humper of horseflies*:

In my book, the moment Obama takes the presidential oath, his significance as an African-American ends. From that point on he should be judge by his performance in the White House.

In the meantime, call Obama an African-American, biracial, 50 percent white or whatever you want to call him.

Just make sure that in the end, you remember to call him Mr. President, too.

I surely hope that Mr. Hampton hasn't previously written anything untoward, as I am now (per the high standards of Rumproast) apparently responsible for it.

About OHW....

* Note: unlike yours truly, this person is not, in fact, a notorious bugfucker. This is just an honorary designation for those who offer something other than the narcotized mellow of pat historicism.

No votes yet


DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Obama is the first black president, it is historic. It is a big effing deal. He is like Jackie Robinson. This has international implication.

There is a reason Atrios keeps writing Holy Fucking Shit we elected the black guy. It is one of the redeeming parts of a scorched earth election.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Is to stop treating the Obama presidency, which comes at an incredibly perilous time, as a pre-fab museum piece.

As I've also noted before, I voted for him expressly because the precedent it would set (both ethnically and as a fuck-you to the GOP... that latter being something Obama himself is loath to offer).

But, Holy Fucking Shit, he's got a shitload of work to do. And best that he does it as a human, not as a walking monument.

The delusions and lack of leverage that Glenn wrote about today stem directly from this kind of premature, um, bronzing.

When people and memes become sacred, everything goes to hell. Like "support our troops." Sacred cows make people shut down their critical faculties and accept whatever the status quo feeds them. If those awful bickering partisans of the 60s had acted that way, we certainly wouldn't have an historic president-elect right now, would we? If we weren't being whacked with the "support our troops" cudgel, we might have been able to support our troops.

Fuck sacredness, and bless timely profanity, I say. And best of luck to our historic new president. Here's hoping he makes history that's more than skin deep!

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Robinson and most other "historic firsts" had already proven they were excellent, and already had a track record of achievements--usually a longstanding one.

If Robinson (and Thurgood Marshall, and so many others) hadn't first proven their worth and demonstrated their skills, they wouldn't have become the "historic" figures they did--nor moved up.

Obama hasn't proven or demonstrated any of that.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

take the newest Mayor of Portland, OR, for just one example of many -- occuring all the time --

they automatically make history as soon as they take office (or take whatever position it is). "Historic" tho, has a very different meaning, and "historic figures" are not simply all of those people no matter what. Take Powell, Rice, and Gonzales, for instance, as relevant recent examples--they're all "firsts", and all made history.

Are they all automatically "historic" too--like the historic figures that we all know of, are taught in school about, and are labeled that way almost always only after their work is over?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Had never served as a judge at the time Johnson nominated him. He went from being a lawyer to a member of the Supreme Court. Much of the confirmation fight was consumed by Marshall's lack of qualifications.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

i thought it was only recently that they were people who had spent their lives in govt and not private work in the real world, no? didn't they almost always used to be people with real-life experience?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

i thought that was the norm back then--they weren't govt employees only, but had been in private practice or taught or done stuff in the real world--unlike people like Roberts today.

this explains it -- -
"... how many remaining justices have ever held elected office? How many have previously served at the highest levels of the executive branch of government? How many have argued big-time commercial lawsuits within the past thirty-five years? How many have ever been either criminal defense lawyers or trial prosecutors? How many have presided over even a single criminal or civil trial? The answers are zero, zero, zero, one, and one, respectively. (David Souter was a New Hampshire prosecutor once upon a time, and later served as a trial judge.)

The answers would have been starkly different fifty years ago. Five of the nine justices who decided Brown v. Board of Education, in 1954, had once worked as trial prosecutors, and several had substantial hands-on experience in commercial litigation. More famously, that Court included a former governor, three former senators, two former attorneys general, two former solicitors general, and a former SEC chairman.

That Court, in other words, was intimately familiar with the everyday workings of the political and judicial systems, and with the beliefs and concerns of everyday Americans. ..."

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

ex NYC Mayors Beame (1st Jewish) and Dinkins (1st African-American) could tell us that--tons and tons of others too.

Submitted by lambert on

I want to see when the numbers drop off, and if this gets replaced by something else.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... the 30-day Google News window edges past the election and then will ramp back up again when the inauguration nears.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

It would be interesting to keep this as a continued collected data point, especially in the future and graphed alongside Obama approval numbers. I'm imagining an inverse relationship. Or there could be no relationship at all, only time will tell.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"radical moderate"?

"cutting-edge centrist"?

"extremist triangulator"?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

New items per day, for example, and he's much sharper than I with stats. If you or he or anyone wants to continue with this, please be my guest.

My only caveat is that it's well worth explaining the whys and wherefores of the project (and to include at least a link to that explanation every day). This comment here gives a pretty good idea of what I had in mind:

Not that such an explanation will keep you from being outed as a mosquito molester, but it's still good for the Karma (and for interactions with reasonable people).