|The United States of Cognitive Dissonance|
It is perhaps ironic and fitting that "American Gothic" by Grant Wood was painted in Iowa and was originally meant as a satiric vision of dour hard-workin' folks in the Heartland. Iowans themselves were reportedly mightily ticked that a painting was making fun of them. But famous works of art have a tendency to take on lives of their own after awhile, and the painting soon became an emblem of pro-Americanism. And Iowans got their come-uppance by devising a satiric political scam of their own in the form of a pay-to-play, pick-a-prez straw poll.
Obama himself took on a meaning during his campaign that had little to do with any core principles of his own (he appears to have none) but everything to do with slick marketing and a gullible public hungry for change and grateful for a silver oratorical tongue to replace the chronic false folksiness of the villainous and speech-impaired George W. Bush.
Now, nearly three years after his election, Obama has unbelievably devolved from Dream Candidate to a bumbling Bush clone, complete with the down-home fakery and mumbling excuses of why he can't. Instead of clearing brush at the ranch, he's posing Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-style on a haystack in front of a red barn.
His million dollar not-a-campaign bus tour through Minnesota and Iowa and Illinois is about two and half days too long at this point. The man is a parody of every windrip of a politician who ever dropped a G and wiped the sweat from his brow with an expensive linen handkerchief. And the pivot from man of the people to pampered elitist vacationing in Martha's Vineyard in less than a day is jarring, to say the least. The Man must bask, golf, give Michelle "90 percent of what she wants" before he deigns to address the American people on an actual jobs program post-Labor Day. I guess to do it before Labor Day would remind people that workers and would-be workers really have nothing to celebrate this year. Unemployment is actually candy-coated at 9.1 percent. The respected think tank "Shadow Government" is putting it closer to 25 percent.... worse than the worst months of the Great Depression.
It was Noam Chomsky who warned us to beware of the folksy politician. "When a politician uses the word 'folks' get ready for the next series of lies," he said of Obama in 2009.
|Official White House Propaganda Photos: The Law of Unintended Meanings|