Barack and Obama
I finally get it. I understand. I have no idea why it took me so long. Just slow, I guess. But the light has dawned.
What opened my eyes is a series of campaign ads being run by the Obama campaign. They feature Michelle looking friendly and gentle, unlike her usual Klingon persona. She is, according to the ad copy, asking you to join. The punch line is "Are you in?"
"Into what?" is the rational response, but being button pushing ads rationality is not the point. They're skillfully done, actually. Peer pressure, an implied threat of ostracization, tribalism ... Axelrod is good. Still, the thinking person's question remains: with what, or whom, am I being pushed to be in?
Then it suddenly struck me. They want me to be in with Candidate Barack. He's the fellow with the alternatively smiling and sanctimoniously outraged face, the one who gleefully smears all in his path while having a cheery beer at the corner watering hole, the one who trumpets grand and glowing promises for the future while saying nothing about his dismal record, the one who will lead us "forward" into a rebranded, repackaged hopy changy Age of Aquarius. He's your buddy Barack.
There's a gulf of disconnection there between Candidate Barack and another fellow named President Obama, though. Where the former is your best friend, the latter is brittle and spiteful, judgmental and self-exculpatory, clueless and bumbling, authoritarian and bullying, self-righteous and pompous, lying and scheming, treacherous and egocentric. He's not your buddy, he's a distant, haloed monarch, a divinely rightful sovereign with a big phallic jet airplane and a bloated staff, a demigod whose dictates are not to be questioned.
The two look the same. Their handlers and the media tell us they're the same. The truth must be, though, they're not at all the same. They're two completely different people.
Candidate Barack is the warm fuzzy beaming open-shirted metrosexual man of the people. President Obama is a brass knuckled, arrogant, stormy, hubris-ridden, psychologically warped, ruthless totalitarian.
We're not dealing with the same man in these different circumstances. We're faced with doppelgangers who keep switching their roles on us. Obama is Barack's evil twin.
I finally figured it out. We've got a tag team, Candidate Barack and President Obama, the campaigner and the tyrannical twin, running the country. At last, I understand!