Friday, January 12, 2018

Oprah Winfrey Will Not Rescue Us From Trump - Forget #Oprah2020!

Oprah Winfrey in her Golden Globes speech received kudos. But that doesn't translate into being a viable Dem candidate for the presidency - especially vs. Drumpf.

In the wake of Oprah Winfrey's stirring Golden Globe speech, I had to howl with laughter at all the peanut- brained libs and Democrats who suddenly think this celebrity is the presidential answer for 2020. Please give me a freaking break. I refuse to believe that Americans - even on the Left- can be this stupid.  The saving grace is that at least Oprah herself appears to realize this political brain fart is simply that - and no more. A nice entertaining fantasy but not one to take seriously or use as a basis to mount a presidential primary campaign. Or to use the words of one Politico reporter three nights ago (appearing on Brian Williams MSNBC show):

"Why when you have $2.8 billion would you do that? Why put yourself in for all the hate, the bigotry and ugliness when you don't have to?"

He has a point. Why indeed? Because, believe me, giving an eloquent and positively resonant 15- minute speech to fellow celebs is not like slogging through dozens of states in primaries (what 2004 candidate Howard Dean called a "meat grinder"), or squaring off in debates against a lying, hateful maggot like Trump. (Which experience Jess McIntosh compared-  in the fall of 2016 - to "facing a wild monkey with a gun")

Or, getting into twitter wars with this this degenerate who - according to one recent WaPo report - has delivered more than 2,000 lies since his inauguration.  Will Oprah really be ready to tangle with this pig via tweets?  Will she be ready for the lies, slander and slurs of Right wing TV and radio? Or will she take the "high road" and ignore the haters, as they pile slander on slander, lie on lie?

One gets a taste of what sort of attacks Winfrey may face just by checking out some Right blogs, such as one wherein the blogger writes:

"We then have…a 2013 interview with the BBC, when Winfrey said that entire (older) generations “just have to die” to cure the problem of racism....Uhhh…okay, bitch…Sieg Heil!…of course, you ain’t no spring chicken either…so perhaps ya wanna include yourself in that ‘mass genocide’!...That said, OW would have a tough time explaining a lot of things in her past – especially during the debates."

So will Oprah truly be ready to get down in the mud to face off against the Right's attack machine? I doubt it. She's too refined and uplifting, positive in her mental outlook to take on the psyche of a political mud wrestler - even for presidential aspirations or putatively saving the country. While some Winfrey backers have tried to argue she could do it because "she started HARPO productions on her own", that is not the same thing as being ambushed every day from the Repuke slime machine.

And what about the racism that will be certain to come down on her like it did on Obama, even more because she's a black woman aspiring to the White House?  I still have the letter that appeared in US Today on Tuesday, written by a Mark West:

"Yeah, I'm sure it was so hard for Oprah Winfrey to give a speech in front of a few hundred supporters, all of whom are desperate for their next President Obama.  The left loses its mind over anyone who can deliver a good speech. Why not just pick the next TED X speaker as their leader?"

Well, not all of us do. I also want to see what political heft, experience and savvy the person has, also whether that candidate has the capacity to engage in the political equivalent of hand to hand combat. Bernie Sanders absolutely has it, so did Hillary Clinton, as does Elizabeth Warren. Oprah? I don't buy it.  What this whole response shows me is that the Oprah backers for 2020 have the political sense and intelligence of infants, and ultimately can't be trusted in their choices.  As smirkingchimp blogger  Sonali Kohatkar put it ('What  #Oprah2020 Says About The State Of  U.S. Politics''):

"It says a great deal about the depths to which American politics has fallen that we are now seriously considering the presidential candidacy of Oprah Winfrey. The internationally famous television talk show star turned media mogul could easily win a global popularity contest, and in a world where Donald Trump is the president of the U.S., such accomplishment appears to be qualification enough to lead the world’s economic superpower. But should it be? Winfrey herself is not to be blamed for this absurd status quo—her brief speech at the Golden Globes was powerful, moving and necessary. The blame lies with us, with our political leaders, with our media and with the pop-culture-obsessed society we’ve created."

As Ms. Kohatkar goes on to ask:

"The fact that #Oprah2020 is so popular says much more about us than it does about her. Have we really given up on the idea of a political candidate who is both politically experienced and can articulate a progressive vision for the nation? Is that really so much to ask in a nation of more than 300 million people?"

Evidently it is because too many don't take politics seriously in this country. The Millennials - who've turned out the least to vote (especially in midterms) - think they can get all their news from late night comedy shows.  The older lot have few insights other than whatever they garner from talk shows, and they do not read in depth. Too many have zero experience in deep politics research.  I daresay most can't even distinguish liberalism from neoliberalism. If that's the case most of these Oprah backers wouldn't even know that  "Winfrey possesses many of the qualities that Hillary Clinton did—her allegiance to Wall Street and her concept of neoliberal capitalism is certainly as strong as Hillary’s".  Ouch! 

The main benefits of a Winfrey run? She has an especially strong connection to women and non-whites and with her personal fortune she could likely finance her own campaign. The downside? She'd lose white men by an estimated 2 to 1 ratio and perhaps even more if they latch on to Trump as a pseudo-male defensive mechanism like they did against Hillary last year.  As for the poor whites that went by 61 percent for Dotard, I can't see them bailing on the Dotard and now going for a black female Obama.  Other worrisome aspects as Sonali Kohatkar notes:

"Winfrey’s political positions are largely indiscernible, probably by design. In fact, the idea to draft her to run for president originated from a lifelong Republican from Kansas who says he did not vote for Trump. Bizarrely, in 1999 Trump himself  touted Winfrey as his first choice for vice president if he were to ever run."

I believe these facts need to be known before too many lose whatever common sense they have left and push for a Winfrey run. I believe such an effort would be self-defeating and leave us little better than we were left on Nov. 8th last year.  Hell, when you even have arch Neocon Bill Kristol backing her in a tweet you ought to know you've jumped through the looking glass. According to Kristol:

"Sounder on economics than Bernie Sanders, understands Middle America better than Elizabeth Warren, less touchy-feely than Joe Biden, more pleasant than Andrew Cuomo, more charismatic than John Hickenlooper."

Except she isn't "sounder on economics" than Sanders. She's just cloaked her positions in indiscernible mush which she'd be forced to explicate in any primary debates. Bernie, for one,  would rip her to shreds once her actual, detailed positions became known. As for "less touchy feely than Joe Biden", I doubt it. Has Kristol ever actually watched an Oprah Winfrey show?

Finally, I agree 100 percent with Kohatkar's take:

"We deserve better. And, we can get better than Winfrey if we demand it in the wake of Trump’s failure. The administration is on the defensive, thanks in large part to Wolff’s claims but also because of relentless activism by ordinary Americans and, simply, because of Trump and his team’s sheer ineptness."

The best contribution Oprah Winfrey can make for the 2020 campaign? Plow her money into supporting actual Democratic candidates who have experience and stand a chance against Trump. Meanwhile, let her keep her feet on the ground and refuse to let addle- brained nincompoops push her into something she might later regret.  As the Politico reporter put it, "Why put yourself in for all that ugliness when you don't have to?"  Stay instead in the background and contribute support!

To read Sonali's full piece go to:

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