Saturday, June 28, 2008

Snake Oil Sales Up

It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out pretty quickly that the New York Times is not my first choice for opinions. Their bias has been apparent for a long time and the disclosures of blatant malfeasance in reporting in the last couple of years make it a last point of reference for me. Yet I try to advise folks to keep an open mine and always be willing to listen to the other side’s point of view. If I know the pre-existing bias of the source I can then make an informed decision on the argument they present. I don’t have to like it or agree with it, but I can evaluate it.

So I popped in to read this opinion piece. Once I got beyond offense at their application of one of my nicknames, I had to nod my head in agreement at the keen observations of the writer.

Slicker than Willy

Here is an appraisal, although not quite an admiring one, which is honest. If we have ever seen anyone who has been so successful at saying one thing and then actually being another, I can’t recall it. Glib, ethnically correct, artfully educated, and capable of building visions of an almost Marxist utopia, the savior rises before us standing on feet of the basest clay. He tells us the things we so desperately want to hear then is disclosed to be exactly the opposite of what he has told us he is and we blissfully ignore the obvious. We buy the original dream and somehow ignore the evidence before our eyes. Can we really be so stupid?

A different kind of politics for America is what we asked for and what he promised. We thought that meant abandoning the clichĂ© of “politics of personal destruction.” It was supposed to give us freedom from racist innuendo. There would be no more deniable attacks by surrogates. It was going to be politics of unity, inclusion, possibility, honesty and hope.

The snake oil was going to cure what ailed us. Our indigestion and lumbago would be gone. Our headache would evaporate. Our erectile dysfunction would become functional. Our intellect would sharpen and our gait would quicken.

What seems more likely is that we are going to wake up on a Wednesday morning in early November with a throbbing hangover and without the hope that it will get better as the day wears on. There’s way too much mind-numbing in this bottle of cure-all and not enough bitter pharmaceutical.

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