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Obama the Visionary Minimalist (Cass R. Sunstein, 11/6/08, Washington Independent)
Obama is something new in American politics — and not just for the obvious reasons. He is a visionary minimalist. This is a key both to his extraordinary campaign and to his unique promise. It even helps explain his conception of public service.

Obama’s minimalism lies in his consistent rejection of the standard social divisions — between red states and blue states, liberal and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. As he said in his 2004 Democratic Convention speech, “We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.”

Obama shows unfailing respect for those with competing views. In designing policies — on climate change, tax reform, energy conservation, foreign policy — he attempts to produce solutions that will accommodate, rather than repudiate, the defining commitments of his fellow citizens. Even on the most divisive issues of separation of church and state, Obama favors approaches that will attract support from all sides.

But Obama is a visionary too. Unlike most minimalists, he is willing to think big.

The Boy just bought the book version of Barack Obama is your New Bicycle, the comic genius of which lies in the fact that not only did he not do the absurdly funny things listed, but he's never done anything. And, of course, in the exquisite fact that it was meant as an homage, not the insidious attack it really is.

Everyone will have their own personal favorite delusional "Way He Really Cares"--Mr. Sunstein has effectively written a long one of his own--but it's tough to top: "Barack Obama abandoned his quest for the summit to carry you down." That one's particularly funny as the Left squeals about how he's back-stabbing them with his appointments and policy shifts now that he's achieved his personal goal.


Grade: (A+)


See also:

Matthew Honan Links:

    -Mathew Honan’s Web site
    -WEB SITE: Barack Obama is your New Bicycle
    -BLOG: Empty Age (Matthew Honan)
    -PROFILE: Why Barack Obama Is Still Your New Bicycle: San Francisco writer and meme creator Mathew Honan explains, Twitter publicity, and what it's like to have the Obama campaign favorite his photo on Flickr. (Interviewed By Jen Phillips, August 5, 2008, Mother Jones)
    -PROFILE: Obama bicycle cycle: Mat Honan will start your new online fad (NINA MACLAUGHLIN, February 27, 2008, Boston Phoenix)

Book-related and General Links: