Obama's Cult of Personality

The Light and Dark Sides of the Obama Administration

By Daniel Greenfield
Friday, September 25, 2009

The Obama Administration has both a light side and a dark side.

Its light side is the shallow media frenzy commonly referred to as Obama’s Cult of Personality, while the actual mechanism of the policy agenda represented by Obama’s czars, advisors and assorted organizations such as ACORN integrated into the system, remain hidden on the dark side.

The light Obama side has been kept deliberately glittery and surface. When Obama delivers policy proposals in speeches, he tends to speak in generalities and be vague on the details. What he sells is not so much a specific policy, as it is the idea of Obama, branded as a cool and trendy bunch of folks bringing the Hope and Change express to Washington D.C. He’s the cover of the book, the shiny foil package that’s supposed to tempt you into picking up a carton at the grocery store.

The dark side though is where the policy sausages get made. It’s the side that Obama’s perpetual campaign was meant to distract the public from. That side often operates outside any congressional or legal jurisdiction, through a crazy quilt network of Obama’s associates and friends, and various left wing activists and organizations, structured in a variety of increasingly less formal roles, from posts created entirely for them, to the ubiquitous Czars on down to various advisers, whose actual influence is unclear, to organizations who play a major role in redistributing the actual funds produced by this deliberately convoluted policy mechanism.

These two sides, the light side, exposed to the constant glare of publicity, and the dark side, kept mostly hidden, out of public view. Instead Obama has played up the irrelevant. His casual comments about celebrities, his choice of a dog, his wife’s shopping sprees—all get played up in the media. But the actual ways in which he runs his administration remain deliberately hidden. The shallowness too is deliberately, it is about more than simply selling Americans a sugary product, it’s about hiding the long list of ingredients that go into making it. And the Czars are only one of the many real ingredients that go into making the Obama Administration.

Socialism with Obama’s smiling face hiding the gory details was the original plan
This two sided approach took Obama through the campaign and his first few months in office, and while everyone ohed and aahed at how historic it all was, the policy engine underneath was busy churning. While people watched Obama do his soft shoe routine, hundreds of billions of dollars were being spent, and the nature of government was being redefined. But that approach has now hit a serious snag, because with ObamaCare, suddenly the American people were asking for the numbers, they wanted more than a song and dance, and a few magazine covers, they wanted to actually know the details.

Socialism with Obama’s smiling face hiding the gory details was the original plan. That plan depended on the majority of the American people being willing to be entertained by Obama without ever asking him any serious questions. And that plan went down in flames at the Town Hall meetings, where people showed up asking serious questions. Now Obama has hit the campaign trail again, built on the same blueprint that emphasizes vague generalities and the gosh wow power of his celebrity appearance, backed by media and celebrity firepower. And they can’t seem to understand why it’s not working.

Proponents of a socialist nanny state tend to view the people they rule over as stupid and incapable of serious thought. That after all is why they need to be “taken care of