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And After Just Two Hours Volunteering in a Chicago Soup Kitchen in 2003, He Developed the Weathered, Empathetic Eyes of a Mother Theresa

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Ana Marie Cox points to an embarrassingly worshipful passage from the introduction to a new self-help book by Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel:

It is impossible to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama. The parallels are many. … And while it took twenty-seven years in prison to mold the Nelson Mandela we know, the forty-eight-year-old American president seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice.

Somewhat related: Last year, Jeff Winkler and I poked fun at Time's penchant for moral panic.

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  1. Obama would’ve enjoyed that useful character-building prison experience had he been arrested for his youthful marijuana or cocaine use. Lucky for him he wasn’t, but of course he’s too much of a hypocrite to think “Hmm, I was a young black man who used drugs and I turned out okay; might it be possible that today’s young black men who use drugs could say the same thing? Not if me and the DEA have anything to say about it, by God.”

    1. Huh?

    2. Have I thanked you for your vote lately Jennifer? I really appreciated all your support back in November 2008. Good to see you don’t hang much with these anti-government Teabagger hate-commenters these days.

    3. Damn right.

    4. “Hmm, I was a young black man who used drugs and I turned out okay…

      That’s debatable.

      1. The fact that he is in power, I expect, he would regard as a sufficient argument to establish the affirmative.

  2. It is impossible to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama.

    No. It is not. Please, just stop the unwarranted comparisons to truly heroic people, you ignorant woman.

    He’s a lying politician who, like all politicians, is full of himself. Your paeans of praise are unwarranted and border on teen idol worship objectivity.

    Just.
    Fucking.
    Stop.

  3. Jesus Christ.

    1. Obama was my inspiration.

      1. Quick! Somebody rig up some pics of Obama and loop the end of “Christian Woman” by Type O and post it on YouTube.

        1. The part where they repeat “Hopeless mistake” over and over?

          1. Or maybe they’re repeating “Corpus Christi” over and over again. Y’know, Latin for “Body of Christ,” which he also says in the song. 🙂

            But I think he’s referring to the part where he sings, “Jesus Christ was like me.”

  4. that is nauseating. god, end the presidential worship.

    1. Why hello there, Ms. Emily – don’t I know you from somewhere? 😉

  5. Because I am a shallow hack, it is impossible for me to write about Nelson Mandela these days and not compare him to another potentially transformational black leader, Barack Obama.

    Is that better?

  6. come on guys, you have to respect the man…he is sacrficing himself to improve OUR healthcare…who else would be willing to work this hard for us?

  7. I threw up all over my keyboard as I was reading that quote.

    The Leftists in this country have got to be the dumbest people we have.

    1. Rivaled only by the rightists and the centrists.

    2. Yep, if someone had been sitting in front of me at the moment I read that quote, I would have projectile vomited all over the back of their head.

    3. The leftists don’t have a monopoly on this. Think back to the Harriet Miers talking about Bush, I’m pretty sure she had a shrine at her house.

      1. At least Harriet Miers personally knew Bush. This Times guy doesn’t anything about the real Obama except his sculpted press image.

  8. Dear Ana Marie Cox-

    Eat shit and die.

    1. You know she’s not the one comparing Obama to Mandela, right? She simply pointed out someone else who did.

    2. Cox didn’t write that passage; Rick Stengel did. Cox snarked on it.

      1. Yeah, but Ana Marie Cox can still eat shit and die can’t she?

        1. Eventually the freedom to do that will be banned too

          1. Exactly; it will be compulsory for some, forbidden for others.

  9. the forty-eight-year-old American president seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice

    Instant Karma’s gonna get you…

  10. How pathetic.

  11. Barack Obama restored my eaten balls.

  12. At least it’s refreshing to learn that Mandela has joined MLK on the very short list of black leaders the fringe right will begrudingly give props towards…

    1. Stupid up the butt much?

      1. What planet are you from Mr. Hamilton?

        Here’s the sequence of events:
        Stengel (super lefty) compares Obama to Mandela.
        Cox (fervent progressive) reposts the intro under the heading of “Our Media’s Awesome Sense of History”
        Balko (campaigner for justice) links & reposts the intro with an amusing headline.

        Who is it you are thinking is fringe right? Reason? Cox? Balko?

    2. Right wingers are racist partisan hacks!

      Hate the rich!

      You’re all stupid right wingers!

      yadda, yadda…

  13. Okay, okay- it wasn’t a direct quote from AMC. I take it back.

    Reading is hard.

  14. Dear Richard Stengel-

    Eat shit and die.

    1. To think, it would’ve taken weeks to issue a retraction before the National Information Infrastructure was built for us by a caring, parental government.

  15. The IRS was just comparing me to Charlie Rangel. That’s kind of the same.

  16. Tea partiers have been comparing Obama to Mandela for some time now. For instance, they think both guys were born in Africa.

    I keed, I keed!

    1. No, that’s actually pretty accurate.

      1. Only for a “core group.”

        Really, Barack should be insulted to be compared to some third-world ex-con who actually had to achieve some sort of peace before getting a Nobel prize.

    2. Communists too, has Michelle necklaced anyone yet?

      1. I understand they misplaced the records on that somewhere in the White House.

      2. I dunno, but I gave her a pearl necklace.

        Oy!

  17. Actually, after reading Christopher Hitchens, the Mother Theresa reference in the headline might be closer to the mark.

    Although Obama’s far less shy about spending other people’s money than Theresa was, about the same percentage will wind up with the poor and needy, so it all works out.

  18. Neon lights,
    Nobel prize
    When a mirror speaks,
    the reflection lies.
    You don’t have to follow me;
    only you can set me free.

    That song is one of the most awesome cases of musical cynicism ever. The fact that it’s by a black rock band just makes it a thousand times better.

    1. I’m surprised Obama didn’t have that played at the Inauguration.

    2. A top-25 rock tune, to be sure. Doubleplus awesome for its mockery of FDR and JFK, too.

      1. Fuck, that was me. I just YouTubed it. Damn, that’s an ass-kicking song.

  19. Is there any part of the left, any longer, that isn’t made of stupid?

    1. Yeah, we’ll never measure up to intellectual giants like Sarah Palin.

      1. Palin > eukaryotic cell > Joe Biden

      2. Sad, but true.

      3. Dude have you not yet figured out that this is a libertarian site, not a GOP one? I mean, holy assfucking alpaca this is getting old. We’re all just haters here, but equal opportunity haters. I mean, damn, man.

        And give me my scotch back.

      4. I know you are but what am I?

      5. You all love and adore that stupid dope Sarah Palin because you’re all bible-thumping, right-wing, Bush-loving, racist, inbred dumbass idiots.

        1. Nicely done, but you left out homophobic. It should go right before racist.

      6. The fact that you’re probably right makes me terrified for the future.

    2. What do you mean, “any longer”? This is who the Left is, this is what they always were.

  20. Being compared to Mandela is not a compliment. WHo would want to be thought of as a communist thug Fidel Castro loving Leninist?

    1. Plus, he’s black

    2. I’m not sure being compared to Mother Theresa is a compliment either.

      1. It wouldn’t be one from Christopher Hitchens.

  21. “the forty-eight-year-old American president seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice”

    Hory shit! Why my pubricists not come up with stuff rike that? Time to kneecap somebody at ministly of plopaganda.

  22. “the forty-eight-year-old American president seems to have achieved a Mandela-like temperament without the long years of sacrifice”

    Hory shit! Why my pubricists not come up with stuff rike that? Time to kneecap somebody at ministly of plopaganda.

    1. This second response must be for SOUTH Korea.

      1. This my rast post before Riquidating ENTER key. So rong…

        1. Don’t let dor het butt.

  23. Hey, Scotchie, why do lefties like yourself love intellectuals, you know, guys and guys who think but never actually produce?

    What’s so smart about Obama? Please, seriously, tell me why Obama is so smart. Actions and results only.

    Do you need to be led? Or to look up to a superior? That’s pathetic.

    Sure, Palin’s no Nietzsche. But then again, she was a state governor and recently had a best-seller. Not bad for a dumb-ass.

    But what you got going on today, Scotchie? A little Wii tennis, maybe catch Colbert. You rock, dude!

    1. Very good questions. I look forward to its reply.

  24. Obama makes mah pusseh wet

  25. Did Mandela do well in his Hawaii private school too? Was his grandma the VP of a bank too?

  26. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    1. Hey, that’s my schtik!

  27. Nauseating.

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