Obama and the politics of fraud
There is much more.
There was a fair bit of talk about Bill Clinton's speech Wednesday night to the Democratic convention, and Peggy Noonan even went so far as to declare that "The Master Has Arrived." But she is wrong. When it comes to political oratory, the master arrived last night at Invesco Field. Bill Clinton can give a glib speech, but there has always been something missing from his delivery. Try as he might--and he really did try--he was never able to convincingly fake sincerity. Barack Obama can fake sincerity, and that, more than the words of a speech or the pageantry that precedes it, is the key to his power as a speaker.
His speech last night was brilliant and perfect. It is too bad that the whole thing was a lie, which depended on the smoothness and apparent sincerity of Senator Obama's delivery to lull the listener into a state of credulity and prevent him from asking too many questions.
Here's an example that is small but revealing. Obama led with the best sales pitch he has to offer: that he is not George Bush. But of course, Obama is running against John McCain, not Bush. So he attempted to justify the substitution by claiming that "John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time." This statistic has been used throughout the Democratic convention, but it makes no sense. Bush is not a member of Congress and casts no votes there--so how can you compare his voting record to that of McCain?
But don't examine this folly; ask only what it accomplishes. It allows Obama to run against an unpopular president who will not defend himself because he is not actually in the race.
When it came to making the positive case for himself, Obama's first goal was to address the public's concerns about his background, particularly his patriotism and how much he identifies with American values. So he drew, not from his own biography, but from that of his family.[I]n the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.
In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships....
And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work....
I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me.
In addition to identifying himself with the lower-income, blue-collar types who have so far refused to vote for him, Obama is also painting himself as someone with uncontroversial, traditional American values, someone who believes in fighting for your country and improving your life through hard work and perseverance.
This is supposed to make us forget that Barack Obama launched his political career under the spiritual guidance of a pastor who delivered far-left tirades calling on God to damn America--and he launched his first campaign under the patronage of a former domestic terrorist. Theirs are the stories that also shaped Barack Obama--but he wants to write Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers out of his biography.
Worse, he wants us to stop asking questions about this sort of thing.
Obama is slick but some are already seeing through him. It will take more time for the rest of the voters to catch up with him, but the ads will be out soon enough.
David Freddoso has more on "The Great Lie."