Me? I’m persona non grata there these days. Oh, when I wrote what they wanted to hear, I was popular. But I dared support Clinton and (gasp) criticize Obama. However, I never anticipated the vitriol and, worst, the IMMATURITY of this crowd. More seriously, this is how CULTS act: They clap their hands over their ears and scream mindlessly.
Scariest of all: The Obama “movement” is building itself just like cults are built. “There’s actually been a conscious campaign strategy to create a cult of personality.” (More below.) In fact, reports the Sacramento Bee, volunteers are “told to share personal conversion stories with voters – not policy views.” It’s ALL about the movement. When are the adults in this country going to begin to realize what’s afoot with this messianic obsession with Obama?
UPDATE: “Obama’s Unhinged Fans Reveal a Dangerous Zealotry” — this is an excellent, detailed analysis by Taylor Marsh chock full of important insights, quotes, and links
Here’s how bad the cult phenomenon is:
From a private e-mail by a distinguished person who shall remain anonymous:
Obama’s organizing has been superb, largely due to one man, sociologist and 60s era organizer, Marshall Ganz, who created “Camp Obama” and held workshops all over the country. Nobody can argue with his sterling reputation or his results. But I’ve read half a dozen articles and watched videos of his presentations and they are filled with things that will likely be cited as evidence that rather than there being a spontaneous groundswell for Obama, there’s actually been a conscious campaign strategy to create a cult of personality.
This article, which has been cited in recent days by concerned Obama supporters as well as Clinton supporters is one good example of the reporting that’s out there.
And here’s the article that is disturbing a lot of people:
Obama basic training
Volunteers told to share personal conversion stories with voters – not policy views.
In a storefront on Q Street in Sacramento, Kim Mack told a crowd that spilled out onto the sidewalk how she came to back Barack Obama.
With a son serving in the Iraq war, which she opposed, Mack was looking for a like-minded presidential candidate. She was impressed by the Illinois senator’s books.
But the clincher came on March 17, when she met the Democratic contender face to face. She describes how he lit up the room with his wide smile, shook her hand and thanked her for volunteering.
“He looked at me, and the look in his eyes was worth 1,000 words,” said Mack, now a regional field organizer. Obama hugged her and whispered something in her ear she was so thrilled she doesn’t remember what it was.
Then Mack brought home the point of her story for the crowd of 100 or so eager volunteers, sipping coffee and watching a PowerPoint presentation in the Obama campaign office on a recent Saturday.
“Did that make more impact on you than if I had talked about his health care plan or his stance on the environment?” she asked.
On the verge of a hectic few weeks leading to Super Tuesday, the crucial Feb. 5 multistate primary including California’s, Mack wanted to drill home one of the campaign’s key strategies: telling potential voters personal stories of political conversion.
She urged volunteers to hone their own stories of how they came to Obama — something they could compress into 30 seconds on the phone.
“Work on that, refine that, say it in the mirror,” she said. “Get it down.”
She told the volunteers that potential voters would no doubt confront them with policy questions. Mack’s direction: Don’t go there. Refer them to Obama’s Web site, which includes enough material to sate any wonk.
Working as a precinct captain is “easy,” according to one of several campaign Web sites.
“Just follow Barack’s lead and be honest with them,” the Web site advises. “You don’t need to debate policy or discuss the day’s headlines. You have a very personal reason for investing your time and energy in this campaign — that is the most compelling story you can tell.”
AGAIN: I dare you to open the re-posting of Larry’s piece (the one just below) at Daily Kos, and see what kind of supporters Obama is attracting.