The Corner

The Advantages of Sainthood

Almost imperceptibly to the McCain campaign, I think Obama has already established quite new messianic rules of engagement that will be difficult to overturn: he talks about supposedly illiberal Pennsylvanians as a racial group or quips “typical white person”, associates with the racist Wright, and counts on a solid base that votes 90 percent along racial lines, and you are a racist for being disturbed by that Manichaeism. He talks of hope/change, new politics, unity, and bipartisanship and you are cynical and hateful for not buying it and instead worrying that he has a serial propensity for distortion (“100 years”) and invective (“lost his bearings”). The immediate advantage is that the nonbeliever is always ridiculed for his devilish skepticism; the eventual downside for Obama is that the loftier the prophet, the more transparent his all-too-human transgressions.

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