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June 9, 2008 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Is Barack Obama the Messiah? After all, it may explain the logo. Maybe he's just a light-worker, "who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet." This could just be all hootenany from the press, like Chris Matthews, who called BO the "New Testament." But, as always, there are unbelievers.
posted by l33tpolicywonk (126 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now that's some spin I can get behind.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:52 AM on June 9, 2008


Way to play the expectations game, McCain.
posted by DU at 9:54 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hope not, because I intend to vote for Obama, and I don't want a messiah as president.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:01 AM on June 9, 2008


Blasphemy! The messiah can only be white. Haven't you seen the portraits?
posted by TrinaSelwyn at 10:03 AM on June 9, 2008


Faint: This author apparently disagrees.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:03 AM on June 9, 2008


I bet you there are tons of crackpots out there who really and truly believe that Obama is the anti-Christ.
posted by delmoi at 10:03 AM on June 9, 2008


Blasphemy! The messiah can only be white. Haven't you seen the portraits?

What are you talking about?
posted by delmoi at 10:04 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hrmmmm. I can't tell if this is a joke or some kind of commentary. During the primary Obama supporters were often treated as mindless followers or star-struck rubes. I wonder if this is just a further perpetuation of that meme.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:06 AM on June 9, 2008


what
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 10:07 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


That is no Jesus I was ever introduced to in Sunday school. Blasphemy, I say.
posted by TrinaSelwyn at 10:09 AM on June 9, 2008


I am not so much pro-messiah as I am anti-martyrdom for Obama.
posted by GuyZero at 10:09 AM on June 9, 2008 [13 favorites]


brussels' link is either a BO messiah portrait or a romance novel color. Double-plus wierd.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:15 AM on June 9, 2008


I am not so much pro-messiah as I am anti-martyrdom for Obama.

Yeah, nutballs get itchy trigger-fingers around messiahs. Let's not jinx this one, eh?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:17 AM on June 9, 2008


No. And speaking of messiahs, for the love of Christ, please stop calling Obama "BO."
posted by Sys Rq at 10:17 AM on June 9, 2008 [9 favorites]


There is a level on which the real amount (i.e. no one's really according him messiah status) of adoration and veneration of Barack Obama is disheartening.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:20 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't know about the messiah, but I used to play ball with him and he's pretty good in the paint.
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:20 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Flagged. Best of the Web?
posted by digaman at 10:21 AM on June 9, 2008


Well, judging by the crowds turning out to see him, the Obama=Messiah camp might have a point.
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:23 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


We enter into a new phase of this election...there will be an ungodly amount of crap written, posted, blogged, videoed, and reported on in the coming months..

Could we please save discussion here on the blue for ideas, thoughts, concepts, and news that has some value.. ??
posted by HuronBob at 10:27 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barack may try to put an end to this, but only the true Messiah denies his divinity.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:30 AM on June 9, 2008


Barack Obama:Optimus Chyme::Jesus:Jew

He's a nice man with some good ideas, but he's not the messiah.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:34 AM on June 9, 2008


Could we please save discussion here on the blue for ideas, thoughts, concepts, and news that has some value.. ??

I think there's value in noting and deconstructing this aspect of the political/media narrative, even if you think that is blasphemous against our lord and saviour Barack Obama.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:38 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Barack Obama:Optimus Chyme::Jesus:Jew

I have forward this comment to the Secret Service. Please remain seated and a unit will pick you up shortly.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:38 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ is a giant asian woman.
posted by aftermarketradio at 10:39 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I met an otherwise-very-nice old man at the grocery store last weekend who suspected that Obama was actually the anti-Christ, come to bring about the end times in 2012. (yes, I live in Texas, why do you ask?)

I mention this mostly because, had I not seen the phenomenon in person for myself, I would have assumed that delmoi was just making a dumb joke.
posted by roystgnr at 10:40 AM on June 9, 2008


This looks like opposition work to me, meant to discredit Obama supporters. Or what elwoodwiles said. If so, nice work. Either way, it brings a much needed dose of sober-eyed maturity and historical gravity to the process.

There is a level on which the real amount (i.e. no one's really according him messiah status) of adoration and veneration of Barack Obama is disheartening.

I keep hearing that, but I personally haven't seen it. Most of his supporters (and Obama himself, judging from this video of a post-primary pep talk he gave to his camaign) seem pretty clear-eyed to me about the fact that he's just a guy. A guy who happens to have a lot of experience organizing grass-roots campaigns and a healthy respect for civil rights and constitutional law. Nobody I know thinks he's here to save the world or undo all the damage the Bush administration has done--only that he's the candidate who seems most sincerely dedicated to beginning what's sure to be a slow and painful process of reversing the damage and the least likely to take us farther down the self-destructive path we've been on.

To me, Obama does, more than any other credible candidate in recent history, seem to exhibit a willingness to speak candidly and directly to us as if we're adults capable of handling the unvarnished truth, drawing reasonable conclusions, and sharing in the responsibility for making the difficult choices that sometimes have to be made.

In other words, it's not that he comes across as some kind of inspiring superhero to me--far from it. He just comes across as extremely practical, competent and forthright to me: A decent, self-deprecating human being with good intentions and quite possibly just the right combination of determination and competency to bring some of those intentions to fruition.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:41 AM on June 9, 2008 [17 favorites]


Every time I start to think the people of this country are finally starting to wise up and make some smart choices, they go and do something like this. I can't take this place seriously at all.
posted by Caduceus at 10:43 AM on June 9, 2008


Heh. A blackhat campaign to push Obama as the Messiah so that fundie christians know that he's the false messiah and vote against him in droves? America is teh awesome.
posted by Artw at 10:45 AM on June 9, 2008


It's a shame that sober discussion of politics is often discouraged around here as "newsfilter," while jokey posts like this end up being the only valve where that pressure gets released.
posted by digaman at 10:45 AM on June 9, 2008 [15 favorites]


Do Americans want to drink beer with the Messiah? Heellll no.
posted by naju at 10:46 AM on June 9, 2008


I don't know about the messiah, but I used to play ball with him and he's pretty good in the paint.

Sure, but look at how he taunts the children.
posted by shinynewnick at 10:48 AM on June 9, 2008


I think this picture makes it pretty clear that Obama is not the Messiah. Ask yourself: would any self-respecting Messiah wear stone-washed mom-jeans out in public in this day and age? The answer is no, friends. The answer is no.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 10:50 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hey, Woody Guthrie! What do you think?

Let's have Christ our President
Let us have him for our king
Cast your vote for the Carpenter
That you call the Nazarene

The only way we can ever beat
These crooked politician men
Is to run the money changers out of the temple
Put the Carpenter in

O It's Jesus Christ our President
God above our king
With a job and a pension for young and old
We will make hallelujah ring

Every year we waste enough
To feed the ones who starve
We build our civilization up
And we shoot it down with wars

But with the Carpenter on the seat
Way up in the Capital town
The USA would be on the way
Prosperity Bound!

posted by COBRA! at 10:52 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Official Barack Obama poster store - a lot of focus on his handsome mug, and those are just the official posters
Official John McCain poster store - no such iconography.

I definitely see a bit of a cult of personality thing going on - not that McCain doesn't have people the same way for him especially with the whole stupid "maverick" thing that he can lay no real claim to at all, but it's important to see that either cult of personality aspect is bad.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:53 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


longdaysjourney: "Well, judging by the crowds turning out to see him, the Obama=Messiah camp might have a point."

Huh? 'Cause only messiahs can generate large crowds? That's kind of dumb assertion.
posted by octothorpe at 10:54 AM on June 9, 2008


OBAMA / ATREIDES 2008
Terrible purpose we can believe in
posted by cortex at 10:54 AM on June 9, 2008 [18 favorites]


I had leprosy until I anointed Obama's feet with oil and dried them with my hair.
posted by tkchrist at 10:59 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


OBAMA / ATREIDES 2008

I can hardly wait to see McCain's eyes rolling back into his head at a press conference as he groans out "THE SPICE MUST FLOW".
posted by GuyZero at 11:00 AM on June 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's a shame that sober discussion of politics is often discouraged around here as "newsfilter," while jokey posts like this end up being the only valve where that pressure gets released.
posted by digaman at 1:45 PM on June 9


Amen to that.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:00 AM on June 9, 2008


"I think there's value in noting and deconstructing this aspect of the political/media narrative, even if you think that is blasphemous against our lord and saviour Barack Obama."

give me a break.... read my post again...
posted by HuronBob at 11:05 AM on June 9, 2008


I can hardly wait to see McCain's eyes rolling back into his head at a press conference as he groans out "THE SPICE MUST FLOW".

I dunno, I see him more as Tigh from BSG, especially since Tigh started doing this quizzical, confused look a lot of the time.
posted by Artw at 11:07 AM on June 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


I will take a pass on this one.
posted by Postroad at 11:07 AM on June 9, 2008


That's another fine messiah you've gotten us into.
posted by wendell at 11:09 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's a shame that sober discussion of politics is often discouraged around here as "newsfilter," while jokey posts like this end up being the only valve where that pressure gets released.

digaman: ironic, too, that the most galling and transparent kinds of editorializing are often concealed inside the sugar pill of comedy. as elvis costello once put it: "it's a dangerous game that comedy plays: sometimes it tells you the truth, sometimes it delays it."

it's important to see that either cult of personality aspect is bad.

So, what exactly are you suggesting in practical terms? We only choose a candidate that no one likes? Where were you when people were making fun of Kucinich's ears?

If you're hoping for some transformation to take place in our society that results in the majority of supporters for any political candidate supporting that candidate for reasons that are not, ultimately, personal in nature, I wish you the best of luck.

Humans are social animals. We go so far as to personalize our relationships with inanimate objects like cars and computers. The day we don't profoundly personalize our feelings about any political candidate is the day we're all secretly replaced by robot lookalikes.

This Obama hero-worship thing is another one of those issues I keep hearing about from people who say they feel compelled to mention it chiefly out of well-intentioned concern for the candidate and his supporters' best interest, but I've yet to see a single example in the wild of someone genuinely going overboard and pledging their lives in service to Obama or the like, so it feels like all smoke and no fire to me.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:09 AM on June 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


I definitely see a bit of a cult of personality thing going on - not that McCain doesn't have people the same way for him especially with the whole stupid "maverick" thing that he can lay no real claim to at all, but it's important to see that either cult of personality aspect is bad.

I dunno. I suspect that the intensity of feeling around Obama is pretty directly related to the intensity of feeling around the current occupant of the Oval Office. If you're a progressive, and you've been paying attention over the past few years, you've probably been vacillating somewhere between hell-hath-no-fury and suicidal depression about what our country has been reduced to. After a while, that's got to get exhausting and depressing. I think--and this isn't meant to detract from what a good politician Obama is--almost any Democrat with a gift for oration might have inspired the same fervent reaction, just because the alternative is throwing ourselves off of our balconies.

(I also suspect the same dynamic might be behind why the primaries got so unbelievably nasty, at least between supporters of Hillary and Obama. It's a bunch of pent-up anger and disgust that should have been vented in a different direction, but after 7 years no one is much interested in hearing another screed about how W is the anti-Christ.)

All of which is bad, okay, sure... "cult of personality" certainly has a nasty ring to it. But as an alternative to becoming jaded and dropping out of the political process altogether? I think it's a bit heartening that people are turning that anger into hope for a new kind of politics. Even during the times when it strikes me as a bit naive and cheesy.
posted by iminurmefi at 11:11 AM on June 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


McCAIN / HARKONNEN '08
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:14 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCAIN / HARKONNEN '08: BRING US THE FLOATING FAT MAN!
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama, he's just this guy, you know? He happens to be really good at what he does.
posted by BrianBoyko at 11:18 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


thank god (?) i'm an atheist.
posted by msconduct at 11:19 AM on June 9, 2008


This looks like opposition work to me, meant to discredit Obama supporters. Or what elwoodwiles said. If so, nice work. Either way, it brings a much needed dose of sober-eyed maturity and historical gravity to the process.
I listened to a year of shit from Christians emailing "Is Obama the Antichrist?" tripe around their circles of friends. This sounds like just more of the same -- since the whole 666 thing didn't stick, accuse his SUPPORTERS of thinking he's GOD HIMSELF!

More of the same.
posted by verb at 11:20 AM on June 9, 2008


The day we don't profoundly personalize our feelings about any political candidate is the day we're all secretly replaced by robot lookalikes.

I for one welcome our new robot replacements.
posted by Caduceus at 11:21 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


That's rich - it just seems sounds stupid to get so mad that someone is actually liked by the public, that you pull stuff like this.

For instance, imagine it was Jessamyn instead of Obama. People here would be freaking ecstatic that she was really close to being elected president. If she got crowds of 75,000, the majority of people here would talk non-stop about how awesome she is, and print up all kinds of shit with her face on it and this website.

So to then basically get mad at her and her followers because well crap, she's just too pragmatic. She thinks through problems, she's organized, she makes a concerted attempt at being transparent, she swims and goes to cool museums, makes funny songs - well she must be the messiah and I'm tired of all the Jessamyn worship, so she must be bad.

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Sure, it's a BAD thing that you are by all appearances, a thoughtful, organized person with good ideas and you seek to lead, and people notice that and really like you as a result.

That's what we want, then it happens and fools start trying to make it seem like that's a bad thing.

Delete this nonsense please.
posted by cashman at 11:25 AM on June 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Everyone who comes in here and says DELETE THIS IT IS STUPID AND INVALID FOR NOT QUITE REFLECTING THE BEST LIGHT ON OBAMA sort of fails to disprove the point, don't they?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:31 AM on June 9, 2008


Everyone who comes in here and says DELETE THIS IT IS STUPID AND INVALID FOR NOT QUITE REFLECTING THE BEST LIGHT ON OBAMA sort of fails to disprove the point, don't they?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:31 PM on June 9


This needs to be deleted because otherwise it sends the message that stupid goofy political shit is ok for metafilter, but a "newsfilter" post about a substantive issue is not okay. I don't particularly care all that much for Obama, but I don't see how a post about him being or not being thought of as the messiah is at all relevant or interesting.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:34 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


I dunno, but Jessamyn could bnever be president on account of teh sexisms.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on June 9, 2008


The fact that the democratic nominee for president has an ounce of charisma is just freaking people the fuck out.
posted by ND¢ at 11:43 AM on June 9, 2008 [30 favorites]


This needs to be deleted because otherwise it sends the message that stupid goofy political shit is ok for metafilter, but a "newsfilter" post about a substantive issue is not okay. I don't particularly care all that much for Obama, but I don't see how a post about him being or not being thought of as the messiah is at all relevant or interesting.

Thank you, Pastabagel.
posted by digaman at 11:51 AM on June 9, 2008


OBAMA / ATREIDES 2008

[in Voice]: Obamination!
posted by cog_nate at 11:55 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


GAH! Ralph is going to be pissed when he hears this.
posted by valentinepig at 12:00 PM on June 9, 2008


The fact that the democratic nominee for president has an ounce of charisma is just freaking people the fuck out.

Yeah. If Obama's supporters were any less enthusiastic about his candidacy, the same crew of monkeys would be chattering on about how wooden and unlikeable Obama is (as evidenced by the sophisticated and fair-minded treatment given to Kerry's presidential bid).
posted by saulgoodman at 12:06 PM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


The fact that the democratic nominee for president has an ounce of charisma is just freaking people the fuck out.

Charisma is the only way Democrats ever get elected.
posted by tadellin at 12:12 PM on June 9, 2008


Well, Obama can't be the anti-Christ because Pope John Paul II decided that George W. Bush is the anti-Christ and the Pope is infallible about these things.
posted by briank at 12:16 PM on June 9, 2008


He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.



I'll show myself out.
posted by jokeefe at 12:16 PM on June 9, 2008


Charisma is the only way Democrats ever get elected.

That explains Carter...
posted by DU at 12:18 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


To all who used Dune allusions in your comments, I love you.
posted by malaprohibita at 12:21 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


This Obama hero-worship thing is another one of those issues I keep hearing about from people who say they feel compelled to mention it chiefly out of well-intentioned concern for the candidate and his supporters' best interest, but I've yet to see a single example in the wild of someone genuinely going overboard and pledging their lives in service to Obama or the like, so it feels like all smoke and no fire to me.

I would call it a canard, but I'm not nearly as charitable as you are.

I think it's done chiefly to discredit his support. It's the equivalent (though in an opposite direction) of calling people who opposed the Iraq War from 2003-2005 "irrational" Bush haters. When you paint them as irrational, then really, you have refuted any point they can possibly have. The Obama supporters think he's the Messiah meme has pretty much the same goal.
posted by psmealey at 12:30 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


"bawacK? bawack? i don't have a bawack, i don't have a woger, i don't want to heah wobeht, oh wompehstiwskin oh wodewick - wast chance - which one of these pwisonehs shaw i wewease?"
posted by pyramid termite at 12:30 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Fuck, I was going to make a kwisach haderach reference and someone beat me to it. I wonder what it was about this thread wording that brought it out?

I wonder if www.isbarackobamathekwisachhaderach.com is available.
posted by empath at 12:30 PM on June 9, 2008


For instance, imagine it was Jessamyn instead of Obama.

If she puts DaShiv in charge of her campaign video, she'll have the women's vote totally sewn up.

He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.

Osama spanking fetishes run riot on Metafilter.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:31 PM on June 9, 2008


because the keys for "s" and "b" are right next to each other
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:32 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Charisma is the only way Democrats ever get elected.

Is charisma another way of saying huge balls? Because while LBJ had a set, he was definitely lacking in conventional charisma.
posted by psmealey at 12:33 PM on June 9, 2008


I'm tired of all the Jessamyn worship too. I mean, who the hell does she think she is?
posted by rusty at 12:39 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


He's not a hero and he's not a messiah. He's just a guy who's got some brains, knows how to solve problems, and knows how to understand and work with people who think differently than he does.

The fact that anyone could paint this basic level of competence as being messianic worries me quite a lot. Are we so far into the post-competence era that someone who's good at leadership becomes a Messiah? Are our expectations really that low?
posted by Malor at 12:40 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Are our expectations really that low?

Well, they are quite low these days, aren't they?
"President Bush's approval rating is at its lowest level to date. Just 25 percent of Americans approve of the overall job Mr. Bush is doing as President, an all-time low for him and among the lowest approval ratings ever recorded for a President.

Sixty-seven percent disapprove of the job Bush is doing - the highest such figure in CBS News polls since he assumed office."*
posted by ericb at 12:51 PM on June 9, 2008


Are our expectations really that low?

Yes. Coupled with the American tendency towards either/or, hero/villian, Madonna/virgin, Rep/Dem dichotomies, Your Favourite Candidate is either the Messiah or the Antichrist.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:53 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Verily I say unto you, one of you commenters will betray Barack.
posted by dw at 12:54 PM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


After some thought I'm flagging this. This isn't some cute joke or clever poke at Obama, this is part of an effort to undermine his supporters' legitimacy.

While we should get used to the amount of propaganda that is going to get thrown around in the coming year (and longer if he actually has the gall to get elected) we should also do what we can to keep it off the front page. Pointing and laughing at how inane these smears are is still pointing them out, highlighting them for those who won't get the joke.

The idea that people hold Obama as some kind of messiah is not only wrong, it's dangerous. Haven't we had enough of this foolishness?
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:54 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama's mother: He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! /python
posted by SPrintF at 12:58 PM on June 9, 2008


octothorpe: Huh? 'Cause only messiahs can generate large crowds? That's kind of dumb assertion.

No, you're missing my point. Look at the faces of the people in those photographs and compare them to any taken at your typical evangelical rally. I'm an Obama supporter, and while I find that photo essay inspirational and moving, I can't help but worry at just how much we all have invested in him. How can any one person deliver on all those hopes, given how badly Bush Co have fucked this country up? Obama's the most capable person in this race by far, but even he can't work miracles.
posted by longdaysjourney at 12:59 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Verily I say unto you, one of you commenters will betray Barack.

Well, Hillary had her Judas!
posted by ericb at 12:59 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


For instance, imagine it was Jessamyn instead of Obama.

thankfully, Jessamyn would never run for president because she has too much damn integrity.
posted by jammy at 1:07 PM on June 9, 2008


I caught his speech today via MSNBC, until they cut it off.

I do not want McCain. I like Obama's candor. I am trying to balance my intake of campaign messages with pundit talk talk talk it's oooonly talk.

BTW:
McCAIN / HARKONNEN '08: BRING US THE FLOATING FAT MAN! Very funny.

Remember the toooooth!
posted by RubberHen at 1:07 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hillary bricked my PSP, but Barack fixed it for me. Thanks, buddy!
posted by porn in the woods at 1:13 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


After some thought I'm flagging this. This isn't some cute joke or clever poke at Obama, this is part of an effort to undermine his supporters' legitimacy.

true, but isn't it noteworthy that some are willing to stoop this low and the knives are out?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:17 PM on June 9, 2008


The "obama is a messiah" was part of the opening schtick on this weekend's "wait wait don't tell me" on NPR: the host reported that after acknowledging the nomination Obama fed the assembled multitudes with five low-fat bagels and two bottles of Vitamin Water. Or whatever.

Propaganda can be met with two responses: you can ignore it and hope the propagandist gets tired, or you can point out that the message is ridiculous.

ooh! maybe elwoodwiles is counterfeinting to keep this on the front page! wow, i have the munchies
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 1:18 PM on June 9, 2008


Only one good thing has come of this thread:
digaman's comments. And Pastabagel's.
TWO good things!
digaman's comments, Pastabagel's comments and the Dune jokes.
THREE good things!

Flagged.
posted by Mister_A at 1:20 PM on June 9, 2008


That explains Carter...

Carter always oozed charisma, filthy Democrat that he was. Didn't you get this week's talking points from Fox News yet?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:25 PM on June 9, 2008


Carter always oozed charisma

no, that was bear grease to keep the rabbits away
posted by pyramid termite at 1:30 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


"It's a shame that sober discussion of politics is often discouraged around here as "newsfilter," while jokey posts like this end up being the only valve where that pressure gets released."

The main link goes to an interesting website. And much like most of the interesting websites that get posted here, it's not ground breaking or life changing or deeply thought provoking. It's just interesting. The site owner has a cool twist on a topical theme.

Once you get over your temper tantrum that the admins won't let you and your friends play with your Super Soakers in the living room, perhaps you'll remember that the purpose of MetaFilter was to link interesting sites on the Internet.

The shame would be if interesting sites like this got banned because political debate addicts stunk up the topic so much that a zero tolerance policy was put in place. How about we reserve MetaFilter for links to interesting stuff on the web, and find some other sites to rely on for political debate?

In other words, why do you hate interesting links on MetaFilter?
posted by Ragma at 1:35 PM on June 9, 2008 [10 favorites]


"Look at the faces of the people in those photographs and compare them to any taken at your typical evangelical rally."
Mob psychology works wherever there are lots of people, regardless of whether the point is support, validation or a lynching.
posted by Cranberry at 1:48 PM on June 9, 2008



In other words, why do you hate interesting links on MetaFilter?


This was way more interesting to me (about two candidates being able to 'share' the presidency under a constitutional amendment), and involved actual legislation and not ridiculousness, but guess what - bahleted. But I know, this one has a couple more links and shiny pictures, right. Sure.
posted by cashman at 1:50 PM on June 9, 2008


MetaFilter: playing with Super Soakers in the living room.
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on June 9, 2008


What's a light-worker? Someone who works with a light on?
(Me, I'm a hard-worker)
posted by MtDewd at 2:07 PM on June 9, 2008


Defective Yeti's post on Obama being the antichrist.
posted by Crash at 2:07 PM on June 9, 2008


I usually dismiss such prophecies out of hand, but this one has me a little unsettled. After all, it has already established its credibility by successfully predicting the religion of Islam, which was founded half a millennium after Revelations was written. (Fun facts: other warnings in Revelations include the failure of the McDLT, the prohibition against putting metal in the microwave, and the cancellation of Firefly after only 14 episodes.)

Heh.
posted by Artw at 2:14 PM on June 9, 2008


Every day we're dumping a body, she and me. Every single day. And we'd laugh about it.

That's when I knew it was time that we both killed ourselves together. Together we were nothing but a menace. Apart we were nothing but lonely.

I read too much. I thought we should kill ourselves. She doesn't read a thing. She believed me.

Are you really the messiah?
Yes I am.

She was younger than me too, she was younger than me. And I said to her, I said, "You know Pauline, no one stamps on a burning bag of shit anymore. Nobody."

Are you really the messiah? Yes I am.
Believe it.

(3:00 in)

posted by anthill at 2:26 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


After some thought I'm flagging this. This isn't some cute joke or clever poke at Obama, this is part of an effort to undermine his supporters' legitimacy.

Ummmm, so? It's a good post - I enjoyed it tremendously. Who gives a shit whether or not it helps/hurts a candidate? It's not what we're here for!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:31 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


After some thought I'm flagging this. This isn't some cute joke or clever poke at Obama, this is part of an effort to undermine his supporters' legitimacy.

Let them have a bit of fun, whoever they are. This *is* interesting. I don't support him, but all the crap that happens around him is *muy interesant* from an academic perspective.

Besides, my Cafe Press store is going to have "What the hey, at least he ain't McBush" tee shirts on sale soon. I intend to sell 18 million of them. [I hope someone posts a link... ]
posted by valentinepig at 2:33 PM on June 9, 2008


It's a shame that sober discussion of politics is often discouraged around here as "newsfilter," while jokey posts like this end up being the only valve where that pressure gets released.
posted by digaman at 1:45 PM on June 9


I thought this sentiment was worth repeating.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:53 PM on June 9, 2008


Great, so when the messiah really comes, now everyone will think that the reporting is just fakeposting by the antichrist to discredit the messiah.
posted by galamud at 2:57 PM on June 9, 2008


Note to galamud: Suggest you look into Christmas.
posted by Cranberry at 3:06 PM on June 9, 2008


THE 1934 GEORGE BUSH JOHN McCAIN TIJUANA BIBLE (nsfw)
posted by quonsar at 3:10 PM on June 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


If he's going to raise my taxes then he better turn my water into wine.
posted by Frank Grimes at 4:01 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I’m older than dirt and I outgrew cynicism before most of you where knee high to a bowling ball. Cynicism, more often than not, is a facile ploy to keep your cool by fooling your impressionable peers into a strategic retreat, based on the possibility that you might one up them by knowing something that neither you or they know.

All in all, given the alternatives, I choose to be hopeful.

Thanks for a good post, 133tpolicywonk.
posted by Huplescat at 5:00 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


If he's going to raise my taxes then he better turn my water into wine.

I hope you hold McCain to the same high standard if you ever consider voting for him, because no matter what he says, he'll raise some taxes, too. He'll have no choice. No president will have the choice not to, regardless of what they say on the campaign trail. No nation in the world can wage simultaneous wars in two foreign nations for more than half a decade without racking up substantial expenses.

During WWII the tax rate in the US at its peak reached 94% in response to that reality. What do you think has fundamentally changed since then to make it possible to wage such wars without paying for them?

The easy availability of credit. That's all that's really changed.

But anything bought on credit eventually comes due. The Bush administration has always known that. They just didn't care because they knew they wouldn't be around by the time the check came.

While we're on the subject of personality cults, you and your children can thank W, The President153; for that.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:55 PM on June 9, 2008


W, the President™, dammit.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:58 PM on June 9, 2008


And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "I'm asking you to believe."

It's like Beatlemania, and he's more popular than Jesus.
posted by citron at 6:21 PM on June 9, 2008


Here's a thought: From now on, let's just drop the tired pretext of giving a fuck about the substantive reasons we make the political choices we do. Instead, let's just let personal enmity, personal grudges and petty jealousies (the really important stuff) guide all of our historically crucial decisions (kind of like we did when we elected Bush so we could stick it to the queers and those organic food chomping liberal elites).

Or better yet, let's take a look at a different probing and vitally important political conversation we might have had, had the primary season yielded a different outcome.

In her speech the last night of the Democratic primaries, Clinton described her own, uncannily god-like ability to hear the prayers of common Americans in the following words:
I often felt that each of your votes was a prayer for our nation, a declaration of your dreams for your children, a reflection of your desire to chart a new course in this new century. And, in the end, while this primary was long, I am so proud we stayed the course together.
So Clinton "heard our prayers" just like, say, Jesus might! My God! Not only does she think she's the Messiah, she's one of those crazy new age Goddess cultists who thinks the second coming of Jesus will be a gal!

Quick--someone start a suspiciously viral blog (you know, one that even Obama supporters might be willing to concede has its merits because it raises important issues in an amusing way)! (Hey, and here's another telling detail: Clinton says she knows how to "stay the course," too, just like another President-cum-messiah from recent history!)
I’ve seen the struggling schools with the crumbling classrooms and the unfair burdens imposed by No Child Left Behind. But I have also met dedicated and caring teachers who use their own savings to buy supplies and students passionately engaged in the issues of our time, from ending the genocide in Darfur to once again making the environment a central issue of our day.

(APPLAUSE)

None of you, none of you is invisible to me. You never have been.
My God! She's even proclaiming her omniscience! Quick--somebody start another blog! Call the pope! Start an email chain! You have to admit, there's a point to be made here and this is an awfully clever blog, even though, of course, I don't personally have a stake in any of the claims, I just think it's important to be open to considering different sides.

This blog could have been tailor-made to attack literally any Democratic candidate with a sufficient base of support to potentially carry the election. That's why, not only doesn't it qualify as best of the web, it's in fact only further illustration of the principle that just because more ways to communicate with each other are available to us than ever before, it doesn't necessarily follow that more of us have valuable or interesting things to say. If there's any chance you'd have flagged this FPP or regarded the blog as a cheap attack if it had been your candidate, not to reach the same conclusion now is just spiteful and myopic.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:27 PM on June 9, 2008


If the voice in heaven was saying "believe in your own abilities", like the header citron linked is saying, I might still be a Christian.
posted by cashman at 7:28 PM on June 9, 2008


"...(you know, one that even Obama Clinton supporters might be willing to concede has its merits because it raises important issues in an amusing way)!"
posted by saulgoodman at 7:35 PM on June 9, 2008


I dunno, I see him more as Tigh from BSG, especially since Tigh started doing this quizzical, confused look a lot of the time.

At my house, we've referred to him as "Colonel McCain" since the series premiered.
posted by EarBucket at 7:37 PM on June 9, 2008


wait, i thought that was steve :P like even BO knows it's all about ipod gov't!
Obama has embraced the idea of improving the interface between citizens and the government by employing better choice architecture. Obama refers to these ideas as creating an “iPod government,” meaning that interacting with the government would be as easy to use as the iPod.
his very name is a killing word...
posted by kliuless at 7:40 PM on June 9, 2008


This blog could have been tailor-made to attack literally any Democratic candidate with a sufficient base of support to potentially carry the election.

Alright, the real disheartening thing to me is all the people that think that anyone who wants, for any reason, more or less the power of life and death over millions is to be trusted. It's possible that Barack Obama is seeking this power for altruistic reasons. That doesn't mean that by the very nature and magnitude of the power he seeks he shouldn't be distrusted and watched like a hawk, just like the rest of them. The Founding Fathers were a little brighter - they didn't just say "the people will elect candidates who are good and we have nothing to worry about," they tried to set up a (now to various degrees subverted) checks and balances system where various parts of the government would keep an eye on each other. EVERY POLITICAL CANDIDATE SHOULD BE ATTACKED, QUESTIONED, AND VIEWED AS NOT-YOUR-FRIEND.

If there's any chance you'd have flagged this FPP or regarded the blog as a cheap attack if it had been your candidate, not to reach the same conclusion now is just spiteful and myopic.


I'm voting for Barack Obama. Out of the choices allowed serious consideration, he seems the best - the most likely to do the least harm to the country, and hell, maybe even little bits of good. I don't trust Barack Obama. If Barack Obama wants me to believe he's a good guy and he has our best interests at heart, he can get that by, if he becomes president, PROVING IT WITH HIS ACTIONS.

We're just now coming to the end of eight years of pain because significant amounts of the country decided to trust George W. Bush. You see what happens with a little misplaced trust in politicians?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:30 PM on June 9, 2008


But hey, forget what I said, Obama is calling for another bribe for everyone. What a stand-up guy!
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:33 PM on June 9, 2008


The "obama is a messiah" was part of the opening schtick on this weekend's "wait wait don't tell me" on NPR: the host reported that after acknowledging the nomination Obama fed the assembled multitudes with five low-fat bagels and two bottles of Vitamin Water.

I read somewhere that that gospel story started as a fairly mundane lesson in the power of sharing (ie, there was plenty of food for everyone, all Jesus had to do was share some of his around, and everyone else did as well, or went and got food to share and came back) and ended up becoming a miracle story.
posted by empath at 9:59 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


anyone who wants, for any reason, more or less the power of life and death over millions is to be trusted.

I don't see any significant numbers of people running around saying "trust him, omg, trust him!" Why is it killing you that people have evaluated him and his positions, and think he is heads above the rest, and that merits some enthusiasm from some previously unenthusiastic people?

Like others, I've been voting for a while now, and after the blobs I've voted for over the years, I like this blob more than the other blobs.

That's it. All this stuff you're seeing just reflects the internet and the media's ability to bring you the wild, weird and woolly. The vast majority of people I've seen who support the guy have their heads screwed on straight and recognize the guy as thoughtful, organized and charismatic.

As far as the policy, no political candidate is ever going to make choices that every single person agrees with on every point. You don't like his plan, good for you. Choose the candidate you most identify with and vote for them. But don't be silly enough to think that the majority of the populous is sophisticated enough to unpack all this analysis and critique along with the physical appearance of the candidates coupled with the history of this country and choose that person if you continue to slam them unnecessarily on every conceivable point, including that some ninnies outside of or inside of their supporters want to messiahnize them. Yes, I just made up that word.

Anyway, once again if Jessamyn was in this position, the same things would be thought of her. Hell, she has legions of fans on this site, and she doesn't even hold the power of a government official.

It would be ridiculous to say JESSAMYN HAS CONTROL OVER ALL THESE METAFILTER USERS! DO NOT TRUST HER! ATTACK HER! DO NOT VIEW HER AS YOUR FRIEND - SHE CAN'T BE TRUSTED!

But maybe I just feel that way because I wear this Jessafix around my neck and worship the pixels she moderates on. That's it, right. Take a couple of pictures of her supporters laughing hysterically at some ultra-favorited comment she made, and plunk it up on a blog. Instant fanaticism, and therefore we should question her role here at Metafilter, and maybe she shouldn't be in the position she's in, and we should attack her.

Because you know, that makes total sense.
posted by cashman at 10:16 PM on June 9, 2008


tl;dr;

I spotted a blog today that was seriously proposing that Obama is the anti-Christ. It quoted parts of Revelations and will, I am quite certain, be taken seriously by the batshitinsane millennialist stooges.

It is very disheartening to think these people are going to be influential in the next election.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:45 PM on June 9, 2008


I don't see any significant numbers of people running around saying "trust him, omg, trust him!"

Not explicitly saying so, generally, but in terms of implied trust, I disagree.

JESSAMYN HAS CONTROL OVER ALL THESE METAFILTER USERS! DO NOT TRUST HER! ATTACK HER! DO NOT VIEW HER AS YOUR FRIEND - SHE CAN'T BE TRUSTED!

Jessamyn doesn't have any power over my life and well-being. Furthermore, she has shown herself by her actions to be, in my opinion, by and large trustworthy, open, fair, and benevolent, which Barack Obama has not done so far. Even with all this, in her and the others' roles as moderator, I at times freely put a bit of scrutiny, questioning, and disagreement on them in Metatalk (because by God am I a waste of life with too much time on my hands.)

But don't be silly enough to think that the majority of the populous is sophisticated enough to unpack all this analysis and critique along with the physical appearance of the candidates coupled with the history of this country and choose that person if you continue to slam them unnecessarily on every conceivable point, including that some ninnies outside of or inside of their supporters want to messiahnize them.

This becomes a question of the ends versus the means tension of the desirability of minimizing harm in the "lesser of two evils" sense against the problems of participating in and propping up the harmful setup. I've decided that I'll vote for Obama as the least evil, but I won't self-censor my opinions against trusting or having enthusiasm for any politicians out of the fear that it could hurt his chances.

Can you name some instances and matters where Barack Obama has compromised his integrity or, at least, given you cause to question and consider his integrity, even if in the end you decided he was in the right? I have a few, but if you've been giving him the proper consideration I really think you should have some too, so I'll let you go first. Every candidate deserves that sort of questioning, and I don't quite think he's getting it from many who have decided to throw their vote towards him, e.g. the whole "Barack Obama is your new bicycle" meme that's treating him like an actually-cool version of Chuck Norris. (I liked the "I am my new bicycle" counter site that someone put up that said things like "Believe in yourself, not your politicians.") With this lack of questioning, they might still be right that he's the best choice to vote for, but as I said, many with a similar lack of questioning and skepticism decided that George W. Bush was the best choice to vote for. Hey, he was charismatic. I'd really rather they had done a bit more skeptical inquiry.

think he is heads above the rest, and that merits some enthusiasm from some previously unenthusiastic people?


Finally, I think he's heads above the rest. I think at this point this is such a low standard that it's not necessarily much to get enthusiastic about.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:08 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Artw writes "I dunno, I see him more as Tigh from BSG, especially since Tigh started doing this quizzical, confused look a lot of the time."

Yeah, me too. And I like Saul Tigh (rira vs ur vf n gbnfgre). It's confusing.
posted by orthogonality at 11:46 PM on June 9, 2008


Senator, I served with the Messiah: I knew the Messiah; the Messiah was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Messiah.
posted by subgear at 11:56 PM on June 9, 2008


Can you name some instances and matters where Barack Obama has compromised his integrity or, at least, given you cause to question and consider his integrity

What? Can you name some instances where Barack Obama has totally made you cry sometimes?

That would be just as silly. I don't think we need to sit here while you prove to me you've been moved by him and I prove to you I've been disheartened by him. Even as I said above no politician is going to share your views even near 100%. Rest assured that I question things he does every other day. Feel secure. A lot of the reason I support him is reason. I see the logic behind things he's involved with and with the solutions he tries to present. I like the things he says because I know how I would approach matters if I decided to hold public office, and what he's doing is pretty much it. Anyway, I think we're just missing each other because you think you're sounding some clarion call to "think for yourself!" and "don't trust the man!" Which is pretty much a way of life for a few of us who get called hero shippers.

You know, this discussion feels less than what usually occurs, which I think is reflective of letting a subpar fpp stand. But it reminds me of Huey & Caesar in that one strip where Caesar says "they can't all be deep, Huey." Guess it has to happen.
posted by cashman at 5:19 AM on June 10, 2008


(I liked the "I am my new bicycle" counter site that someone put up that said things like "Believe in yourself, not your politicians.")

Heh. That was actually Jessamyn's work.
posted by cortex at 6:29 AM on June 10, 2008


Every candidate deserves that sort of questioning, and I don't quite think he's getting it from many who have decided to throw their vote towards him, e.g. the whole "Barack Obama is your new bicycle" meme that's treating him like an actually-cool version of Chuck Norris.

Yeah, now would be a perfect time for his supporters to start publicly raising questions about whether or not he can be trusted. That's the best possible thing someone who wants to support his campaign could be doing right now, as he begins his campaign for the general election. Oh, and even better would be voting for McCain, just to show Obama that, while you support him, he can't expect you to just fall in line and actually vote for him. He'd lose all respect for you if you did. So instead, if you support Obama, you should vociferously raise doubts about Obama's trustworthiness and vote for McCain in the Fall. Doing so will make the Obama campaign that much stronger for all the profound questions you raise in the process. /Snark

My view: Get him elected. Then watch him like a hawk. That's what we need to do. It's what we should do with every politician in every elected position. But we're lazy. We like our accountability moments to come only once an election season. We like to watch the highlight reels of the big plays from the debates. Then we go back to watching ESPN.

As for this snide remark about Obama's economic stimulus proposal, note that a key component of this proposal is extending jobless benefits. That's not just another rebate check and it's an important step to take. Also, there's a lot more to Obama's long-term economic policies than this one proposal, which is meant only to serve the short-term aim of curtailing or softening the slide into recession.

His longer-term proposals include measures meant to directly impact the quality of life and economic security of working and middle class families, like closing existing tax loopholes and rolling back the Bush tax cuts for big corporations and the super-rich then using the recovered revenue to offer tax cuts to households earning under 200,000 in annual income; indexing the minimum wage to inflation; reforming bankruptcy laws to provide medical emergency exclusions; expanding the medical leave act (probably one of the only truly progressive policies to come out of the Clinton era); renegotiating NAFTA to be fairer to American workers; providing incentives to employers to offer more work schedule flexibility and telecommuting options. That's just a sampling. And there are measures meant to help grow America's economic base like investing R&D dollars in technology and clean energy industries, as well as protecting net neutrality--on the whole, his positions in these areas are pretty similar to Gore's.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:22 AM on June 10, 2008


On a tangent, instead of devoting energy to raising hypothetical doubts about Obama's trustworthiness based in 'principle' and vague concerns about the mere possibility of misplaced trust, why not devote a little time and energy to keeping an eye on politicians where actual, credible reasons to question their motives and political allegiances exist, like those mentioned in this Nation article about a phenomenon The Nation characterizes as "Bluewashing" (basically, when former Republicans run as Democrats for politically opportunistic reasons). Someone should start a website to track former Republicans now running as Democrats with the backing of Republican-friendly business interests, if there isn't one already. That would be a handy election-time tool.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:05 AM on June 10, 2008


The real Messiah would have finished his waffle.
posted by crazylegs at 9:28 AM on June 10, 2008


False. He would have taken that unfinished waffle, broken it, and given it to his aides with instructions to feed the thousands who had gathered to hear his message of hope.

And there would still be leftovers.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 3:50 AM on June 11, 2008


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