Sunday, August 03, 2008

"Rretorical cotton candy that elevates narcissism to a political philosophy"

The Oracle has been reviewing political intelligence reports from lobbyists in states all across the country, and that review confirms what I already knew: this is going to be a banner year for Democrats.

That being the case, why is the charismatic Democratic nominee not trouncing his Republican counterpart in early polls? George Will suggests that Americans are worried about Barack Obama's rhetoric, which can be seen as either vacuous or alarming:

Even an eloquent politician can become, as Benjamin Disraeli described William Gladstone, "a sophistical rhetorician inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity." John Kennedy said in Berlin, "Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free." That half-baked and badly written thought was either trivial because it was tautological (when one man is enslaved, not every man is free) or it was absurd (when one man is not free, no man is free). That absurdity is dangerous because it makes a grandiose mission seem imperative, as in President George W. Bush's second inaugural address: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands."

Over the last few weeks, Sen. Obama, who is famously lacking in actual accomplishment of the sort that would seem to prepare one to be President, has delivered this rhetoric while his campaign has arranged a series of events designed to give him a presidential "appearance." It does not seem to have occurred to his campaign advisers, who have the hubris of most campaign consultants of both major parties to believe that the message can always be manipulated, that many Americans intuitively understand that such hard work at appearances may indicate a lack of substantive preparedness.


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