He swings... and... misses...
In his curiously depressing inaugural speech Obama described this country as basically being in the cold and dark grip of terrible times that could destroy us. We are "in the midst of crisis"... "gathering clouds and raging storms"..."sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights."
And what does he offer us? You guessed it!
"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear"
And how will this hope manifest?
"...we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."
It's the same rationale as my mother's - because I say so, that's why.
Just as he is the one we were waiting for, and that on the day he became the nominee the healing of the earth began, now he assures us that:
"What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply."
The ground shifted as the mighty Obama strode across it. Ain't that grand?
File this next one under "what the fuck where they smoking when they proofread this draft". Ready? Here are the official religions of our country:
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. "
So if you are follow any other religious faith, like Native American spirituality, Wicca, Buddhism, Shinto, to name the ones who spring to mind YOU are nonbelievers.
The middle of the speech was laced with platitudes about how we are going to cooperate with our friends, end the occupation of Iraq and Afganistan, a stern warning to terrorists, and to us that we are going to have to "have some skin in the game" as he said in a pre-inaugural interview.
He concluded this mess with more stark imagery:
"So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."
It's Valley Forge bad here folks, and we are huddle around the virtual campfire with the enemy advancing. God, I feel full of hope already!
But wait, there's more depressing verbiage to come!
"America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."
Could he have lowered expectations for his presidency any further? I don't think so.
But watch and listen, boys and girls. This drivel will be hailed as the greatest speech since, well, his last speech! It will be canonized as better than JFK, than FDR, than anyone before him. This speech was full of platitudes, vague threats to our enemies, veiled jabs at Republicans, with little of substance when it comes to a direction for this country.
THIS is what you saved Favreau's job for? I'd fire him today for writing such a mediocre message, but I suspect that this thing in fact reflects Obama's thinking, which shows us how naive he truly is.
It left me thinking that if there was one thing endearing about Bush, it was his optimism about our country. Obama doesn't seem to have that. He thinks he, I mean we, are in deep shit.