Diary

The Audacity of Wishful Thinking

Predictably, MSM and Obamaphile sentiment has accelerated its promotion of the idea that only racism could force a tightening in the polls. By shoving the election in the direction of a kind of “moral referendum” on America’s alleged ongoing and intransigent racism, they hope to compel the public to vote out of guilt– in essence, to internalize feelings of racist shame and thus feel obliged to “atone” for such unwarranted feelings by voting for Obama. That people could feel genuinely dubious about Sen. Obama’s fitness for office remains perplexingly invisible to the majority of the punditocracy. Perhaps it is to be regretted, after all, that Sigmund Freud’s readership has fallen by the wayside in recent decades. Those psychoanalytically savvy New Yorkers of yore may have been a ready comic butt for anyone with ears to hear some of their introspective absurdities, but at least they might have been hip to the dynamics of wishful thinking. Whatever the limitations of Freud’s notion of ‘reality’, at least he was hard-nosed about sniffing into people’s underlying motives. But amazingly, the current class of scribes and mandarins seems genuinely clueless to the fact that there’s something a little odd about nominating a man only midway through his first Senate term for the land’s highest office. Nor has he held a chair in any non-elective position of great responsibility: he’s no Cabinet officer, no former ambassador, not even the president of a university. No, he’s but a memoirist with sterling academic credentials and the previous tenancy of an Illinois state senate seat that is, demographically and ideologically speaking, the moral equivalent of a gerrymandered district held by one of the members of the Congressinal Black Caucus. Nothing out of the ordinary, right?That, certainly, is how the Obamaphiles of the upper- and upper-middle-class Establishment would like to see it.

We’re not talking about the traditional “leadership class”, though; rather, these are the sorts of academics, internet entrepreneurs, and other liberal hipsters who believe that, thanks to their absorption in the WaPo editorial page every Sunday while they stir their cup’a’joe [ok, their latte du jour at Starbucks!], they’re just as fit to see how to run things as anybody else. And since Obama is, for all intents and purposes, just such a bright young amateur as themselves, they feel perfectly comfortable handing over the keys to ultimate power to such a man as himself. That his ethnic and lifestory-heritage reflect the demographic “promise” of a multicultural America is just gravy.

Unfortunately, these savvy Obamaphiles are just not quite so clever as they imagine.  In fact, by pledging their support to such a patently untested and unready young dreamer (a dreamer, to be sure, with a Chicago meanstreak when it comes to election rough-and-tumble, even where the "race card" is concerned) over a) their party's obvious perfect candidate, Hillary Clinton; and b) over Sen. John McCain, the prince of the Senate and long America's favorite independent-streak right-centrist, they're behaving like rubes.  Condescending, cajoling, inflamatory rubes at that.  Electing Obama will have none of the purported "righting" effects on the American ship-of-state that his well-wishers optimistically predict.  Indeed, if you parse their endorsements carefully, you'll see how wishful they half understand themselves to be.