Saturday, January 30, 2010

Does This Make Axelrod and Emanuel Like Haldeman and Ehrlichman?

When I heard a beleagured Barack Obama assert, "I am not an ideolgue" I was immediately reminded of another assertion uttered by a beleagured president--Richard Nixon. Back in the day he was heard to remark: "I am not a crook." Hmmm, thought I, who'd a thunk that Mr.Transformative and Tricky Dick would turn out have so much in common? Apparently, Michael Knox Beran would, that's who:
..The weird calm with which Obama contemplates this electoral debacle is consonant with the apparent serenity with which he accommodates the irreconcilable political identities vying for preeminence in his mind. His closest analogue may be Richard Nixon. Nixon’s energy and drive were closely connected to his ability to draw strength from a submerged aspect of his nature which, however politically ruinous it might have been, was at the same time crucial to his political √©lan. Nixon struggled to keep the personal resentments that burned within him out of sight even as he fed on them; Obama has generally kept his own social-justice resentments under wraps even as they mysteriously fuel his appetite for power. No more than Nixon will Obama douse these smoldering embers; they are, it would seem, too intimately involved in his deepest political fantasies and satisfactions.
We know from his first book, Dreams from My Father, that the young Obama was embittered when he discovered that people looked down on him because he was black. Nixon was no less embittered when he discovered that people looked down on him because he was Nixon. Nixon poured his bitterness into a policy of vindictiveness that he was careful to disguise but could never resist. On the contrary, he caressed and fondled his hatreds: they supplied him with the incentive he needed to go “through the damn fire,” as he put it, to will himself to the top. Eventually, of course, he lost control of his resentments and they destroyed his presidency...

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