Permalink to Is There Anything He Could Say?

Is There Anything He Could Say?

 

A thought experiment: on last week’s installment of the flagship podcast, Peter asked Andy Ferguson what President Obama needed to say today in his second inaugural address. Andy’s witty dodge (“I resign”) struck me as as good of an answer as someone on our side of the aisle could give. As a former speechwriter, I’m always struck by how difficult hypotheticals like this (“Imagine your entire system of political values is turned upside down — now sell it!”) are to answer.

With the President only moments away from delivering the speech, I thus put the question to you: is there anything Barack Obama could say today that would give you some glimmer of hope that you could expect something better from his second term than his first?

Join Ricochet!
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Members have made 29 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Hartmann von Aue Member

    Yes, this: “In these last weeks, I have felt an overwhelming weight of guilt and conviction, brought upon me, I am convinced, by the Holy Spirit. My mind has been tortured and my conscience afflicted by the reality of the hideous, murderous barbarism that is abortion. My first act on returning to the White House tomorrow morning will be to sign an executive order prohibiting all federal funding of and barring federal employees from participating in the act of abortion.” 

    That would change my moral estimate of the man almost completely. As it stands, he is the man who demanded that babies who survive abortions be killed, who wanted to make it mandatory under law for medical personnel to display depraved indifference to human life if that human life was a baby who survived the malicious intentions of an abortionist. 

    • #1
    • January 21, 2013 at 10:07 am
  2. Profile photo of Nick Stuart Thatcher
    Troy Senik, Ed.

    With the President only moments away from delivering the speech, I thus put the question to you: is there anything Barack Obama could say today that would give you some glimmer of hope that you could expect something better from his second term than his first? · · 15 minutes ago

    No, because I don’t believe anything he says.

    If he were to do something along the lines of what Hartmann (above) suggests, I would believe the act.

    • #2
    • January 21, 2013 at 10:11 am
  3. Profile photo of Fricosis Guy Coolidge

    Sure… and monkeys are about to fly [CoC violation deleted].

    • #3
    • January 21, 2013 at 10:26 am
  4. Profile photo of BlueAnt Member

    There are plenty of words that could indicate a complete turnaround, or at least a move toward Bill Clinton-esque centralist triangulation.

    The problem is the speaker. I wouldn’t believe that hypothetical moderation phrasing if he did deliver that speech.

    Obama’s rhetoric was transparent before he ever got elected in 2008, and the last four years have done nothing but confirm his willingness to do what he wants, not what he says he will do.

    • #4
    • January 21, 2013 at 10:27 am
  5. Profile photo of Hartmann von Aue Member
    Nick Stuart
    Troy Senik, Ed.

    With the President only moments away from delivering the speech, I thus put the question to you: is there anything Barack Obama could say today that would give you some glimmer of hope that you could expect something better from his second term than his first? · · 15 minutes ago

    No, because I don’t believe anything he says.

    If he were to do something along the lines of what Hartmann (above) suggests, I would believe the act. · 14 minutes ago

    With very rare exceptions, I don’t think anyone should believe any two words out of Obama’s mouth, not even “good morning”.

    • #5
    • January 21, 2013 at 10:30 am
  6. Profile photo of DrewInWisconsin Member
    With the President only moments away from delivering the speech, I thus put the question to you: is there anything Barack Obama could say today that would give you some glimmer of hope that you could expect something better from his second term than his first?

    Nope. The man has the moral intelligence of a clam.

    • #6
    • January 21, 2013 at 10:30 am
  7. Profile photo of Trumpus Maximus Meridius Decimus Abacus Member

    Is there anything Barack Obama could say today that would give you some glimmer of hope that you could expect something better from his second term than his first?

    Yes, but Jack Nicholson delivered it better. Its the thought that counts, as well as the handshake.

    • #7
    • January 21, 2013 at 10:39 am
  8. Profile photo of Al Pipkin Inactive

    As I’m limited to 200 words,

    No!

    • #8
    • January 21, 2013 at 10:57 am
  9. Profile photo of MRK Member
    MRK

    Nope! Spoken today, forgotten tomorrow.

    • #9
    • January 21, 2013 at 11:07 am
  10. Profile photo of ChrisinDCburbs Member

    “My Fellow Americans, four years ago I was abducted by my doppelganger, Bizarro Barack, who assumed my identity and has been ruining this country ever since. Thanks to the brave men and women of the U.S. military, I have been rescued and will continue my duties. My first action is to repeal all the nonsense that Bizarro Barack pushed through; secondly, I will immediately appoint all Ricochet staff to serve in my new Cabinet; and finally I will renew my NRA membership. I know this sounds unbelievable, but is it any stranger than what’s happened to this great country over the past four years?”

    • #10
    • January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am
  11. Profile photo of Spin Thatcher

    My wife and I were watching television the other day, and whatever we were watching, they were talking about “what to expect” out of the address. They played clips from Obama and his wife both. I remarked to my wife how irritating both of them are when they speak publicly. Am I the only one who feels talked down to? I don’t remember feeling this way with Clinton. In fact when Clinton spoke it generally made me wonder if I wasn’t wrong about Democrats and liberalism. He seemed to want to invite me over to his side. Obama just talks down to us. So no, there’s nothing he could say to make me think we’ll get anything out of the next four years that we didn’t get in that last four years.

    • #11
    • January 21, 2013 at 11:21 am
  12. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Member

    No.

    That’s why I listened to the pedestrian tripe he spoke, nodded, and then went and listened to Reagan’s First Inaugural.

    • #12
    • January 21, 2013 at 11:28 am
  13. Profile photo of Lavaux Inactive

    There’s nothing Obama can say to give me hope because I can’t bear to listen to him. Today I got through 35 seconds of his speech, experienced a sudden and irresistible wave of anger and disgust, and had to kill the radio. I don’t see how any GOP Congres-critter can stand to be in the same room with the guy.

    • #13
    • January 21, 2013 at 11:38 am
  14. Profile photo of DocJay Member

    I am working on a tranquilizer that makes me forget the next four years.

    Obama represents the work of social scientists and we shall reap what they sow.

    As far as Obama’s self lauding teleprompter garbage, I’ll pass. They all are the same. If you heard one speech, then you heard them all.

    • #14
    • January 21, 2013 at 11:53 am
  15. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Member

    Did anyone see the Blanco poem reading? It was so self-indulgent and uninspired that even Mrs. Obama was looking about for an exit!

    • #15
    • January 22, 2013 at 1:08 am
  16. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    There is no there there.

    • #16
    • January 22, 2013 at 1:11 am
  17. Profile photo of Trumpus Maximus Meridius Decimus Abacus Member
    Crow’s Nest: Did anyone see the Blanco poem reading? It was so self-indulgent and uninspired that even Mrs. Obama was looking about for an exit! · 6 minutes ago

    She might have been looking for her hair stylist.

    • #17
    • January 22, 2013 at 1:15 am
  18. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Member
    Pseudodionysius
    Crow’s Nest: Did anyone see the Blanco poem reading? It was so self-indulgent and uninspired that even Mrs. Obama was looking about for an exit! · 6 minutes ago

    She might have been looking for her hair stylist. · 6 minutes ago

    One wonders, sometimes, if they think to themselves:

    “Is this the price that one pays for being History’s emissary? That we must endure such low art because we seek such base objectives……and yet, they are favorably received among the people, so who are we to quibble? Oh, well, yes, there is no greatness in our day in politics or arts, but, really, all of that is past us, don’t you think? It’s all so very gauche, and gruesome to boot! No, no, our time knows better than such trifles! We take care, yes, take care of one another, don’t we? And all these complainers and troublemakers, oh, really! They are just a charade and a shadowplay to us, don’t you suppose?

    Oh, it will be good to be in the car, and get back to the residence, and take off these heavy clothes. When’s the next trip, again?”

    • #18
    • January 22, 2013 at 1:29 am
  19. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    I was busy playing Ratchet & Clank. 

    • #19
    • January 22, 2013 at 2:08 am
  20. Profile photo of Animositas Member

    If he said that “2+2=4”, I’d want to see a proof. If he told us the day of the week, I’d check a calendar.

    I could keep this up all day but I believe I’ve made my point.

    (5 uses of “I” and 1 of “my”, not quite an Obama level of narcissism but close)

    • #20
    • January 22, 2013 at 2:52 am
  21. Profile photo of Songwriter Member

    Until I can buy a protective chicken wire cage for my TV, the moment Obama appears on TV the “mute” button gets pressed.

    Doesn’t matter what he says, though. I wouldn’t believe a word he uttered if he were reading from a phone book.

    • #21
    • January 22, 2013 at 4:02 am
  22. Profile photo of HoosierDaddy Inactive

    “If the economy doesn’t improve in the next year and a half, you should fire the Congress we have and get all new people in there.”

    • #22
    • January 22, 2013 at 5:29 am
  23. Profile photo of No Caesar Thatcher

    “I was wrong to falsely demonize my opponent, Mitt Romney, during the past campaign. He would make a better President than I. Therefore, I announce today that I have accepted the resignation of Vice President Biden immediately and am appointing Mr. Romney in his stead. Subsequently, I will resign the office of the Presidency.”

    • #23
    • January 22, 2013 at 5:38 am
  24. Profile photo of Group Captain Mandrake Inactive

    When he speaks of his political opponents, he should take a leaf from The British Prime Minister John Major who made a speech in May 1994 in the House of Commons after the death of the Leader of the Opposition, John Smith, and which I have excerpted below.

    “…the role of the Leader of the Opposition is unique. It is…vital to the determination of the way in which we conduct our affairs and to the protection of people who oppose the Government on a range of issues. The Leader of the Opposition is in the anteroom of power, yet not in the seat of power itself. In that position….he must maintain his party’s hunger for government and never let that appetite diminish. He must remain confident and never let the years of waiting sour or embitter him or the nature of public life. He must keep alive hope and ambition and must keep sharp the cutting edge of his own party’s beliefs.

    Political differences are not the be-all and end-all of relationships for Members of the House. When I think of John Smith, I think of an opponent, not an enemy…”

    • #24
    • January 22, 2013 at 7:05 am
  25. Profile photo of Cal Lawton Member

    I quit.

    • #25
    • January 22, 2013 at 8:08 am
  26. Profile photo of bellcpa Inactive

    Nothing, Nope, NADA, Zilch. You can tell he’s lying when his lips are moving.

    • #26
    • January 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm
  27. Profile photo of Western Chauvinist Member

    Whaaaat? I missed it? Dang it.

    I don’t know what people are talking about when they say Barack Obama is the least known president in history. I’m surprised by nothing he says or does, although I admit to hearing what he says exclusively through the conservative talk radio filter. He’s hard core leftist. Everything that happens is an opportuniteh to advance the Left’s agenda under the guise of “social justice.” 

    I’ve been cooking up a different question. Is there anything he could say which would shock and dismay the people who voted for him?

    “Today <today… today… today…>, we have finally recognized the limits of our Constitution <shun…shun…shun>. In order to better serve our fellow man <man…man…man…>, we’re going to do what’s right <rite…rite…rite…>, rather than limit ourselves to the failed limitations of the past <past…past…past…>.

    Starting today <day…day…day>, we’re going to confiscate people’s guns and money <moneh…moneh…moneh…>. We’re_going_to_tax_churches <chez…chez…chez…>. And_we’re_going_to use_the proceeds_to_suckle [wait_did_he_say_succor?] you_wretched_masses [wait_did_he_say_you_or_the?]”

    O__Bah__Ma! O__Bah__Ma!

    • #27
    • January 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm
  28. Profile photo of Bereket Kelile Member

    I missed the speech and probably couldn’t sit through it since I have the choice to just change the channel. He is capable of at least setting the right tone for the second term even if he still pursues his agenda. He could still be gracious and avoid highlighting differences between the two sides, instead focusing on common ground. He could talk about things that we’d all like to see accomplished. He could even talk about what’s great about America and her people. 

    If he said something along those lines he would put his critics in a very difficult position. He is definitely capable of it. A little diplomacy, humility, deference, and civility goes a long way. It’s about remembering that you’re the president for everyone, not just those who voted for you.

    • #28
    • January 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm
  29. Profile photo of Jordan Member

    I watched the address. I thought he might say something interesting, and at the end of the day it’s a civic duty to observe these public evens. But it wasn’t what he said, but rather what was assumed in his address that made me think about why I disliked his speech.

    The first part was fine, he recounted the text of the Declaration, but then a subtle, but critical shift occurs in the speech. Where Jefferson and the rest of the Framers would have said that these rights are guarantees from government interference, i.e. government won’t deprive you of life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Obama’s speech seems to assume that government brings these rights about in a very direct way, rather than simply protecting them.

    So no, there isn’t anything he could have said. This is because what matters most is what is what goes without saying.

    • #29
    • January 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm