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The "Okey-Dokey"
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, March 16, 2008

You've all heard the famous Obama line where he's referring to Hillary Clinton and her campaign and claiming they're trying to put one over on everyone?
"You all know the okey-dokey, when someone's trying to bamboozle you, when they're trying to hoodwink you?"
More and more people are beginning to examine the Obama background and becoming convinced that perhaps the "okey-dokey" is being run out of his campaign, not others.

It comes down to life experience I guess, and the ability to spot something or someone who just isn't quite what they seem or want to seem to be. Interestingly, it is Wretchard at The Belmont Club who, mulling over the Obama quote, is moved to lay out his three learned rules about swindlers:
I've had the great good fortune to have met a large number of swindlers in my life. And here are my own rules of thumb for spotting them. First. They are always just a little too nice for comfort. Second. They have always have a story to tell. Whenever you deal with them something always "comes up". Third. They always suggest the possibility of getting a deal that is too good to be true.

A man who got took told me that "no swindler succeeds without the help of greed on your part. A man who is willing to pay fair price for something hardly ever gets fooled". This is some of the best advice I ever heard and it is mostly true.
Obviously there are a great many people in this country who truly and desperately want to see the political process change "for the better". And most are good people who want to see change effected for various ideological and personal reasons. But, naturally, each and every one of their reasons is different.

The genius of using terms like "hope" and "change" is to let those who clamor for them define the terms to themselves. In that way, what they expect completely satisfies their desire, even though what they expect will be different than the person next to them with the same desires. This is emotional politics at its finest.

Those using the terms to both entice and build a following then rely on glittering generalities to both grab and hold the attention of those whose support they seek.

In effect, as Wretchard notes, it is a form of "greed" - people have been primed to want "a better way", to want to believe in "hope" and to desire "change" because they are so dissatisfied with the present condition of politics. They desparately want something different than what they see today.

Naturally, having helped build the desire, the swindler exploits it by presenting himself as the solution.

At this point, I'm sure there are a number of people who are furious with my implication that Obama is engaged in a giant swindle. But let's be clear here, I'm defining the process as a swindle and the politician exploiting it as a swindler only because of the process. I'm not at all sure that Obama even understands he's perpetrating a swindle, just as Andrew Ferguson, writing in The Weekly Standard, points out. But read on, because he describes the Obama process quite well:
It's not clear that Obama himself is even aware of this. His sincerity is self-evident and is one of the qualities that draw people to him, along with those eloquent hands, the grin, that voice as smooth and rich as molasses. His speeches are theatrical events, not intellectual excursions. On his website the videos of his most acclaimed speeches have proved much more popular than the transcripts. As a candidate he fits a public that prefers the sensation of words to the words themselves. His speeches are meant to be succumbed to rather than thought about.
Emotional politics. "Hope", "change" and the promise he can bring them (while you define them any way you wish). Words which make you feel good and right about what he promises to do. Until, as Ferguson says, you actually take the time to consider the words for what they actually mean:
The truth is that Obama's speeches are full of engaging detail—just not policy detail. With his first book, the memoir Dreams from My Father, Obama proved he was a literary man of great skill, and he knows that the details that catch the attention are personal. So in his best speeches he offers quick, arresting portraits of individual Americans he has met in his travels. Taken together they help him execute a rhetorical pivot that only the greatest populist politicians—FDR in the 1930s, Reagan in 1980—have been able to pull off. You could call it optimistic despair. The overarching theme of Obama's speeches, and of his campaign, is that America is a fetid sewer whose most glorious days lie just ahead, thanks to the endless ranks of pathetic losers who make it a beacon of hope to all mankind.

Here's a partial list of the people that Obama has met lately. All of them are unhappy, and no wonder: Ashley, who grew up eating mustard sandwiches because her mother contracted cancer, lost her job, went bankrupt, and lost her health insurance; the "girl who goes to the crumbling school in Dillon"; "the mother who can't get Medicaid to cover all the needs of her sick child"; a New Hampshire woman who "hasn't been able to breathe since her nephew left for Iraq"; "the teacher who works another shift at Dunkin Donuts after school just to make ends meet"; a young woman in Cedar Rapids "who works the night shift after a full day of college and still can't afford health care for a sister who's ill"; "the Maytag worker who is now competing with his own teenager for a $7 an hour job at Wal-Mart." And beyond these dim, huddled figures lies the American landscape, unbearably bleak: "shuttered factories," "crumbling schools," "a planet in peril."

It's not exactly Walt Whitman. But Obama wants us to know that the picture he paints with his pointillist precision is comprehensive: He's leaving nothing out. He drives the point home when he concludes his litanies of despair by saying: "I have seen what America is." In this sense Obama truly is the unity candidate. There is no white America or black America, as he says; no blue states or red states, in his famous formulation, but only the United States of America. And what unites all these people—what unites us—is our shared status as victims.

Unfortunately, this raises the question of who the victimizer is. It's an uncomfortable question for a candidate who, having drawn such a depressing picture, wants to pivot toward the positive and upbeat and hopeful. Suddenly Obama's gift for the identifying detail leaves him. With unaccustomed vagueness he refers to "lobbyists" and "overpaid CEOs" but never names them. It's a world without human villains, improbably enough. Who are the agents of this despair? By whose hand has the country been brought so low? Whoever they are, they vanish in the fog of sentences like this: "We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that cause politicians to demonize their opponents instead of coming together to make college affordable or energy cleaner." So not even politicians in power are responsible; it's decades of bitter partisanship that has forced them into demonization, and the demonization has in turn prevented them from getting things done.

This is a murky place. Cause and effect are blurred. Bad things happen though nobody does them. Instead we face disembodied entities, ghostly apparitions. "Make no mistake about what we're up against," he will announce, with what sounds, for a moment, like clarity; but then he goes on to say what we're up against: "the belief that it's okay for lobbyists to dominate our government"; "the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead as president comes from longevity in Washington"; "forces that feed the habits that prevent us from being who we are"; "the idea that it's acceptable to do anything to win an election."

Some agents of despair these turn out to be! A belief, a way of thinking, an idea, forces that feed habits, and decades of partisanship. He won't even bring himself to blame Republicans.
It is a long excerpt of Ferguson's piece but important because a couple of paragraphs later he hits on the key to Obama's use of these generalities in his speeches, and it falls perfectly within the parameters of Wretchard's hard-learned lesson of "how to identify a swindler":
Leave aside the disembodied forces; forget the beliefs and ideas that no one really holds. Somebody somewhere has to be preventing Obama's kind of health care reform, and sending kids to underfunded schools, and shipping jobs overseas to increase profits, and standing in the way of medical research, and downplaying climate change out of skepticism or general orneriness. Put them all together and it's likely to come to a fairly high number of people: stockholders, employees, and managers of globalized companies; insurance claim adjusters, guys on oil rigs, hog farmers, pro-lifers, moms in SUVs, taxpayers who decline to float bonds for local schools, voters who pulled the lever for President Bush and are still kindly disposed toward him. People who make red states red and blue states purple. Lots and lots of people.

If Obama made this explicit, if in his speeches he dared to wrap bodies around those disembodied forces, if he began to trace effects back to the agents that cause them, then his campaign would suddenly appear to be what it is: a conventional alignment of political interests, trying to seize power from another conventional alignment of political interests—just one more version of a tussle that's gone on since the country's founding. His fans, it turns out, aren't the people they've been waiting for; they're just the same old people, like everybody else.
Of course he knows that if, in fact, he were to be specific, put names and faces on those who are the "problem" he becomes, as Ferguson contends, just another politician attempting to do what all politicians do, and that is attain power. And of course, they then realize that the only "hope" and "change" that will be satisfied completely is that of Barack Obama.

The point of this rather long post?

It's time to look more deeply into the rhetoric of this man who would be President and demand more than the glittering generalities and theatrics he presently provides. It's time to purge the emotion from his argument and make him get down to be facts and figures of his candidacy. It is time to make him define "hope" and "change" and how he'll achieve them through his presidency vs. leaving them as terms for others to define. It is time to call him on this "okey-dokey".
 
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I cringe a bit at:
More and more people are beginning to examine the Obama background and becoming convinced that perhaps the "okey-dokey" is being run out of his campaign, not others.
...because we’ve seen the same kind of nonsense coming from the Clinton camp, and for far longer. It’s just that because he doesn’t have a history, he’s been more effective at putting one over on folks than Clinton has.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
As much as I may have tired of this two-year-long Presidential campaign, combined with ever-quicker media news cycles, perhaps in the end it will be a good thing for the country. Half the news cycle speed and half the length of the campaign and Obama may have managed to get elected...
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
McQ:
It’s time to look more deeply into the rhetoric of [Obama]
How deep do you want to go? As for the conventional meaning of his speeches, he’s basically saying that he can deliver free stuff as a messianic populist.

(Compare and contrast to Hillary’s technocratic populism and John Edwards’ ambulance-chasing populism.)

But take it a step further and, in my opinion, Obama often talks over the heads of his white supporters to the black nation. He is offering a sub-rosa black nationalist presidency: this is our time. Obama will deliver for us.

What does that mean? It means the far-left concepts, inclusive of the academic postmodernist interpretation of race, embraced by many blacks who might not even be aware of its provenance because it has been taught to them on black terms and through a black filter.

That includes the idea that blacks cannot be racists, only whites can be racist.

It includes the implicit blaming of white people (well, only "rich white people," at first) for troubles in black communities: white drugs, unfair white mortgages and lending practices, white corporations with unfair prices, white prisons, a white government seeking to infect blacks with the AIDS virus it created to kill them with.

Obama comes out of the already thoroughly racialized far-left liberal wing of the Democratic Party. He is another McGovern, and he isn’t: postmodern academic racialism had not been integrated into the party’s ideological substrate yet, when McGovern ran.

Obama wants everyone to put Reverend Wright into "context," but I’m far more interested in putting Obama into context, because he is the person who wants to be President of the United States. It is my opinion that Obama wants to use the fear of race in this country to be a black president, not to be a president who happens to be black. His idea of "racial reconciliation" is not going to be what his white supporters think it’s going to be, at least those supporters who have not supped on postmodern academic concepts of race. "Reconciliation" is going to be a probably none-too-subtle state of racial intimidation.

Obama’s "reconciliation" will not look like MLKs. And whenever he is thwarted, if he becomes president, it will be perceived and answered in racial terms by blacks. It will be those "white people, with their white values" obstructing Barack.

Shelby Steele said that Obama was wearing a mask — that most blacks tend to wear masks in America. Well, the "I did not have sex with those particular sermons" is a huge con. The whole Obama show has been an enormously bold con.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I believe Martin’s sentiment is mostly correct, except I believe Obama is coming from a little more general position than the Black plight alone. There’s a little more socialist and a little more general multiculturalism. Of course, the Black plight is definitely a big portion of the latter in this country.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I did a little digging on my own on this topic. It’s something I challenge everyone to do, in particular visiting the Obama’s church website. As part of that I found this post which I’d say is somewhat applicable (Note the site isn’t one I typically frequent but it did define the term Akiba for me, which I was wondering about after a visit to the church site.)
http://faultlineusa.blogspot.com/2008/02/obamas-afro-centric-church-non.html

BTW, note the post is from Feb of this year well before the mainstream chose to actually acknowledge any of the issues with this church.
 
Written By: BillS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com/
Maybe it’s a midwestern colloquialism I’m unfamiliar with, but, when I hear "okey-dokey," I think of Hannibal Lecter saying "Okey-dokey, here we go..." as he gets ready to push a guy off a balcony.
 
Written By: M. Murcek
URL: http://
Naturally, having helped build the desire, the swindler exploits it by presenting himself as the solution.
Here we go again. Obama as the swindler. The hustler. The dealer.

As I have said before, if Obama is the nominee, this is going to get ugly.

Of the 3 major presidential candidates, McCain, Clinton and Obama, guess which one is the only one to have released tax records.

You guessed it: Obama. Obama is an open book when compared to the other two in this race.

Obama is an open book compared to Hillary and McCain. And yet, you will continued to hear this rhetoric.
At this point, I’m sure there are a number of people who are furious with my implication that Obama is engaged in a giant swindle. But let’s be clear here, I’m defining the process as a swindle and the politician exploiting it as a swindler only because of the process. I’m not at all sure that Obama even understands he’s perpetrating a swindle, just as Andrew Ferguson, writing in The Weekly Standard, points out. But read on, because he describes the Obama process quite well:
Gosh, why would any one be furious about this implication? Calling a black man a swindler, and an unwitting swindler? I can’t imagine that anyone could ever have a reason to be upset about that.

And even though there is racism implicit in such an accusation, I’m not sure that McQ understands that he is perpetrating what others might perceive to be racist. After all, if Obama - a Harvard Law grad - is not capable of understanding he is a swindler, how can McQ be expected to understand what he is saying?
The point of this rather long post?

It’s time to look more deeply into the rhetoric of this man who would be President and demand more than the glittering generalities and theatrics he presently provides. It’s time to purge the emotion from his argument and make him get down to be facts and figures of his candidacy. It is time to make him define "hope" and "change" and how he’ll achieve them through his presidency vs. leaving them as terms for others to define. It is time to call him on this "okey-dokey".
Nonsense. Obama has been as specific as any other candidate about his policy positions. Only someone uninformed would even claim otherwise. Indeed, if one needs a greater display of ignorance of the Obama campaign, one need look no farther than this post.

No, this is a part of a campaign that will be waged against Obama. He’s black, and therefore unknowable, and therefore cannot be trusted. The argument will be dressed up, but it will be as simple as that.

Like I said, it’s going to get ugly. And this is only March.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
If you look at Obama’s speech content, he gives as much detail and information as Clinton, arguably more than McCain.

The definition of a ’swindler’ defines just about what every politician does, right or left. Clearly the argument above about Obama could have been made against Reagan in 1980.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"As I have said before, if Obama is the nominee, this is going to get ugly."

As ugly as those sermons?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Nonsense. Obama has been as specific as any other candidate about his policy positions.
He may have them, buried away on his website where 95% of his supporters never go. But he doesn’t stump on them nationally.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
timactual responding to the cretin:
"As I have said before, if Obama is the nominee, this is going to get ugly."
As ugly as those sermons?
Violence has already been laid on the table for the Democratic convention if Obama does not get the nomination. The sermons are predicate.

One does not sit in a black nationalist church for 20 years without being a black nationalist. That’s what makes the "but the good preacher is retiring" con such an awful gag.

That is the swindle of "hope" and "change," not Obama’s liberal boilerplate.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Here’s a little tidbit that the media won’t cover... but which I think speaks to the support a ’swindler’ uses from others.

There is a big discussion on whether Obama’s church is ’Black Only’. You can see that they have now posted a video from a white minister claiming she is "part of Obama’s church". This statement is true on the surface - however, she is not a member of the Trinity UCC of Chicago she’s a regional Illinois representative. Here is her role as a church ’visitor’ in her own words:
http://www.ucc.org/evangelism/e-word/10TipsFromProfessional.pdf Actually if you look closer she appears to live in the suburb of Westchester, part of the Westchester Community Church - doubt me check this Google archive - note the info is in the top quarter refering to her farewell as she transitioned to Southern California/Nevada:
http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:XVWR59Gs_6gJ:www.cmaucc.org/archives.html+%22Fisler+Hoffman%22+UCC+Home+parish&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=us

See when I think ’swindler’ I think of someone working to set up a false story - you know where you bend the truth... you avoid anything that can be shown to be a complete false statement, but you bend...
 
Written By: BillS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com/
I went through Obama’s platform and I’ve never seen so many targeted tax credits, etc. The tax preparers must be donating big time as they will make a mint.

I also went through McCain’s platform on his website, too, and was pleasantly surprised. I could vote for him without too much pause.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Release your tax records, McCain, you coward.

C’mon McQ - where is your call for McCain to tell us who is paying him? You have the nerve to criticize Obama as a swindler, when he has been the only candidate who has told us about how much he is getting paid.

The hypocrisy (and other things, of course), abound.

Only McQ would call the only candidate in the race who has released his tax records a "swindler."

Shame on you, McQ. Again, I don’t think you are a racist. Only ignorant.

Sad and typical.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
the cretin crawls:
Release your tax records, McCain, you coward.

C’mon McQ - where is your call for McCain to tell us who is paying him?
Yes, across the country the voters are pantingly awaiting McCains tax returns.

That’s been the big scandal of the week.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Only someone uninformed would even claim otherwise. Indeed, if one needs a greater display of ignorance of the Obama campaign, one need look no farther than this post.
damn mk - was that your Betty Grable? I mean... you sure did come off as a whiny beyotch from the 40’s or 50’s with that screed.

{Sigh}

Whither the old mk who at least brought game????
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Release your tax records, McCain, you coward.
Did you just call someone who spent 5 years as a POW a coward? Have you no shame at all? McCain daily cr*ps things with more courage in them than you could ever aspire to possess.

Your deflection and tu quoque just doesn’t work here.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
There is a big discussion on whether Obama’s church is ’Black Only’.
Can you imagine the kind of guilt trip needed to get a white person into the place, to be preached at about how bad Whites are?

LOL....

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us

 
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