"Fortuna caeca est"
Does anyone remember Gary Hart? A representative of, shall we say, the long-standing tradition of Jeffersonian hypocrisy, Gary Hart, or rather the wit and wisdom of Hart, now appears on the boards of Huffington Post, the West Coast's version of an online Pravda (featuring the lovely and talented Airheadianna). Hart, not surprisingly, recently decided to stump for Barack Obama, who he views as an agent of "transformation"; transformation a sort of upgrade of the usual Obama mantra of "change". Why change when you can transform!:
Through some miracle of timing, luck, and good fortune Barack Obama has seized the moment. His mantra of "change" has been largely co-opted by lesser figures. He is in fact an agent of transformation. He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians, and this makes him seem elusive to the conventional press and the traditional politicians. His instinct for the moment and the times is orders of magnitude more powerful than the experience claimed by others. Experience in the old ways is irrelevant experience.
In an age of great transformation, experience of the past is worthless because it is a barrier to the breakthrough gesture, the instant response in crisis, the instinctive bold decision in the face of totally new circumstances.
One might note the specific terms of Hart's vaguely New age rhetoric (or is it a sort of new-agey Christianity? possibly just as pernicious): "miracle," "good fortune," "transformation." It's difficult not to read this as connoting a type of spiritual awakening (though Obama may be more of a Guru than Reverend to Mr. Hart). According to Hart, Obama operates on a different plane than the traditional political joe (one assumes he means Hillary or McCain here); and this ability to transform and Do the Carpe Diem renders the experience question moot: "Experience in the old ways is irrelevant experience." Down with the old ways! (except the proverbial Liberal-Tory maxim, Carpe Diem)
Taking potshots at the old freak might be too easy. Really, we here at Contingencies do not view Mr. Hart as the embodiment of Evil (though that's not to say he, like the Kennedy mobsters, might not be: who knows what goes down in those Florida yachthouses when the the DNC/DLC attorneys par-tay). Hart, however, like many other ObamaCult members, has formed an "idee fixee" that only Obama is fit to represent American democracy as
(Raphael's "School of Athens" ("kindling," in Arabic))
There are many sound reasons to doubt that fitness: one being that BO has for months preached his platform from pulpits as much as he has from factories or farmland (or colleges). As has been noted on this site, Reverend Obama has, along with his usual biblethumping, praised Reagan and entrepreneurship, and at least suggested that the Constitution is not as critical as some might hold (i.e., some comments contra-secularism). He reportedly attends a church which promotes creationism.
In contemporary Amerika, of course, any candidate running for public office at the state or national level must needs pander to the protestant herd (and BO, like HRC, and JM sides with protestants), yet Hart does not even bother himself to address Obama's theocratic leanings. Where are the comments of Hart the old quasi-Federalist in regards to Obama's nearly Huckabee-like pronouncements that "secularists should not expect religious people to leave their faith at the door", even in political matters? So much for the civic virtue, the Madisonian rationalism, and the rest of Hart's pop-Constitutionalist ideology: joining the ObamaCult means getting rid of all that historical baggage, and taking advantage of the moment! You must TRANSFORM, baby. Alter a few terms and HartSpeak seems akin to the messages of 70's mystic-hucksters selling uptight, or repressed consumers on the need to love or die.