Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Stealth Superstar of Mile High

Barack Obama, in his acceptance speech tonight at Invesco Field in Denver, demonstrated more powerfully than ever why he's the country's greatest public orator since Martin Luther King, Jr.

Obama at Invesco

Obama delivered his address to a crowd of roughly 85,000 people, and there's no gainsaying the Illinois Senator's decision to accept the nomination outdoors, turning what should normally be a insider's partisan rally into a town hall meeting for the masses. Barack Obama is America's incomparable political superstar.

Obama's speech was
less uplifting than combative, but he did what he had to do: He took aim at the Bush administration, and he tied John McCain to the last eight years of GOP rule with more than one pithy turn of phrase.

Speaking of the Republican National Convention next week in Minneapolis, Obama put McCain in the partisan crosshairs, warning against
four more years of the same:

This moment, 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.
Aside from all of his testy thrust and parry, tomorrow is another day in a campaign that will likely be neck and neck throughout the remainder of the election.

For all of his tough talk on national security - seen in his reminder that presidents like FDR and Kennedy kept the nation's security during the most dangerous of crises - Obama is in fact unlike earlier Democratic chief executives. He's less a Kennedy-esque Cold War fighter than he is a Carter-esque captive to the anti-Americanism of Iran (hostages) or the expansionism of Moscow (Afghanistan). Obama's toughness on national security amounts to nothing more than some blustery speech-making falsely claiming better judgment in America's ongoing wars, topped off with a few pictures of his grandfather in his army uniform during World War II. Of course, Obama's big-talk hits the pavement next week when McCain - the campaign's only war hero - reminds the country what it's really like to be tough in warfare

Obama, moreover, like Carter, is a malaise-mongerer.
The Democratic nominee spent time tonight telling stories of personal hardship and economic pain, of rising unemployment and collapsing home values, and of veterans sleeping on grates - but he did not mention today's new statistics on 2nd quarter GDP growth, which found the American economy expanding 3.3 percent from April through June. The United States is not suffering a recession, much less a 1930s-style depression. The Census Bureau reported statistics on growth in median household income for the third year in a row.

Most importantly, Obama's opening video, and speech vignettes of his family's values, paint a biographical picture deeply at odds with the totality of his upbringing. Frankly, at this point Obama appears more about propaganda than patriotism.
The National Review today compared Obama to a Soviet commissar in his efforts to silence researcher Stanley Kurtz by smearing him as a "slimy character assassin." Obama's got a lot to hide, and one Mile High makeover can't bury his past.

Further, in trying to sound substantive tonight (and avoid "changiness"), Barack Obama revealed that the 2008 Democratic Party seeks a return to the kind of big government liberalism not seen since the Great Society. As
Kimberley Strassel argues:

Substantively, Barack Obama's agenda would indeed result in the biggest expansion of government and income redistribution since LBJ. Not that voters would have picked that up in his acceptance speech last night. Democrats are instead pitching this program to Americans in terms that would make the Gipper proud.

Mr. Obama proposes one of the steepest tax increases in modern history, raising rates on personal income, capital gains, dividends and even death. The money Mr. Obama takes from taxpaying Americans he would hand to nontaxpaying Americans in the form of "refundable" tax credits. This is called a "tax hike" and "income redistribution" -- even in the Harvard economics department. And given Mr. Obama's concern with "inequality," you'd assume he'd be proud of it.

Instead, Mr. Obama is careful to declare these new government handouts a "tax cut for the middle class." Joe Biden, in his own nomination speech, stole a favorite Republican talking point, claiming Mr. Obama's dizzying array of tax credits would in fact "reform our tax code." And the Obama team likes to reassure voters his higher capital-gains and dividend tax rates would still be less than those under (can you guess?) Ronald Reagan.

The Illinois senator would create a new "universal" health-insurance plan, which in its size and scope would be the largest government entitlement since Johnson's Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The ultimate goal (as Mr. Obama has hinted) is to pull ever more Americans under the government-health umbrella, until such time as Democrats can kill off private insurance altogether. To hurry us toward "Medicare for All," the Obama plan imposes tough new regulations on insurance companies and big new taxes on business.
This is the message from the 2008 Democratic National Convention, concluded with a flourishing finale from Mile High, delivered by Barack Obama, the superstar of stealth liberalism.