Over at Esquire, some guy named Stephen Marche is asking an important question: “How can we not love Obama?” While inside most media circles this rhetorical question is probably commonplace in even the most professional settings, outside of journalism schools and fashion mags, a little explaining seems appropriate. So Mr. Marche, if indeed he is real and this is not some prank, elaborates:
“Before the fall brings us down, before the election season begins in earnest with all its nastiness and vulgarity, before the next batch of stupid scandals and gaffes, before Sarah Palin tries to convert her movie into reality and Joe Biden resumes his imitation of an embarrassing uncle and Newt and Callista Gingrich creep us all out, can we just enjoy Obama for a moment?”
In what is either a brilliant piece of satire or a creepy love letter, he explains further:
“Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we’re going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph. Whatever happens this fall or next, the summer of 2011 is the summer of Obama.”
So, “contemplating” Obama should be like staring at an art poster on your dorm room wall with with classic rock blaring and some ESPN highlights looping on mute in the background? Trippy. There do seem to be a few elements missing from this story, but that’s okay. He goes on to describes how amazing Obama is, then how he kinda isn’t that amazing sometimes, and that we all must love him because he is both part amazing and also part not that amazing.
“We love Obama — even those who claim to despise him — because deep in our hearts and all over our lives, we’re the same way — both inside and outside our jobs, our races, our cities, our countries, ourselves. With great artists, often the most irritating feature of their work is the source of their talent. Obama’s gift is the same as his curse: He’s somehow managed to be like the rest of us, only infinitely more so.”
He then goes on to break down the perfect seven narrative plots to his epic Obama love story or something. Plot number six is where… wait for it… Obama goes to Ireland. It’s definitely a must-read.
Twenty years from now, instead of looking back on this time as a “glorious idyll in American politics,” I hope we can look back and laugh at the fact that it was a time when grown-ups used to drool over smooth-talking politicians like starstruck teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert.