Barack Obama: Patron Saint of San Francisco?
Obama fever has overtaken San Francisco. Undeterred by the conspiracy theories, hatred, and vitriol spewed by Obama's 20-year "like an uncle to me" pastor, Jeremiah Wright, local liberals are in thrall to their perceived savior. They seem to think that every problem, no matter how trivial, can be solved by Saint Obama.
As a case in point, an elderly man I was chatting with yesterday at a city bus stop about MUNI delays (a time-honored tradition in San Francisco) concluded by stating, "I hope Obama gets elected so these things will be fixed." So, along with ending poverty and creating world peace, Obama's going to make the buses run on time.
Playing devil's advocate, I responded, "He's not the Second Coming, you know," to which the man responded, "yes, but neither is she, or he," referring to Hillary Clinton and John McCain. "But no politician is," I answered, "and this is a local issue, anyway." "I'm just sick of this world, he said, sighing, "and Obama can fix it."
Given that the bus arrived seconds later, perhaps he was onto something.
Even children are getting in on the act. Earlier this week, a friend and I emerged from a movie theater only to run into a man walking down the street holding his toddler and instructing the little tyke to "say Obama, say O-B-A-M-A."
Nothing like starting them young.
Then there was the cab driver on the way back from the Caltrain station last month who spent the entire trip assailing me with visions of how Obama was going to "fight the corporations" and "end the war."
Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's Obama!
But a dinner in the Castro District with three liberal, Jewish friends last week was truly enlightening. All three had decided that Obama's apology speech was the most brilliant thing they'd ever heard and, subsequently, all was forgiven in regards to the pesky intrusion of the unsavory Rev. Wright.
I injected some counterpoints, but to no avail. Neither the rabid anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan, receiving an award from Trinity United Church, Obama's unbelievable claims never to have heard the objectionable sermons at hand, nor the discord between Obama's "post-racial" image and Wright's brand of black nationalism would sway them.
"He's starting a really important dialogue," one of them insisted, apparently buying into the idea that it is white people, and not the black people attending churches such as Trinity, who have a problem with race in America. "Who's holding up a dialogue?" I asked, pointing out that it was hardly the 1950s anymore. "That kind of victimhood doesn't help black people anyway," I added.
But, again, it made no difference. Apparently, Obama is going to eliminate racism too.
Indeed, here in San Francisco, it seems that Saint Obama is going to solve all our problems. God help us.