As prepared for delivery in the capital city of an enemy that couldn’t be negotiated with, behold the text of what I’m calling the greatest speech since whatever the last Obama speech was that the media declared was the greatest speech ever. As Hitchens once said about the since partly retracted Great Peroration on Race, for a supposed rhetorical genius, Barry never actually delivers any memorable lines, does he? It’s the circumstances of his speeches that make them “memorable.” The best he can do by way of takeaways is Zen pap like “Yes, we can” or “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” or today’s latest mindless positive affirmation, “This is our moment, this is our time.” Here’s my own favorite line, seemingly plucked from one of Jerry Springer’s concluding Thought for the Day segments:
True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice.
How true that is. But perhaps not as true as:
The road ahead will be long.
For extra fun, try adding “in bed” to the end of each of his sentences. As petty as McCain’s attacks lately on Obama’s popularity have been, I sympathize with his emperor’s-new-clothes predicament on this point. It’s one thing for the media to politely ignore that this crap is cliche and an inch deep, but to actually celebrate it as evidence of eloquence? If the donation ratio is 100 to 1 now, imagine what it would be if you treated that as an in-kind contribution.
There’s one worthwhile paragraph, so let me quote it in the interests of fairness. Obama still hasn’t gotten the memo yet that his base isn’t as keen on an Afghan adventure as he claims to be, and doubtless no such memo will be forthcoming until the election’s safely won. Quote:
This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.
As hackneyed a formulation as that is, the sentiment makes it as close to a memorable line as you’ll find here. Speaking of memorable lines, your exit question: Did anyone else pick up on the allusion in “Now the world will watch and remember what we do here — what we do with this moment”? Here’s a hint: The guy he’s paraphrasing, who really was a great orator, wasn’t as presumptuous in his own formulation of that thought.
Update: A reader e-mails to suggest this companion video from the annals of Great Vapid Rallying Cries. It is indeed our time down here, Mikey.