September 05, 2008

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Who believes in cynicism? Is Obama offering "a new lie, a lie of change while everything matters stays (more or less) the same"? That question was posed in the comments. Correlative to this point was the claim that McCain maintains the policies of the Bush administration under the banners of integrity and continuity. I'll begin with the second point. McCain does not claim to be continuing the Bush administration. His campaign's attempts to distance itself and the delicate dance he's trying to do on this are the stuff of the last 3 months of msm bloviating. The Republican Party platform criticizes the corruption in Washington. So I don't find the idea of "integrity and continuity" compelling in the least. On the contrary, what sort of campaign argues on the terrain of experience only to turn around and appointment an inexperienced governor? What sort of campaign runs on abstinence only education and then offers up a VP candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter (admittedly, this is easy: the same kind of campaign that fights against equality for same sex couples as it offers up a VP candidate with a lesbian daughter). It seems to me that the Republicans exemplify what Zizek (in relatively early work) tags as "totalitarian authority": not only do they not believe their own message, but they add in "just because" none of this means anything anymore our cause is all the more necessary. Zizek's position on Obama is rooted in the realization that appearances matter. It matters whether our society is...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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