Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

If We Ain’t Careful, We’re Gonna Get Rolled


An angry black man.

That’s what the Republicans want, oh so desperately do they crave it.  If the Republicans can label Barack, through implication and “unconnected” surrogates, 527’s and friendly media, if they can label him as an angry black man he will go down into defeat.

Barack’s in a tough spot.  He has to be unflappable, yet he cannot appear conciliatory or weak.  If he goes into some righteous attack, some brash and divine diatribe on the lies and slanders of the Right they WILL win.

This isn’t an easy spot for Barack, but I think he’s finding his way through it as well as can be expected.  The Sarah Palin thing through most everybody for a loop, which was sort of the reason for such a choice.  Barack has to hit back, but he cannot come across as overly angry.  Stereotypes are no less powerful for their paucity of moral or ethical value.

There are too many people, far too many white people, who would like nothing better than to be able to see Barack as another angry black man demanding what (such people would insist) he hasn’t earned.  Such crass bullshit has a way of becoming conventional wisdom altogether too quickly.  And yes, I’m speaking ill of a sub-set of my fellow caucasians.  Back home in South Carolina this sort of thing is more common than it should be.

All that being said, I think a lot of Kossacks, a lot of members of the Netroots more generally, we seem to miss a fundamental truth.  He can’t bring down the angry fist of justice on them, no matter how right it would be for him to do so, no matter how just.  We can, and we should.  We can be angry, we can be brazen, bold, and brash.

Please stop hoping, and for fuck’s sake stop asking Barack to lay the smackdown on John McCain and friends.  In a moment of truth, of furious and righteous anger, Barack would disarm himself.  





Keeping a cool head has brought him and us this far.  I trust in his instincts.  Please do the same.  He’s better on the counterpunch, and he’s better with a little finesse.  They could stand to do a better job of hitting back and they have GOT to find a way to get the media to cover Joe Biden whilst he hammers away at the Republicans in precisely the way Barack Obama cannot.

We have to get control of the narrative again, yes, you guys are right about that.  I just disagree with how we do it.  Anger can be a powerful tool, but it will be the end of our presidential hopes in 2008 if it defines Barack.  That is not his fault.  It is what it is, and if we hope to see him win, we must accept that.



  1. Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner

    although come to think of it…Akbar…that guy’s a frickin’ A-rab!

    Frankly, I think Obama’s fear of being the angry black man has in some ways made him more toothless than he should be. I totally get that if he were glaring, shouting, baring his teeth, pointing at the camera, etc., it might come across as, well, “threatening.” But anyone who’d be turned off by a more riled Obama is a freaking racist anyway, and they never would’ve voted for him in the first place.

    A politician MUST attack. You can do it with a stern voice (as in his convention speech), you can do it with sarcasm (his responses to the pig bullshit), but just do it. Show some fire, show some passion. That kind of emotion can inspire us, as well, and sometimes that’s what we need to see.

    And if you need proof that sharpening your claws can produce immediate results, check out Politico declaring that Obama won the day by virtue of his tough new ads. I’m sorry to say, but the media only understands attacks. Obama gave speech after speech last week–on education, the economy–and the media didn’t care because (a.) it was only him speaking, not Palin, and (b.) it wasn’t an attack on someone. So if the media applauds like brain-damaged harp seals every time someone gets nasty, then let Obama get a little nasty.

  2. Stipes

    Besides the MSM looks like they may actually do their jobs, to some degree, this cycle.

    McCain is losing his MSM base at a rather rapid rate.


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