"When I first heard this sort of radically optimistic speech in Iowa, I have to
confess my American soul was stirred. It seemed like the overture for a new yet
quintessentially American campaign.
But now it is more than half a year on,
and the post-partisanship of Iowa has given way to the post-nationalism of
Berlin, and it turns out that the vague overture is the entire symphony. The
golden rhetoric impresses less, the evasion of hard choices strikes one more. "
I, too, think I fell for some of this rhetoric. One night a few months ago, after some primary win, Amy and I were watching CNN coverage and Obama gave a speech. We both sat there mesmerized, thinking that this guy was going to win it all. He is a powerful speaker, especially in times when there are very few powerful political speakers. Then we started listening to the actual substance and were opposed to quite a few of his programs.
When he spoke in Berlin yesterday, it was all fluff. Vast ideals with no way of actually doing them.
"But substantively, optimism without reality
isn’t eloquence. It’s just Disney."