Cynicism We're Being Asked To Believe In

by Cinque Henderson | June 4, 2008

Cinque Henderson, who recently offered the black case for Obama skepticism, weighs in on tonight's events.

During Barack's victory speech, I got a snarky email from a friend who, like me, supported Hillary. She was annoyed at his sudden gracious embrace of Hillary. At the same time, I was on the phone with two black friends and I couldn't help feeling what they felt: real happiness and racial pride to see him there. Then Barack reminded me of why his change and hope speech can be quite cynical--the perfectly unnecessary description of McCain's Iraq position as staying in Iraq "for 100 years." Everyone knows that's not what McCain meant--and in Barack's moment of triumph, his public act of graciousness, he might have told more of the truth about his opponent, who was making a legitimate point about the use of troops abroad. It was a serious, intellectual argument and deserves to be treated as such as we move forward in this race. But Barack's in this to win--as he should be. And so far he's still got the "neutral" pundits campaigning for him, insisting that he's being authentic when he's being phony. On CNN, the unapologetic Donna Brazile said she was disappointed that Hillary didn't sound more gracious, because when Brazile talked to Barack he didn't ask for her vote (he knows he already has your vote, Donna), but instead he talked about unity. Anderson Cooper asked if the talk was sincere. She looked genuinely stunned, as if the notion of Barack's insincerity was unthinkable. She insisted that it was. But, of course it wasn't "sincere" in the sense that Barack personally regretted the divisive things he has said and done. And why should he? Hillary doesn't regret hers. But then Hillary wasn't the real change candidate. Which is at least part of the rub for me. If Barack is going to work the magic of change, shouldn't we be annoyed when he doesn't, and shouldn't perfectly unnecessary potshots that obscure the real issues vex us more?

PS. And enough with the un-humble "I know you didn't do this for me." Barack likes that line and has said it repeatedly in his speeches, and Lord knows, it stirs the soul of his many fans. But Barack is the main reason they did it--and that's mostly why Barack is doing it. But hey, over McCain, the man's still got my vote.
 
PPS. Michelle looked hot!

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/cynicism-were-being-asked-believe