Tag Archives: speech

King and Obama

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

Rereading Martin Luther King’s speech from 50 years ago, it is a remarkable piece of rhetorical wonder. The New York Times ran a front-page story on it yesterday.

King’s speech struck a chord because it went narrow and deep. It spoke specifically of a vexing problem: the persistent, violent, and inhumane treatment of black people in America.

There was no sugar-coating in Dr. King’s speech. He didn’t name names, but he did name a particular region of the country: The South.

And what he said was as direct as it was forceful: We have had enough of this crap.

Of course, King made the point with the magic of poetry enshrouded in the mysticism of spiritualism. He called forth for help from the almighty, mostly through allusion, to a specific goal: Let my people go. Continue reading

President Obama and the People of Galesburg


In the early 19th Century, as the country was expanding into its midsection, Chicago played second fiddle to a town 175 miles to the West. There, the Rev. George Washington Gale had founded an institution dedicated to his missionary zeal and political enlightenment called Knox College.

Galesburg, located halfway between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers on some of the richest farmland in the world, became an early social and economic center in Illinois.

Galesburg served as the crossroads of two giant railroads, the Santa Fe and the Burlington Northern.

The railroads brought wealth and prestige to the burg, with stately homes with rich architecture and richer occupants, along wide streets paved with bricks from the local ovens. Galesburg became a hub for another railroad, the Underground Railroad that served as an escape route for slaves from the South.   Continue reading

Obama Phoning It In

Reprinted from Mullings.com

During President Barack Obama’s whirlwind visit to New York City, he delivered a speech to the United Nations.

In that speech Obama said, “The attacks on our civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America.”

To keep close tabs on our response to those “attacks on America” Obama played footsie with the gals on The View. And attended a reception. And Tweeted about the nature of the global issue of replacement refs in the NFL. And, for all I know, took a turn as the Naked Cowboy in Times Square. Continue reading

Unconventional Political Conventions

Reprinted from Mullings.com

As you are no doubt aware, Monday’s schedule for the Republican National Convention in Tampa was cancelled due to fears of Tropical Storm Isaac becoming Hurricane Isaac, and Hurricane Isaac taking dead aim at Tampa.

Even if you hadn’t heard this on the radio or on your local news, you knew it when you tuned in to watch convention activities and were greeted by the cable news channels’ equivalent of “Rain Out Theater.” Continue reading

State of the Union: Truth or Dare?


In the 1981 classic movie, Absence of Malice, lead character Michael Gallagher tells reporter Meghan Carter that everything she wrote about him was accurate, but none of it was true.

I thought of that line as I watched the State of the Union speech January 24.  Everything the President said that night was accurate, but much of it wasn’t true.

That conundrum is among the principle reasons why governing has become so difficult and why Washington is so dysfunctional.

In order for opposing sides to negotiate their way to consensus, they must first agree on their facts.  They can have differing opinions on the meaning and import of those facts, but they have to get their facts straight first. Every parent knows you can’t resolve a dispute between two children until you know how it started and who id what to whom. You’ve heard it many times at the outset of political deliberation:  Let’s first determine on what we can agree before addressing that on which we differ. Continue reading

No Need to Respond


Originally written on September 7th, 2011

Ev and Gerry started the whole response thing.

Everett Dirksen and Gerry Ford, the former Senate Republican leader from Illinois and the former House Minority Leader (and later President) from Michigan used to have a radio show broadcast from the Capitol.

They turned that radio show into a televised rebuttal to President Johnson’s 1966 State of the Union Address.

Dirksen, with his mop of white hair, and Ford, with his bald pate, must have been quite a sight in the years leading up to the Age of Aquarius. Dirksen was the one who famously said, “a billion here, and a billion there, and pretty soon you are talking real money.” Continue reading

Obama the Orator, When Do You Govern?


I’ve tried to give President Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt. He’s young and inexperienced. He’s never run a government before, but he’s smart, personable and has a nice family.

The problem is he keeps making mistakes that are so sophomoric the doubt just continues to grow like Pinocchio’s nose and the benefit of the doubt looks more and more like a very bad investment.

Take the speech he gave before a Joint Session of Congress on job creation the other night.

His first mistake was giving it.  Speeches before a Joint Session are very special. They are a privilege the Congress affords the President and they come with extremely high expectations. It requires that the President be, well, Presidential. President Obama had little hope of meeting those expectations. He had to issue a clarion call for consensus on a bold new economic agenda replete with innovative new ideas and a roadmap for getting us from here to there. Continue reading

The Jobs Speech


Reprinted from Mullings.com

President Barack Obama’s speech wasn’t awful. It wasn’t great. It had some excellent lines “Last thing [vets] should have to do is to fight for a job when then get home.” It some tired union-soothing rhetoric.

At 7:35 Eastern I Tweeted: “Officially bored. This could have been a 20 minute Oval speech.”  True.

Here’s the thing the President left out: He never told us how many jobs this would create and how far down it would bring the unemployment rate. Let’s spend more money and hope for the best. Having listened to the 127 times President Obama said some variant of “pass this bill” I pinged a leadership staffer office only to find there IS no bill. No paper. No package. No nothing. Here’s the text of the email I got having asked if the President dropped off a bill on his way into the House chamber:

“Of course not – no one has seen it. No consultation with House or Senate GOP. No Pay fors [identified]. Just more of his “I decree” this is the plan and [is, therefore] bi-partisan.” Continue reading

A Very Important Week


Reprinted from Mullings.com

This is a big week in American politics.

The other day Michele Bachmann’s campaign “Did a Gingrich” as she lost her manager, the sainted Ed Rollins and his deputy. Ed said it was because, at 68, he’s too damned old to go riding around on small planes and buses for 14 hours a day, seven days a week.

 I have known Rollins for a hundred of his 68 years, and I am willing to bet heavy money that Rep. Bachmann – or Rep. Bachmann’s husband – decided they knew more about how to run a Presidential campaign than Ed did and he told them he was perfectly happy to let them prove it. Continue reading