Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 9, 2008 / 2 Shevat 5768

That Obama Feeling

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama is the tipping-point man, the meme of the moment, the miracle cure for that chronic American malady: feelin' bad about things.


Obama may be "all that," as they say, but let's be clear: Americans are in thrall not with Obama, but with the idea of Obama. His supporters have endowed him with near-mystical powers, not unlike the old Hollywood stereotype of the wise and mystical black person who materializes as a deus ex machina to save the white protagonist. Think Bagger Vance.


As one who swooned early over Obama — the handsome bi-man of unity — and wrote like a love-drunk teenybopper nearly four years ago, I'm familiar with his spell. He's got It and it's easy to be seduced by a charming idea with a dazzling smile.


But do Americans really love Obama the executive? Obama the commander in chief? Obama the vetoer? Obama the decider? (No need to make comparisons to George W. Bush. He's not running.)


Or do they merely love Obama the fixer? The change agent? The audacious merchant of hope?


It's all about hope, really. And greatgodawmighty, we do love hope.


Hope fills the chasm left gaping and raw by the vicissitudes of reality.


But hope is not a policy. Hope is the prayer proffered over a lover's sickbed; hope is the farmer's baleful eye cast on a white sky; hope is the captive breath as the groom says, "I do."


We all learn eventually that hope takes you only so far. The rest is hard work and clear thinking. Keeping hope alive is dandy, but keeping your wits is better.


Whether Obama is surprised by the amazing grace he finds strewn along his path is hard to say but he seems at ease in his role as presumptive savior. Whence the source of the crowds' adoration?


Politicians keep saying that Americans want leadership. Do they? Or is it followership they crave? Someone to attach their needs to? To tote their worries? To mirror their better angels?


Whatever his qualifications for the job, the crowds chanting "O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma!" betray an undertow of hysteria. This is not the candidate of reason, but of passion. Of emotion. Sen. Good Vibes.


A handful of voters may have some passing knowledge of Obama's policy positions, but it's a safe bet most couldn't get past the keywords "change"


and "hope" — and the refrain: He was always against the war. It's pretty easy to claim superior vision with hindsight, especially when your vote wasn't required.


Mainly, an Obama presidency allows Americans to put a period at the end of a very long sentence. With a black president, the sins of slavery are not forgiven or forgotten, but we can move along. Nothing left to see here.


Obama smoothly, strategically and subtly mines the well of white guilt. In his acceptance speech after his Iowa sweep — which sounded an awful lot like the speech of a president, or at least a nominee, rather than the pick of a few sturdy Iowans — Obama liberated his inner Martin Luther King.


Launching into the singsong cadences of King's "I Have A Dream" speech, Obama crooned: "They saaaaid. They saaaaid. They saaaaid this day would never come. They saaaaid our sights were set too high. They saaaaid this country was too divided ... but on this January night, at this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said we couldn't do."


You don't suppose he'd been working on that one, do you? And who are "they"? Who said this day would never come? Who said whose sights were set too high?


No one lately and no one in Obama's relatively golden experience.


Destined for the historical audio files, Obama's speech was grandiose prose and inspiring rhetoric. But what does it mean? It means nothing, but it sounded so good, who wants to cause trouble? We're feelin' good for the first time in a while and that's what matters.


Obama isn't just the inevitable dream candidate. He is the self-object of Oprah Nation, love child of the therapeutic generation. What he brings to the table no one quite knows. But what he delivers to the couch is human Prozac.


He may or may not be the right man to fill the Oval Office, but Americans will feel too good to notice.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.


Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2006, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles