May 29, 2016

Democrats' Tea Party already happened -- the Obama coalition

[This is the second of two posts comparing the 2016 and 2008 electoral climates. First post here]

Who is left as the parallel for the Tea Party of the Democrats, if not the Bernie movement, which is more like the Trump phenomenon? As far away as it seems now, it was the Obama coalition -- which was contemporaneous with the failed Ron Paul movement, and two years ahead of the successful Tea Party movement.

We're hearing lots of lazy and lame comparisons of the Hillary-Obama competition in 2008 to the Hillary-Bernie contests today. But Obama was not an anti-Establishment candidate, either at the time or once he took office. He wasn't railing against Wall Street, corruption of campaign finance, widening inequality, the selling out of the American economy through globalist trade agreements, endless foreign wars, and other staples of progressive complaints. And he certainly was not openly at war with the leadership of his own party.

Just as Ron Paul represented the junior partner in the longstanding GOP coalition (the Cultural Right), while McCain represented the senior partner (Wall Street), so did Obama represent the Cultural Left as opposed to Crooked Hillary who represented the neoliberal Wall Streeters, both factions of the longstanding coalition of Democrats. Just as the Ron Paul supporters felt sick of being marginalized so long for the benefit of the neoconservative economic and governmental policies, so the Obama supporters felt sick of being marginalized for so long for the benefit of the Clintonite neoliberals, who have identical policies with the neocons on matters of economics and government.

Obama built his entire campaign around the theme of being a Social Justice Warrior in Chief, having cut his political teeth as a community organizer in Chicago. Much attention was devoted to his two books which are both masturbatory identity politics memoirs. And a large amount of his appeal was the potential to elect the First Black President -- that appealed most to the identity politics of blacks themselves, but also to Cultural Left white people, whose identity crucially includes a bullet-point about having cool minority friends and generally wanting to elevate ethnic minorities and debase their own ethnicity.

Hillary, on the other hand, tried to appeal to the more upper-middle-class white suburban soccer moms and doofus dads. Her campaign tried to portray Obama as a foreigner and a Muslim in contrast to the nice white lady (it was the origin of the birther movement), and as a radical in contrast to the reliable moderate who will be there to answer the "call at 3 AM" (unless it's coming from Benghazi). Her goal was to continue her husband's Presidency, with whatever NAFTA v.2.0 turned out to be, while making token gestures to the Cultural Left (mostly on feminist issues).

Obama winning the Democratic primaries over Hillary was like if Ron Paul had won over McCain. Both his Presidency and the Tea Party counter-reaction to it mark the high-point, or rather the low-point, of the Culture Wars, when the globalist elites have gotten their economic and governmental agendas pushed through without any opposition, while the electorate is distracted by social and cultural topics.

Obama representing the Tea Party of the Democrats becomes even more eerie if we compare him not to Ron Paul but to Mr. Tea Party himself, Lyin' Ted Cruz. Both entered the primaries as unknown freshman Senators in their 40s, plagued by doubts about being natural-born citizens, post-racial symbols who were half-white and half-Other, ostentatiously faking their religion to pander to cultural voters ("black church" and holy rollers), in general being sociopathic chameleons who grandstand to please a crowd, and promoting themselves as cultural saviors of demi-god status (magical wise Negro, Judeo-Christian theocrat).

Really the only difference is that Cruz's adultery has been with women rather than men.

And just as a hypothetical Cruz Presidency would be defined by ramming through the Wall Street globalist elite agenda, while putting on one cultural-right spectacle after another, so has the Obama administration been defined by ramming through that very same agenda, only putting on one cultural-left spectacle after another to distract the people from the wars, the corruption, and the disintegration of their economy and nation. This distraction works whether the citizen is on the Left or Right, all that differs is whether they're cheering or boo-ing while distracted.

The other major difference is that the Obama coalition voters won the Presidency, while the Tea Party voters won the Congress. But we shouldn't ignore the similarities just because the Democrats' version of the Tea Party didn't win Congressional influence -- Presidential influence is far greater. The size of the turnout for the Obama coalition was larger than for the off-year elections that brought the Tea Party to prominence, and were no less geographically widespread. And both intensely energized their demographic bases like never before -- blacks and evangelicals -- rather than being a lukewarm "go-ahead" to the Wall Street elite's preferred choices.

Everyone loves to point and laugh at how crazy the Tea Party movement looked, but it was no less of a nutjob affair than that which elected Obama to the Presidency for two terms. American voters had turned politics into such a culture war contest that only these two clown cars were the possible end-points. Their extremist nature has over-excited the populace, which is now eager to get back to basics by focusing on the government itself and its interaction with the economy.

It is no coincidence that Trump and Bernie took off against all odds during the same season, much as Obama and Ron Paul were unexpected insurgent sensations eight years ago. Only this time, the shoe will be on the other foot.


  1. IMHO Obama was elected over Hillary for one reason: tens of millions of white voters thought that electing the first Black President would absolve them of their racial "guilt". Guess that didn't work out like they hoped.

  2. The whites in the Cultural Left don't really consider themselves racial sinners -- maybe a little here and there while growing up naive, but they've already atoned for that during one of those white guilt sessions in college.

    What they're really about is punishing other whites for their own ongoing sins, which the evil whites are either unaware of or know about yet demonically don't care about changing.

    So, more of a witch hunt against fellow whites, than absolving themselves.

    Given how much punishing there has been for the whites outside the Cultural Left during Obama's terms, I'd say his white voters got exactly what they'd hoped for.

    1. Yes, yes, yes! To think the Left is disappointed and surprised by Obama is projection: the Leftists really do hate you and like, or at least tolerate, your pain. I don't expect it to last much longer because the costs are starting to get uncomfortable, though.

      Republican voters getting nearly nothing from their leaders has become a cliche, but it's too little appreciated by the rank-and-file that the Democrats have actually been very loyal to their voters. The only Dems who got nothing from the Obama administration are those who want an honest, transparent government and foreign policy paleo-liberals. So a vocal, but small minority.

      When we look back on those Iraq war protests, from the vantage point of many, revealing, years, we can see with a closer look at those signs, obscenities yelled, etc. that they weren't really about the Mideast Wars at all. No, they were just a pretext for catharsis AND political theater to get across that they deeply, personally, hated conservatives and the country risked violent destabilization should their hated foes stay in power.

      And funny enough, Obama delivered on the hatred, but not the foreign policy. And they're happy!

      Yes, the trajectory is getting old, but unlike Republicans with Bush, these Democrats in their older age will look back upon these years fondly.

  3. advancedatheist5/29/16, 4:06 PM

    Despite the propaganda about the wonders of miscegenation, we can see that it results in lost children who have trouble finding a sense of meaning and belonging in the world.

    The Halfrican Obama illustrates this, because he doesn't really like the country he became President of through an unlikely sequence of events. He doesn't even seem to like America's black population that much; his father came from the other side of Africa, and he spent his childhood in Indonesia, of all places, so he has no roots in black Americans' experience.

    I just have to wonder what else we'll learn about Obama after he leaves office, because he looks like an elaborate con job somehow.

  4. "I just have to wonder what else we'll learn about Obama after he leaves office, because he looks like an elaborate con job somehow."

  5. Random Dude on the Internet5/30/16, 2:06 AM

    I caucused for Obama in 2008, voted for him in 2008 and yeah, it was all about sticking it to conservative whites (men specifically, at the time I thought conservative women were only conservative to placate their insecure husbands, boyfriends, and fathers) by having the leader be a black man.

    At the time, conservatism was a waning force as I saw it because of the numerous scandals surrounding the evangelicals and religious leaders (Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, etc.) It seemed like the winds were changing and that this was the time to strike a blow against Karl Rove's 100 year permanent neocon majority.

    I fell out of it the next year when Obama kept talking about how tough he was going to be on the banks but kept allowing them to do whatever they wanted in practice. At this time I was in my early 20s and once I got a full time job, I cared less and less about how awesome it was going to be to see conservative whites get snubbed in the new 21st century America. I just didn't have time and I also got to work with many conservative people and they weren't the evil people I once thought they were. As I got more and more responsibilities in life, I now couldn't be further than what I was when I was 16-22 when I was left/far left.

  6. Random Dude, et al.,
    Obama himself seems to have undergone something like what Random Dude has. His sole focus early on seemed to be doing whatever he thought was best for Black America (and if it helped others, that was good, too) and occasionally sticking it to blue collar and conservative whitey.

    Post-Libya, it seems he finally realized that his foreign policy team he had been delegating to was a disaster and didn't even share much of his ideals. Especially Hillary Clinton.
    How sad is that, that so much carnage and destruction was caused by being emotionally distracted and giving in to avarice?

    The economy is another topic that Obama has given voice to saying he has regrets, but I wonder if it troubles his soul on any level like Libya and the MidEast.

    If Obama really does want Hillary out (and so funny that nobody ever asks about him in emailgate as though he was some passive actor), I would guess it might be out of genuine anger and bitterness with the side benefit of helping preserve his legacy as an honest president who ultimately punished the authoress of continuing the MidEast debacle.


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