Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Hiding Out In The Open

Sometimes, if we want to avoid being noticed, the best place to hide is in plain sight. To avoid accusation for something you really want to hide, one strategy is to voluntarily confess something lesser or unrelated. Skillfully done, that admission can suck up all the oxygen in the room and keep people from asking more questions. They might even feel that they’ve gotten more intimate details of your life than they wanted to know, and actively avoid digging deeper.

Even with God, confessing our little narrow circle of sins can be a way of not listening to what God is really concerned about. I am really sorry about A. Really, really sorry about B. Really, really, really sorry about C. Prayer time is up before we can get to D, E, F.
The Christian comedian Mike Warnke used to do this, confessing his horrible, what-a-bad-dude-I-was sins, enough so that it was years before people picked up that the bulk of his autobiography was untrue.

It becomes second nature, an automatic strategy for eluding detection. I know. I’ve done it myself. (In fact I should do a post about my own lies, shouldn’t I? Soon. I hope I mean that.)

Barack Obama has written two autobiographies, and they include details about his drug use. Mostly, though, they are about his identity crises. There’s not much about who he did business with, who furthered his career, all those Ayers, Dohrn, Rezko things that are just emerging into the news now. He says they’re not friends, and this could be true, as we have nothing to compare it to. We don’t know who Obama’s friends are. That may not be a bad thing in itself – some people are more naturally aloof and it doesn’t unfit them from most jobs, including the presidency. Richard Nixon had few friends, though he had pleasant relationships with many people.

Perhaps Obama’s drug confessions were a way of distracting attention. I don’t claim to see into the man’s soul, but writing two autobiographies before you’ve accomplished all that much is suggestive of a person who wants to control the flow of information of what people see about him.

3 comments:

Dave Moelling said...

Is it simpler than that? To me Obama looks like lots of people I know in big firms that sound accomplished but deliberately don't really do anything. Their "hands are clean", taking no risks.

Obama rapidly recognized that playing the race card via Affirmative action and allowing friends to use him for their own purposes required attractive blandness on his part.

The autobiographies are part of this apple polishing. The risk of an Obama presidency is not that he will suddenly become a man of action, but that he will allow others to do things behind the screen without him participating.

Anonymous said...

He does the same thing when asked about his faults or, as last night, when asked what he doesn't know. He brings in Michelle and effectively says he has the same problems as all the other guys out there.

The Count said...

From one of his books:

“Another one of those tricks I had learned: (White) People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied, they were relieved — such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn’t seem angry all the time.”

Looks like the plan is working great!