I think the pundits have missed what was really wrong about Obama’s “Just words” speech. The charges of plagiarism don’t really seem to stand because of his cozy relationship with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and it just isn’t plagiarism when you have permission.
What was the real problem is that he was using his speeches focusing predominately on hope and change and comparing them to “I had a dream” and “We hold these truths to be self evident.” This is rather egotistic in the first place and there is a great difference between his words and those words. For one Martin Luther King’s words and activism were founded on action where his words matched something substantive with his movement of nonviolence and civil disobedience where he was willing to go to jail in face of these racial injustices. The words of the Declaration of Independence were also based on action and people willing to lay down their lives to defend the new country and the ideas in the declaration.
So for Obama using this as a tactic to deflect criticisms that he was all talk with no actual plans by quoting rhetoric that was backed up by plans and action doesn’t really do much. Though I guess the irony is that he was using empty rhetoric to defend himself against the charge of empty rhetoric. Another thing I don’t get about the Obama fascination is all the praises for his speeches when what he is doing is giving a good reading of a prepared speech. When he had to give a talk without a teleprompter and he didn’t want to be reading from a prepared speech it gave a much better idea of Obama the speaker with him bashing President Bush, Karl Rove and former FEMA head Michael Brown and using much more of the language of political liberalism today.
I do think it is pretty cool how far Christopher Blosser’s Is Obama the Messiah? blog has taken off and how much traffic he is getting.
One thing though – with Jesus we got The Beatitudes, with Obama we get The Platitudes. Besides doesn’t the Bible have strong words about the Obamanation?