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The Story of O
How Obama Lost the Election

When the Democrats lose this election, as they now surely will, they’ll look back and wonder why Barack Obama did not to pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate, why he had a testiculectomy somewhere between the Wyoming and Pennsylvania primaries, why he thought the Story of O was more interesting than moral clarity on economic fairness and prosecutorial clarity on the criminality of four more Bush years in assisted-living mode, why he so compulsively gave in to fears that his wife might be perceived stronger than his ability to put her in her place, fears that his faith is not perceived as unquestioningly submissive as that of an evangelical moron, fears that his blackness would appear too threatening in bigots’ rear-view mirrors, and why he so unimaginatively accepted that media, bloggers and John McCain had more power to open and close the Obama doors of perception for the rest of the nation than he did. Superb as the of new-breed politicians, Barack Obama turned out to be a lousy marathoner who hit the wall well befor Usain Bolt the 20th mile.

That wall—the nation’s proud, enduring and self-affirming racism—did not even have to be a factor, as it would have been in a tighter race, to stop what should have been the greatest presidential landslide since the Roosevelt landslide of 1936. There’s plenty more to say on this, especially about the television networks’ reliable complicity in turning the election once again into some sort of competition of synthetic conflicts and pimpled issues.

Enough to say that on Tuesday night, all networks dropped the ball by missing the best speech of the night, better still, for its genuineness and its visceral connection to America’s Grey’s anatomy, than Hillary Clinton’s: that of Montana Governor Brian Schweizer(“the petro-dictators will never own the sunshine of America!”) Instead, we get Joe Biden lining up to hit his singles and doubles up the middle and Obama preparing to fulfill, audaciously to be sure, the fate of yet another flop-embracing Democrat.

 
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