Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Pining for the imaginary man

By Stephen Cable - posted Monday, 16 July 2018

I was reading The Weekend Australian last Saturday and came across an article in the magazine supplement about the former US President, Barack Obama.

The article was titled "Disappearing Act" by Gabriel Debenedetti, which originally appeared in the New York Magazine in June under the title 'Where Is Barack Obama - The most popular American, whose legacy is the primary target of Donald Trump, has, for now, virtually disappeared from public life'.

The article was complete with flattering photos of the former President looking thoughtful, playful, husbandly, the way the media rarely portrayed Bush or the current President. The imagery in the original story is even more sycophantic, going through the motions the media employed during Obama's presidency with more pictures showing him as the coolest guy on the planet.


The piece was a fascinating read. Not because it was new, insightful or accurate but because it gives an excellent window into the mindset of left leaning journalists and their view of the world. The unexamined assumptions, the certainty of belief that they speak for the American mainstream and most of all, their love affair with an imaginary man that never really existed.

It is in the main a pouty article, whinging about how Obama isn't doing much to help out the democrats, protect his legacy or help get other democrats elected. Sad I know but there you are. It starts out with how concerned Obama was with Trump giving an overtly political speech at a Boy Scout Jamboree (read on his iPad no less, cool insert there) commenting on how impressionable children were at that age. I suppose he'd have been less concerned if Trump had been telling them who could and couldn't use what bathrooms in their schools, which apparently is fine.

Here are a few of the highlights to give you some of the flavour of the author's concepts. Put on some of that sad sounding violin music in the background you hear in documentaries as you listen and you'll get an idea of how you were meant to feel while reading it.

Where is the man who cried after Sandy Hook and sang in Charleston, who after each mass shooting tried to soothe an outraged nation, who spoke of American values in his travels across the globe? And, tactically, what is behind the relative silence of one of the most popular figures alive just as American politics appears to so many to be on the brink of breaking?

Most popular figure alive? Sure if you're conducting a survey at ABC headquarters in Ultimo. The suggestion that American politics is breaking is total nonsense from someone who's been drinking from his own perpetual outrage fountain.

And while he often says he misses the day-to-day work of fixing people's problems, he has even less patience for day-to-day politics than he did as president.


Not sure what definition of 'fixing' is being used here. Perhaps the Chicago politics style of 'fixing people' is in mind.

One of Obama's friends repeatedly described the former president as newly "Zen-like," a striking descriptor given that Obama's impossible calm has been a hallmark of his entire time on the national stage.

"Zen-like", as in a self-absorbed trance, completely unaware of the damage you're doing to everyone around you? Perhaps it's more like someone in an alcoholic stupor, completely unaware of how much pain you're causing to others in your life?

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

4 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Stephen is the Federal President of CCfA and writes for Liberty Works in Brisbane.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Stephen Cable

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Stephen Cable
Article Tools
Comment 4 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy