Barry's Speech deconstructed
Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less.
Thanks you taxes!
More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay,
...because you bought more than you could afford
and tuition that's beyond your reach.
It wouldn't be if you'd fund students instead of schools.
These challenges are not all of government's making.
True. But I'll be conservative and give them credit for half. Kudos for recognizing that government does indeed have a hand in our troubles.
But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.
Ummm....I have to give partial credit. They did respond by bailing out the lenders which is bullshit. No tax cutting or deregulation.
America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
That's true. The politics of Washington will never define our country nor be as good as the country is.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.
Sounds like a planning problem to me.
This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
Well if it's a manufacturing job going to China he's probably a Union worker so he can blame unions for artificially inflating labor costs making China a viable option.
We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty;
Actually the government likes people in poverty that's why they keep taxing you into it and then funding you while you're there.
that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.
If only Ray Nagin had acted...
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.
Technically, no. Neither of them is running. Plus, wasn't McCain the media darling when he's was the Maverick? Now he's "McSame"? Which is it?
And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."
Which is what I was saying when the Biden clan took the stage the other day.
Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.
Softens up with the left....
But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.
And delivers the right. Change, change, change, hope, change etc.
He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."
Nation of whiners? I love it? Who is this guy? Can we make him Fed Chairman or Secretary of the Treasury?
A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made.
Oh yes, the work ethic of the UAW is indeed the stuff of legend but not like he thinks.
Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.
He's right about that one. Military people are grossly underpaid and endure tremendous hardship.
Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year?
He didn't he was being flippant and he shouldn't have been.
How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans?
I hope to hell he's giving tax breaks to big corporations. That's how we get more of them here. I'll wager those 100 million he's talking about are currently not paying taxes at all.
How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?
Here's an idea: make all education spending tax deductable. All of it. College, primary school, secondary school, trade schools, etc. As for SS, you want real gambling? Try being a black male and see if you can get any money out of it. Odd are you won't live long enough. Blackjack in AC has better ROI than Social Security.
For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.
Strawman. It's not about "giving" them more. It's about not taxing the hell out of them so they can actually grow and employ people.
In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own.
No, ownership society is attempting to move people from leased cars and rented apartments to actually owning things. People who own things tend to view things very differently than those who do not.
Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.
A great many Americans would agree with this sentiment. That is, the government should leave me the hell alone and I'd be fine. It's only when they get involved that things get more expensive, difficult and complicated. Americans are the most giving, charitable people on Earth. We're the first ones to offer someone a hand up.
You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
Exactly right. Progress means killing large corporations, restricting speech they don't like, disarming citizens, gerrymandering, seizing every last dollar from working people to give to people who do not or will not work. Earmarks, pork projects, spend, spend, spend.
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma.
So long as you don't make too much money. They don't like that. Then you become a "greedy rich" person.
We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.
Lies, damned lies and statistics.
We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500,
Which explains why you're trying to take as much as possible from both of them.
but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business,
and if they can we're obviously not taxing or regulating them enough. Exceptions for artists cooperatives, organic things and other worthless hippy endeavors.
or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.
Gotta give him a pass on that one. Single parenting is very difficult.
Because in 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.
He makes it sound like the GI Bill is no longer around.
In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift,
Do you have any idea how many times I've gone to work on 3 hrs of sleep?
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.
Yet if you had vouchers you she wouldn't have had to go into debt or on foodstamps.
When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.
Blame. The. Unions. They fought any layoff and any technological improvements for fear that it would lead to layoffs.
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.
That was a zillion years ago. Where has this guy been? Who was his opponent in the primary? Hasn't he met Oprah? Billionaire? Is he kidding me?
She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me.
Funny how that happens to, oh I don't know, everyone when they become parents.
I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine.
Just go to the checkout counter of the grocery store and you'll see every bit of minutia about their lives right there. I must warn you it is both ugly and boring at the same time.
It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.
Which means you can't run ads about me and my decade long association with an unrepentant terrorist. I would love, love to see a Democrat party that really, truly believes that we can make our own lives and not be pestered by the nanny state for taxes, regulations and other busybody intrusions.
It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth,
unless you're an oil company
but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.
When you make the speed limit 20 mph, business are going to find roads that allow 65 mph.
Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems,
Hell, I'd be happy if they restricted themselves to not creating any new ones.
but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm
if only he stopped there....
and provide every child a decent education;
just so long as you not undermine the teacher's union
keep our water clean and our toys safe;
because we know Republicans have the dirty water and dangerous toys in their platform.
invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.
No no no. You had 50 years to get the schools to where they should be. It isn't working. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that government should be doing scientific or technological research.
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.
Yes and if you'd get out of the way we could be doing that better. I'd also add that those who are able but not willing to work deserve nothing but scorn.
That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.
Again, we need charity not welfare.
Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.
I'd settle for a tax code that was readable and consisted of one flat rate. No exemptions and no deductions.
Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.
How exactly, does one ship a job overseas? Is there a large ship of jobs going somewhere? Can we detain them at port? What of a bank that wants to open an office in Singapore? Is that considered a job that has been "shipped overseas"?
I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
That'd be me! Hooray! Yay! Too bad I'm never, ever going to have any sort of capital gain.
I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.
Define "working family". I work do I count? What about the neurosurgeon does he work? Do CEO's work? Details please. Define "middle class"? Don't give me income levels either. $50,000 in Manhattan is not $50,000 in Mississippi.
And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.
HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA! Stop, you're killing me! He's either lying or delusional.
Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels.
In order: safety regulations add much weight and size to cars. Those proposed efficiency standards were absurd. Renewable fuels and energy (vague descriptions at best) were nowhere near feasible given the technology and materials available in the last 25 years.
And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.
Thanks to your friends the Greenies who have blocked any drilling, refinement or development of nuclear power for the past 30 years.
Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.
Neither is pie in the sky fantasies about wind farms but that's not stopping you now is it?
As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves,
by drilling for it...
invest in clean coal technology,
Which means you'll have to dig up that coal that Bill Clinton declared a national park as a gift to the Riady family...
and find ways to safely harness nuclear power.
We have it. They're called pebble bed reactors. Good luck getting one built though.
I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.
How about we stop subsidizing them and bust those unions so they pay better workers more not just those who've been around the longest.
I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.
By, like, cutting my taxes? Or taxes on the Big Three?
And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels;
Please don't. Make an energy X Prize instead. We'll all be better off. Stick to things that are Constitutionally mandated please.
an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.
Wanna bet? I'll wager that most of the windfarms you want to build will be built by
Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy.
Can we do that without simply raising teacher salaries? And is that the same global economy you just talked about changing by making American companies do everything here?
I'll invest in early childhood education.
State funded preschool
I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability.
How about having them work a full year? How about allowing school districts to fire incompetent ones?
And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.
Free college for all! "Serving your community" is a hold large enough to drive a truck through.
Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves.
Hell, if that's actually true (which it most certainly is not) I'll pass on employer provided care and get the stuff that Congress gets.
Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.
State funded sick days. I can't wait to see how this works.
Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses;
I gotta give him props on this one....
and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.
NOooooooooooo! Strangle the beast. Let me out of SS now while I still have a chance!
And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.
Despicable boilerplate. Hell, I want my sons to have the same opportunities as his daughters! Those kids are on the fast track to the best schools and then jobs as lobbyist or (like Chelsea) making over 100K right out of college working for McKinsey.
Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow.
Tax havens? WTF? You won't be able to put your money where you want to? "Help America grow" should read "Help government grow".
But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work
like arts funding? The Departments of Labor, HHS, Energy, Drug Control Policy, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, HUD, Transportation, Homeland Security et al?
and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.
Let me know when federal bureaucracy catches up to the 20th century.
Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient.
I am going to regulate your house and business. Solar panels for all!
Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair.
For the former we should provide jail cells. For the latter, opportunities.
But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.
I guess the mothers are already busy.
Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.
If we had individual responsibility we wouldn't need a tenth of the social programs you're suggesting.
If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.
Cowboy up 'cause it's coming in the debates.
For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face.
Yeah, keep running on that anti-war platform. A sure recipe for success.
When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights.
unlike the last Democrat to hold the White House...
John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.
Well, if he's living now, he's in Pakistan. How do you suggest we handle that one?
And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration,
Well now that the fighting is all but over and the Iraqis are actually taking over you want to jump on the victory train. You were against the war entirely. You don't now get to come on board for the big win.
even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.
Yeah, Vietnam vets are stubborn about winning first and then leaving. They're weird like that.
That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.
Actually we need a President who has the judgment to see things through to the end and not go wobbly when things get rough. God I miss Maggie.
You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq.
No but it does tend to keep them out of there and give you a foothold in their backyard.
You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington.
Funny John Kerry assured me last time around that's all you needed to do. Diplomacy diplomacy diplomacy.
We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy.
You are also the party of Robert Byrd and Bull Connor.
So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe.
Do you not remember the Clinton administration?
As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.
How much you wanna bet he'll intervene when we have no national interest but won't when we do?
I will end this war in Iraq responsibly,
There's that word again. What does that mean? Is it responsible to quit before the job is done?
and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
I'm with you on that one...
I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts.
Translation: Massive cuts across the board.
But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.
Precisely what leverage do you think you have over Iran and/or Russia? Oh that's right, the threat of force.
I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease.
Just to be clear: he's going to end these things? In four years or will it take eight? Wow. I rolled my eyes when the right wingers called him Messiah but this is straight out of Revelations. I guess his "partnership" will be with Jesus.
But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.
I've tried explaining that to DelawareLiberal but maybe they'll listen to Obama.
The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook.
So let us agree that patriotism has no party.
Maybe not but anti-Americanism does.
We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.
Yeah but it's how that we don't agree on.
The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.
No AK-47's for criminals? Does that mean I can have one? I'm no criminal. He's more pro-gun than I thought.
I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.
Sure but ramming something through by judicial fiat is no way to change things.
Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child
Didn't Courtney Love have a child?
or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers.
If you let the labor market work on it's own there wouldn't be any undercutting.
This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.
There's an awful lot of collectivism in this speech. Didja notice that? What about individual effort and achievement?
I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk.
That'd be me.
They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values.
Yes because Democrats have been elected before.
And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
Just because an idea is "fresh" doesn't mean it's any good. Exactly what record of accomplishment is he running on?
And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.
Hey, now he's on to something...
I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.
...or accomplished much of anything...
But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.
What is he breaking up with his highschool girlfriend?
For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result.
Speaking of old politics and old players, isn't your running mate Joe Biden?
You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
Change! Change! Hope! Changing Changeness!
I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.
We made lions lay down with lambs...
And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did.
Because Rush Limbaugh told them to...
This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich.
Tell that to the developing world
We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong.
Tell that to Saddam
Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
True especially considering the crap coming out of Hollywood lately.
Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.
HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE!!!
That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
...because I really have no record to run on...
And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
Feel free to conflate MLK Jr. and Barack (redacted) Obama
It come to the finale:
America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
Thank you, God Bless you, and and God Bless the United States of America.