February 14, 2008
When did you begin to think that Obama might be
unstoppable? Was it when your grown feminist daughter
started weeping inconsolably over his defeat in New
Hampshire? Or was it when he triumphed in Virginia, a
state still littered with Confederate monuments and
memorabilia? For me, it was on Tuesday night when two
Republican Virginians in a row called C-SPAN radio to
report that they'd just voted for Ron Paul, but, in the
general election, would vote for... Obama.
In the dominant campaign narrative, his appeal is
mysterious and irrational: He's a "rock star," all flash
and no substance, tending dangerously, according to the
New York Times' Paul Krugman, to a "cult of
personality." At best, he's seen as another vague
Reagan-esque avatar of Hallmarkian sentiments like
optimism and hope. While Clinton, the designated
valedictorian, reaches out for the ego and super-ego, he
supposedly goes for the id. She might as well be
promoting choral singing in the face of Beatlemania.
And, another view:
The attack of the liberals:
Interesting views on academic cultural myopia.
What's the Matter with Paul Krugman?
Posted February 14, 2008 | 02:56 PM (EST)
The Huffington Post
On February 11, Paul Krugman touched off a mini
firestorm with his New York Times column, "Hate Springs
Eternal," which asserted that Obama supporters had been
infected with the disease of Clinton-hating spawned by
the right wing. "I won't try for fake evenhandedness
here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters
of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody," wrote
Krugman. Then, came the real fireworks: "I'm not the
first to point out that the Obama campaign seems
dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality."
While Krugman may not have been the first to compare the
Obama campaign to a cult (see this insightful piece by
Jonathan Tilove of Newhouse News), being the first to do
so in the pages of the New York Times raises eyebrows.
This came on top of his assertion that it was not the
Clinton camp, but the Obama camp that was playing the