My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Obama: The Audacity of Audacity 

I did not see Obama's speech today, nor do I intend to find it on YouTube, and I also haven't seen a transcript anywhere important, so I assume it was, as most of his speeches, largely hollow and meaningless.

But I am interested in the reactions to different people to it, so here's a sampling:

--“On the positive side, we can expect somebody who reasons the way we do in Europe,” said Pierre Rousselin, the foreign editor of Le Figaro,

That'll play well in Poughkeepsie.

--Mr. Obama indulged in “some pro-German demagogy on nuclear weapons to get applause,” Mr. Védrine said. But he said Mr. Obama’s call for more European engagement in Afghanistan would not go over so well.

--from Michael Rubin: Multilateral organizations are not the answer; at best, they are ineffective soap boxes, at worst cesspools of venality. Rose petals and well-digging have never stopped bombs, racism or genocide. A strong military has.

Obama says, "Let us remember this history." Let us hope he first learns it. Leadership is about more than rhetoric.

--from Douglas Schoen: In place of a war on "Islamofascism" or a new Cold War with Russia, Obama offered engagement. Instead of American exceptionalism, he offered cooperation and even apologies for past misdeeds.

You know what? If he doesn't believe in American exceptionalism, maybe he should run for another office. There are plenty of jobs around the world where belief in American exceptionalism is detrimental--POTUS is not one of them.

--from Stephen Biegun: Consider: Obama elegantly recited Berlin's history -- destruction, division and the dismantling of the Wall. But he spent precious little time on the difficulties of political leadership that achieved a Europe whole and free -- when equally large throngs jeered NATO policies in European capitals. It is tempting to think that such troubles are behind us forever. But when faced by similarly severe choices in the future, as will happen, the test for an American president will be leadership and resolve -- not crowd size.

On his first trip to Berlin, Obama gave a speech on how the United States and Europe can together change the world. John McCain has spent a lifetime working to achieve it.

Something a litle bit short of a tour de force or Reaganesque moment. In fact, given the lack of greatness in the speech, it only makes it more ridiculous that he would choose a venue such as that for an american election speech.

Nobody has said it (that I've seen), but doesn't it dramatically cheapen the Berlin Wall as a symbol of American strength and Freedom's march for Obama to give an unimportant and unnecessary campaign speech there? Shouldn't we hold some places as more important to our shared history than to cheapen them thus?

And it is precisely that arrogance that will eventually turn middle-of-the-country Americans off of Barack Obama. At some point, the flowery rhetoric will start to taste like a Twinkie--you might have wanted and needed it for a while, but the whole hollowness thing just makes you sick after a while.

And a Twinkie should never try to pass itself off as a T-bone. We're not that stupid, Senator.

I hope.

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