Uncritical Exuberance: Judith Butler On Obama

I should have posted this days ago, from over at IndyBay. Butler makes many points, but the one that resonated with me is how many who voted for Obama did not transcend their bigotry so much as voted with their wallet. For this she points to the majority of Proposition 8 supporters who also voted for Obama, or those who did not give up their racist beliefs or attitudes so much as temporarily subordinate them.

If there are avowed racists who have said, ‘I know that he is a Muslim and a terrorist, but I will vote for him anyway,’ there are surely also people on the left who say, ‘I know that he has sold out gay rights and Palestine, but he is still our redemption.’ I know very well, but still: this is the classic formulation of disavowal. Through what means do we sustain and mask conflicting beliefs of this sort? And at what political cost?