Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Anointed

I thought it might be interesting to walk through the Anointed One’s speech last night, and see what there was to see. [What’s that? Didn’t I hang in rapt attention to every word spoken by the gaseous windbag modern Messiah? No, I did not.] The text is, on the whole, pretty generic liberal pap. You know, the standard recipe for increasing the welfare state - more government spending on caring for its subjects citizens. More money for education, health care, job training, yawn, housing, “our crumbling infrastructure,” (whenever you hear a Democrat speak about the infrastructure, it is always preceded by the adjective “crumbling.” If it weren’t “crumbling,” we wouldn’t need to raise taxes), and etc., and etc. He discovered another “birthright of every American” – the chance to get a College Education. (How did the founders miss that one? “…that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness and the change to get a College Education…”) Oh, and, of course, Hope and Change.

But beyond that, there are a couple of things that warrant comment. The first is this lovely nugget, dropped into the middle of the speech.
Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.

That first sentence is contradicted in the last paragraph, which I’ll get to. The second is, again, revealing. Barack Obama, and the people that surround Barack Obama, do not think of America as a great country. They are not Patriots, they are not people who love their country as it is and has been. They think of America as being the problem in the World. They believe that America can be made great, if only they can run it and do things their way. Am I impugning Barack Obama’s patriotism?

Yes. Yes, I am.

This isn’t something said lightly. But there have been numerous incidents, from the refusal to wear the flag, to the refusal to salute the flag during the National Anthem, to the Trinity Church membership and the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to Michelle Obama’s comments that she’s never been proud of her country. It all reveals a mindset.

One does not have to blindly support everything that the country and its government does to be a proud American. There have been any number of things that have happened in this country that I did not approve of (Obama can disapprove of our being in Iraq all he wants, but I guarantee that he does not despise the American government’s conduct there any more than I despised Janet Reno’s jackbooted thug raid on a house in Miami to return a young boy as the property of a communist state) and there has never been a moment in my life when I wasn’t proud to be an American, and a believer that America is the greatest country and the greatest national force for good in the history of the world. Obama’s love of America apparently depends upon Obama’s election to do the things that he perceives as good.

The other thing that needs to be discussed is the final paragraph. I suspect that most people would find little to quarrel with – it’s almost boilerplate, and most of what I say here will, I suspect, be considered to be nit-picking. I disagree. I think that there are serious issues.

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

Claiming humility is an effectively self-refuting statement. Clearly, he recognizes humility as an appropriate virtue for a President. But if one is truly humble, one does not claim for oneself a “profound humility.” It is yet one more example of how Barack-centered his worldview is. It would be entirely appropriate to note that “the support I have received is humbling.” But that is not what he does. He does not attribute any characteristics to the circumstances other than “long” and “difficult” (which are standard boilerplate and essentially meaningless in this context). No, it is all about him, about his characteristics and his feelings. The natural humility which should be felt by one in his situation he attributes to himself as a virtue, and emphasizes the virtue by noting its profundity. The pro forma “knowledge of my own limitations” is, again, self-praise, calling attention to his self-awareness. There are no ego-less Presidential Candidates – one has to have an enormous opinion of one’s abilities and opinions to think that he should be the most powerful man in the world – but Obama is so convinced of his superiority that he cannot even do the obligatory self-effacement appropriately.
But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people.

Because now they are willing to vote for him.

Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick

Pre-Obama America, you see, never cared for the sick. Voting for Obama is an indicator that you are a good and virtuous and caring individual. (Of course, that says bad things about the 94% of Americans who have not, yet, voted for Barack Obama, but…)

(Just as an aside, The Jimmy Fund was started in 1948. It has raised over $400 million dollars in the fight against childhood cancer. From 1950 through 2005, the rate of cancer deaths in children 0-4 years old has fallen by 80%. In children 5-14, it’s fallen by 62.8%. In 15-24 year olds, it has fallen by 52.7%. Barack Obama was President of the United States for zero (0) of the years between 1950 and 2005. Maybe yesterday was not the day that “we began to provide care for the sick.”)

He concludes:
and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Politicians always claim that they will do great things. It’s understood. It is fluff and nonsense, and it’s silly to read too much into it. But, other than the pro forma closing, he is revealing something different than the typical politician does. Anyone running for office is going to claim that he will make America better. Barack Obama is not going to do that. No, the mere fact of his nomination “remakes” America. Patriots do not, as a general rule, feel the need to remake the country. They may want to repair the country, or improve the country, to “move the country forward,” but they don’t want to “remake” the country.

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