Friday, October 01, 2010

Who should Obama add to his iPod? or Who brought whom? (by Suzie)

Those are my questions for the weekend. Jann Wenner, an ardent supporter of the president and founder of Rolling Stone, has a Q&A with him in this month's issue. In addition to more serious questions, Wenner asks who Obama has in his iPod.

Like many men, Obama mentions music almost entirely by men. Nevertheless, he has been hailed for his varied tastes. He's so cool! He knows how to work an iPod!

Melissa Bell at the Washington Post suggests artists who could update Obama's repertoire. She replaces men with men, and one woman, Maria Callas, with another female opera singer, Nicole Cabell. I'd like him to listen to more women. Let me ask, as Bell did: Who would you put on Obama's iPod? I was looking for a woman with a relevant message, and all I came up with is Shania Twain singing "Dance with the One who Brought You." Suggest something better and I'll switch out the video.

The Urban Dictionary defines "dance with the one that brought you" as: "The principle that someone should pay proper fealty to those who have gone out of their way to look after them." Its example involves a woman who's eyeing a man other than her boyfriend. In the Free Dictionary, the first definition for "fealty" is " The fidelity owed by a vassal to his feudal lord."

When a man uses this phrase with a woman, he's establishing his ownership or quid pro quo, such as: "I invited you and drove you here. I bought you dinner. I expect you to pay attention to me, not anyone else." She has been brought and bought.

In the song "Save the Last Dance for Me," a man tells a woman to have as much fun as she wants, but remember that she'll be going home with him, a metaphor for his love, I guess. In the song sung by Twain, a woman puts up with a man having as much fun as he wants, even though he may leave her sitting by herself, because she thinks he loves her more than anyone else would. This made me think of my mother, who got tired of sitting by herself and stopped going to dances with my father.

In the spat with disgruntled leftists, Obama acts as if he brought them to the dance, saying his administration has "been the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward," and thus, progressives need to be loyal. He's implying his policies have been more progressive than Republicans', which would have been true for any of the Democrats who ran in 2008, and more progressive than Bill Clinton's. That's debatable. Both are moderates, and after eight years of W, I'd expect Obama to advance the agenda.

Molly Ivins wrote a book titled "You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You" about the Clinton administration and the special-interest money that controls politicians. When Obama lists who's on his iPod, he does not forget the important artists who supported him, such as Bob Dylan, who said in 2008: Obama is "changin" America and "redefining the nature of politics from the ground up." I assume Obama continues to listen to other influential supporters and fundraisers.

I realize Republicans want to make the midterms a referendum on Obama. Instead of playing their game, I'm focused on who's actually running. I'm most excited about electing Florida's first female governor, Alex Sink, who has so much going for her, not to mention her descent from one of the original "Siamese Twins." I also support a friend running for state representative in my district. Although I thank Gov. Charlie Crist for standing up to some of his former colleagues, I'll vote for Kendrick Meek for the Senate.

As November approach, I don't feel obliged to dance with anyone. But I have no intention of sitting the elections out.
ETA: PolitiFact looked at the Rolling Stone interview, and disagrees with Obama's claims of success.