Obama Comedown Syndrome

David Brooks makes some good points about "OCS", the hypocrisy of Barack Obama, and the blindness of his followers in his recent column, entitled "When the magic fades":

At first it seemed like a few random cases of lassitude among Mary Chapin Carpenter devotees in Berkeley, Cambridge and Chapel Hill. But then psychotherapists began to realize patients across the country were complaining of the same distress. They were experiencing the first hints of what’s bound to be a national phenomenon: Obama Comedown Syndrome.

The afflicted had already been through the phases of Obama-mania — fainting at rallies, weeping over their touch screens while watching Obama videos, spending hours making folk crafts featuring Michelle Obama’s face. These patients had experienced intense surges of hope-amine, the brain chemical that fuels euphoric sensations of historic change and personal salvation.

... and then he points out the rampant hypocrisy and the sad truth behind "Change":

As the syndrome progresses, they begin to ask questions about The Presence himself:

Barack Obama vowed to abide by the public finance campaign-spending rules in the general election if his opponent did. But now he’s waffling on his promise. Why does he need to check with his campaign staff members when deciding whether to keep his word?

Obama says he is practicing a new kind of politics, but why has his PAC sloshed $698,000 to the campaigns of the superdelegates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics? Is giving Robert Byrd’s campaign $10,000 the kind of change we can believe in?

If he values independent thinking, why is his the most predictable liberal vote in the Senate? A People for the American Way computer program would cast the same votes for cheaper.


How is a 47-year-old novice going to unify highly polarized 70-something committee chairs? What will happen if the nation’s 261,000 lobbyists don’t see the light, even after the laying on of hands? Does The Changemaker have the guts to take on the special interests in his own party — the trial lawyers, the teachers’ unions, the AARP?

The Gang of 14 created bipartisan unity on judges, but Obama sat it out ...

Kennedy and McCain created a bipartisan deal on immigration. Obama opted out of the parts that displeased the unions ...

Sixty-eight senators supported a bipartisan deal on FISA. Obama voted no ...

... And if he were president now, how would the High Deacon of Unity heal the breach that split the House last week?

9 Response to "Obama Comedown Syndrome"

  1. showmevagabond 19/2/08 13:30
    I've always wondered "hope for what?" Obama has always been appearance over substance. After yesterday's thoughtless comments made by his wife, we may well witness one of the great political meltdowns in history. No small thanks to B&H Clinton, who are living proof that democrats do eat their own.
  2. Luke N. Vargas 19/2/08 14:07
    Brooks' really was a great article. I'm a Democrat and a big Hillary supporter, so I admit being bias towards those articles picking apart this Obama hype, but I thought he really nailed the point home about this fluffy "change" movement.

    Good to see that editorial gettnig a lot of play in the blogosphere.


    www.lukevargas.com
  3. Houston Hobby Airport Moye 19/2/08 18:39
    Obama sucks and so does Clinton.
  4. Old Hickory 20/2/08 00:13
    I wish the writer could have held his fire until after the Democrats choose Obama.

    Don't fire your political musket until you can look 'em in the eye.
  5. west_rhino 20/2/08 11:38
    Somehow, in the charismatic rhetoric for "change", I'm reminded of a Nixonian promise of brigning us home from VietNam.

    Nixon, at least dangled a "secret plan", Obama offers an extension of a Bobby Kennedy, "they say you never had it so good, I say you ought to have it better," with few honed details of how...
  6. a nixon fan moye 21/2/08 17:50
    never a kennedy fan but certainly i liked nixon
  7. Anonymous 29/2/08 11:39
    obama will get the nomination, but in the last two weeks, clinton has slowed things down by aggressively confronting the lack of substance and experience.

    if she wins ohio, texas, and then pennsylvania, the outcome is by no means assured. but it should drag the race out to its bitter end, where lawyers go to work, and suspicion and allegations to tremendous harm to the democrats.

    for which republicans are truly grateful.
  8. Anonymous 29/2/08 20:18
    Earl, wasn't it more than a little intellectually dishonest of you to omit the end of the article, which essentially concluded that there was substance behind the hype?

    Brooks is a man of nuanced opinions. Don't mischaracterize his writing to ram it into a shrill blog post.

    Buckley, Brooks mentor, never backed off his stances, but he was honest with himself and his readers. A good blogger must do the same.
  9. Earl Capps 29/2/08 21:14
    friend, quoting means editing. i had to cut somewhere, but if i wanted to be dishonest, i wouldn't have linked to the entire article.

    i put stuff up to explain my points of view, to enlighten and stir discussion. but this blog was not meant to be the end-all and be-all of discussion.

    anyone without the sense to shop around for alternative points of view before forming their own opinions has to be a total rockhead.

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