Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rhetoric versus Reality

Apparently in this age of Obama, there is a new standard that now applies to what some candidates for office may openly declare in a speech, regardless of the extent to which it demonstrate a complete and utter disregard for the truth. Either that, or reporters should have a few tough questions for this candidate.

We have always known the phrase "rhetorical excess," but on the permissive side, the implication always seemed to be that a momentary and illuminating flourish might safely wander a bit beyond the strict bounds of objective reality. But what of blatant and open contradictions? Do we no longer hold speakers to their statements at all?

An example: Obama's speech today in Germany opened today with this little flourish, "Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen -- a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world."

Yet, his campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs used as an excuse for Sen. Barack Obama scrapping plans to visit wounded American soldiers, members of our armed forces at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, "because the Democratic presidential candidate thought it would be inappropriate on a campaign-funded journey."

Wait . . . I thought he said he was not there as a candidate for President?

So . . . the speech delivered to German crowds, which Obama proclaimed was not campaign related, was okay to deliver, even though it was funded using campaign money. But visiting wounded American soldiers in the hospital was not okay, even though he could have easily done that without spending a dime of campaign funds, and not brought the press along with him.

Barack Obama could have simply made the judgment that it was the right thing to do.

But he didn't.


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