Okay, I finally managed to read the New Yorker article. Talk about unintended consequences, after he read it, Mr. Wired went and ordered the last twenty years worth of the New Yorker on CD-ROM from Amazon. Anyway, a few comments here:
- Was the cover offensive? I was uncomfortable with it. Does this mean liberals have no sense of humor except when laughing at conservatives? Dunno. After all, the New Yorker says the cover is laughing at conservatives, or at least poking fun at what they say about the Obamas. It just doesn’t work for me. Is that because it isn’t “politically correct,” as several people have remarked? No, I think the whole “political correctness” thing is a con, closely related to why feminists allegedly have no sense of humor. Conservatives require liberals to laugh when attacked. If we don’t, it proves we have no sense of humor and aren’t good sports. I do not aspire to be a good sport.
- The cover had virtually nothing to do with the article, except that it depicted the Obamas. If it had been a cartoon of the Obamas in 1890s swim suits at the beach, it would have been equally relevant to the article. It’s unfortunate that most people, whether pro- or anti-Obama, probably never got past the cover.
- The article was absolutely fascinating. That’s partly because it’s mostly set in my neighborhood, and quotes several people I know personally, so it’s kind of fun following their tracks. I ran for office myself a while back, seeking backing from some of the same people Obama contacted. And David Axelrod is my godson’s ex-girlfriend’s father, for what that’s worth. (It does put me well within six degrees of several ex-presidents and ex-candidates. My daughter’s late father-in-law, an esteemed character actor, puts me in the same position to just about every actor in the world.)
The article depicts Obama as a really shrewd political operator, who has followed a detailed plan to work his way up the political ladder. Unlike the ancient Romans, we contemporary Americans have nothing against ambition, so this should not be a problem for him. One is left with the distinct impression that Obama can do anything he puts his mind to. Let’s hope that includes doing a good job as the Leader of the Free World.