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Feature Story February 9, 2008
US Elections Special Part II: Fear Of An Obama Cabinet
By Mark Ames Browse author Email

Barack Obama has pulled off one of the most amazing feats in contemporary politics: without staking out a single concrete position, he's managed to pass off tired cliches about "change" and "hope" as something new, substantive and inspiring.

The problem with Obama is that nobody knows what he stands for. The only thing he stands by was his speech against the Iraq War in 2002; but since coming to Congress, he's gone from prescient anti-war activist to hyper-cautious Iraq War moderate. By not taking a concrete stand on any issue, Barack Obama has positioned himself anywhere and everywhere along the Democratic Party spectrum, from the progressive wing to the centrist Clintonite wing. That may work well for his election effort, but for the rest of the world, it's downright scary.

To anyone who remembers Putin's deft political maneuvering in 1999-2000, this vague all-things-to-all-people strategy may sound familiar. It should also be a warning, because eventually, all politicians are forced to define themselves and to be defined by events that overtake them.

So given this, what might U.S.-Russia relations be like under a Barack Obama presidency? First, of course, the specter of a black American president will find its way into Anshlag, Comedy Club, and every bad anekdot imaginable. However being the butt of a bad Russian racist joke won't upset President Obama. Fuck with his ambitions, and you'll soon be staring down the tip of a Trident II. Make a racist joke, and he'll assume you're an unsophisticated lightweight and he'll stop taking your calls, that's all.

Once the rocky honeymoon wears off, Obama will start to look to his chosen foreign policy advisers to help navigate what will inevitably become the most dysfunctional relationship he's had since kicking the cocaine scene. Russia will play the role of the drug-casualty-buddy-you-can't-shake, making him all the more dependent upon his advisers for help on what to do about Russia while he tries to get his head straight. [See eXile comparison chart below]

The eXile, in the Obama spirit, moves past the divisions and finds all that American blacks and Russian Russians have in common

Use Loreal Sure White whitening cream

Overuse tanning salons
Freed in 1863 by President Lincoln

Freed in 1861 by Tsar Alexander II

Sonya Marmeladova
One out of three black males has been or will be incarcerated

Second-highest incarceration in the world
"You talk slick/I beat you right" - Notorious B.I.G., "Me And My Bitch"

"He wouldn't beat me if he didn't love me" - Russian folk saying
Racists claim that blacks eat watermelon

Russians complain that Azeris charge too much for watermelons
Fried chicken

Bush legs
Yell at movie screen during movies Talk on cell phones during operas
Teeth grillz

Zolotie zubi
Only given full voting rights in 1960s

Only given full voting rights in 1989; voting rights taken away in 2000
St. Ides 40oz Arsenalnaya 2500ml
Prefer black Cadillac Escalade SUVs with massive 22-inch dubs

Prefer black Range Rover V8 Vogue with massive shiny chrome rims
Blame Jews for infecting black babies with AIDS

Blame Jews for Communism and Capitalism
Live in dehumanizing government-built project housing

Live in dehumanizing government-built paneli
Whites-only stores

Foreigners-only hard currency "beriozka" stores
Plastic covering on furniture

Plastic covering on remote controls
Problem of fatherless families

Problem of fatherless families
Greyhound across country to visit relatives

Ost-Vest avtobus tour to Vienna
African-Americans invented rock 'n roll An African-Russian named Pushkin invented modern Russian literature.

Hate whites for oppressing them Hate blacks and seek to oppress them

—Mark Ames & Yasha Levine

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