The Barack Obama Hate Machine Is Transferable

Obama HateShakezula is a very smart guy, but I think he was wrong yesterday, Yesterday Was All We Had. He noted that there will be a lot of very sad people when Obama leaves the White House, but the saddest of all will be “the people who profit from Barack Obama Hate Machine, Inc.” He is right to some extent. Just in the most general sense, Fox New and other conservative hate organizations do best when the Democrats are in charge. When the Republicans are in charge, the Hate Machine is asleep. Everything is just fine because “our guy” is in charge and they only start to complain at the end when even the truest of the true believers can’t deny how bad things have gotten.

But Shakezula said this, “Assuming the next president isn’t named Trump or Cruz, neither a President H Clinton or B Sanders would generate a tenth of the visceral reaction and hence the money and the power that’s come from using President Barack Hussein Obama to frighten to terminally resentful white people into falling in line and forking over the cash and/or votes.” I don’t think that’s true. I accept that there is something special about Obama because he is a black man and these kinds of people are terrified of black men.

I was amazed at the things that people would say about Clinton. I said about him more or less what I say about Obama today: he’s the best president we can reasonably expect. Yet the conservative vitriol against both men were almost identical.

But Obama has done an amazingly good job of not being a black man. This is part of how he became president. The main thing that the conservative base hates about Obama is that he’s a Democrat. Someone I have to work very closely with is a hate radio addict and, as a result, a bigot. She is certain that Obama is intent on starting a race war. Now that may sound like it goes along with Shakezula’s contention, but I heard the exact same thing about Bill Clinton when he was in office. The big conservative complaint against the Democrats is not that they are black but that they are on the side of the black man against the white man.

Really: in the 1990s, I was a libertarian. And I was amazed at the things that people would say about Clinton. I said about him more or less what I say about Obama today: he’s the best president we can reasonably expect. Yet the conservative vitriol against both men was almost identical. They were both socialists who were determined to use racial tensions to start the revolution. It was the Obama Hate Machine before anyone knew who Obama was. It was nuts then and it is nuts now. I mean, why would the leader of the most powerful nation on earth want to start a revolution? Also stated was that even though nothing big happened during the first term, just you wait until the second! And then nothing happened and they just dropped it.

But you know who did wait until his second term to show his true colors? George W Bush. This was the man who originally ran on “compassionate conservatism” and then got all the evangelicals to vote for him because the gays were coming. And then once he won re-election, he told the nation that he was going to privatize Social Security. This is entirely typical. The Republican Party is all about projection: they see voter fraud everywhere because they commit voter fraud. They see conspiracies everywhere, because they commit conspiracies. And they think the Democrats are always lying because their entire economic and foreign policy positions are based on lies.

If Clinton or Sanders is the next president, the Obama Hate Machine will just change to the Clinton or Sanders Hate Machine. Nothing substantial will change. There will just be new bits of their personal biographies that will prove that they truly want to destroy the country. It will continue on. Sure, Obama being black helped in a certain way. But there is lots of good material coming from a woman or a socialist. In fact, if the next Democratic president happened to be a black man, it might make their work harder. You can only claim that the president wants to destroy America because he’s black for so long. You have to come up with new narrative — new hokum to sell.

It’s not the Obama Hate Machine; it’s the Democratic Hate Machine. And the conservative base will continue to shell out money to fight it for as long as there are angry old white people.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

47 thoughts on “The Barack Obama Hate Machine Is Transferable

  1. Here’s a guarantee. I promise you and all the Internet world, this will happen. (Assuming a Democrat is president four years from today.)

    The right-wing nut spew will grudgingly praise Obama. At least, they will say, he wasn’t a race traitor. Whomever the Democratic president is, they will be accused of “betraying their own people.”

    Anyone wanting to bet me on this, let me know. I’ll give you any odds you like. I’ll feel guilty about taking your money, since this is a sucker bet, it’s more certain than three-card Monte. But I’ll take your money nonetheless.

    • Well… I’m sure that’s what they will think. But that’s a bit blunt for the modern conservative. One thing is certain: by that time, they will say, “Obama wasn’t all that band, but Clinton has totally destroyed the Constitution!” The Democratic president is always ending freedom as we know it and then later the conservatives can’t quite remember what they were so worked up about.

      • Look at the way Martin Luther King, Jr. is now treated as a conservative hero, ignoring his far-left politics. “He judged people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin!” is the only quote conservatives know about the man, and they take that to mean he’d oppose affirmative action.

        • OK but let’s remember that King only was far left by the crazy American standard. Everything he asked for both on the race front and the labour front was well within the mainstream of the center-left NDP of Canada. Similarly for other nations.

          I say this not to scold, but to refuse the characterization of King and others as ‘far left’ – and to urge you to do it too. This characterization is a free unearned gift to the rhetoric of conservatives and perhaps even more, to the New Democrat type.

          • Fair enough. And aside from regional differences, there are also time differences- much of what’s “far left” today was fairly non-controversial in the past. My dad was complaining that Bernie Sanders is too extreme, but really, is there anything he’s proposed that would have been out of place coming from Franklin Roosevelt?

            • In terms of his specific proposals, probably not. On the other hand, FDR loudly distanced himself from socialism on principled grounds. Sanders considers himself a socialist – on principle.

              But anyway, perhaps for once people can start looking at the ideas instead of the people. Sanders expresses what the majority say they want better than any other candidate. He’s certainly not talking about mass expropriation of private property (which I happen to favour, as a socialist). So perhaps if people express worry at Sanders’ alleged extremism, a discussion can be struck in which it is shown, point by point, that Sander’s policies are exactly what people say when asked directly without reference to any candidate’s name. If Sanders is a socialist, well, so are a plurality of Americans, even some who would gag on the word.

              • A lot of it is the difference between “democratic socialism” and the “dictatorship of the proletariat” model. I’m not in favor of violent revolution or Soviet style dictatorship, but there are plenty of socialist policies that I am in favor of.

        • Right. They can’t seem to see the privilege that the color of their skin gives them. But it is certainly interesting that now whites can honestly say that they have seen their fortunes sink, and it is all because they allowed their own bigotry to elect people who screwed them over. It’s sad — and dangerous.

  2. Why anyone thinks that it will be different if O’Malley, Sanders or Clinton is elected is beyond me.

    They don’t have much for O’Malley right now but if this election has taught the right wing media anything is that lying is perfectly acceptable and will not result in negative consequences. Sanders walks in with two giant problems-he is Jewish (in a country that The Daily Show showed has people okay with forcing the small minority into wearing something to mark their Jewish faith/heritage) as well as a socialist.

    Clinton…oh no reason to get into what they will do to her since we have seen a great deal of it over the past 24 years.

    It is so rage inducing. And yet, have to be civil or the vaunted “moderates”, who are not actually moderate, will not listen and vote for the Democrats down ticket.

    • It would have been fine for Clinton, but I’m afraid that the Republicans will just never forgive her for murdering Vince Foster…

      • Or being gay (but really, just frigid since otherwise Bill never would have strayed) or any of the number of things we know that they are going to throw at her that have no merit.

        I expect many special prosecutors in a Clinton Administration.

        • I doubt Hillary is frigid. Bill has a serial penchant for f**ing anything that moves. If I was married to him, and I found out about this behavior, I’d be “fine. Do what you want to do. But I’m not remotely attracted to you anymore.”

          Is “frigid” a real thing? I thought it was 70’s psychobabble for women who weren’t reaching orgasm. Not to be gross, but there’s been a lot of helpful sex ed since then showing that many 70’s guys weren’t following the user manual correctly, also that being a lousy partner emotionally is in itself a giant turnoff.

          • Apparently it was well known in Arkansas that Bill Clinton was a horndog but Susan McDougal said it was probably like this: “five minutes of sex and twenty five minutes telling Bill how great he was.” It was all about ego stroking for that man. Actually for most politicians, we do like being told that we are doing good regardless of what it is we are doing.

            As for being frigid-asexuality is a thing that is a lot more recognized these days but is a gender neutral disinterest in sex. But that does not mean without the right effort a person who is asexual could not have an orgasm. I have a friend (female) who is pre-engaged to an asexual (male) and since that is the case, he is fine with her having all sorts of “friendly relations” with anyone who has a pulse and is interested back because she is happy and he is happy she is happy.

            • Well — disinterest in sex is gender-neutral and a perfectly natural choice. I don’t like eating sugary snacks, most people do. I’m thrilled by big mountain scenery, some find it terrifying. My SO, who considers sex very important (as do I), thinks big mountains are horrible. We also disagree on music and movies. These things are tangential. We agree on economic/class issues, and that’s what matters most. Now I’ve probably jinxed that relationship by saying I like it. Don’t fuck with the jinx-y gods.

              Who knows why humans draw happiness from other humans. It’s a complete mystery to me.

                • So glad you’re enjoying it! I loved Mark Rylance in that show. Even if you don’t finish it, he’s a joy to watch. I apologize for not recommending more boobies and schlongs, though.

                  (Note to self: only recommend things to Elizabeth which have copious boobies/schlongs. Oh wait, the new “Star Wars,” that’ll take care of it.) Go see “Star Wars”! It’s sex-tacular!

                  Here’s a funny thing. “Wolf Hall” looks pretty dark and candle-lit, right? Well, it was actually darker than that. The cameras were using a new technology that makes cameras pick up more light than the human eye. So performers were bumping into props all over the set, and actresses were nervous, quite rightly so, that those big bumpy dresses might catch fire from the candles.

                  • These technologies are fun to play with. You really shouldn’t let it mess with the performances of your cast or endanger them. But still — new toys! I wanna use my new toys! Mom, can I? Can I? Can I? Can I?

                    OK, fine. But you can’t put the cast in harm’s way. One safety violation and . . .

                    Right, Mom, thanks! Whoopee! New toys!

                    New York (AP) — January 17, 2016: The cast and crew of the BBC series “Wolf Hall” were all horribly burned to death yesterday.

                    Said director Little Timmy, “It’s not my fault.”

                    Attorneys for families of the deceased insist that Little Timmy’s playing with newfangled cameras put the entire production at risk for incineration. One anonymous source claimed “holy spitting Jesus. You don’t want to know what a hellbroth this show was. One minute you read a line decrying More, the next you’re burning to death. It’s strictly a nightmare.”

                    “Wolf Hall” director Little Timmy added to his official statement, “I didn’t do it.”

                    The inventor of the low-light camera currently remains at large.

        • Oh yeah! I forgot about Hillary being a lesbian. Also: remember how the Clintons were definitely going to get divorced as soon as Bill was out of office?

  3. The hate machine has had practice hating Clintons. They were ready to smear the hell out of her, and had to work to shift to Obama, but they pulled it off. If the 90’s were comparatively less vicious, it’s mainly because the right-wing hate machine was not as well-developed as today. You had talk radio, Wall Street Journal editorials, and that’s about it.

    To Elizabeth: On the slim chance that O’Malley got the nomination, the right would quickly remember that he ran Baltimore. It wouldn’t take long to blame everything wrong with Ferguson on him, the same way they blame the entire Recession on Carter and the CRA.

    • The 90’s were pretty vicious. Remember when Newt pimped his “Contract With America,” he brought friggin’ Rush Limbaugh along to thank him for a job well done.

      I wouldn’t say the hate machine has gotten worse. I’d say that things which feed the hate machine — mostly social fracturing, due to income inequality — have gotten far worse, and this feeds the hate machine. Gulp, gulp. Me so hungry, me want more!

      Sorry, for a second there I was picturing the hate machine as a Star Trek monster robot. But that’s not too far off!

      • I was still pretty young in the 90’s and not exactly politically aware, so most of what I say is from after-the-fact reading. 1996 was the first presidential election where I had an informed opinion, and I don’t think I was really into politics until the Iraq War woke me up. Technically, I voted for Michael Dukakis in 1988, because my dad took me into the voting booth and let me push one of the buttons. I liked Michael Dukakis because my name sounds similar to his, and then my dad couldn’t figure out how to cancel my selection, but decided that it didn’t matter since we were in South Carolina and the Republican would automatically win.

        • Political awareness takes time. Mine isn’t finished. That’s the thing. You can spend 15 minutes explaining your position to a conservative, they’ll almost agree with you, and then boom, they get a text and forget everything you said.

          Politics is basically life experience processed through thought. The lack of thought is what turns “my ex-wife hates me and I hate her back” into the Salem witch trials.

    • I know they will figure something out to bash O’Malley on. It will have a small grain of truth-he was mayor of Baltimore and then a steaming pile of Bullshit Mountain on top. It is not about what is real but whatever they can get their people to be angry about.

      Why any of us politicians want to put ourselves through this I will never know.

    • Nothing wrong with loving a band. Only thing wrong is over-loving a band. If you told me Shane MacGowan raped and bit the heads off kittens, I’d probably still love the Pogues. And that would be wrong.

      I like the production on that YouTube song, it’s super groovy. I didn’t like the chorus. “Bow down before the one you serve” is very generic, like Paul Ryan saying he loves mornings at the gym working out to Rage Against The Machine. (Note: Paul Ryan has actually said this,)

      I like my rebel songs much more clearly rebellious. Although I do have a warm place in my heart for “Rebel Rebel.”

      • I don’t apologize for having been a big NIN fan; it’s just that I’m a good deal older now. My opening phrase was simply to explain why the phrase “___ Hate Machine” triggers an immediate response; of course, the way my brain is wired, there are very few phrases that DON’T have a similar triggering effect…

        That’s not actually my favorite song from Pretty Hate Machine (just the biggest radio hit); my favorite _might_ be this one (which also explains my response whenever I hear the phrase “sun, moon, and stars”):

          • It came out a few years after I’d moved on; I like it, but it didn’t have the resonance with me that the earlier albums did. It was actually the first “Halo” that I never got around to buying.
            I was already drifting away by the time “The Downward Spiral” came out; it contains a few of my very favorite NIN songs, but I never really could listen to it end-to-end on repeat – unlike “Pretty Hate Machine” and all of the EPs, extended single CDs, and remix compilations they’d released up to then.

        • Another good song, thanks! That guy really had a skill for tweaking out sound effects in the studio. His music has a definite creepy/anguished feel to it.

          Don’t mind my stupid comments, I just throw them up here on the weekends and the mod is super-permissive.

          The band I really loved when I was young was R.E.M. And the best thing about that is, they’ve basically rejoined as a new group , with a kickass new drummer, doing songs about baseball. And they’re still great!:

          • I didn’t mind your comment – I just wanted to walk back my own previous comment a bit. I’m a bit ambivalent about my relationship with NIN – at the time (and perhaps even now), being a fan of NIN was very much a cultural signifier, and I never felt entirely comfortable in that culture even as I was screaming my head off at concerts. (For one thing, I was in my early twenties while most of my fellow fans were in their late teens.)
            I was a big fan of REM up through “Automatic for the People” (“The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” is one of my all-time favorites); I bought “Monster” and listened to it (perhaps) twice, and nothing since. I hadn’t heard of The Baseball Project before – thanks for the heads-up!

            • Funny, I was listening to “Automatic” last week for the first time in a while, and “Sidewinder” stook out.

              Where I was a dumb superfan is I thought the worst songs by my favorite bands were better than any good song by any other band. And, when you’re a superfan, this is true!

      • Heard it on KROQ one night in 1989 and got hooked.

        I’ve been meaning to ask: what markup system works here? (Markdown, BBCode, a subset of HTML, etc?) I’ve been reluctant to experiment, because I really hate leaving comments with mangled formatting, but I’d really like to italicize song and album titles.

        • Pretty much any HTML will work, as long as it isn’t too exotic. You can even embed YouTube videos (but change the width down to about 350px):

          The one thing you can’t do is upload images. You should be able to embed them, but you will need to have them stored elsewhere like on Flickr.

          • Thanks! I’m ordinarily all about experimentation, but I really hate leaving obnoxious formatting mistakes on other people’s websites.
            Opinions, on the other hand…

            • You’re cool with strange opinions, but you want to make sure your posts have proper formatting? My God, man, you’re my new hero. This order of blogging priorities is 100% correct. If you prefer TNG to TOS, as all decent people do, I will come over to your house and clean it from top to bottom. (I’m lying. I ain’t gonna clean up shit.)

            • Generally, I will go in and fix broken HTML when it shows up. I’ve thought about adding a preview plugin. But I’m concerned about server resources. I may have to upgrade soon.

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