Expectations were sky high for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s Thursday acceptance speech.
Was this golden-tongued orator the new John F. Kennedy?
Would Obama create a culture-transforming historic moment as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech had done exactly 45 years earlier?
As the final bubbles of Obama’s low-octane champagne popped in Denver’s thin air Thursday night, his True Believer audience of 80,000 — exhausted after waiting many hours to clear Invesco Stadium’s security — felt briefly intoxicated, hypnotized, and herded into tears and cheers.
But most on Friday will be unable to remember any enduring phrase or indelible incantation beyond “Enough!” from Obama’s cunningly crafted but ultimately disappointing speech.
“Our revels now are ended,” says Prospero in William Shakespeare’s play "The Tempest." “These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air;
“And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind.”
The pagan Greek temple in Obama’s theater-in-the-round was designed by pop singer Britney Spears’ former staging manager Bobby Allen. Republican presidential candidate John McCain was amazingly prescient in his ad comparing Obama’s manufactured stardom to Spears.
We now know, from a reporter at the stage’s testing, that Obama’s sound system contained an applause soundtrack able to create the illusion of massive audience approval — like Hollywood machines that inject phony laughter into unfunny TV sitcoms.
Obama’s Hollywood handlers were taking no chances that the audience might respond to him with too little enthusiasm. What their Caliban failed to arouse, these magician Prosperos could conjure — just as Obama’s liberal media comrades at places such as MSNBC (increasingly described as “Marxist Socialist NBC” by news insiders) have done throughout the campaign season.
Obama prepared the media for Thursday’s speech by saying his oratory would be “workman-like.” What he meant was that its style would be Democratic-generic.
Sen. Obama was up against a politically fatal problem. In this year of extreme Republican unpopularity, polls showed that an unnamed “generic” Democrat would beat a generic Republican by 20 to 25 points, a landslide victory.
But in recent days polls have shown Obama embarrassingly tied with, or even losing to, Republican standard-bearer John McCain. This did not factor that unknown fraction of Hillary Clinton Democrats who told pollsters they would vote for Obama, but who on Election Day will not.
Obama’s apparent remedy for this problem, as some of the most sophisticated pundits have observed, was in Thursday’s speech to discard his carefully fabricated image as a new almost-bipartisan Democrat — and to don the jackass costume of a conventional, poll-tested partisan generic Democrat.
This is why on Thursday night Barack Obama appeared not as a new John F. Kennedy or Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., but instead as Santa Claus — or as the usual Democratic trick-or-treater promising candy to the usual Democratic constituency groups with their hands out for government goodies.
Within minutes Obama promised to dispense more than $2 trillion in government benefits, to be paid for with higher taxes on corporate businesspeople “who export American jobs” and on the envied rich.
Obama tossed in a few token lines to moderate his generic Democratic class warfare, but no successful person in the audience was comforted. Throughout Mr. Obama’s political career he has talked like a moderate but always voted like a socialist.
A lawmaker’s voting record, not his words, are what matter, and nobody in his legislative career has voted more consistently leftward than Barack Obama.
Obama’s running mate Joe Biden boasts the Senate’s third most liberal voting record.
For the knowledgeable, Obama’s speech was also full of evasions and weasel-language.
How seriously could anyone take his litany of attacks against Republicans?
Obama said, for example, the GOP was responsible for Americans having “credit card bills you can’t afford to pay.” But, as this column noted Wednesday, his “working-class hero” running mate Sen. Biden of corporate-friendly Delaware rammed through the new bankruptcy law that prevents ordinary Americans from getting out from under crushing credit-card debt.
Obama likewise blamed Republicans for the war in Iraq, never mentioning that his running mate Joe Biden, like most Senate Democrats, voted to authorize that war and has supported it heavily.
Obama Thursday embraced not only Al Gore, but also “clean coal” and nuclear power.
Obama declared that he would debate McCain anytime, but like a coward he has run from McCain’s offers to debate weekly. And we can expect Barack Obama and his liberal media allies to continue such disingenuous attacks during the Republican National Convention next week.
His attack on McCain’s temperament, after promising to avoid personal attacks, is as dishonest as Obama’s broken written promise to accept the cleaner politics of public funding.
Although Obama’s Thursday speech admirably downplayed the racial themes of most African-American Democrats, we can expect Obama’s surrogates to echo Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean’s statement of a week ago that Republicans are the “white party” and that their convention “does not look like America.”
But how did the Democratic National Convention look? Fully 24 percent of its delegates were African-American in a country whose population is less than 12 percent African-American.
And, as usual, a huge percentage of Democratic Convention delegates were union people, although only 7 percent of private sector workers belong to unions. No wonder Obama wants to eliminate secret worker ballots so people can be intimidated by union thugs into signing cards to join unions.
Welcome to Obama’s generic Democratic Party “democracy,” which this week had an ABC news producer arrested to prevent his filming ultra-wealthy donors departing a secret Denver hotel meeting with party bosses.
Obama spurned a female running mate and nominated an old-fashioned political hack, but John McCain chose Alaska’s vibrant young female Gov. Sarah Palin. By embracing yesterday’s politics, generic Obama has ceased to be the progressive candidate for president.
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