In article at Dissent on the legacy of the Obama Administration Corey Robin describes the “defining achievement of Barack Obama” as the Affordable Care Act, which has been undergoing attack from Republicans since it was enacted but more recently from Democrats as well. He refers to :”the Obamanauts”, the True Believers in the historic mission of the Obama Administration. He writes:
Leftists often dismiss liberals and Democrats as bloodless technocrats and pallid wonks. But that’s not true of the Obamanauts. Theirs is a libidinal attachment. Not to science, reason, or Harvard but to an incongruous sense of history—dopey and epochal, encyclopedic yet uninformed. Obamanauts think of themselves as a “storied band of brothers.” They grill five-year-olds on the facts of presidential history. They speak of history lying in “our hands.” Yet many of them know little of consequence about the past. Pfeiffer thinks the demand for politicians to be authentic is a “new rule,” but Nixon was dogged by the charge of inauthenticity all the time. Virtually all of the Obamanauts are dumbfounded by the Republicans’ hatred of the Affordable Care Act, even though opposition to universal healthcare has been a rallying cry of conservatives since Harry Truman first proposed it in 1945. But Obamanauts do know that, with the exception of Harold Stassen, Obama was the first presidential candidate to campaign outside the United States and that John Kerry’s three-week trip to Vienna was “the longest any secretary of state had ever remained in any single city outside the United States in the history of the country.”
Whatever happened to authenticity? It has practically vanished from the public scene. None of the prospective candidates for president, Republican or Democrat, can lay any real claim to it. Joe Biden might have authentically been a scrappy middle class kid from Scranton 50 years ago but 50 years is a long time.
The intellectuals aren’t authentic intellectuals, the victimized minorities aren’t authentic victimized minorities, and the tribunes of the plebs aren’t authentic tribunes of the plebs. What happened? Other than if you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.