Monday, September 27, 2010

The Wisdom of Stanley Crouch on Velma Hart and Obama

Stanley Crouch

September 27th 2010//Daily News

The atmosphere of pathos rose in a mist as Velma Hart explained to Barack Obama why she felt exhausted defending his administration. Hart admitted that she had mistaken the President for a superhero capable of knocking a hole in the brick wall stacked up by Republicans.

In later media appearances, Hart said that her faith in the President had diminished but was not gone. Hart considers him an inspirational leader whose health care bill, among other legislation, is proof of his being more about action than hot air.

Of course, Republican commercials will accuse Obama of being so far removed from real American life that he is even losing - though this will not be explicit - his most faithful base: black people. Hart could not have done a better job for the elephants if GOP head Michael Steele had written her statement.

But while some say that Hart has put the handwriting on the political wall of reality, I do not agree.

Obama has two problems: The first is that he has to battle an opposition that has sold out to the extremes of its base in order to gain power, integrity be damned. No matter how mentally unbalanced the charges, the GOP will buy in if those charges draw enough followers. Responsible Republicans like Peggy Noonan, George Will and David Brooks have not been able to hold back the devil dogs foaming at the mouth.

No matter how bigoted complaints about the President have been, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh will lift their pitchforks and torches in agreement. They are confident that their so-called facts will not be seriously questioned - but if they are, Fox News will give them plenty of screen time to make a defense.

The second problem is naiveté and cowardice on the other side of the aisle. The far left feels betrayed because Obama has not turned America into Eden in less than two years. They do not believe that Obama has put up a good fight against those opponents who find the truth less important than gaining legislative power that will make it easier to serve their masters: the wealthy, the big corporations and the lobbyists who serve them most faithfully.

Then there are the people whom Velma Hart represents - the black middle class that works hard, hasn't served time in prison and does its best to rear its children well. None of what they've already achieved stops these striving Americans from believing in a black superhero sent to right all of the wrongs against black people and remove remaining obstacles - of which there are still too many - from their path.

Hart admits that this is a simplistic belief, but it is common to Americans at large. It has been bred into us through Greek mythology, the Old Testament and Hollywood. Those all have good stories that should inspire when there is inspiration to be had.

But magical heroes like Hercules who create the illusion of morale that is necessary to stay the path in a tough fight are no replacement for sensible leaders who step down into the mess and get the job done. This is what Hart failed to understand.

It is time for all of us to grow up and face the fact that we just might be "the people we have been waiting for," as the President has said. If we thought we were electing a superhero, we were wrong. Obama never promised that.

But whether the change Obama did promise is possible can only be learned if we decide to stay the course and refuse to give in to fatigue and paralytic cynicism. There has never been a better time to fight than now. The opposition does not expect integrity or anything more than cowardice and bitchiness.

While acknowledging the frustration of people like Hart, we must keep at it and prove those loons on the right absolutely wrong. Republicans might then have the resolve to clean their house of spiritual vermin.


I don't understand--I do actually, but I don't--all the attention paid to Hart and why anyone thought she said anything remotely telling. She has two kids in private schools and is feeling insecure. Well, she might for starters consider putting her kids in public schools. But that's only a minor part of the point. The larger point is what Crouch says. What would she have Obama do that he hasn't done? As Michael Moore says very affectingly, Obama has a good heart. He has tried hard to make life better for Americans, worked hard and drawn on the best expertise available which looks at matters from his general perpective. What Ms Hart did really was whine that a man, her president, is not, as Crouch bracingly notes, "Superman".

No comments:

Post a Comment