Yes, it is time to announce the winner of the coveted Flying, Fickle Finger of Fate award (the Finger"--represented by a statuette of an INDEX finger) for this past week. This award is a reincarnation n this blog of the old Rowan and Martin's "Laugh In" award for the most outrageously stupid act or statement of the week. Drum roll................
The winner is: ELMER GANTRY. Sorry, got carried away there. The judges have corrected me. The real winner is BARACK OBAMA. For details, see the entry this past week entitled "Obama and Flashman".
What bothers me most about Barack Obama is the religioous tone of his campaign. No, I am not talking about mentioning God. It is amazing, of course, amazing how a leftist Demcrat can invoke religious rhetoric more blatantly than any Republican, to the point of sounding like Elmer Gantry (movie with Burt Lancaster), and be PRAISED by leftists who go ballistic at the mere mention of his faith by President Bush. But we know leftists are hypcorites. The probblem with Barack Obama is not mentioning his faith, but the way he suggests that faith in HIM is what is required.
The definitive movie about this kind of character is "Elmer Gantry", starring Burt Lancaster in a perfect performance (if you have not seen this 1950 movie, you should do so, if only to see Lancaster's performance). Elmer Gantry was a sham evangetlist--a person acting as the promoter/lay preacher for an evanegist type named Sister Jones (played by Jean Simmons).
Hey, you ssay, Barack Obama is not shamming. He really believes he is a political messiah ready to save us. That is what worries me.
As played by Burt Lancaster, Elmer Gantry had a saving grace. He KNEW he was a fraud. He was essentially a charismatic, cynical fraud who knew exactly what he was. He KNEW he had no relationship with God, but was merely telling people what they wanted to hear. In the end, however, Lancaster plays Gantry as a person with a certain kind of self-honesty. He did not deceive himself, even though he did want to believe (and perhaps did believe) in the fundamental validity of the religion he was so cynically promoting for personal gain.
Sister Jones, on the other hand, came to believe her own hype. In the end, she believed that she knew the will of God, and that--in essenc--she hadsuch communication with God that He would do what she wanted him to do. She wanted people to have faith in HER, because she had this power. This leads to the climactic scene in Elmer Gantry, where the revivalist tent catches on fire. Sinster Jones wants the people to sTAY, as she does, in the flaming tent, because their faith will cause God to protect them. At the very end, in fact, some of her followers are GUILTY that they have failed HER (Siste Jones) by not having enough faith.
That is my problem with Barack Obama. It is bad enough if his evangelistic style, with little substance, is a sham. It is WORSE if he has caught the Sister Jones complex, and believes in himself as a political messiah. That is why I have called Obama "dangerous", and stand by that assessment.
As set forth in the cited entry from this past week, Obama made a GAFFE on Iraq, and it did not even slow him (or apparently his supporters) down. Obama said, in answer to a question, that if al-Qaida were making progress toward setting up a base in Iraq, Obama would ten faovor "action" in Iraq. Problem: the whole reason for the troop surge was that al-Qaida seemed to be succeeding in establishing a base in Iraq--to the point of completely destabilizing the country, along with other militants. This meant that Obama favored the troop surge, right? Not a chance. He opposed the troop surge, like all of the main Democratic politicians. The clear EVIDENCE is that these Democrats were WRONG. Remember Harry Reid saying that we had lost in Iraq. However, Democrats are not admitting they were wrong (despite the obvious SAVING of both American and Iraqi lives as a result of the troop sureg). Instead, Democrats either simply continue to say that the troop surge has "failed" (an outright lie), or ignore the success of the troop surge altogether. Whether the IRaq invasion was right or wrong, the troop surge/new strategy of General Petraeus was right.
McCain called Obama on the obvious illogic of Obama seeming to suggest that al-Qaida had not been trying to set up a base in Iraq. That implication was obvious, because if Obama understood that al-Qaida was making, and had been making, a major effort in Iraq, Obama's own statement suggested that he would have to SUPPORT the troop surge--which he never has.
Obama's response: "Of coure I know that al-Qaida is in Iraq."
Okay, doesn't that mean that you should have supported the troop surge?
Obama (in religions, Elmer Gantry mode): But al-Qaida would not have been in Iraq if Presdient Bush and John McCain had not invaded Iraq in the first place".
This was a non sequitur. What happened 5 years ago had nothing to do with NOW. It was an Elmer Gantry moment, where the point is to give people what they want to hear--whether it makes since or not Worse, it may have been a Sister Jones moment, where Bararack Obama is willing to have us all stay in a burning tent (certainly our troops in Iraq, if we had NOT gone with the General Petraeus strategy), and HAVE FAITH.
Nope. Barack Obama DESERIVES this award. It was a truly stupid series of statements.
Therefore, Barack Obama, this award is for YOU. You deserve it. (Imagine here the presenting of "the Finger" statuette on TV by Dick Martin).