February 25, 2008

The Audacity of Hope

Despite no publicly-reported plots or arrests related to threats against the life of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama, the media keeps hoping to make his possible assassination an issue:

There is a hushed worry on the minds of many supporters of Senator Barack Obama, echoing in conversations from state to state, rally to rally: Will he be safe?

In Colorado, two sisters say they pray daily for his safety. In New Mexico, a daughter says she persuaded her mother to still vote for Mr. Obama, even though the mother feared that winning would put him in danger. And at a rally here, a woman expressed worries that a message of hope and change, in addition to his race, made him more vulnerable to violence.

"I've got the best protection in the world," Mr. Obama, of Illinois, said in an interview, reprising a line he tells supporters who raise the issue with him. "So stop worrying."

Yet worry they do, with the spring of 1968 seared into their memories, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated in a span of two months.

We've covered this ground before. An Obama assassination fantasy seems to primarily be a media construct.

Spreading paranoid assassination fantasies has become something of a cottage industry among certain segments of the media and far left blogosphere, where at least one unhinged blogger has already determined that Halliburton and Blackwater are guilty of the crime.

The people who write these assassination fantasies are not worried that Obama will be targeted. There are far more worried that he will not be assassinated, and thus live to not meet to the impossibly high expectations he and his supporters have built for his campaign and his candidacy.

Obama the candidate is far more a myth than a man, and as he takes a commanding lead in the Democratic nominating process, his actual positions, record, and experience show him to be a strawman of good intentions and precious little substance. Even his cult-like followers know deep-down that no one person can live up to the fantasy they have constructed around his name, and so in dark places they do not publicly want to address, they want want an escape from the inevitable and all-too-human let-down that he, as a real flesh-and-blood man, will be.

For some, an assassination fantasy is that escape mechanism.

It is far easier for people to live with a memory of what might have been, than face the bitter truth of a candidate that has remarkable communicative abilities, but a radical political philosophy that will wilt under the scrutiny of the moderate middle in a general election.

A martyred ideal is far more useful to some than a flawed candidate, and so be prepared to see more such "trigger" stories as we get closer the the election, but don't expect to see him fall or to even be targeted for his ideas. Obama is an unlikely target for a political assassination precisely because he promises so little in substance. He can be beaten by ballot far more easily than by bullet, a political calculus even radical fringe groups easily recognize.

If he is targeted, it will be by another John Hinckley, Jr, someone unhinged, and perhaps driven to the crime by delusions of fame and the media's own dark "audacity of hope."

If such a tragic happening should come to pass, the media will only need to look in the mirror to find the culprit.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 25, 2008 11:10 AM

Bad things happen to people who get in the way of the Clinton Crime Cabal.

Posted by: SicSemperTyrannus at February 25, 2008 11:34 AM

I'd rather have a man of "precious little substance" than 8 more years of what America experienced during Bush.

I'll take "empty hope" and "change" over status quo, fear, and embarrassment. And so will millions of other proud Americans.

Obama will be President. Start getting used to it now.

Posted by: dem operative at February 25, 2008 11:44 AM

Dem operative:

You do realize that Dubya isn't running for President, right?

And therefore, Republican or Democrat, the next administration will, by definition, be different from the past 8 years?

Feel free to run against Dubya, of course. It's so much easier than actually thinking about what you're running for.

Posted by: Lurking Observer at February 25, 2008 12:06 PM

"I'll take "empty hope" and "change" over status quo ..."

This is what the Palestinians were thinking when they elected Hamas into office ... look what it got them.

It seems we have a choice between a spikey rod or a bladed rod shoved up our nethers ... either way something is getting shoved up there.

Better get used to it.

Posted by: Dan Irving at February 26, 2008 10:48 AM

A media that like the Fred Thompson campaign (R.I.P.)?

Posted by: Frederick at February 26, 2008 06:31 PM

No, more like John McCain, now that his "friends" at the NYT have turned on him like Bill Clinton on a Big Mac.

Posted by: SDN at February 26, 2008 11:28 PM