Nothing New With Nothing to Offer

I just watched Obama’s acceptance speech, available here because the UK news networks wanted to share in the glory of the new world messiah.

Now I can’t say I watched it all that closely after a while, because I got bored with more of the same old thing. However, as the speech reached its crescendo, I listened just to marvel at how many sentences Obama and his speech writers could string together without actually saying anything.  The crowd was getting so excited at what he was saying and he wasn’t saying anything.

As he was being invested as a demi-god in the faux Greek temple, cheered in a football stadium by throngs of supporters, I marvelled once again at his rise. After a bit more than half a term in the US Senate and the equivalent of two terms in the Illinois Senate, he is the answer to all that troubles the world.

I thought it was particularly interesting that the news coverage talked to people who quoted Martin Luther King’s line from the “I Have a Dream” speech, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” But that’s exact what has happened. Barak Obama’s candidacy is not the fulfilment of King’s dream – or if he’s the fulfilment of King’s own dream, he’s not the fulfilment of King’s words. Obama is being judged by the colour of his skin.

After all, he is neither the descendant of the black American experience nor was did he grow up in his own experience of racial discrimination. But he’s black. He may be the first actual African-American every elected to any federal office. After all, his father was African and his mother is American. All of the other black elected officials I’ve known of were born to an American father and an American mother which makes them American-Americans, as best I can tell. So if people are wanting to elect an African-American, he’s about as authentic as they can get and about the only chance they are ever going to get.

If people are wanting to vindicate the slave heritage and the triumph of civil rights, then there is nothing remarkable or groundbreaking about his nomination. Denver was not, in the words of the Sky News, “The scene of an unprecedented night American history.” He has nothing in common with Martin Luther King, W.E.B. DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, James Meredith, or the Little Rock Nine, other than the amount of melanin in his skin.

5 Responses to “Nothing New With Nothing to Offer”

  1. John of Indiana Says:

    Are you sure we listened to the same speech, Sol? Or has Conservatism hardened your ears to the point you can’t hear anything but “Democrat BAD, Republican GOOD”?

    In all fairness though, if I hear McCain refer to me as his “Friend” one more time as in “My Friends, when I spent 5 1/2 years as a POW in North Vietnam, we really didn’t HAVE any heat, so I don’t know why the old people in this country are worried about not being able to afford to pay for heating oil this winter.” I may puke.

    McCain has said plenty to me. He doesn’t know off the top of his head how many houses he owns, thinks “rich” starts at 5 megabucks and gave a reporter one of those “I don’t know, let my staff get back to you” answers when asked why Viagra is covered under most prescription plans, yet contraception is not. That tells me he doesn’t know diddly-doo about what I do to stay alive in this “Bush Economic Miracle”, the same “miracle” that has my girlfriend, who by all rights should be retired by now, constantly worrying bout paying her bills and EVER being able to stop working full-time.
    It’s no fun, being a 60-y-o library clerk and having to shelve probably 900-1200 pounds of books every day.

    He calls me “My Friend”, yet I think he’d decline to shake my rough get-dirty-for-a-living hand if he wasn’t sucking up for my vote.

    And Am I to infer that you prefer the oratory style of Mr. Bush, who sounds like he’s trying to deliver his 8th grade book report, over Senator Obama’s?

  2. sol Says:

    I’m sure we heard the same speech, John, because all you can say about it is that Obama is not McCain and has better oratory skills than Bush. The same thing could be said about Adolph Hitler.

    If I was supporting Obama, I’d rather have more to say about his speech than that it doesn’t sound like an 8th grade book report, especially if it has about that much actual substance.

  3. John of Indiana Says:

    I’m just getting warmed up, Sol. When I wrote that I had been awake for almost 20 hours and was tired. I’m still tired. 4 hours of sleep will do that to you.. But that’s no excuse.

    Here’s a few random points I heard that, to me anyway, sound like “substance”.
    Our troops, when deployed again, will have the proper equipment to do their job, none of this Rumsfeldian “Go with the Army you have” crappola. When they come home in pieces, we’ll take care of them.
    Our standing in the world will be repaired, and you should know better than me how badly we’re perceived outside of Right Wing circles overseas.
    Tell ya what, you take the points from his speech that you think are Same S*** Different Day and we can talk about them. It would be great fun discussing this with you.
    Much more fun than the usual “No, he’s NOT a Muslim, and his father did NOT know Bin Laden!” discussion I usually have here in Indiana.

  4. sol Says:

    Our troops are the best equipped in the world. If you want to see lack of basic equipment, see the British army.

    You are right that Obama differs with McCain about the VA. Obama wants to keep the same system and just make more improvements like the current Republican administration. Of course the problems in the VA weren’t the making of the current administration. It wasn’t like W’s did anything different than Clinton’s until serious problems were uncovered and the system’s inability to deal with an increased number of fresh cases was exposed.

    McCain just realises that Government isn’t always the best direct provider of health care, even if it is going to pay for it. If vets can get providers they choose in a location convenient to them, they will be served better.

    Our foreign PR machine will only work better under Obama because the Europeans like liberals and the bad guys won’t feel threatened. They will know that they can do whatever they want.

    Looking for a full text of the speech, I started with the New York Times but they actually included “APPLAUSE” and “AUDIENCE BOOS” all the way through. I found the non-annotated version in the Hindustan Times. I’ve read it through. He didn’t say anything new.

    The economy’s bad – that’s the fault of George Bush’s failed policies. That’s even though economic policy is controlled by Congress. A Democrat controled Congress.

    “But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time.” Yes, McCain has voted along with other Republican legislators most of the time and that’s why the country is in trouble. Even though the Democrats are in control of Congress.

    Your usual conversations bode well for keeping Indiana as a red state. I was a bit worried when I thought Obama would pick Bayh as his running mate.

  5. John of Indiana Says:

    You were worried that Obama was going to pick Bayh? *I* was worried even more, and it’s easy to explain why:
    “SENATOR” Buyer.
    Word on the street was that Our B**** Mitch was ready to appoint Buyer to take over the rest of Bayh’s term. and thinking back for a moment about the problems of the VA, guess who was in charge of the VA until the recent change in management of the congress? That’s right, Steve Buyer.
    And speaking of the change in management, when you make reference to the “Democrat controlled Congress”, please mention that they’ve only been in charge of things for 2 years, and most of that time has been spent “trying not to appear Partisan”, and this Executive has spent 2 terms ruling by Fiat, “Executive Order” and “Signing Statement”, so much that you’d almost get the idea that the Constitution wears a sticker stating “No Congress Required”… Every Saturday morning, I listen to Little Shrub admonish Congress to “Give me a Bill Ah kin SIGN!”. For 2 years, Congress has been lucky to get a Majority agreeing on National Peach Month, much less fiscal policy.
    I’m disappointed in them, believe me, YOU don’t like Pelosi and company? *I* don’t like Pelosi and Company. I helped elect all those freshman Democrats to go there and IMPEACH Bush and Cheney, not worry about being perceived as “Getting even for Bill Clinton”.
    Regardless of who’s got the best gear, Joe or Tommy, I still think it’s criminal to send anybody’s soldiers out on a hostile road in a vehicle that has as much armour as my Ranger pickup truck.

    Well, gotta get back to subverting young minds with my Liberal ideas… 😀
    We’ll see just how Red Indiana is this fall. maybe just our necks. THAT will never change…

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