Howard Kurtz writes a decidedly sober article chronicling the madness surrounding much of the breathless reporting on the Obama transition. I mean, if you woke up from a Rip Van Winkle-style four-year slumber and were only going by the media coverage, you’d have to imagine that Americans had not just had an election but, rather, a Revelation from the Mothership and had been taken to the leader.
It is amusing to see how easily we slip into our own version of myth-making after all of these years of tearing down the myths of Americana. And interesting to see how some old myths will be resuscitated, altered, and used for different purposes.
We are informed that Obama is the best of FDR, Kennedy and, of course, Lincoln (he read that Doris Kearns Goodwin book, you know . . . and, like, he’s from Illinois and . . . well, tall). He is a man of ideas and of books and wondrous words. He is stylish, hip, cool, collected, determined, ambitious (but humble, of course), a great and kind dad, a perfect modern husband, a powerful speaker, and an elegant writer. I’m sure he has other powers too . . . but I’m only a mortal so my memory fails. If Obama were a woman, I guess he’d be a Barbie (post-feminism, of course). All of which is to say that this myth cannot be real and that the reporting is getting beyond giddy and partisan and is now little more than precious. Everyone on the Obama trail has got a tingle going up his leg these days. Enjoy the honeymoon, boys. I think the marriage is going to be just a bit more rocky than rockin’.