The God-touched president

Radley’s been posting the YouTube videos of John Stossel’s recent special on American politics. Since I don’t have a TV in Portland yet, I’m grateful. Here’s my favorite segment, a look at how the complex campaign finance laws backed by McCain and other progressives confound political outsiders.

The opening sequence is good as well.

In a related vein, here’s Cato’s Gene Healy discussing the 1933 film Gabriel Over the White House, in which a hack president is touched by an angel and transforms into a benevolent dictator finding solutions to all the country’s problems.

No one’s expecting Obama to round up and execute his opposition, but “the God-touched president” is an apt metaphor for how high expectations of his leadership have risen. Perhaps the most distressing thing about Obama is how he’s taken a generation attuned to the knowing irony of The Colbert Report and South Park and brought them back to the earnest belief in salvation through politics seen in this Roosevelt-era movie.

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    I’m so very afraid of what will be happening to the generation of people who believe so strongly in Obama when he dissappoints. I’ve always been one who embraces the “salvation through politics” idea, but with that knowing irony and a strong eye to just how much work that entails. I’ve got a post planned – contingent on an Obama victory – that might give you some hope. Essentially because reality will dash everybody else’s.

  2. Jacob Grier says:

    Glad to hear it. Reading your contemplative endorsement of Obama was a welcome change from the uncritical praise I’ve been hearing in Denver and Portland.

    That said, I’m not worried about what will happen to his supporters so much as I am about what they will enable him to do to the rest of us.

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