". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Speak for Yourself, Mr. Obama

A recent column on Barack Obama by Mark Steyn reminded me of one of the Clinton-Obama debates I watched some months ago on CNN. During this portion of the debate, the topic at hand was health care. Of course, both Clinton and Obama are in favor of nationalizing and socializing this country's health care system and paying for it in part by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. At one point Obama was asked how if nominated he would counter the Republican charge--sure to come in the general election--that he is just another tax and spend liberal. He essentially acknowledged that fact--for which I respect his honesty--but then went on to argue that because it is "the right thing to do" he is willing to spend the money. According to Obama, the Bush tax cuts mostly benefited wealthy people who can afford to pay more to support such a good cause.

In promoting his plan to raise taxes, Candidate Obama then looked around the audience and remarked on the fine apparel of those present, suggesting that they and he could certainly pay a little more to help provide health care for those who need it. And considering some of the faces I saw in the audience, I'm sure he's right. But I would submit that when it comes to Americans' ability to afford a tax increase, Mr. Obama should speak only for himself, because the Obamas' $480,000 per year income (not counting book royalties) is a far cry from mine and my husband's annual income, and for us the Bush tax cuts & credits have made a huge difference in our bottom line over the past few years. I am panicked at the thought of losing them.

The $480,000 figure comes from Mark Steyn's recent column on "Obama's Pastor Disaster"--it is worth a complete read, and I encourage you to do so by clicking here. But if time is short, at least read the excerpt below:

The song the Rev. Wright won't sing is by Irving Berlin, a contemporary of Cole Porter, Ira Gershwin and Lorenz Hart, all the sophisticated rhymesters. But only Berlin could have written without embarrassment "God Bless America." He said it directly, unaffectedly, unashamedly – in seven words:

"God Bless America
Land that I love."

Berlin was a Jew, and he suffered slights: He grew up in the poverty of New York's Lower East Side. When he made his name and fortune, his marriage to a Park Avenue heiress resulted in her expulsion from the Social Register. In the Thirties, her sister moved in with a Nazi diplomat and proudly flaunted her diamond swastika to Irving. But Berlin spent his infancy in Temun, Siberia (until the Cossacks rode in and razed his village), and he understood the great gift he'd been given:

"God Bless America
Land that I love."

The Rev. Wright can't say those words. His shtick is:

"God d*** America
Land that I loathe.

I understand the Ellis Island experience of Russian Jews was denied to blacks. But not to Obama. His experience surely isn't so different to Berlin's – except that Barack got to go to Harvard. Obama's father was a Kenyan, he spent his childhood in Indonesia, and he ought to thank his lucky stars that he's running for office in Washington rather than Nairobi or Jakarta.

Instead, his whiny wife, Michelle, says that her husband's election as president would be the first reason to have "pride" in America, and complains that this country is "downright mean" and that she's having difficulty finding money for their daughters' piano lessons and summer camp. Between them, Mr. and Mrs. Obama earn $480,000 a year (not including book royalties from "The Audacity Of Hype," but they're whining about how tough they have it to couples who earn 48 grand – or less. Yes, we can. But not on a lousy half-million bucks a year.

God has blessed America, and blessed the Obamas in America, and even blessed the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose bashing of his own country would be far less lucrative anywhere else on the planet. The "racist" here is not Geraldine Ferraro but the Rev. Wright, whose appeals to racial bitterness are supposed to be everything President Obama will transcend. Right now, it sounds more like the same-old same-old.

"God Bless America
Land that I love."

Take it away, Michelle.
--Mark Steyn


elephantschild said...

I got to listen to all of Obama's speech this morning, as he distanced himself from Rev. Wright, but then made excuses for him. Outrageous.

But what's so scary is that Obama is like Saruman -his voice is so sibilant, his words so intoxicating; even knowing he's a socialist, it's hard not to get sucked into what he's saying. It's like looking at a basilisk.

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered about "God bless America." Is this an imperative? A hope? And if so, on what basis? Is America righteous enough to deserve it? Or are we as contrite as Nineveh, which was not blessed but was not destroyed? Or was this merely a catchy line not literally intended, some sort of thankfulness on the part of Mr. Berlin?

I'm not a big Obama fan, but he did seem to properly renounce the expressions of his pastor without rejecting the man, in much the same way a parent might renounce the criminal activities of a child without rejecting the child. That seemed to take some discernment on his part.

I can see the good in America, and recall with great love the idealism that it seemed to have in my younger days. But we are seeing days where the government of the richest country in the world refuses to balance a budget as it expects its citizens to do, an age where the president of the country embraces torture and indefinite, non-judicial confinement as acceptable, and an age where one of our two presidential candidates is unashamedly divorced (as were most of his party's candidates, I think). Not to mention the age when one governor quits over sexual impropriety, only to have the next do a preemptive, salacious confession, and a time when the economy is melting down because of exploitive usury towards the poor.

I am certainly proud of America's past - the Marshal plan and rebuilding of Japan, the emancipation proclamation, and so on - but its present does not thrill me. Thanks be to God that Christ has died for our sins and that of his kingdom there will be no end!