Turns out my old friend Thirsty McWormwood was not a fan of the Democrat's Denver acceptance speech. He writes:
Well, Mr. Purple America sure got blue.
Barack Obama became a superstar in 2004 because he gave the best, most memorable speech, hands down, of any Democrat at that year's national convention. It was better than the others because it was different from all of the others.
Most Democrats could barely contain their seething contempt for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Several didn't try. Their speeches became mean-spirited, repetitive and, worst of all, boring. Even to Democrats.
Obama's was the only one that year that had any uplift. It was the only one that tried to see a way out of the partisan deadlock that the party had found itself in. The fact that he acknowledged he was cutting against the grain -- that's "the audacity of hope," folks -- made it even better.
He was an optimist, but not a fool. We could like this guy.
That was then. In accepting his nomination, Obama gave a tedious pile of liberal platitudes and talking points that were indistinguishable from any of the other speeches given by other Democrats during their Denver shindig. Cut out that biographical details and there was nothing in that speech that could not have come out of the mouth of Al Gore or John Kerry.
You have to expect this, to an extent. He is the nominee after all and has to represent his party and its agenda. But the promise of Barack Obama was always that he could transcend politics as usual. Elect him and things will be different, we were lead to believe.
There was no innovative thinking in last night's speech. All of the problems of American boiled down to the fact that the government just hasn't spent enough, regulated enough, or mandated enough. "Now it is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world class education." This means an "army of new teachers" with higher salaries and more support. Gee, why hasn't anyone thought of that before?
(As for higher standards and more accountability, well, he'll "ask" for them, which ought to be enough...)
This was mixed in with cheap shots at his opponent, Sen. John McCain: "John McCain likes to say he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives." Rhetoric like that can only be described as pathetic. It'll be a crime if the media lets Obama get away with it.
Or there was the twisting of Phil Gramm's "nation of whiners" comment about the economy -- for which he was summarily kicked out of the McCain campaign -- to imply that McCain had somehow dissed military families "who shoulder their burdens silently." Raw partisanship like that was certainly not something you'd find in his 2004 speech.
About the only thing that did carry over from 2004 was the airy talk of destiny and moments in time and such. Which all seem to center around... Barack Obama. "For 18 long months, you have stood up and said enough of the politics of the past... Change happens because the American people demand it... America, this is one of those moments."
Obama has forgotten that one of the things that was appealing about the guy who appeared in 2004 was that he was a scrappy underdog. A guy who was not yet even in the U.S. senate but had the "audacity" to dream big.
He's a different man now. He has gone from suggesting that yes, we can unite to solve our problems to saying that if only we all unite behind him, that will solve all of our problems. All people of sound mind and goodwill should find that attitude troubling.