Your Lying Eyes

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22 January 2013

Obama's Dreadful Speech

Obama's second inaugural address was just dreadful - a tacky pastiche of postmodern politics surreally delivered in weighty, florid words. Obama has never really demonstrated a particularly light touch with his prose, but at least in his 2008 acceptance speech, for example, the ongoing death toll in Iraq and evident doom overhanging the economy lent his message an urgency to match the fussiness. But today, the frivolity of his agenda renders what he thought to be weighty words downright ponderous.

For example, back in 1865 - and 1965 for that matter - momentous words rightly implored us to fulfill the words of our Declaration that all men are created  equal. But what is Obama's scolding all about today? "It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete" the President intoned - until...we have yet another Federal law to monitor how company's pay men and women? Until we have gay marriage?? Until lines on election day can be cut-down a bit??? Until illegal immigrants feel welcome??? And illegal immigrant engineering students (!?!?!) can get green cards?????

And the whole speech is like that - grandiloquent oratory floating along a sea of banality. "The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed." Why such ornate phrasing just to argue for higher marginal tax rate? "We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own." What's that all about? - increased federal aid to education, presumably.

He wants to make a distinction between the all-out war-mongering of Republicans vs. the more situational war-making he's been doing. But where's the fun in just saying that? So instead we get: "Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty."

The prose is becoming most tiresome. That young man's silly poem that followed was a breath of fresh air - clear and simple. It doesn't work anymore, Barack. Your dense formulations had their usefulness - a feature, not a bug, as they say - but now it's just weighing on you, and boring us. Sure, your sycophants like Chris Matthews will gush and drool - but you're not changing any minds with your bombast.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some really unfortunate eugenics overtones in this post...

February 16, 2013 1:32 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Very funny

February 16, 2013 9:21 PM  

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