Obama is the perfect candidate, not for the nation, but for Democrats, who have been waiting for Godot since George W. Bush's first-term inauguration -- someone to deliver them, to deliver America from the wretched George W. Bush.
The paradoxical Democratic Party, which holds itself as the party of the people, often manages to find a presidential candidate that is anything but a man of the people. From Adlai Stevenson to John F. Kennedy to Michael Dukakis to Al Gore to John Kerry, and now, Barack Obama. Elite, intellectual, erudite, sophisticated? Arguably so in most cases. But common? Someone who can relate? Only in their Utopian dreams.
This year, the party's unspoken, perhaps even unrealized yearning for a super-elitist nominee is an outgrowth not only of the party's self-perception as superior to red-state, flyover America but also eight long years of perceived suffering under the "reign" of George W. Bush.
We may argue over whether liberals are ashamed of their nation generally. But it is absurd to deny they're ashamed of it as long as George W. Bush is its president. To them, he is a national embarrassment and, while he's in office, America is an embarrassment.
They've demeaned Bush as a simpleton cowboy with dangerous bravado who has set us back decades in foreign relations. They can't wait to put a different face on America, one that will, in the words of Bill Clinton, have "more partners and fewer adversaries" and "rebuild our frayed alliances." One that doesn't "assault science" or defend "torture." Or, in the words of Barack Obama, an America whose people won't embarrass us because they can't speak French when in France.
Whether it's actor Ben Affleck calling Bush "almost criminal" for "touting religion absent any thought" or Joe Biden suggesting that Bush uses religion "in a way … to avoid having to know the hard things," they think he's stupid, just as they thought President Reagan was stupid: the "amiable dunce." Just as they think we're all stupid.
Whether it's leftist academicians hyperventilating over Bush's "lack of nuance" and reckless worldview that clearly delineates between good and evil or 415 pointy-headed historians concluding "objectively" that the Bush presidency was a failure or professor Sean Wilentz discussing in Rolling Stone whether Bush is the worst president in history, these titans of tolerance are clamoring for a change.