I have been making the claim for some time now that Obama is a radical but I have never really taken the time to explain myself. First let me describe the character of revolutions in general and then Obama’s revolution in particular.
When revolution comes to America it will not be in the form of an AK47 toting, cigar chomping, beret wearing radical. Although Obama is outwardly atypical of the radical’s persona his ends are identical. The goal of the revolutionary obviously is to overturn the status quo and replace it with some alternative.
It is probably fitting that one of Obama’s first stops was Turkey and it was humorous when he praised Turkey’s long rich history. The long rich history that Obama was paying homage to is barely a century old. Following World War I Mustafa Kemal Ataturk buried the Ottoman past , sometimes brutally, and installed a western style democracy.
Other examples include Iran during the 1920s when the Shah likewise undertook a revolutionary project to replace the Persian culture with a western culture; modernity was the buzzword of the post Ottoman Middle East. In more recent memory Iran rejected modernity and replaced it with Islam. In Africa most nations replaced imperialism with communism. In colonial America, monarchism was replaced by a liberal republic. Etc.
There is little doubt about Obama’s radical intentions but socialism has never played well in America. Therefore Obama has a special challenge before him; how to replace the status quo in America without openly declaring what will replace it. The closest that any democrat comes to full disclosure is the ubiquitous phrase “leveling the field”. (Google - level the field Obama” 25 million hits)
The first phase of the revolution requires the dismantling of the old order. Outwardly this has been largely rhetorical. America is not exceptional; America is not a Christian nation, capitalism has failed, etc. The second phase is Obama himself; the Obama blitzkrieg, all Obama all the time, the continuous campaign. World Tours, television appearances, speeches overloaded with self adulation are just tactics in the larger strategy.
It may look on the surface look like a “cult of personality” or narcissism but Obama is at least for now the face of the revolution which explains why he was so quick to accept the Nobel. It is a persona builder much like the recent attempt at using the NEA for new Obama iconography or getting the president into the classroom.
On the other side of the battlefield however, and what makes this strategy so precarious, is the persona wreckers. Rush Limbaugh was an obvious target early on. More recently, “tea baggers”, Fox News, and particularly Glen Beck have been not just criticized but openly attacked by the administration.Obama may appear thin skinned when the administration lashes out but the revolution demands it.
Like a vampire, sunlight could be fatal to the revolution so from the administrations perspective anything that damages the persona must be extinguished immediately and forcibly. Its up to the counter revolutionaries to increase the wattage on this revolution to shatter the ediface which is Obama.