Why Obama is Not Just about Rhetoric

I just finished watching Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech and can already imagine the media and conservative spin on it boiling down to the notion that he can sure talk pretty, but there’s no substance behind his words.

I think anyone who dismisses Obama as nothing but a good speaker is missing the point of his speech. The fact that he talked about race in a thoughtful, balanced manner, the fact that he addressed the real fears and angers that are within the poor white communities as well as those within the black communities, the fact that he did not play politics as usual with this issue and refused to separate himself from his church and his pastor while clearly demonstrating how and why he does not agree with Rev. Wright, and the fact that he spoke truth about the complexities and difficulties facing our country tells me that he is not simply a politician, but a leader.

Can you honestly see Clinton giving a speech about something as complex and charged as racism in America?

Can you honestly see McCain giving a speech that both speaks truth and offers a vision of hope and progress?

(And I’m not even going to go into the problems with McCain’s religious associations – associations which are certainly to being scrutinized to the same extent as Obama’s but which are just as, if not more, incendiary. You can find some good coverage of those issues here and here.)

Enough with claims that Obama supporters are cultish and fanatics and that the man doesn’t have enough experience to be an effective President. He has the experience that it takes to lead, to offer up a vision of hope and justice and he has the experience it takes to find the best and brightest people to advise him . . . something our current President was never very good at and, when he did (Colin Powell comes to mind) he simply ignored good and true advice to pursue his own messianic and vicious agendas. You want to talk about cultish? You want to talk about fanatic? Let’s talk about the people who still support Bush after he has wrecked the economy, sanctioned torture, created a more fertile ground for terrorism, lost us a city, lied to Congress and the American people, involved us in a disastrous war with no plan for peace, and stolen our constitutional rights. Those are the people who are drinking the kool-aid, not the Obama supporters.

On this day..