Friday, February 22, 2008


George Will gets it right. Hillary “said she is constantly being urged to unleash her inner Pericles: ‘People say to me all the time, “You're so specific. Why don't you just come and, you know, really just give us one of those great rhetorical flourishes and then, you know, get everybody all whooped up?”’”

Hillary’s eloquence is not to be questioned, but she really ought to exercise more thought as to whom she quotes. Those many people whom she references are all apparently reciting a talking point meme penned by some DNC apparatchik whose talents list more to the bureaucratic than the inspirational. I am forced to believe this, rather than the idea that Hillary herself composed this quasi bon mot, the polish of which is conspicuous by its low gloss.

How is Hillary to compete in the war of words with Obama? -- who gives us such bracing heroin as: "We are the ones we've been waiting for. [thundering audience whoop] We are the change that we seek." The message is the messiah. Y’see? Obama is so selfless. He never uses the world “I”, crafty devil. We we we, all the way home, to the White House. He says “our campaign” and “Yes. We. Can.” What monster of cynicism could argue with that?

With all his qualifications, silver-tongued Obama surely does belong in the White House. No doubt about it. He’d make a great White House press secretary. Bush could have used him. As it is, Obama is using Carter, or at least his old staff. Zbignew Brazinski and some surreal other unpronounceables from the Carter Error have been disinterred and had tanis leaf tincture infused into their crepe-like flesh that they might advise our Obama campaign. Even Chris Mathews, Carter’s old speech writer, gets tingles in his lower extremities when Obama’s tongue gets to work. Mmm.

It is, then, all about words. If Hillary could choose the right words, her clinton machine wouldn’t have to hoist her from the quagmire. If Obama requotes in just the right way some New Testament verse first breathed into Saint Paul, despots will repent and pennies will hail like a shower of golden light from the heavenlies. Cuz that’s where the pennies will have to come from.

Obama revealed his economic plan in Wisconsin. Big mistake, these specifics. They’re so, so analyzable, so refutable. He wants $150 billion for a green-energy plan; regulated profits for energy firms, drug companies and health insurers; expanded health insurance, by some $65 billion; an “infrastructure investment bank” of $60 billion; raised barriers to free trade; a mortgage-interest tax credit; double the workers getting the earned-income tax credit, and triple that benefit for minimum-wage workers. It sums to around $800 billion, which will be paid for by, uh, well … tax hikes on the rich won’t come close. Unless we redefine rich as middle class.

Steve Moore in The Wall Street Journal calculates that Obama will need a 39.6% personal income tax, a 52.2% combined income and payroll tax, a 28% capital-gains tax, a 39.6% dividends tax, and a 55 % estate tax. Why should Obama's collective we care about all these rich-dude taxes? It's just that it stifles the economy.

But we don’t have to worry about that. Obama has a speech just on the tip of his tongue, that will whoop us out of any such oratorical quagmire.



Si's blog said...

Think you have hit on a little chink I think I see and worry about. He talks a good fight. But when push comes to shove and he is elected, will the facade break and the real Obama emerge? A lot of sound and fury signifying politics as usual? If we have to make a choice, at least he looks good at this point, much better than his present competition who does not even try to hid her machine affiliations.

Jack H said...

Obama the orator is first rate. As a debater he's only fair. His conversation is average. None of this is promising.