August 28, 2008
The Democrats have certainly put on an impressive display in the "Mile-High City" of Denver, just as we would expect. Their National Convention was full of exhuberant, almost euphoric rhetoric about making everyone's life better, as though it were all just a matter of wishing it were so. That's par for the (Left) course. I was glad that the Democrats actually went through the motions of the roll call vote last night, or else there would have been almost no real business to transact. The fact that Obama's people resisted that was not a good sign. As the convention opened, prospective First Lady Michelle Obama tried hard to repair the damage for some of her past gaffes on patriotism, etc. Well, it's a start. The Obamas are without a doubt a very nice, attractive family. Senator Obama just finished his big speech, and I'll have more on that tomorrow, as I gradually get caught up with things. What follows are a variety of specific observations:
While I agree with Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden to be his running mate (see my Aug. 21 post), it does expose him to an ironic line of criticism. His choice of the senior senator from Delaware to make up for his lack of foreign policy experience is precisely analogous to the choice made by the current president ("W") when he was about to be nominated eight years ago. Yes, folks, it's true: Joe Biden is Barack Obama's Dick Cheney!
The phrase "We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For" sounds vapid, but is actually the title of a book by Alice Walker. See www.feminist.com. I am not sure whether Obama has properly credited the source for his uplifting (?) slogan.
By most accounts, the keynote speech by Virginia's former governor (and candidate for U.S. Senate) Mark Warner was a big dud. It was obviously intended to attract non-partisan voters, and some pundit said it could have been a Republican speech if a few names were changed around. It was so dull that it put me to sleep, so I missed out on the live version of Hillary Clinton's speech. I'm not sure if I'm glad or sad about that...
From what I read and the excerpts of her I saw, Hillary Clinton hit all the right notes of party unity in her speech, though her gestures were a bit forced, suggesting that she still harbors some lingering reservations. A lot of her supporters bear strong grudges against Obama, and it's taking longer than expected for those wounds to heal. But at least she made her supporters proud and kept her own political future alive... Who knows?
Speaking about all the feel-good, non-partisan togetherness rhetoric, I thought it was ironic that Sen. Dick Durbin lectured his party's adversaries on the politics of divisiveness, after having compared the U.S. detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to the practices of totalitarian regimes. (See June 2005.)
It was also ironic to contrast the teary-eyed faces of those hard-luck people attending the convention, listening to the talk about giving opportunity for all, to those crooked lobbyists who have been circumventing laws to get access to all the party bigwigs in Denver. Brian Ross of ABC News will probably be in hot water for his report that shed light on some of the exclusive events being staged for well-heeled Democrats. Go ahead and join Nancy Pelosi's "100 Club" ... if you can afford to hand over a hundred thousand bucks, that is.
I was struck by the frequent references among the Democratic speechmakers to the potential of faith to accomplish big things, or even to "move mountains," as in the Gospel story about the mustard seed. But what exactly is it that people are being called up to believe in?
Well, not according to an on-the-scene observation by my brother Dan, who saw a jet skywriting the name "Obama" from his office window in Denver. He writes: "It must have been a solar powered jet or something, because I'm sure they wouldn't have just wasted hundreds of gallons of fuel at this, the greenest convention ever!"