I have a confession to make. For all my previous, exasperated ranting and abuse directed at the president of the USA, I’m basically in awe of him. This more or less defies logic, I can’t reasonably defend this embarrassing crush, but it is what it is. I heart Barack Obama.
Why? I’ve never been a great fan of the Democratic Party, or of smooth-talking political hopes of the so-called Left in the past. I loathed both Clinton and Blair from the moment I clapped eyes on them, which conversely means I couldn’t honestly claim to be disappointed by what they did (or more pertinently didn’t do) in office. On the other hand, with Obama I almost feel an injured lover’s sense of betrayal when he shows himself to be “just like all the others”, and proceed to scramble around in a desperate search for evidence that he isn’t. It's a masochistic, one-way relationship of the kind that can only end in tears and bitter recriminations.
Is it just his film star looks, or is there more to it? I naturally convince myself that there is. He is certainly easy on the ear, as well as the eye. Whereas Blair’s prissy delivery invariably made me suspect ulterior motives and a nasty, calculating mind, and Clinton’s easy-going southern bonhomie simply made me suspect he was the worst person in the world, Obama’s public speaking, to me at least, exudes dignity and common sense. Although this sometimes contrasts with his actual policy, he does also have an infuriating knack of handing out straws to clutch at. For example, just when he’s indulged in an act of cowardly banality such as backing down to those blatantly racist oafs demanding that he publishes his birth certificate, he then gives a glimmer of hope by doing something eminently sensible, like refusing to pander to fuckwit conspiracy theorists by publishing the pictures of bin Laden with half his head blown off. Or after his stupefyingly crass use of the US veto against a resolution which merely criticises Israeli contravention of international law, he then makes an entirely reasonable appeal for a two-state solution based on 1967 borders, cleverly suggesting that despite his past follies, he could be the first US president since 1967 to put Israel in its place. He’s a pro all right.
Unfortunately that word has a double meaning. He wants to be everyone’s buddy, constantly “reaching out” to scum who deserve to have their faces ground into the dirt: Hillary Clinton, Netanyahu, the Congress Republicans, the birthers. He’s president prick tease. No sooner has he shown the international community a flirtatious inch of decency and bravery by saying something rational about Israel for a change than he allows himself to be publicly humiliated (again) with this ferocious bitch-slap from surely one of the most vile human beings ever to have existed since Ian Paisley. For some absurd reason there’s still a part of me that’s hoping he’s just biding his time, picking his moment before he drops the intransigent bastards right in the shit and solves the Middle East crisis by finally taking an even-handed approach, but let’s face it, it’s unlikely isn’t it?
Audacity of hope? Imbecility of hope, more like. Prove me wrong, Mr President.