Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How Can a Speech on Hope Make Me Abandon all of It?

Ok, I'm back. Let's get this blog up and running again. Now, I didn't watch the inauguration, but in all fairness, I don't think I've ever watched an inauguration. I knew it would either bore me or piss me off. So keep that in mind as we analyze this thrilling speech that I have heard described as brilliant and terrible. I'm thinking I will lean toward the latter considering my opinion of Barry and the fact that none of his euphoria inducing charisma translates to the written text. However, I will go into this with an open mind.
My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
That seems nice. Good start Barry.
I thank President Bush for his service to our nation... as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
I'm sure you do, but at least you sound gracious. Way to keep it classy.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
Ouch, I'm not going to harp to much on this, we all know there are now 43 men, not 44, but how do your speech writers goof up this far into a speech that was billed to be the most historic grouping of words this side of Lincoln? At least we can all agree that "the One" isn't infallible, unless by saying there are 44 different Presidents he hath made it so, Genesis style. Is the new one Gore? Will that make him shut up?
The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.
What you can't see here is Rahm Emanuel taping his fingers together sinisterly as he eyes someone's Chevy.
At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
Ok, I call bullshit. America hasn't remained faithful to our forbearers or our founding documents. See oh, um, about every single government action since Woodrow Wilson took office. That aside, is this how you intend to govern? By the intentions of the forefathers and the Constitution?
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
Joke's on you, liberals. You accidentally elected a libertarian. Sweet.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some. . .
Chris Dodd for example.
. . . but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
What hard choices would those be? Scrapping social programs and instituting a flat tax? I think that's a pretty easy choice Barry, but rational people can disagree.
Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered.
He's being really hard on Chris Dodd.
Our health care is too costly,
You get what you pay for Barry. Ask a Canadian.
our schools fail too many,
Are we going after the NEA? Your a Godsend Barry, I can't believe it took me this long to come around.
and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries. . .
We certainly don't want to strengthen Palin. Thank God we buy from Venezuela.
. . . and threaten our planet.
I don't like the direction this is going. What is our planet under threat from this month? I've been out of the loop. Is it global warming? A new ice age? Manbearpig? I need to know, and I need to know how you're going to tax me to stop it.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
Uh, aren't you the one that said I can't keep my home at 72 degrees anymore? That I can't drive whatever I want? Our confidence was pretty low in seventies, I believe a peanut farmer created some sort of misery index to catalog our despair. Wouldn't it have kind of pushed our society off the edge if you had told them they all had to drive Gremlins?
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
Or exacerbated, but don't let me interrupt, please elaborate.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
Hope over fear? I'm going to give you the benefit of a doubt and assume you're not taking a veiled shot at W., because that's not the classy guy you are. Anyway, how are these vague, empty phrases going to help America meat these real challenges? Come one Barry. Where's the specific and substance filled guy I new and loved on the campaign trail?
On this day, 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.
I kind of thought progressive liberalism was a worn out dogma filled with false promises and built upon petty grievances. However, I'll give you a pass because, while I didn't watch the speech, I going to assume he's riding a horse and waving sword before the assembled men of Gondor.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.
Couldn't agree more. Let's get rid of the Nanny State.
The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
I wasn't aware you had read the Declaration of Independence. Is Barry serious about adhering to the founding documents?
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.
I will settle for nothing less than an Escalade that intentionally leaks gas.
It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

Surely we wouldn't want to punish the risk-takers, doers, and makers of things by taxing the prosperity they create? We don't want to reward undeserved people with the earnings of men and women obscure in their labor, right?

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

I'm pretty sure they did it for themselves (except for those under the whip, they did it for the guy with the whip). You see Barry, when people have a reasonable expection of reward, they work and innovate. Its actually selfishness that drives prosperity. Hence the sad history of utopian socialist distopias.

For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Can't argue with that.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life.

Yeah, that guy working the land of his Nebraskan homestead in 1866 was doing it for me.

They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

Huh, I always thought America was nation of rugged individualists. That sounds dangerously like collectivism, Barry. You know who else is bigger than the sum of their individual ambitions? The Borg.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth.

I await your Defense Budget.

Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.

I'm typing this at work

Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests. . .

How dare we protect the wealthy's money from everyone else.

. . . and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.

Again with the unpleasant decisions. Have you ever seen a riot Barry? Looting is a blast. There's nothing unpleasant about it unless you're the lootee. But we're no longer concerned with the "narrow interests" of the lootee.

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

Is that like remaking a movie? Because that generally ends badly. It also usually begins and progresses through the middle badly. Burt Reynolds will always be better than Adam Sandler, Barry. Lockean Democracy will always be better than, well, anything else.

Wow, long speech. This seems as good a spot as any for an intermission. We'll continue this tomorrow, or whenever I feel up to having any optimism left in me beaten out by impending doom.