The Corner

Lockerooms and “Barackaphobia”

Lisa’s post reminds me, I caught the beginning of the Daily Show the other night and saw what appears to be a recurring segment: “Barackaphobia.” This, as you might guess, is where Stewart mocks anybody who is overly concerned with Barack Obama’s ideas, background, whatever. In short, anybody who takes stark exception to Obama or the cult of Obama is paranoid. Obviously, in an election year, he’s going to find some good fodder to joke about. But I think the phrase is more telling than Stewart & Co. realize. The left loves to characterize conservative dislikes and disagreements as “phobias” and other maladies of the mind. Specifically, conservative “hate” is based on “ignorance” and “fear.” Rhetorically, this tactic amounts to a way for liberals to avoid arguments on the merits. It goes something like this: Conservatives have an inordinate fear of Communism, gays, blacks, women, sex, fun, whatever, and so we don’t have to deal with them for we are confident lovers of both truth and change!

Barack Obama, as we speak, is being added to that list. If you don’t love and embrace Obama, you’re afraid of him (and, again, fear is the root of racism, etc etc.). You’re fearful of change, scared of hope, terrified of progress. I think this will be, more than explicit charges of racism, the underlying theme of pro-Obama bias in the press this year. Conservatives “just don’t get it.” And “it” will never be sufficiently defined, because to do so would do violence to the assumed enlightenment of those who do get “it.”

Anyway, what reminded me about all this in Lisa’s post is the fact that whatever fair examples of “Barackaphobia” may be out there for Stewart to beebop and scat on, there were tens of thousands of better examples of what could easily be called Bushophobia (or what many call “Bush derangement syndrome”) over the last 7 1/2 years, and I don’t recall Stewart mocking anybody on that score very much.

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