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Has Obama “gone native”?

November 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Coming from a Washington insider, this sure is naive:

And that gets us to a fear that is growing among some of the president’s most ardent supporters: that Barack Obama, the fresh, think-outside-the-box leader brimming with energy and new ideas, has entered the White House and gone native.

Suspicion is spreading that Obama has lost some of the character that made him special; that he has taken on the ways of this town, thinking in conventional terms dictated by a brain trust and self-serving, entrenched Washington interests that make this city go ’round.

You’d think Colbert King might admit, as other prominent former believers have, that he was taken in and lost his senses — not that in one very short year the president has “gone native.” We all saw it; we all knew the president was no more or less a politician than the others. Why can’t Mr King admit he didn’t, rather than create this fiction that Obama changed?

No matter how charitably one interprets King’s analysis, it bespeaks a dangerous naivete. Not to have seen Obama for what he was is one level of naivete. But to finally wake up and then say, Hey, it’s Obama who has changed, and not that one was wrong? Well, that’s another level.

A little bit of armchair psychologizing clears this one up very quickly: the phrase “cognitive dissonance” comes to mind.

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