Will this be on the final?
By Michael Di Domenico
When Professor Obama finally stepped away from the lectern after last Wednesday night's State of the Union, I felt a sudden hankering to amble across campus to the dining hall for some late chow. No doubt, if I were still in college, the cafeteria fare would have been more flavorful than the lecture, which was like trying to ingest wallpaper paste.
We've all seen the picture of Professor Obama at the blackboard, chalk in hand, but nothing in that still, silent shot of the man, could have allowed us to understand how absolutely dull his class would be. We have an idea now, don't we?
Before Wednesday, many would have believed that the teleprompter-enhanced Obama from the campaign trail could waltz into a classroom and mesmerize an audience of eager young minds. Oh, how lucky they would be! The reality, like so many things with Professor Obama, is far from that as we've recently learned that he can't even talk to a group of elementary school kids without the Teleprompter of the United States at hand.
Progressive loyalists wouldn't be swayed by the boredom of the Congressional lecture last Wednesday. They'd sign up for that class, if for no other reason, than to tell everyone else they were in it, as a status symbol. Every example of success with the progressive seems to be symbolic, while the very real and often tragic fallout is somehow disconnected from its logical cause. Between ultimate Frisbee games in the quad, his students, or better, his clones, would engage in deep discussions about the grandeur of "Professor O's" progressive finesse. The rest of the student body would continue with their Obama-free education, planning to take on the world as most have, pragmatically, with eyes open.
Getting lectured by progressives is becoming more tedious than the left-wing classes I was forced to take when I was actually in college. Those expecting a contrite president were surely disappointed, but, then again, those people had absolutely no good reason to expect anything less. The Great Professor has alienated the Right, scared the daylights out of middle and has only the Left, his true home, to turn to. And they're not so hot for him right now either.
The lecture from on high was tedious and admonishing, disjointed and meandering. While the bloom is clearly off the rose, one has to wonder if the aforementioned attributes were not on purpose, with the hope of lulling the public into somnolent acceptance of the underlying sophistry of so many of the comments and claims, not to mention the verbal tricks.
About four minutes into the lecture, Professor Obama talked about the letters he'd received from Americans and how the hardest to read were from the children. He soon explained that "these people" couldn't understand why "bad behavior on Wall Street is rewarded but hard work on Main Street isn't." It was confusing. He'd previously talked about the Americans, but had just finished up about the kids.
Was this a poorly designed paragraph; an oratory flub? If a mere mortal was speaking, there would be little doubt, but this is Professor O. Attacking Wall Street and arriving there by skimming a rock off the backs of children is a designed move. It was over before you knew it, but in the fetid swamp of his words, it left a very purposeful impression. Can't you just imagine little Johnny sitting down one evening to pen this missive: Dear President Obama, I was engaged in a spotting good game of Duck, Duck, Goose this morn, but couldn't focus, as the weight of Wall Street bonuses was cascading through my mind.
From the sublime, to the ridiculous, along comes a plan for student loans. Professor Obama suggested a mathematically inept contrivance, in which college graduates would only have to fork over 10% of their salary to pay back loans and have what's left of those loans forgiven after 20 years and after 10 if you work in the public sector. This means that the government is going to be picking up the remaining tab; another bill for all of us. Yippee! The whole concept is silly and this obvious flaw has been dissected by plenty, so let me point out something else.
Foolish as it is, isn't this entire idea inverted? The people who are working in the public sector are getting a paycheck and high-end health benefits paid for by those working in the private sector, so shouldn't the private sector students be freed from their burden first? Welcome to the warped mind of an intellectual. I guess you can take the professor out of the Socialist, Harvard classroom, but you can't take the Socialist, Harvard classroom out of the professor.
Of course, the entire notion stinks. If Professor Obama truly wanted to help college students, he should put forth the idea that any student who graduates has no federal tax burden for a set number of years. This would incentivize students to attend and finish school, while giving them a chance to build a nest egg early in life. But loosening the restraints of the government's grip is not in the Great Professor's plans.
And of course there's the much ballyhooed spending freeze. Covering less than 20% of the yearly budget and avoiding discretionary spending altogether, it's more like a mild frost. Make no mistake; this is a ploy, an attempt to allow the Professor in Chief to appear as though he cares about the budget. This comes after a year of reckless waste, an omnibus spending bill so loaded with pork Michael Moore couldn't finish it in one sitting and a debt ceiling that's been raised not once, but twice in the last month. And now that he's blown the budget sky-high, he's ready to put a freeze on a couple of small areas for a little while. The reason a bank robber doesn't knock over a bank every week is because each haul allows him to live comfortably for a little while. Oh. And by they way, this starts next year, after you've gone to the voting booth: Trust us. I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
In the 70-minute lecture, there were so many ridiculous comments that I could write for days, but the low point of the evening followed Professor Obama's admonition of the Supreme Court for their decision the prior week to overturn major portions of the McCain-Feingold Bill. Never mind that the scholarly one got the facts about the decision all wrong. His erroneous statements are par for the course these days and who cares; he had some intimidation to attend to.
Disrespecting the members of the Court was bad enough, but the Democrat Party reaction in the gallery behind the Supreme Court members in attendance was abysmal. The cheers reminded me of when the visitor's penalty box swings open and the drunks behind it taunt and jeer the opponent. I only wish Justice Alito had a water bottle to retaliate with. There's an angry, mean-spirited ugliness that lives just below the surface with the Democrat Party and they let it show again.
The media punditry has an ugliness that seeps out now and then too. Chris Matthews, who's afflicted with a chronic case of seepage, cut one on the air after the lecture. Like one of the Frisbee-hurling numbskulls, he told us one of his innermost thoughts in describing Professor O's greatness: "I forgot he was black tonight, for an hour." Now couldn't that be read other ways? Like: I see him as black 364 days a year or My TV doesn't have smell-o-vision, but he looks pretty clean or This guy's so well-spoken, he should join Harry Reid's traveling minstrel show.
Worry not, Mr. Matthews. Class is over and you can safely go back to seeing him as his skin color, while lecturing us about our flaws. And I'll join racist Chris Matthews on this one. I see Obama as a color too; not the brownish color of his skin, mind you; that's for the truly ignorant, but for the reddish color of his politics. Enough about racist Chris Matthews; let's get back to the lecture. Eyes front everyone.
The overall message Professor Obama wanted to convey was that the problem isn't his ideas; they're outstanding. It's we the people. We're so stupid and distractible that we don't appreciate the greatness before us. If our heads weren't filled with pesky facts, real world questions and talk radio gibberish, we'd get it.
The problem you're running up against Professor O is not that we don't understand your design; it's that we do understand it. It's not that we haven't heard you. We've heard you plenty. You've said the same thing over and over for a year now. This lecture was a patchwork quilt of old speeches, sloppily slapped together. In fact, we're tired of hearing you. The question isn't, "Are we listening to you?" The question is, "Are you listening to us?"