Obama's weak performance in Germany
In a historic and presumptuous speech in Berlin, Barack Obama wasted half an hour of a nice summer evening for the roughly two hundred thousand curiosity seekers, groupies, and other viewers of the event in person or on TV. Obama's speeches are generally devoid of significant content, but this one was even lacking in the soaring rhetorical flourishes which send chills up liberals' legs. Obama tried ineffectively to rally the crowd to a sense of shared "global citizenship" and partnership with the US by telling the story of the 1948 Berlin Air Lift. He spoke about the Berlin Wall (with the glaring failure to mention Ronald Reagan) and then attempted a clumsy transition to discussing "dangers that cannot be contained within the borders of a country...", speaking of 9/11 and then, in what was for me the scariest issue in his speech, saying that "cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya. " Obama then spent a lot of time talking about how the US and Europe need to "to join together, through constant cooperation, strong institutions, shared sacrifice, and a global commitment to progress, to meet the challenges of the 21st century." The recent electoral success of (relative) conservatives in Europe might imply that they have learned what "shared sacrifice" means: It means we pay higher taxes while politicians vote themselves exemptions and pay raises. It also implies that problems which may face a nation or a planet can only be overcome by pain whereas most problems are instead overcome by hard work and shared wealth, not shared poverty. How many problems did "shared sacrifice" fix in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Boulder, or other socialist nations? Obama lapsed into a chorus of "this is the moment", an empty phrase which he repeated 14 times in a few minutes in a failed attempt to make listeners feel that we must act urgently to "save the planet", "renew our resolve to rout the terrorists" (hmmm...has your resolve waned?), and create trade which is "free and fair for all". I wonder what that last phrase means...it clearly doesn't mean free trade. Obama also wants us (or does he want Europeans?) to "help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East." Just what does that mean? And what does Obama think every President since Israel's founding have attempted to do? Truly, Obama's messianic rhetoric is getting tiresome. In summary, it seems that Obama believes that Americans must sacrifice (which can only mean higher taxes and fewer jobs) in order to comply with the wishes of Algore and his big hoax, must subject ourselves to stronger global institutions as citizens of the world, and must start pursuing a war against terrorists and working toward peace in the Middle East...because apparently he doesn't realize we've been doing those things for some time and that rededicating ourselves to a pretty idea won't make any difference. It was no surprise to hear a TV reporter say that the crowd was far less enthusiastic when leaving the speech than they were on arrival. Obama's speech was remarkably full of meaningless phrases such as "America has no better partner than Europe.", "People of Berlin – people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time.", and "We are a people of improbable hope". My improbable hope is that this shallow windbag is not our next President. Updated Note: It was originally reported by the Obama campaign that Obama also canceled a planned visit to two US military bases in Germany, one of which is the site of an important hospital for soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Later, there was some discussion, including a link pointed out by Mr. Balboni to a report by Andrea Mitchell in which Mitchell claimed that the Pentagon had blocked the visit. However, reports by reputable (liberal) media outlets such as the Washington Post and the AP make it clear that Mitchell was in error, or at least misleading. Both articles make it clear that the Pentagon said Obama could visit the bases, but that if he were accompanied by staff it would have to be Senate staff, not campaign staff. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/25/AR2008072502979.html?hpid=topnews http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hD3r_xLt86cw6tRS6_RxC-WpMJIAD92561R80 In canceling the trip, Obama's campaign said that "it would be inappropriate" to visit the bases since the trip was paid for by the campaign. However, this is an odd realization to come to after weeks of planning. I believe the campaign simply changed their minds on how the visit would look. Obama changes his mind so frequently lately that I would hardly have expected anything else. A quote from the Washington Post (hardly an anti-Obama outlet) is instructive: "The senator's staff was informed of the limits on what the military can do with respect to a political campaign and how we could support a senator's visit to Landstuhl and, quite frankly, I expected them to have the visit," (Pentagon spokesman) Whitman said. And Whitman is quoted in the AP article as saying "The Pentagon certainly did not tell the senator he could not visit Landstuhl." The McCain campaign responded at the time the cancelation became known with: "Barack Obama is wrong. It is never ‘inappropriate’ to visit our men and women in the military." Personal observation: I had briefly put up a correction saying that the Pentagon blocked Obama's visit to the bases after watching the Andrea Mitchell report provided by Steve Balboni. I should have known that both Mitchell and Balboni would bend the truth to defend Obama. It turns out the original story was correct in all relevant aspects. Mr. Balboni will almost certainly not have the intellectual honesty to correct himself and apologize to me. I wonder whether he sent similar criticisms to mainstream (liberal) media outlets accusing them of "deceit" when they reported the exact same thing I reported. Anyone want to wager?
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