Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Obama’s Ripples of Hope speech

I walked into the hotel in West Virginia Sunday evening and turned on C-Span. Barack Obama was speaking in Selma. Two minutes into it I realized this was both a fine speech and one that will prove consequential. I sat for many minutes
(here is about six minutes from CNN, via
youtube) watching and listening. The text was new, perfectly aligned with the occasion and the orator was not at all green. The man played true. There are many smart and clever items in the speech, I note only a few, not the most important ones: "The Kennedy’s decided we are going to do an airlift." "Don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma Alabama. Don’t tell me I’m not coming home when I come to Selma, Alabama." "...ripples of hope all around the world..." "There’s some good craziness going on." There is more if you pay attention (see Joe’s post below; also note the link to the whole speech as written). I have not seen or heard any of HRC’s speech; but I have heard some CNN talking heads whispering criticism, and that would have been unheard of a month ago. Some said that HRC spoke an infinite deal of nothing, prattled even, off-key. Bill’s presence ended up not helping; rather, it revealed her need. Sad time for Hillary. She cannot be happy.

Discussions - 17 Comments

Warmed-over NAACP crap, served by a man with good PR skills. Every now and then a glib messenger emerges in politics. While such a person (Obama, Bill Clinton) can be very dangerous politically, it’s nothing worth getting excited about in a substantive sense. Hussein does not deserve, in any way, to be taken seriously as a contributor to the debate. The Democrats don’t debate, and they won’t start debating in 2008, when they will be favored. Ignore the ridiculous Democratic contest and focus on the one that matters to conservatives, the Republican contest. Let’s not get immersed in a sideshow just because we’re trying to look cool and progressive. NLT deserves much better than this.

Oh he’s a fine speaker. So was Clinton, and he got better in office.

Hillary, unlike GW, will be told that she can’t give a speech worth a damn, and she’ll work on it, again, unlike GW, who was content to allow himself to deliver a speech like an unschooled teenager. She’ll be coached on it, and she’ll get better. Just watch.

But in ’08, unlike the last two Presidential cycles, we won’t have to dread the debates, and we won’t have to cringe watching a Romney, a Rudy, a McCain or a Gingrich.

That at least we’ll be spared.

The Republican nominee won’t embarrass the party in ’08, we won’t have a verbal cripple.

You must be fairly new around here, Dan (if true, welcome aboard). There was very little cringing on this site after a GWB speech. Usually, the bloggers would talk about how inspiring, wise, true and nearly profound it was. Perhaps some were cringing, but if so they were usually quiet, and didn’t let us know. I don’t recall anyone here noticing that GWB is, as you aptly put it, a "verbal cripple."

Peter, Sounds like you’re in love with the guy maybe? I saw the speech as well and was not inspired the way MLK, Ronald Reagan or even Bill Clinton could make me feel (for that matter, even some of George Bush’s inspirational talks have been better).

But, need I remind you that underneath it all Obama is a pure Euro-socialist who would undo hundreds of years social and economic growth in the US with his "sexy" agenda. When he says he shouldn’t feel at home in Selma, he means he should get all the black vote. When he talks about an airlift and "craziness", he doesn’t mean anything at all what you might think. He means income redistribution, giving non-working people a guaranteed income, health care, disability, etc. He means regressively taxing those who succeed and giving the money to those who don’t try. That’s what I "felt" from Selma, Alabama.

C’mon people. Peter recognizes talent and appreciates good American political language. He sees that Obama is more than just a "good speaker." That’s all: no vote implied. Some of you remind me of liberals reacting to Ronald Reagan in the ’70s and ’80s.

Obama is more than a fluke ... there is at least a 50% chance he’ll be the Democrat’s nominee. Unlike, say, Sam Brownback or Tom Trancredo, who have almost no chance whatever.

Peter’s right...He’s more than ordinary good, and times are already sad for Hillary. But he may ending up peaking before anyone votes. At least she’d better hope for that.

"Ripples of hope"? for what? What’s that all about? Is it hope for a "sexy" solialist agenda per Patrick above?

Or are we just supposed to know? It’s just so 1970.

NLT should not be in the business of advising the Democratic party about its nominee. It’s pretty clear that Obama would be a formidable candidate if he were nominated. (So, I fear, would Hillary.) If Schramm and Knippenberg are so fascinated by this con artist that they must talk about him endlessly, they should at least focus on the negative and nail it. They should criticize one day but praise the next, appearing to be endlessly capable of being won over by Obama, endlessly hopeful that he will change either the Democratic party or black politics in any real way. He will not, gentlemen. Let’s talking about more serious matters than the latest Democratic spin, which is all Obama represents.

Knippenberg and Schramm are turning NLT into an all-Obama website today.
Where is the commentary on the Scooter Libby witch trial? A person logging onto NLT for the first time today would not be impressed by its content and probably would not visit again ... unless he/she is an Obama fan. Is that really our audience, professors? I think not.

Peter and Joe - I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying your lefty company! What do you make of this criticism? I interpret you to be taking Obama seriously and analyzing his strengths and weaknesses, something the left never did in the case of Reagan - to their regret.


I’ve answered your comment elsewhere and am not inclined to repeat myself. I’m not talking about Scooter Libby because I haven’t followed the trial very closely and have nothing to add to what you’ll find on good conservative sites elsewhere. You want Libby coverage--go to NRO.


Thanks for sticking up for us. As you might have guessed by now, I have an intellectual/scholarly interest in the intersection between religion and politics. Right now, much of the interesting action in this field is on the religious left, of which I have been, and doubtless will again be, critical.

If no one will comment on the Libby verdict, then how about the Walter Reed hospital scandal? How about the disgraceful conditions that wounded soldiers returning from the war(s) have to face at the hospital in Bush’s backyard? Not even a single post on that? I would’ve guessed at least one short post, if only to perpetuate the Malkin-ish notion that Walter Reed was so bad because it was a government hospital. Or maybe you’d seen that that one has been pretty well debunked. (as in "The letter said the Defense Department ’systemically’ tried to replace federal workers at Walter Reed with private companies for facilities management, patient care and guard duty – a process that began in 2000.

’But the push to privatize support services there accelerated under President Bush’s ‘competitive sourcing’ initiative, which was launched in 2002,’ the letter states." - quote from the linked-to Army Times article)

So much for the Right’s claims of supporting and truly caring for the troops.

No one should really be surprised that this one is getting the virtual blackout treatment here at NLT. That’s what most right-wing bloggers have done, including several of NLT’s "favorite bloggers". And here I was hoping for a Robert Alt photo essay from the Walter Reed hospital!

If Joe Knippenberg won’t comment on the Libby verdict (or at least give us the usual reference to PowerLine - I wonder, does NLT get click-through payments?), then I thought at least Peter Schramm would. So far, though, not a peep. If Libby had been acquitted would we see this much silence on the subject, or would this be the culmination of the collective "much ado about nothing" and "no there there" speculations? At least PowerLine is sinking to bashing the jury - after all, what would THEY know about the case?

Joe, maybe if you want to blog, you should follow the news, not the blatherings of Democratic presidential candidates.

Craig, you complain about the medical treatment afforded our troops by government, yet the Democrats desire TO EXTEND THAT SAME TREATMENT to the entire nation. It’s called socialized medicine. It’s a world of dirty and dingy treatment centers, long lines and bad smells.

If anything, this is but MORE evidence of the INHERENT, LATENT uncaring aspect of big government.

And Craig, WHO ARE THE PEOPLE running the bureaucracy? They’re YOUR friends in the Democrat party. This isn’t an example of our incompetence, it ANOTHER example of yours. The bureaucracy, immovable, inflexible, uncaring, couldn’t give a damn about these soldiers or their families. That’s the God’s honest truth.

The closest view we’ll hopefully ever have to what life must have been like behind the old Warsaw Bloc is a visit to our local DMV or a Veteran’s hospital.

That’s your world, the world of governmental control, no free-market, no choice, no cleanliness.

So take your accusations elsewhere. We know the problem, and we know the solution, PRIVATIZATION. But we just lack the power to fully implement it. But we’ll get it, just you wait and see. One of these days, you’re going to be dealing with a fella like me. And ya not gonna know what hit ya.

Dan, it’s not helpful when you go on the attack when it’s clear that you haven’t even read my comment - at least not beyond the first sentence of it.

You said (a la Malkin) that "If anything, this is but MORE evidence of the INHERENT, LATENT uncaring aspect of big government."

Yet, if you had read my entire comment, you would’ve seen my link to, and quote from, an article in the Army Times (please don’t tell me that it’s run by leftists, ok?) relating the fact that Walter Reed hospital had been in a privatization process since the year 2000. That is, the government (in this case the Dept. of Defense) was shrinking itself, its own role, and outsourcing the work to a private corporation, in this case IAP Worldwide Services. Do you understand that? It’s nothing like what was "behind the old Warsaw bloc."

Further, you referred to "local DMV or a Veteran’s hospital" as to our preview of Soviet Communism in America. Yet, if by "Veteran’s" (with a capital v) you mean a Veteran’s (Health) Administration hospital, you’re mistaken. As I pointed out above, it’s a DoD facility, previously run solely by the military, but now privatized - what you put forward, laughably, as the "solution."

Making silly barroom-via-blog threats - "One of these days, you’re going to be dealing with a fella like me. And ya not gonna know what hit ya." - and using capital letters excessively doesn’t make your actual argument any stronger.

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