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January 20th 2009 print

Michael Connor

What the Left are reading on Obama Day

The Australian Left are killing the fine art of satire.

“If you want to know the people around you,” Stalin said, “find out what they read.”

This is what the Australian Left reads and this is how they are killing satire:

The television networks are justifiably in raptures about the historic election of an African-American as the president. All the same … to reduce Obama to a label, to ‘African-American,’ does him – and us – a disservice. He wasn’t elected for the colour of his skin; he was elected because he offered the hope of a wise, steady and healing leadership to a country bullied and battered in the name of patriotism, plundered and pillaged in the name of free markets, neglected and abandoned in the name of small government.

… the Bush administration told so many flat-out lies, deregulated so many industries, fired so many experienced people from government agencies, made so many endruns around the constitution, destroyed so many checks and balances, ignored so many rules of law, that opponents didn’t know where to start fighting the good fight. If the Supreme Court could not make the administration adhere to the Geneva Convention and stop practising torture, what chance did we have of addressing any number of gross illegalities and inequities? Instead, we sank into despair. The country’s best impulses were traduced. All of this was done deliberately.

I’ve asked friends who lived through the Nixon era, known for perfidy, whether these last eight years were worse. Much worse, they always replied. Always on their minds, always intruding.

I changed my allegiance to Obama [from Mrs Clinton] when I heard him give his race speech – “A More Perfect Union” – in Philadelphia. One of my trades is speech-writing. (I learned it on Wall Street from the best – ex-Republican Party operatives.) I am in complete awe of that speech because it contained much more than the usual pap about hope, the obligatory lines about race. Obama even quoted Faulkner: “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” He might only be forty-seven years old, but anyone smart enough to give that speech will be smart enough to surround himself with people who won’t truck in conventional wisdom. Also, he is not beholden to interest groups in the way that time-serving pols inevitably are.

Extracts from Kate Jennings’ American Revolution: The Fall of Wall Street and the Rise of Barack Obama (Quarterly Essay, Issue 32).

Translation: He’s cute, he’s Black-lite, and he can walk on water.

Translator’s Note: This is what the people who write the news, who teach, who preach – read. This is what the people who write the news, who teach, who preach, who act, who legislate  - think. This is why dissidents are laughing.