The Rise of the Obamabots

Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

Obamabot:  One who supports Barack Obama and yet knows very little or nothing about Obama the man and politician; his history, accomplishments and challenges beyond repeating Obama Camp talking points and/or slogans.

An Obamabot typically can’t define, explain or defend Obama’s policies. If an Obamabot is pursued or confronted about his or her seeming blind loyalty and lack of knowledge, he or she will typically launch a ‘counter attack’ (to a perceived attack) and accuse those who differ as racist, ignorant, hateful, etc. and/or will become resentful, indignant, insulting, and even threatening (in cases which are most extreme).

Urban Dictionary definition

There’s a new game I’ve noticed a lot of the Black pundits are starting to play (and I include myself in that number) and that is a need to prove we are not Obamabots.  Some of us have become hypersensitive to the criticism we will automatically leap to President Obama’s defense no matter how legitimate that criticism may be.   We are now desperately attempting to prove we are not mindlessly loyal robots, programmed to be uncritical of the president.

Now some of us have over-corrected.   We search for something to criticize Obama about to reassert our independence and to prove to our Caucasian counterparts that we have not “gone native” and reestablish our loyalties to journalistic independence supersede any misguided racial loyalty.  Therefore we have African-Americans joining in with the talking heads of Fox News, and demanding Attorney General Holder explain why he isn’t aggressively pursuing the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case or investigating ACORN.  The latest outrage is to now click our tongues in mock dismay over the money being spent on First Lady Michelle Obama’s vacation/trip to Spain.

Some people whose opinions I respect are seriously posing questions like this:  Is First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip overseas to Spain inappropriate in a bad recession here at home–unemployment close to 10%, 40 million people using food stamps–they are calling her “Let them eat cake Marie Antoinette, Michelle Obama”–is that fair or foul??

To which I replied:  I fail to see how the First Lady and the girls sitting around the White House wringing their hands about something they can do nothing about is a valid reason to criticize them.

The true answer is neither fair nor foul.   The correct answer is to pose another question:  Who are “they” and why should I play their stupid game of “gotcha?”

I have my own sneaking suspicions of who “they” are, but I doubt “they” have ever had a kind thought for Barack or Michelle Obama.

There are two things I should make clear.   The first is I voted for and admire President Obama and his family.   The second is when he disappoints me I don’t have a problem saying that he has.  I see his faults.   It doesn’t require a Beck or Limbaugh to hip me to where Obama comes up short.

Knowing that I am a Obama supporter, why do so many Black conservatives/Republicans try to run the okie-doke on me and ask, “Where were you when everyone was saying all these terrible things about George W. Bush?” If memory serves I was probably one of those guys saying some of those terrible things since I did not like the guy, voted enthusiastically against him twice and was happier than hell when the son-of-a-Bush finally left after eight long, terrible years.

Please don’t come at me anymore with that “Bush was treated badly too” line because that simplistic reasoning ignores the reality how hard Bush worked to earn his lousy approval ratings.   There’s a sense among White Americans that Obama is Jimmy Carter reincarnated; a really smart guy with a nice smile, but kind of cold and absolutely in over his head as a Chief Executive.   With Bush, they knew he wasn’t that smart and his smile looked more like a smirk, but Bush was smart enough to surround himself with exceptionally smart people like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to balance out the cold hitmen like Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld,     The Obama Cabinet lacks those kind of clearly defined heroes and hissable villains.

Is it the support of 30 million African-American Obamabots and their 93 percent approval of Obama’s job performance all that is keeping the President’s drooping poll numbers from going into complete free-fall as Washington Examiner writer Byron York suggests in Cord Jefferson’s analysis in The Root?    York seems to believe it can be chalked up to racial loyalty that has Obama doing so well with Blacks when Whites seem to be deserting him in droves.

Yet what explains a Gallup poll from December 2008 when 72 percent of conservative Republicans still held a favorable opinion of the job Bush was doing while only 29 percent of the rest of the nation shared their sentiments?   White loyalty?   Say it ain’t so!

Barack Obamabot

Maybe what’s going on here is Blacks are not as willing to give up on Obama as Whites are because they’re ahead of the curve.   Bush never scored particularly high with us and by the time he limped out of office only 7 percent of Blacks agreed with those conservative Republicans that Bush wasn’t a total bust as president.  The rest of the country finally caught up in 2008 to  a perspective African-Americans had held since 2001:  Bush was a loser who reeked of incompetence and flop sweat.

The fact there are thousands, if not millions of African-Americans who don’t dig Barack Obama neither troubles nor surprises me.   There were those who thought Martin Luther King Jr., was a troublemaker, Malcolm X a militant loudmouth, Angela Davis a Commie and the Black Panthers a motley group of gun-toting thugs.   I have it on good information there are some of us who didn’t think Michael Jackson was much of a dancer.

There has never been one unified mind among Black folk about anyone, any issue at any time.  Every Black person is free to say awful, mean and terrible things about Obama without having their membership in the race called into question.   Heaven knows I’ve said my share of unkind things about the President and thought even worst things.  I have before and expect to again before he leaves office.

What I’m not about to do is rip Obama over trivial junk simply to show my autonomy or because some right-winger who watches too much Fox News accuses me of not being fair and balanced.   Never let anyone convince you because you’re not always bipartisan it must mean you must be biased.    I’m honest enough to admit Obama gets the benefit of the doubt from me and his critics do not.

Does that make me a Obamabot?   I can see how someone might say it does.   That doesn’t make them are right or me obligated to prove they are.   I reserve the right to rip the President when I think he has it coming.    I need a better reason than the ones Rupert Murdoch’s fantasy-is- reality-factory have given me thus far.