Obama did it! I've heard all the great speeches of the past 70 years, and his was right up there! In fact, given what he had to do in that speech - what a challenge it was! - maybe we have to reach back beyond my 70 years to Lincoln at a battlefield cemetery, explaining why we had to go on with a struggle that was long and difficult and costing 800,000 lives. Why we had to go forward and finish the job. These are difficult speeches to construct!
So I guess a lot of us worried whether Obama could pull it off. He couldn't soar as in 2008 because the people are not in a soaring mood. He couldn't defend because that would look weak. He couldn't blame Bush or the present Congress because that would look worse. And he couldn't give "the specifics" of a "grand vision", as the commentators demanded, because "specifics" and "grand vision" don't go together.
So he looked to you, and he found the hope he gallantly passed on to us last night. He was absolutely truthful when he said he found his inspiration about this country in the Americans he has met. The folks who are battling on against tough odds. He was also absolutely truthful when he said that all that we have achieved in these four years is because of you and that this presidency is yours. And we have indeed achieved a lot. And so he chose you as the theme of his speech. A brilliant choice!
Yes, we Democrats let him down in 2010 by not getting out to vote. We stuck him with a hostile Congress. But we won't let him down again. No, we can't!
In this one speech he said what I have tried to say for a year. That we are a people who care about our brothers and sisters. That America is something far better than just a money-making machine. The Republicans have proved repeatedly that their economics don't deliver even prosperity, let alone make this the society we want to be.
Obama doesn't get paid like a big CEO, but he gives the world's toughest job all his heart and his fine intellect and his high courage. He's gone gray caring about us. All he asked last night from us is that we match his hope by giving him our vote.
He could ask for more. And if he won't, I will. Get other people to the polls! We are fighting a devilish vision of America and its name is legion. We are fighting social injustice, racism, vote suppression, denial of health care and opportunity to learn, schemes to bilk our people, warmongering, and shredding of the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that shelter our most vulnerable neighbors. (The GOP plans to slash Medicaid enormously. Two-thirds of Medicaid goes to caring for our parents and grandparents in nursing homes. MediCARE doesn't pay for that! MedicAID does! And YOU are in line for an old folks' nursing home because we ALL get old!)
We are also fighting those who will destroy our planet. Of course if we lose this environmental fight against the GOP greedy and the Know-Nothings, none of us will have to worry about getting old.
In a way it's a shame that Obama has to "fire up" the troops. We should already have been burning with zeal, given the threats that face us if Romney is elected.
This is a life and death election. OUR lives and OUR deaths. Remember the little girl who needs the heart surgery, whose mother begged for her life on the convention stage? As the mother pointed out, if Romney's elected, the little girl will die. None of the commentators (cynical poseurs that they are) paid any attention to her plight. But Obama did in his speech. This isn't pathos, folks; this is reality. That little girl has counterparts all over this great country. Are we going to let these children die so Romney and Ryan can have MORE tax cuts for the wealthy? Should even ONE CHILD die so that Romney can pay only ONE PER CENT in taxes?
Obama spoke last night on behalf of these threatened children and all the others of us who will be ground under foot by the Republicans. But a HALF BILLION DOLLARS is being spent to drown him out. So we have to fight money with money. GOP donors are writing million dollar checks. Obama just sent an email asking if his speech was okay and could we send him $75? Poor guy. He has to beg money from us to help him to help us!
Yes, President Obama, the speech was a master work. And, yes, we are going to help. Yes, we can and we will.
Mr. Romney, the President didn't demean himself last night by demanding your tax returns, but I will. I've got plenty good meanness in my old bones and am happy to de-mean some in your direction: Hand over the tax returns, buddy boy! It's our RIGHT to see them!
More than that, he did it splendidly. And we're his toughest critics because we are the ones who are literally going to live or die depending on whether Obama wins this election.
I already write about that little girl who won't get her heart surgery if Romney is elected and repeals the Affordable Health Care Act (See: Outsourced Elves and a CHild's Heart) Obama spoke of her last night in his speech.
The commentators ignored her mother's plea from the convention stage. So don't trust their evaluation of Obama's acceptance speech. They don't get it.