While I was writing a couple recent posts about Obama’s money troubles and his undersized career package, I was struck by an interesting thought. Obamanation seems to have stopped growing. I don’t mean it’s growth rate has slowed, I mean it stopped cold.
Just a few months ago the blogosphere was filled with conversion diaries, where born-again Obots described in nauseating detail their personal journey of “coming to Obama.” Those were heady days for Obamanation. Virtually every Obama rally featured a nubile former virgin swooning in the front row just like an Elvis concert. Viral videos appeared on YouTube like magic, each one “unauthorized” but professionally made. Not only Democrats but Republicans and Independents were joining the movement in such numbers that the price of Kool-aid skyrocketed.
Then people began noticing the cult-like behavior of Obamanation. From Jake Tapper:
Inspiration is nice. But some folks seem to be getting out of hand.
It’s as if Tom Daschle descended from on high saying, “Be not afraid; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of Chicago a Savior, who is Barack the Democrat.” Obama supporter Kathleen Geier writes that she’s “getting increasingly weirded out by some of Obama’s supporters. On listservs I’m on, some people who should know better – hard-bitten, not-so-young cynics, even – are gushing about Barack…
Describing various encounters with Obama supporters, she writes, “Excuse me, but this sounds more like a cult than a political campaign. The language used here is the language of evangelical Christianity – the Obama volunteers speak of ‘coming to Obama’ in the same way born-again Christians talk about ‘coming to Jesus.’…So I say, we should all get a grip, stop all this unseemly mooning over Barack, see him and the political landscape he is a part of in a cooler, clearer, and more realistic light, and get to work.”
Joe Klein, writing at Time, notes “something just a wee bit creepy about the mass messianism” he sees in Obama’s Super Tuesday speech.
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Obama said. “This time can be different because this campaign for the presidency of the United States of America is different. It’s different not because of me. It’s different because of you.”
Says Klein: “That is not just maddeningly vague but also disingenuous: the campaign is entirely about Obama and his ability to inspire. Rather than focusing on any specific issue or cause — other than an amorphous desire for change — the message is becoming dangerously self-referential. The Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is.”
It wasn’t a “wee bit creepy,” it was the kind of creepy that would give Stephen King nightmares.
But that wasn’t all. Suddenly, in March, the media briefly roused itself from its months-long sycophantic haze and did some actual reporting. They told America about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. They played clips of some of his sermons. And they told us that this was Obama’s spiritual advisor of twenty years.
Now personally, I wasn’t offended by what Rev. Wright had to say. Some of what he said I even agree with. But I instantly recognized that he was politically toxic. No one (especially a Democrat) who is running for high office in this nation can afford to be closely associated with radicals or nut-jobs, and Rev. Wright is a little of both. Obama should have distanced himself from Rev. Wright years ago. But he didn’t, and we were treated to a minor fiasco, where Obama affirmed his relationship with Rev. Wright (while claiming ignorance of his statements) and then subsequently denounced Wright and his statements. The controversy is the reason the phrase “under the bus” is now associated with the Obama campaign.
But between the realization that Obama supporters were a cult and the piercing of the veil of perfection caused by Rev. Wright, the growth of Obamanation ground to a halt. Other than Taylor Marsh, I can think of no new converts to the faith since March. Fundraising has dropped precipitously, and Obama has faired poorly in the primaries since then, including several blow-outs.
Obama supporters seem unenthusiastic about their candidate these days. The only argument they seem able to offer with a somewhat straight face is that he is “better than McCain.” It’s like a karaoke machine that only plays one song (Roe, Roe, Roe Your Boat) Even little Lord Cheeto himself has been critical of The Precious.
I’m shocked. It’s like the Pope announcing that there are enough Christians so the Catholic church will no longer be trying to save any new souls. (I’m disappointed too, because I was hoping Obama Girl would drop by and try to convert me in person. I was really looking forward to her showing me the Gates of Heaven.)
Of course the current malaise of Obamanation was predictable. The primary driving force behind his campaign was Clinton Derangement Syndrome, personified by Andrew (Raw Muscle Glutes) Sullivan. Without Hillary to hate, the Oborg are lost and confused. Obama’s recent flip-flops, back-flips and reversals only exacerbates their problem.
It is also significant that Obama and Obamanation have become the target of satire and ridicule. Obamamania is as much a fad as it is a cult, and when a new craze quits being cool it is history. Fads die from the sound of laughter, and ridicule is kryptonite to “cool.” The very-junior Senator from Illinois is the political equivalent of the “Achy-Breaky Heart” or the “Macarena,” and just like people hide those Billy Ray Cyrus and Bayside Boys CD’s (and pictures of themselves sporting mullets) they will soon be ashamed to admit they once had a crush on Obama.