Sunday, October 24, 2010

5. Words and so what?

“It’s just words,” so said Senator Obama on one of his campaign stops in 2008. He meant that his opponent was just throwing words around and so what! Obama’s campaign portrayed him as a moderate, with centrist leanings, and many persons liked what they heard; so he was elected president.

Senator McCain made several statements during that campaign that Senator Obama severely criticized, statements that now more accurately reflect what President Obama’s administration is doing. But then that was just words, both Senator McCain’s words and now President Obama’s words.

Words do count for something, they reflect what we’re trying to say; at least that seems to have been the “old time” belief, maybe now an outmoded belief. President Obama’s acts more properly reflect what some might say is a progressive, Socialist, agenda. Obama’s actions are not those of a moderate, centrist leader.

However, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, disregarded criticism of Obama’s based on his campaign words, rejecting his campaign promises as mere trifles, words meant to be ignored. Does Speaker Pelosi means that campaign promises are mere words, without meaning or substance? If not that, what does the Speaker mean in fact?

Senate Majority Harry Reid has said, about the Iraq War surge, that the USA “lost” that war, which we now seem to have won. Leader Reid called President Bush despicable names and used most derogatory words about that president. Today, Leader Reid decries similar such statements about President Obama! Is this an example that outrage depends on who’s Ox is gored? Or, are all such statements unacceptable? It’s not clear from Leader Reid’s examples.

President Obama is praised as being most intelligent and an orator of great renown. When Obama doesn’t have a teleprompter handy, his speech includes a lot of “umm,” “ah,” and “now wait a minute” statements while he considers what he should say. It’s given that President Obama has got a tremendous voice, a low baritone or tenor voice, with a great pleasing resonance. Yet, Obama is not a good off-the-cuff speaker. His speeches best succeed when his teleprompter is working and he’s delivering a well prepared talk. However, even then, content matters and words matter, in my very humble opinion. President Obama has declared himself to have considerable humility, like his good friend Prime Minister Rudd of Australia. That’s most humble of the president describing himself that way.

Obama asked early on that we judge him by the people surrounding him, by his associates, by those he nominates to high federal office. A former appointee, Van Jones, is a self-confessed Communist, Bill Ayres, a known Socialist( He claims to be a communist with a small c), as is Ayres’ wife, others in his administration praise Mao the Tyrant, so if Obama is not a Socialist, some close associates and appointed high federal employees certainly are. Cass Sunstein, Obama’s “Regulatory Czar,” has said that power comes from the muzzle of a gun, quoting Mao the Tyrant; does that mean Obama has the same belief?

What to believe? Can we believe Obama’s words or those of his staunch supporters? If not, what do we use instead? What about acts?

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