June 4, 2008

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

Most megalomaniacal line in Barack Obama's speech last night. We laughed a lot.

But, to be fair, he was speaking of looking back after a "long," "difficult" "journey" which he would take "with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations." And he's only going to slow the rise of the oceans.

Nevertheless, here's what I was picturing:

86 comments:

Pogo said...

After which he will walk on water.

bearbee said...

Here is a link to an interview with Obama's economic advisor (is/was?) Austan Goolsbee> conducted by Megan McArdle in Jan '08 or so. Have not yet listened. About 60 min length.

vet66 said...

He always leaves me wondering if he intentionally speaks in riddles to maintain plausible deniability. When someone calls him or Michelle on the duality of his speeches he apologizes if WE misunderstood what was said.

Some would call it "Speaking in tongues." I suspect it is more likely codewords that make the women faint and the men cry as they bask in his dreamy aureola, I mean aura.

George said...

Summary:

Drilling for more oil in the US? No.
Industrial companies and oil companies? Made to "pay for their pollution."
More pay for teachers? Yes, sir.
"Universal" health care? Yes, and with lower premiums.
How to pay for it? Mmmm.
Military? Needs "rebuilding," warm milk, nap.
Less safe now than before? Of course.
Fearful today? Lord, yes.
Why? America "isolated."
My diplomacy? "Tough, direct." Direct....hmmm.
Capital punishment? No.
Race relations? Dandy.
Lobbyists? Bad.
Person around whom sun revolves? Mmmm.

Simon said...

And yet, and yet people continue to say he's "eloquent." Whither the distinction between eloquence and grandiloquence?

Paul Snively said...

This is the thing that continues to give me the heebie-jeebies about Obama: he makes literally Messianic promises, proposes to do so by offering the most blatant leftist, socialist (but I repeat myself) platitudes, and when pressed for details has none. This combination of seeing oneself in Messianic terms, leftism especially of the economic variety, and ignorance never leads anywhere good, to put it mildly (cf. Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez...)

His legislative track record after two and a half years is thinner than the mint in Monty Python's "Mr. Creosote" sketch. Pigs will fly before Republicans will have anything to do with his policy proposals. But roughly half the country seems not merely willing, but eager to follow this delusional featherweight into the great hereafter. The mind boggles.

Simon said...

George,
One more bit that you missed:

"We must come together as a nation to agree that George Bush is evil and those who support him are stupid and/or evil."

Perhaps we could also include "We need cheaper gas. We will achieve this by demonizing the oil companies, raising their costs and capping their profits." Does anyone really not see where this is going? Funny how the new kind of politics looks an awful lot like the failed policy of the past.

Pogo said...

"He always leaves me wondering if he intentionally speaks in riddles to maintain plausible deniability."

Chauncey Obama:
"As long as the roots are not severed, all is well and all will be well in the garden.
In a garden, growth has its season. There is spring and summer, but there is also fall and winter. And then spring and summer again...

There will be growth in the spring."

George said...

Simon--

Who will teach the young?

The change, it had to come.

Smile and grin at the change all around me.

{Ya gotta love that slide at 7:42.)

SGT Ted said...

What a megalomaniac. "Planet began to heal". Jaysus help us if this fraud gets elected

Roger J. said...

"The planet begins to heal." wow! Obama is nothing more than articulate Huey Long.

Bissage said...

[T]his was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; . . .

Planet Earth is a sprained ankle.

Hope is a cold gel pack.

Inflammation will be reduced.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

Oh, Moses, Moses....

rhhardin said...

Maybe Obama is presenting himself as a Negro Spiritual. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. People liked those.

Parting waters is no trick in spirituals.

donostiarra said...

Thanks, Ann--this is hilarious! I was only half-listening and missed that whopper. A couple of other lines that did stick out to me as only believable to those who have already drunk the O-Aid:

Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past.
Like the New Deal and the Great Society?

...that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick...
Riiiight... because with our current system we deny care to the sick?

Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.
I have heard no new ideas from Barack Obama--just the same worn-out leftist do-gooding that sees economics as zero-sum, is oblivious to the adverse incentives they create, and would have the state become our mommy and relieve us of personal responsibility.

Roger J. said...

When Obama can change water to wine (or beer or whiskey would do) THEN I will consider voting for him.

George said...

RE: Global extinction. He knows who he's talking to. Here's a summary of various polls on the environment. Lots of folks agree with Sen. Obama—the Earth is dying, though I can't find a question that specifically asks that. 34% believe that "immediate, drastic action" must be taken "concerning the environment."

Drastic action! Drastic!

68% of Democrats think there is not enough government regulation of the environment. And huge numbers of people are worried "a great deal" about clean water and clean air. You'd think we lived in China. I watched a mother yesterday spend about five minutes slathering sunblock on her child. And it was a cloudy day!

People are afraid of their own shadows, and there's money to be made and votes to be won from their fear. Here's a Forbes piece about a company that singlehandedly created a panic (and a market) by telling parents to fear of a certain type of plastic.

Mitch H. said...

Roger J: Any fool can turn water to wine. It's call an irrigated vineyard.

Sloanasaurus said...

Praise Obama, the great Messiah. I shed my individualism for him.

robt said...

Althouse--

I know you see lots of things through a fisheye lens, and that what I gather you see as Obama's creeping messianism may either bore or annoy you (or both)--
But I think yours is a misreading of the speech and its occasion; it's fairly typical for a speaker in that situation to channel the audience-- to speak as a "we." This is what he does. It's also a rhetorical necessity to engage the audience as a group which needs to act as individuals with a single purpose-- vote together in a certain way.

Is it an unnecessary embellishment to refer to the threat melting polar ice caps have on the rising sea levels?

I'd put it in the context of what you said earlier about about the legal maneuverings of the Clinton campaign-- that it's fair and necessary to read the law to the advanatage of the parties advocated for, even if, in a broader sense, that reading is right, if not just.

In this case, under these circumstances, I think to have spoken in a plainer way-- would have sacrificed the opportunity of the occasion.

former law student said...

My goodness, florid prose in the stem-winding conclusion to a speech. You know he's just pandering to the polar bear constituency (and perhaps the panda bear constituency as well) here.

We need cheaper gas. Why, so people can continue to drive their Humvees to work? What sense does it make to artificially lower the price of a finite, nonrenewable resource? "Petroleum is in short supply -- let's use it up just as fast as we can!" The invisible hand of the market is at work here -- you must respect.

George -- I know that capitalists would never harm consumers to make a profit. But why needlessly increase your baby daughter's risk of breast cancer? Lexan makes a great glazing material but a lousy baby bottle material:

# ^ Howdeshell, KL; Peterman PH, Judy BM, Taylor JA, Orazio CE, Ruhlen RL, Vom Saal FS, Welshons WV (Jul 2003). "Bisphenol A is released from used polycarbonate animal cages into water at room temperature". Environmental Health Perspectives 111 (9): 1180-7. PMID 12842771. Retrieved on 2006-06-07.
# ^ vom Saal, FS; Hughes C (Aug 2005). "An extensive new literature concerning low-dose effects of bisphenol A shows the need for a new risk assessment". Environmental Health Perspectives 113 (8): 926-33. PMID 16079060. Retrieved on 2006-06-07.

Simon said...

robt said...
"Is it an unnecessary embellishment to refer to the threat melting polar ice caps have on the rising sea levels?"

It's the politics of fear, which I thought he was against. It turns out he's against the politics of fear when we're told to fear things that we can actually do something about, and for it when it's stuff that we can't control. China and India are both getting hungry for fuel. American policy can't fix that in the way Obama wants. The long-term solution to climate change is to develop new, clean technologies, and that requires exactly the kind of innovation that Obama will squelch under the suffocation of regulation and taxation.

UWS guy said...

Notice last night Hillary wore blue...Chelsea wore red...

Good american colors.

Michelle wore purple, un-american. Who does she think she is, royalty?

Roger J. said...

But Mitch--being from eastern WA, I know that very well--I was trying to (1) avoid the work and/or (2)hiring illegals to do the work! One bottle of water then "poof" one bottle of wine. Preferably a nice cabernet franc or Malbec (if we can get miracles like that, we should be able to specify varietal).

Sloanasaurus said...

But I think yours is a misreading of the speech and its occasion; it's fairly typical for a speaker in that situation to channel the audience-- to speak as a "we." This is what he does. It's also a rhetorical necessity to engage the audience as a group which needs to act as individuals with a single purpose-- vote together in a certain way.

Nice Rationalization. Obama is a classic fear monger who peddles collectivism as the way to defeat it.

robt said...

"Collectivism?" Gevalt.

1jpb said...

Even as a strong BHO supporter, that line struck me as odd. But, I still liked it more than some of the other sky is falling (or heating, or storming, or ...) climate change hype, which is so popular now.

And, it would be bad for the US if our coasts endured rising seas: Katrina demonstrated that rising water (from storms) can be destructive. There are also strategic, R&D, and employment reasons to look at oil alternatives. Even non-fanatics (like me) can see practical reasons to limit dependence on so called climate changing fossil fuels.

Henry said...

Seems like Obama likes wars just fine, so long as they are safely in the past.

Note the references to Roosevelt and Truman and Kennedy, to Gettysburg and Antietam, to the Greatest Generation who "liberated a continent from tyranny."

Odd, isn't it, that in a speech in which Obama promises to withdraw from the the one war we've actually been fighting, he makes some many references to martial fortitude.

It sums up his campaign to me: his is the moment when rhetoric goes forth to conquer.

Just Lurking said...

Just before writing the speech, Obama had heard people say of him, "He could be the second coming of J.C."

He didn't realize they were talking about Jimmy Carter.

Ba dum bum.

PatCA said...

I guess if you don't have a plan for the country except the academic left's talking points, calling upon the waters to recede is a stunning enough substitute.

I was stunned when he said that! How ridiculous!

madawaskan said...

Well politicians have latched on to the ultimate.

Global warming?

You could pass bill after bill and who of the electorate is going to be able to prove it's not working?

Finally something the politicians can "accomplish" without anyone really being able to check them on it.

They'll clear a forest in Brazil with the bills that they will write.

Meanwhile-China and India will be chugging along...

William said...

Back when, the left felt that nuclear weapons were so inherently dangerous that the only sane solution to MAD was unilateral disarmament. This view was publicized in such movies as Fail Safe and Dr Strangelove where some crazy US officer initiated nuclear annhilation. The left does not entertain the possibility that Iran might harbor some nut officer and that it might be wise to impose unilateral disarmament upon that country. Unilateral disarmament has gone the way of vaudeville. The threat has not diminished but the threatener has changed.... I see a similar scenario happening with global warming. China opens a new coal plant every week and within twenty years will be producing twice the carbon that the US does. When this happens, when the source of pollution is not American SUVs, but Chinese scooters and Indian air conditioners, there will be a change in rhetoric. Global warming will be something that we have to adjust to rather than something that we have to adjust. But the left will find something else about our behavior that is immoral and unique to western bourgeoise capitalism. I only hope that at that time Obama will not be too old to raise high the banners for this great cause and lead us from the temptations of something or other to a grand new sunlit future in the upland meadows of hope.

Sloanasaurus said...

I only hope that at that time Obama will not be too old to raise high the banners for this great cause and lead us from the temptations of something or other to a grand new sunlit future in the upland meadows of hope.

Interesting theory. Maybe it is better that the messiah Obama be elected when he is inexperienced rather than 10 years from now when he is much more seasoned. In this way he will have much less of an effect on policy. It is hard to imagine someone like Obama at this stage having any real control over his own administration. He will be ruled by his cabinet all of whom will realize the moment they are confirmed that they are more experienced than Obama.

Palladian said...

"This view was publicized in such movies as Fail Safe and Dr Strangelove where some crazy US officer initiated nuclear annhilation."

Kubrick's "Dr Strangelove" was not 'advocating' unilateral disarmament. If you've seen the film, which is a black comedy satire, the apocalyptic nuclear catastrophe is caused not only by the insane Brigadier General Ripper but by the Soviet's secret "Doomsday Device". If there is blame placed on anyone, it's placed on everyone. The other detail that I like is when George C. Scott's character tells the simpering indecisive President Merkin Muffley that he shouldn't allow the Soviet ambassador into the war room because he'll see the "Big Board". President Muffley says that that's "precisely the idea". Later, after the bomb drops, the ambassador secretly takes pictures of the "Big Board" with a spy camera while everyone else is arguing, just as General Turgidson says he would, though it hardly matters as it's the end of the world.

Just wanted to defend an excellent film against charges that it existed for a specific political purpose.

The Drill SGT said...

There may be video for Moses, but the correct analogy is: Canute.

The Drill SGT said...

Preferably a nice cabernet franc or Malbec (if we can get miracles like that, we should be able to specify varietal).

Obama is clearly an improvement on Jesus and ought to be able to conjure whatever: given his voter base, I would expect nothing less than Puligny-Montrachet (Frog Chardonnay from Burgundy)

Titusitsrainingmen said...

I thought of Moses at the time he said that.

I like him though, he's hot.

I talked to my dad last night and he said it's all Oprahs fault that he won the nomination.

LarsPorsena said...

After rolling back the ocean he going to seal the San Andreas Fault and fill in the Mariana's Trench.

Pogo said...

he's going to seal the San Andreas Fault and fill in the Mariana's Trench

Obama's bisexual?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Ann, your blog is being taken over by blind partisans and paranoia, and you're contributing to it.

Obama never said that he was going to slow the rise of the oceans, he simply said that it was the moment when it would happen.

It's called a metaphor.

Either you're all too cynical to accept a simple literary device in what was one of this nation's most historical moments, or you're too ignorant to have spotted it.

Oh, and...

Seems like Obama likes wars just fine, so long as they are safely in the past.

Because those wars were wars of necessity, not wars of choice and greed.

Pogo said...

those wars were wars of necessity, not wars of choice and greed
Hahaha.
Boy that's all SNAP! ain't it?

he simply said that it was the moment when it would happen.
When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golding living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revalation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

Palladian said...

Literary device? Give us a fucking break! I expect more from my literature than warmed-over messianic environmental nonsense.

And metaphor? Metaphor for what? Come on, cupcake, let's see you put that English degree to use at last! Or do you not know the meaning of the word 'metaphor'?

And greed? Give us another fucking break. That's a high-school level talking point. What, exactly, was the greedy goal of our "Imperialistic" war? Where is all that oil, anyway? I've been waiting for it since I first heard "No Blood for Oil!" in 1991.

madawaskan said...

Ya

Zachary-

A war of choice and greed...

Umm, Dude why don't we invade Alaska and just drill the hell out of it?

Or hell Canada or Venezuela would be easier-seeing as they're in the same hemisphere and all.

Or Norway-it's a small country, but ya, sure Zachary it's all about Blood for Oil.

Uh huh.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

It's silly to indulge you Palladian because you don't listen and don't care about any opposing views. Anytime you read something you don't like here, you respond with brash language and (usually) demean the person you're responding to. What, should I throw you a bone and tell you what I think the metaphor is just so you can loudly refute it with your usual vitriol?

Well, ok, I'll play.

Palladian and people of his ilk are the oceans. The goodness and unifying effects of Obama's candidacy, and his win in November, will slowly but surely render these "oceans" irrelevant and trivial, driven into obscurity (no longer rising) where they no longer bog down our progress with their soggy, suffocating rhetoric.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Who said anything about oil?

Pogo said...

Zachary, that really, really sucked!

madawaskan said...

OMG!

You're analysis of the metaphor-

I'm going to hurl.

You know if I find out we're related I'm going to beat you with a pogo stick.

Metaphorically speaking of course...

Plus you've got control issues.

I love how you promised to allow Ann's son to mention Hillary's name but just beause he's cute-


Now allowing him to consider the security of Israel-well, that's a cat of a different color....

What exactly did you accuse him of for doing that?

Ya, ya Zach you are so tolerant.

Uh huh.

Wow....

Ironic there's Pogo!

Zachary Paul Sire said...

English 100 on the Althouse blog, Pogo.

Satire: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics

John Stodder said...

Obama has obviously never heard of the concept that one should underpromise and overdeliver.

Just promise to change a few things, Barack. Things where you see a clear path that with a Democratic majority and some well-developed, off-the-shelf ideas you could put in practice. The public will love you. Then you can go about trying to re-engineer the climate and banishing illness.

Pogo said...

the use of humor, irony, exaggeration
That's what I mean!
It really, really sucked!

But seriously, what metaphor did you think was operative? Obama was being quite literal, I think.

Pogo said...

underpromise and overdeliver.
John, I think Obama may actually believe that stuff.

Palladian said...

Yeah, Pogo's right, that sucked a big one, and not in a good way.

And if you're right about the meaning of the Messiah's "metaphor", then he certainly doesn't deserve to be President for two reasons: 1. People with such little respect for good writing are dangerous. 2. Someone who regards the opposition with such disdain, yet who presents himself as a grand unifier, is a divisive liar. No matter who wins the election, there will be roughly 50% of the country that didn't want them in office and who disagrees with their policies. Will the great Messiah simply shunt off half of the country as subversives standing in the way of "our" progress? Awfully Bush-like behavior for candidate who seems to be running on the idea of "change" and who paints his Republican opposition as Bush's 3rd term.

I'm dismissive and harsh with you because you're dismissive and harsh, in your own way, with me. You seem to assume that you know what kind of a person I am and what I believe, and you've repeatedly expressed contempt for that image of me that you've created. I am simply responding to you in kind with the same depth of understanding and tact that you show those with whom you disagree. Perhaps if you and Obama's other supporters stopped treating the undecided voters as so much garbage on the highway to heaven, and you stopped painting your candidate's "inevitable" presidency as some sort of punitive revenge for the last eight years, you'd be more successful in gaining converts.

However the election turns out, you'll learn your lesson one day. Or not.

madawaskan said...

John Stodder-

Ah ha! There you are.


I got that quote a bit wrong on one of the threads last night because it was me paraphrasing Brit Hume who was surmizing what Obama said.

The actual quote according to the transcript was-

In just a few short months, the Republican Party will arrive in St. Paul with a very different agenda. They will come here to nominate John McCain, a man who has served this country heroically. I honor that service, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine.

Actually Brit Hume did him a favor the actual quote is even weaker if that's possible.

Not only does John refuse to acknowledge his accomplishments-he denies them.

It's really bad.

I guess Obama needs McCain to validate him.

Gad! It reminds me of when someone complains that you didn't notice their new haircut.

Wimporama!

You know and since we're speaking metaphorically and we are talking about Obama's experience-that haircut is barely a trim...

Pogo said...

Palladian is Eric Clapton.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

"the moment"= end of the primary season and the fact that there is finally a presumptive nominee for the democrats

"when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"= tensions and party infighting simmering down, party unification, uncertainty as to who the nominee would be finally resolved, clarity, vision

(yes, he's using enviornmental buzz words to craft his metaphor because they are traditional democratic issues...but it doesn't mean HE is the environmental savior.)

If you think Obama just equated his nomination with the end of global warming...you might as well just assume he's a Muslim too (not that you don't already). Talk about drinking the Kool-Aid.

John Stodder said...

I guess Obama needs McCain to validate him.

Perhaps McCain ought to develop a psychological strategy to deal with Obama's apparent need for daddy-approval. He could get Obama so twisted around he might start agreeing with him during debates, just so he can get an ice cream cone afterwards.

John Stodder said...

"when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"= tensions and party infighting simmering down, party unification, uncertainty as to who the nominee would be finally resolved, clarity, vision

Uh, no. Nice try, but Obama was being quite literal. This closing was in keeping with the "for the first time in my lifetime I am proud of my country." This country -- this planet -- is in desperate shape. The environment is collapsing, with rising seas the most threatening sign of the pending apocalypse. Sick people are being thrown in the streets, because Republican theory requires us to destroy all weaklings to maintain the dynamism of capitalism. Nobody's got a job anymore except for wealthy CEOs. And everyone hates the evil, war-making Americans who'd sooner shoot your head off than shake your hand.

But, last night, that all finally started to turn around. All I can say is, "Whew! That was close!"

madawaskan said...

John Stodder-

Well in all seriousness he agreed with everything Hillary had to say.

I don't think he had one idea independent of hers during what seemed like twenty some debates.


Even he knows he needs legitimacy and he's hoping McCain will do it for him.

What would be best for McCain is to severely curtail the debates to just the two agreed to, and to minimize his responses to Obama.

McCain needs to stay on his own agenda something he veered way off course on last night.

Big mistake-but hopefully he got it out of the way early.

madawaskan said...

Zach-

this part of your analogy-

they no longer bog down our progress with their soggy, suffocating rhetoric.

What are besotted Obamatons?

Makes me think you are describing your movement as some organism that thinks it would do better without the ocean but you don't realize that you are totally dependent on it.

The ocean doesn't need you in turn- it's not even a symbiotic relationship...

Pogo said...

a psychological strategy to deal with Obama's apparent need for daddy-approval.

McCain should just promise to go to a baseball game with Obama, and then not show up because he's still at work and say "we'll do it for sure, real soon, Barack."

And then do it again.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I can't wait to find out what Obama's threat to attack Pakistan was a metaphor for.

John Stodder said...

Cindy McCain could make Obama some cookies and then tell him sometimes McCain can't help snapping at him because he gets tired, and has a hard time saying the words "I love you," but it would certainly help if he could bring home a better report card next time.

Cedarford said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...
Ann, your blog is being taken over by blind partisans and paranoia, and you're contributing to it.
Obama never said that he was going to slow the rise of the oceans, he simply said that it was the moment when it would happen.
It's called a metaphor


I think you are missing the context of Obama's Messianic vision.
In the paragraph, he 1st said he had absolute certainty all future generations would remember this moment of His Ascension.
Because as the Democratic party nominee to be the leader of one of 191 countries, WE would remember this was the moment when the sick began to be cured, and all the jobless were started on the path to "good jobs". Specific, no metaphor, referring to ObamaCare and Black Messiahs many programs he says will give every American a good job...

Then he repeated "this is the moment" future generations will remember, when (the soon to be famous in all future history books journey starts with official candidate Obama and his devoted followers) Black Messiah initiated the leadership that led to slowing the rise of the waters and started the healing of the entire Earth.

No metaphor. This guy was feeling his inevitable Global Acclaim and Greatness - only 5 years out from handing out cigarettes to South Side black winos on Election Day so they would vote for him as State Senator of a half ghetto, half toney liberal academics Chicago District.

Look, Zachary, if people's heads literally swelled with their stated ego and narcissism, at the end of that Obama speech, all that would have been left of Obama's ears would have been two tiny nubs protruding with the rest enveloped in expanding head flesh.

More egotistical drivel from his speech ignored or swallowed hook, line and sinker by Messiah worshippers:

1. At this defining moment for our nation, we should be proud that our party put forth one of the most talented, qualified field of individuals ever to run for this office.

2. You did it because you know in your hearts that at this moment - a moment that will define a generation

The "moment" that started the Age of Obama, Last and Greatest of the Baby Boomers???

3. honor that service, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine.

He said you are a master at giving your writer's speeches off a teleprompter and that you had an impressive academic record 20 years ago. What BO accomplishments has he omitted? Teaching Sunday School at Trinity?

4. Together, (meaning Black Messiah and his acolytes) we must once again have the courage and conviction to lead the free world. That is the legacy of Roosevelt, and Truman, and Kennedy

What, no Eisenhower, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, or Clinton?
Did America's free world leadership end with Truman, pick up briefly with only JFK and then nothing - while the people desperately awaited the Great Obama??

5. we can't afford to leave the money behind for No Child Left Behind; that we owe it to our children to invest in early childhood education; to recruit an army of new teachers and give them better pay and more support; to finally decide that in this global economy, the chance to get a college education should not be a privilege for the wealthy few, but the birthright of every American.

Armies of new teachers to motivate the unmotivated! Free college for everybody though we can't afford "no child left behind". Yipeee!!

His absolute best:

6. The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations.

We are not worthy of you, Black Messiah! We are not worthy!!

vbspurs said...

And yet, and yet people continue to say he's "eloquent." Whither the distinction between eloquence and grandiloquence?

NAILED IT, Simon. That's exactly what Obama is -- grandiloquent.

It's funny that Winston Churchill had a reputation for grandiloquence when he was a politician. When he became a statesman leading his country against Nazis, people saw the brilliance of his rhetoric.

I don't think Obama will get that chance, since even if he becomes President, he's not the type to be defending his country against all comers.

Cheers,
Victoria

Simon said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...
"Either you're all too cynical to accept a simple literary device in what was one of this nation's most historical moments, or you're too ignorant to have spotted it."

You mean "historic" not "historical" (frequent misuse by people who don't know better doesn't eliminate the distinction in meaning), and in any event, a politician winning his paty's nomination for the Presidency is neither. I think you're also wrong in interpreting it as a metaphor, given the context. It seemed obvious to me (especially since he went on to talk about "heal[ing]" the planet that he's referring to climate change. If he isn't, then he's just the worst, most self-important speaker in politics today, just beyond awful. If that was supposed to be a soaring metaphor, God help the poor bastard.

Richard said...

God, what a protagonist! I mean Moses, not Obama.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

a politician winning his paty's (sic) nomination for the Presidency is (not historical).

Yeah, Barack Obama becoming the Democratic nominee is not a historic moment. When history is written, his nomination will be seen as just a comma.

Revenant said...

Yeah, Barack Obama becoming the Democratic nominee is not a historic moment. When history is written, his nomination will be seen as just a comma.

Yes, it will, for the simple reason that a generation from now the people who can even *remember* a time when a black President was unthinkable will be dead. It is doubtful that Obama himself can even remember such a time.

The notion that his nomination is one of the most historically significant events in American history is just sad. His nomination holds special importance only to people who define others in terms of their race, rather than their actions and beliefs. That breed of people is swiftly dying out.

Palladian said...

"Yeah, Barack Obama becoming the Democratic nominee is not a historic moment."

Since Simon started the didactic pedantry, it's "an historic moment", dear

"When history is written, his nomination will be seen as just a comma."

More probably an asterisk. Or, if he wins, an interrobang...

Palladian said...

Why is the Democratic party more interested in "making history" than in governing modestly and effectively?


The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that's all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed...

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Since Simon started the didactic pedantry, it's "an historic moment", dear

Uh, no dear. Unless you're speaking British English, it's "a historic" according to all sources (AP Style, Chicago Manual of Style, and countless others).

It's ok Pal, I only learned this recently too.

montana urban legend said...

Awww... what's up with the astonishing degree of anti-science directed at our ability to do a better job preserving the environment? Did intelligent design suddenly lose out as a viable political position?

Kind of sad that you can't see this will be the next plank of the Republican agenda to fall.

Someone mentioned Obama's speaking ability. Let's extend a warm welcome to your next George W., wingnuts!

CLICK HERE FOR AN EXCITING NEW OFFER

Or at least we can watch the conservative media's consensus on the galvanizing power of speech that it seems they wish he had.

He's only in his seventies. Do you think he can learn to communicate more effectively in five months' time?

Oh well. Obama's a "liberal", so you always have that going for you - the ability to point out that McCain's opposition represents another party. Strong tactic, I imagine that will be this year.

former law student said...

"A man's reach must exceed his grasp or what's a metaphor?"

Revenant said...

Awww... what's up with the astonishing degree of anti-science directed at our ability to do a better job preserving the environment?

What are you babbling about now?

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"[Obama's] nomination holds special importance only to people who define others in terms of their race, rather than their actions and beliefs. That breed of people is swiftly dying out."

Not fast enough, unfortunately.

Summer Anne said...

The notion that his nomination is one of the most historically significant events in American history is just sad. His nomination holds special importance only to people who define others in terms of their race, rather than their actions and beliefs. That breed of people is swiftly dying out.

I never imagined I'd be saying this, but Michael Ian Black responds to this better than I could

"Barack Obama is black. And that is important. Because his race, along with a host of other factors, contributed to the complete person that is Barack Obama, just like the fact that I am the white, Jewish, left-handed son of a lesbian made me who I am (which is to say, awesome).

I love that B.O. is black because I love that our country, by supporting his candidacy, is also attempting to move beyond the racial schism that divides so much of our nation. Yes, his race undoubtedly has played a helpful role in getting him to where he is, but that’s a good thing. Because in Barack, I think we see a symbol: a half-black, half-white, African-American (literally), who overcame a difficult home life to become the standard bearer for his political party and the face of his nation. In that, he represents what American on her good days is known for throughout the world – opportunity. From a symbolic point of view, isn’t that the kind of face we want representing America to ourselves and to the rest of the world?

Obama has said it himself; “ In no other country on Earth is my story even possible.”

Obviously, the Presidency is more than a symbolic position, but that does not diminish symbolism’s importance. America has always been rife with symbolism: the Statue of Liberty, the flag, David Hasselhoff. Symbolism is crucial to the American identity because America is as much an idea as it is a nation. That’s, I think, what we mean, when we talk about “American ideals.” You never hear anybody say anything about “Canadian ideals,” “Mexican ideals.” That’s not to say that Canadians and Mexicans aren’t idealistic, but the American ideal is so strongly felt at home and around the world because America itself is such a powerful symbol of human aspiration. Wouldn’t it say something profound to the world when the band strikes up “Hail to the Chief,” and President Barack Obama emerges from Air Force One? In a sense, to diminish the important symbolism of a black man becoming the nominee of the Democratic Party is to diminish the essential American ideal."

Michael_H said...

Kool-Aid was consumed by the poster above.

Henry said...

Poor Geraldine Ferraro. She used to be historical. Uh, historic.

Simon said...

Summer Anne (quoting Michael Ian Black) said...
"'I love that [Obama] is black because I love that our country, by supporting his candidacy, is also attempting to move beyond the racial schism that divides so much of our nation....'"

This sort of thing is really wretched and offensive - the grotesque spin that Obama's run is a mission to redeem America, to absolve us of racism, with all its fully-intented implied swipe at the motivations of those opposed to Obama, is sickening and shameful. The divisive narrative of this campaign, that will reach a crescendo in the fall, is already apparent (even some putative Republicans, such as Bill Cohen, have bought in): Americans will elect Obama or prove they're a pack of racists.

This election season is going to be a revolting experience.

Revenant said...

he represents what American on her good days is known for throughout the world – opportunity.

Oh, please. It isn't like he grew up in south central Los Angeles. Reagan and Clinton both overcame more hardship than Obama ever had to.

From a symbolic point of view, isn’t that the kind of face we want representing America to ourselves and to the rest of the world?

This is not performance art. We're deciding who the most powerful man on Earth should be. Making that decision based on who best symbolizes the opportunity of America rather than on, for example, who would do the best job, is not very intelligent.

LarsPorsena said...

REvenant:

Get a clue. This is about what will make her 'feel' good. Try putting a Happy Face on your posts. HURMMPHH!!

montana urban legend said...

This sort of thing is really wretched and offensive - the grotesque spin that Obama's run is a mission to redeem America, to absolve us of racism, with all its fully-intented implied swipe at the motivations of those opposed to Obama, is sickening and shameful. The divisive narrative of this campaign, that will reach a crescendo in the fall, is already apparent (even some putative Republicans, such as Bill Cohen, have bought in): Americans will elect Obama or prove they're a pack of racists.

This election season is going to be a revolting experience.


Very convincingly argued, Justice Scalia.

How many adjectives describing your sense of disgust are necessary to prove how inadequate you feel about the fact that not enough people will share it for it to make any difference?

Hope you find a way to keep all the vomit from setting into those black robes. The stench of your self-righteousness was already bad enough.

Mjölnir said...

"God opens the sea with a blast of his nostrils"

Umm, is Obama going to slow down the rise of the oceans with a blast from his nostrils?

Just wondering..

Skal!

jefferis said...

Hi, I saw this quote in a M. Ramierz cartoon today and I couldn't believe it was real. A bit insane and shows a frightening lack of humility about the limits of human ability. Anyway, I wanted to see the video you did in response, but it appears to be a dead link and I couldn't find one on your YouTube channel.
Does it still exist?
Jeff

Reesh Bourg said...

Is the tsunami an example of another broken Obama promise?