This Sunday there was a remarkable silence on the flagship journal, The New
York Times. Not a serious word on the
appointment of Elizabeth Warren by op-ed page commentators, although that appointment
brings a seismic change to the Obama administration. Only an op-ed she wrote
herself back in 2005. But on the Sunday news shows there was a Clinton on every
channel (ABC — Hillary; CBC, NBC — Bill). And Letterman, who called President
Obama a one-timer last week, brings Bill Clinton to his show this week. The
dinosaurs have decided Obama’s time is up. Time to go back to the Clintons.
Was always there, since 1963. When we, in my high school in Newport, R.I.,
elected Willy Brown, the only black person in the high school, to be our class
president. Willy was a great guy, but no Obama. More a Tully Banta-Cain. He was
captain of the football team as well.
Black people were to us in liberal Rhode Island a symbol of how we thought of ourselves or how we thought it would be nice to be. Although no black people actually lived in our town, as no one ever sold a house to a black family until my sister did. We loved them, but I don’t think we liked them. They were part of our abstraction; our collective imagination, not our life.
The NYTs op-ed page today is an expression of Bob Geldof Globalism. Remember him? The archetypal loser rock singer (The Boomtown Rats)-turned-political activist. We are the world and rock ‘n’ roll would save us. He just yelled getting off a plane one time, “Do it because it’s right!” and it was like a revelation. Margaret Thatcher started saying it, and President George H.W. Bush. Geldof was last seen in a cameo appearance in the Spice Girls movie, “Spice World,” in 1997. He says now, according to Wiki, his children find his music “crap” and find him an “embarrassment.” Now Bono does it. And Lady Gaga. She’ll soon be at the NYTs like Bono. She was quoted by CNN’s Political Ticker on the defense authorization bill Sunday.
There is no place among the dinosaurs for Elizabeth Warren. There is no place for adults. But although the younger set, the Daily Kos types, love Warren and Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com correctly calls her their La Passionara — the “anima” or collective, representative yin spirit of a rising political sensibility — the Woodstock generation is left cold. They want Bill back, and if they can’t get him, Hillary will have to do. Because that is all they can think about.
Because Elizabeth Warren brings out in Obama that which was latent from the first: an ethic of hard work, determination, a will to succeed, to correct, to go forward, and to get it right under complex pressures. She should be secretary of State. She should be chief of staff. She should be vice president. Maybe she should then be president.
That’s a problem for Obama. Back in Rhode Island in 1963, that is not what we liberals and the soon-to-be Woodstock minions liked about black people. That is specifically what we disliked in white Protestants. What we liked was singing and praying and men in Pointer Brand overalls like Ralph Abernathy holding hands with New England Unitarians and swaying with Joan Baez. Malcolm X said this was phony and pretentious and just like in the plantation days. He called our new black champions then our “House Negroes.” Obama is decidedly not one. Not now, not never. I’m not sure much has happened since to change that.
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