Saturday, January 09, 2010

Sui O Generis

clipped from

This was true especially for young people, who formed one of the demographics most responsible for Obama’s win. Young people may be cynical (although they tend not to be as jaded as their elders). But what cynicism they had most of them suspended in the case of Obama. One had only to look at their shining eyes to see how much they believed, and whether it was because of hypnosis or the “possiblity of magic”—still, they had real (if misplaced) faith in Obama’s openness and veracity.

So Obama’s lie was about who he fundamentally is in terms of honesty and openness. It was a lie about lying itself. I cannot recall another president who built his campaign so heavily on an important personal characteristic and then demonstrated the exact opposite so quickly, nakedly, and without apology. In sum: Obama lied about the most central fact of his character.

I submit that this is not business as usual. This is something sui generis in American politics.