Friday, August 29, 2008

Nice Speech

Here is a transcript of Obama's speech. He emphasized the differences between his positions and McCain's:

"Now, I don't believe that Sen. McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy -- give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is that you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. You're on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You're on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps -- even if you don't have boots. You are on your own."

Obama also undercut the tired LIBERAL/CONSERVATIVE shouting match by explaining how his proposals are actually very centrist:

"It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves -- protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and science and technology."

That sounds like capitalism with personal and social responsibility as necessary elements. Not an overly LIBERAL position, in the cable talk show sense of the word. It'll be interesting to see McCain's response. Obama had Clinton(s) as the model of successful a centrist Democrat. McCain has...Bush? No, no, I think what he's really asking himself these days is - What would Nixon do?


Herr Zrbo said...

Spell check in title.

Little Earl said...

Boys, I have to tell you. I have heard them all. But THAT WAS THE GREATEST NOMINATION ACCEPTANCE SPEECH I HAVE EVER HEARD. Guys...look it comes...ah...ah...OBAMAGASM! No, seriously, I thought it was going to be lame. I thought, "Will he give a better speech than Hillary's? NO. Will he give a better speech than Bill's? NO. Isn't he going to just get up there and say the same old 'Democrats good, Republicans bad' crap?" But oh, OH HOW WRONG I WAS. I'm trying to think of the best speech I ever heard Bill Clinton give, and I got nothing. Imagine if Gore was the nominee again, and what his speech would have sounded like. Spare me your reply.

Just like he did with the Rev. Wright speech, Obama talked to the American people like they were adults. He didn't do the same old "score easy political points by arguing over silly gaffes" thing. Well, he did a little of that, but mostly it was totally respectful of McCain and he raised the bar of the discourse:

"Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and our respect."

"But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and each other's patriotism. The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain."

But then he let it rip:

"And just as we keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives."

"You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice -- but that is not the change that America needs.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe."

"I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what -- it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring."

Yeah, I'll tell you what's stirring - my penis! No, seriously, nice speech.

Herr Zrbo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Herr Zrbo said...

Sorry, I accidentaly hit 'Post' before I was done (the ghost of Steve Jobs' obit editor?)

"This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

For a moment I really thought he was going to end that last bit with "On November 4th, we must stand up and say: HELL NO!" That would have been EPIC. Sadly, he decided to have some class.

Herr Zrbo said...

Wow, sorry to keep posting but I'm rewatching the speech right now (someone please fix the typo in the title please!).

I love this part, he delivers it like a stand-up comic:

"Senator McCain likes to talk about judgement. But really, What does it say about your judgement, when you think George Bush has been right more than 90% of the time?"

The way he delivers it is great, like he's about to say a yo-mamma joke. Obama at the Apollo anyone?

Little Earl said...

Maybe the typo was intentional? Yoggoth?

But yeah, I half-expected him to say "On November 4, we must stand up and say, 'Fuck THIS shit.'"

Any thoughts on McCain's VP pick? It's so just might work!

Or not.

Herr Zrbo said...

Well, I guess McCain is living up to his 'maverick' reputation. I'm not sure what to think, but I got a little scared right now when all the ladies in the fileroom dept. were talking about how great she is.

ninquelote said...

You've got to be kidding me. This was a rousing speech, no doubt, and I expected it to be as much because that's what he does best. But it seemed like a giant circle jerk to me. Yeah he said he was going to do all this stuff, but he didn't explain how he was going to get it done. No one ever does, that's why very few things ever get done.

As for McCain choosing a woman, you must have seen that coming from a mile away. The minute we knew that Hillary wasn't going to be Obama's pick, McCain had to choose a woman. It was about his only move. And a bold one it was.

Little Earl said...

Yeah, I say, on some level, way to go McCain. But on the other hand...can you say "Pander" (*cough* *cough*)? You know he was just sitting around thinking, "I need somebody who:

1) Can appeal to disgruntled Hillary voters
2) Can compete with the Democrats' whole crazy "minority candidate" thing
3) Is younger than me
4) Is pro-life

So that must have narrowed it down to about three people in the whole universe, and how many of those three people would have been all of those things AND experienced? There wasn't much else he could have done (not that I care too much, but he definitely has some balls).

This whole election is just turning into one big episode of The West Wing.

And one more thing:

"This was a rousing speech"

Exactly. Thank you. You may go now.

ninquelote said...

Are you suggesting that there's been a political candidate some time in the history of this country that hasn't pandered? Politics is nothing but pandering. In fact; he who panders most sits in the oval office. I thought that was the way politics worked.

yoggoth said...

If Obama had spent time explaining how he'd get it done everyone would have changed the channel because it would involve political maneuvering and accounting details that most people have no knowledge of. At least his policy goals weren't outright attempts to mislead the public (see: offshore drilling, constructionist judges, trickle down economics).

Sarah Palin doesn't seem like a particularly strong VP candidate, but I could be wrong.