Jonah Goldberg

"Repeatedly stabbing the air with his finger," a visibly frustrated Barack Obama complained to Rolling Stone: "It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election." The very "idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible. ... If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place."

Well, it took him long enough. Some of us could have told him these people weren't serious two years ago. Back then, enthusiasm for Obama jumped the rails of sanity. A San Francisco Chronicle columnist insisted that Obama was a semi-mystical "lightworker." George Lucas insisted he was a Jedi Knight. Author/spiritualist Deepak Chopra said Obama represented a "quantum leap in American consciousness." Oprah merely insisted he was "The One."

Obama publicly encouraged all of this bizarre-messianic stuff, with rhetoric about "we are the ones we've been waiting for" and invocations of "hope" and "change" -- as if these were serious campaign platforms, ostensibly in the hope of wooing young idealistic voters who needed to be wooed like that to drop their Game Boy consoles. That's why volunteers trained at "camp Obama" were instructed to proselytize, not campaign. They were told, according to The New York Times, that they should avoid discussing the issues but rather should "testify" about how they "came to Obama," as if he was some sort of religious figure.

Immediately after the election, a collection of Hollywood stars not seen since "Cannonball Run" was in the theaters got together to make a YouTube video in which they pledged to do all sorts of nice and worthy things. But also some silly things. For instance, Anthony Kiedis of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers pledged "allegiance to the funk, to the United Funk of Funkadelica." Then, later, while kissing his biceps for emphasis, he pledged to "be of service (bicep smooch) to Barack Obama (bicep smooch)."Others joined in. Demi Moore, too, pledged to be Obama's "servant."


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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