A picture’s worth a thousand votes

Barack Obama, far right, permits a commoner to touch His hair.

This is a real thing:

There is a now iconic picture of Obama and a young boy in the Oval Office. The president of the United States is bowing, bent at the waist so the young boy can touch his hair, so the young boy can feel that he and the president have something in common. When I first saw the photograph I knew I had finally voted for someone who would affirm my faith, who would live up to the audacity of promising hope.

Sometimes, all hope requires is one moment and that moment, that photograph of the president and a young boy is what I most needed to believe my hope in Obama was well placed, to believe that while the president is just one man, the presidency is so much more when held in the hands and heart of the right man.

That’s from “90 Days, 90 Reasons,” a website that aims to rekindle the magic of 2008 by reminding voters that Barack Obama is the cool dad you always wish you had; a man who is better than us, yeah, but benevolent and loving enough to make us believe we are almost one and the same. Like an American Jesus.

Seeking to connect to the average voter by way of mostly rich and usually white men, the site also provides a platform for the lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie to declare, as a privileged hipster who believe me sucks in concert is wont to do, that “Marriage equality is undoubtedly the most important civil rights issue of our generation.” The most important; like, more important than every other civil rights issue. That’s what he’s saying.

It’s almost as if all those hundreds of thousands of poor brown people locked up in cages for non-violent drug offenses don’t even exist — because in the day-to-day lives of most liberal Democrats, and indeed most Americans, they don’t. Out of sight, out of mind, like all the other poor and oppressed people you won’t find chiming in on the Internet about the greatness of Our President.

Update: The most insufferable case for re-electing Barack Obama you will read all day, courtesy McSweeney’s. Spoiler alert: Ralph Nader makes an appearance, as do naive, “disappointed” progressives who are just angry because “Obama hasn’t addressed their particular pet issue.”

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About Charles Davis

A writer and producer with whose work has aired on television and radio and been published by outlets such as Al Jazeera, The Intercept, The Nation and The New Republic.
This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Elections. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A picture’s worth a thousand votes

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for covering this, Charles. I used to really enjoy McSweeney's so when I first heard about this website last week I was pretty disgusted.

  2. I had no idea what you were talking about so I went over to Google and now: God Damn It.

  3. sna says:

    The author of that excerpt is Haitian-American, but she doesn't comprehend how deeply the Obama administration has been fucking over Haiti – since before the earthquake. The USA's first black president has done literally nothing for the hemisphere's first black republic but continue the empire's tradition of strong-arming and meddling. Sad.

  4. ms_xeno says:

    I love how an important issue stays a "pet" issue right up until the moment that His Holiness Obama finally deigns to give it a thumbs up. As with same-sex marriage.But hey, if His Holiness didn't have any time or energy to bless your important issue (regardless of how much time/energy you once put into getting him ordained), I guess you're just SOL, Suckers.

  5. NomadUK says:

    I thought rubbing a black man's head for luck kind of went out of fashion awhile back.

  6. SeanLM says:

    That McSweeney's article really is repugnant: "It’s okay to believe again. It’s time to believe again. We must believe again."

  7. Todd S. says:

    Oh… just… wow. Days 4 and 7 are particularly vapid in what is otherwise a wellspring of banality.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Essays by Ben Gibbard, Jesse Eisenberg, and Probably Later, Seann William Scott, Maybe

  9. Tarzie says:

    "it's ok to… " is the red flag of the conformist hack. This is always true. I remember reading Eggars horrible memoir and thinking this is one more vain middle class ass who wants to feel subversive without actually being subversive. Nothing I ever saw on McSweeney's changed that view. In fact I think Eggars and ass colleagues like Neal Pollack were pioneers in providing youngish liberalism with its horrible voice – that revolting combo of wisecracking, righteous indignation and earnestness that makes their insipid, conformist politics so particularly infuriating and cringeworthy.This should be called 90 People You May Not Have Known You Despised. It's helpful, really, though that could probs be my title for just about everything.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Actually, I do think same-sex marriage is pretty important, and I'm disappointed to see you shrug off the issue so casually.

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