I feel in my gut, for the 700th time, the sadness of the American people's desperate need for fiery champions.
A friend sent me Cockburn's obit. I didn't always agree with Cockburn's flaming columns in The Nation and on his Counterpunch site and elsewhere. But, man, do I love and respect the fact that he always gave as good as he got.
And then I look, with stabs of pain, at Obama and how he has completely blown the potential of his fire and his charisma in order to try to appear as a sober, buttoned-up proper Negro for the white electorate. I can't prove it, but I would lay a heavy wager that if Barack Obama were white and unencumbered by the historic American Caucasian fear of the Bad Nigger, he would be a terror on the campaign trail the likes of which we haven't seen in decades.
What a spectacular waste.
Yes, I know, Obama is a corporate politician in a corporate monarchy and he was never, ever going to be a progressive president. But I insist, in spite of what both his defenders and his dismissers say, that he could have and should have done more than he has. I won't rewind the details of that tape, which I've already done plenty of times in this space. I'll just say that Obama simply doesn't get it that American voters want a passionate leader who is not afraid to fight for some things that serve the common good.
For such a smart man, Obama is a political idiot. He has now stifled and stiffened his public persona to such a degree that he has actually managed to become unlikable at the podium: his phony high-school-principal sternness, his clipped delivery, his stony and clinical bearing. Unbelievably, he may yet hand the election over to the GOP's hapless Angry Ken Doll.
It's just tragically absurd.