And this is what he said. This is what Barry Obama said.


 

Via Alex Ross and countless others, this one’s designed to make Obamamania dissenters’ heads blow right up: The lanky state legislator from Illinois reading Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait:

Conductor Bill Eddins’ butt will be familiar to Edmontonians. Readers unfamiliar with Copland’s Lincoln ode, as ludicrous and stirring as a visit to the Hall of Presidents at Disney World, can hear the whole thing here, featuring that lanky lawyer Atticus Finch. Many of us prefer PDQ Bach’s version.


 
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And this is what he said. This is what Barry Obama said.

  1. What’s with Obama and his fascination with Lincoln. I assume part of it’s due to the Emancipation Proclamation but I wonder if there is more to it than that.

    Also, I wish Obama would take Copeland’s words to heart.

    ” …The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew …”

    Obama is applying left wing dogma to stormy present and there is no thinking anew, just boilerplate ‘we will spend our way out of the recession’, and saying one thing during primaries while doing quite another after getting elected is typical pol behaviour as well.

    • I think it’s the Illinois connection as much as the Emancipation Proclamation. Everybody loves worships Lincoln down there.

  2. Obamamania dissenters’ were likely not watching the fawning collection of sycophants.

  3. I prefer PDQ Bach’s duet for oboe and tuba, and Schickele’s observation:

    “You’d think the tuba would drown out the oboe, wouldn’t you? But it doesn’t. Something else will have to be found.”

  4. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism, I hear.

    Obamamania dissenters must be the greatest patriots of all.

  5. “Mr. Speaker, I had intended, on Friday night, to have made some remarks on the amendment that was then in your hands.”

    That is what he said. That is what Sir John A. Macdonald said.

    “Mr. Speaker, I had intended, on Friday night, to have made some remarks on the amendment that was then in your hands; but, unfortunately for myself and, perhaps, fortunately for the House, I was too much indisposed to be able to do so, and I was obliged to leave the Chamber.” [Speech in the House of Commons, January 17 1881]

    He was born in Glasgow, raised in Kingston, and lived in Ottawa. And this is what he said. This is what Sir John A. Macdonald said.

    “The hon. gentleman, with his legal mind sticking upon legal technicalities, may argue that a speech of mine was not a legal notice; but upon a previous occasion when the hon. member for Lambton was forcing a measure upon the country without notice, he said, indignantly, to this House: “Every man has read my speech at Sarnia. When I went home to be elected as Premier, I gave notice to the whole country of the policy of the Government, and we have not taken the country by surprise.” I will ask the hon. member, if that did not occur, that if what is sauce for one animal of a particular kind is not sauce for another animal of the same kind?”

    When standing up erect he usually held a bottle of sherry, and this is what he said.

    He said, “Why, Sir, it is actually impossible, although my hon. friend has overcome many obstacles with regard to the Intercolonial Railway, for the Government to run that railroad satisfactorily. It is made a political cause of complaint in every way. The men that we put on the railroad from the porter upwards became civil servants. If one of these men is put on from any cause whatever, he is said to be a political hack. If he is removed it is said his removal was on account of his political opinions. If a cow is killed on the road a motion is made in respect to it by the member of the House, who has the owner’s vote as support.”

    Sir John A. was a witty man. Sir John A. Macdonald was a witty and mischief-making man. But when he spoke of the Liberals, this is what he said.

    He said: “We have had tragedy, comedy and farce from the other side. Sir, it commenced with tragedy. The contract was declared oppressive . . . and this was the tragedy; and hon. gentlemen opposite played it so well, that if they did not affect the whole audience, we could see tears of pity and sorrow trickling down the cheeks of gentlemen sitting on that side of the House.”

    John A. Macdonald, first prime minister of this Dominion of Canada, is everlasting in the memory of his countrymen. For on the floor of the House of Commons, this is what he said:

    He said: “Then, Sir, we had the comedy. The comedy was that when every one of the speeches of these hon. gentlemen were read to them, it was proved that last year or the year before, and in previous years, they had thought one way, and that now they spoke in another way. Then it was the most amusing and comic thing in the world.”

  6. Now do Joe Clark, Jack!

    On Obama-Lincoln parallels, the most elaborate attempt to draw them that I’ve seen comes from Gary Wills:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21290

    I have no strong opinion on what sort of president he’ll be. I often preferred Mrs. Clinton in the primaries. I think his moves since the election have been quite sure-footed. Recall that Bill Clinton self-consciously modelled his early days on Kennedy, and Bush 43 on Reagan.

    • I liked that article and that parallel. Obama’s speech on race was definitely a game-changer. But I thought it was much more like the Havel speech you linked to in an earlier post: its strength came from its candour. I hope he will continue to make speeches on that issue, the #1 structural problem in American society. The challenge is the opposite of Lincoln’s challenge, though: nowadays everybody in the USA talks the talk about getting rid of prejudice, to the point where the goal itself is completely submerged by cant. It’s gotten to the point where noticing that racism exists and opposing it is seen as a sign of racism (the reasoning being that anyone so conscious of race as to notice it must be a racist). Obama broke through that barrier of silence as nobody else could have done (though he will have to follow up). Lincoln’s problem, by contrast, was the opposite: the very candid embrace, on the part of the South, of the mechanisms of oppression.

      I don’t buy the line that Obama is all talk and no action, all generalities and no specifics. (His specifics, as you say, aren’t all that impressive, eg. his health plan vs. Clinton’s.) America’s social problems are problems of rhetoric and can only be cured by rhetoric — in the good sense. Of course, its social problems may have to be put on the back burner for a few decades, given the apocalyptic fiscal problems . . .

  7. “It has been evident for some time that fundamental problems face the nation, and that they will be solved only if governments and citizens are prepared to take difficult decisions now, in the interest of building a stronger Canadian future.”

    That is what he said. That is what Joseph Clark said.

    “It has been evident for some time that fundamental problems face the nation, and that they will be solved only if governments and citizens are prepared to take difficult decisions now, in the interest of building a stronger Canadian future. Tough decisions are always easier to talk about than to take — and some suggest a minority government should be particularly cautious.” [Speech to the Burlington Chamber of Commerce – December 13, 1979]

    He was born in High River, went to school in Edmonton, and lived in Ottawa. And this is what he said. This is what Joe Clark said.

    “[Deficits] are pushing up interest rates, they are claiming capital resources that otherwise would be available for job-creating private investment, and, perhaps worst of all, they stand as a message from Ottawa that you can continually spend beyond your means. If large deficits could solve our economic problems, we should have a very healthy economy, because we have the largest deficits in our history. Canada’s recent record put the lie to that argument — and we intend to change the record, and cut the deficit.”

    When he grew passionate, his eyes bulged, and this is what he said.

    He said: “But I did not come to Burlington today to talk about deficits. I am here to talk about energy — about why this nation, which is energy-rich in a world that is energy-poor — has to establish today a comprehensive long range national energy program. More particularly, I want to tell what our energy program will do to help build Ontario.”

    Clark was an eloquent man. Joe Clark was an eloquent and misunderstood man. But when he spoke of energy policy, this is what he said:

    “The cheap oil is gone in Canada. Conventional oil wells in Alberta are running out. More and more of our new oil and gas supplies are going to have to come from non-conventional sources — the tar sands, heavy oil deposits on the frontier — and those supplies are both riskier to find and more expensive to produce. Either we pay a fair price for those risks and expenses, or we face the prospect that industry will turn its attention and its resources elsewhere, where it judges the return to be more advantageous.”

    Charles Joseph Clark, sixteenth prime minister of this Dominion of Canada, is proverbial in the conversation of his countrymen. For in the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, this is what he said:

    He said: “Geographically, energy is a strength which is spread across this country . . . It is a resource of all our people, found in all our places, and can help the nation grow together.”

  8. If this is going to be a continuing series please omit Don Cherry.

    You’re a good man, Jack Mitchell.

  9. Bill Eddins posted an account of preparing for his performance with Barack Obama on his blog here last February.

  10. Paul, I also thought Hilary Clinton presented a better candidacy than Barak Obama (plus, it’s would always be worth a few laughs to have Bill back around).

    Personally the “Yes we can” and “We are the ones” speeches did nothing particular for me as they were all oratorical flourish with no substance. It is exactly for that reason that I find his Philadelphia speech on race in America and his election night speech to be two of the most important and moving speeches that I have ever heard. They combined his great skills as a speaker with his very intelligent and deeply contemplative mind.

  11. “It is exactly for that reason…”

    Wait a minute. The only reason you liked his speech on race, and his victory night speech, was because you didn’t like the substance of his campaign slogans?

    That’s, um, weird.

    • Uh, no … “They combined his great skills as a speaker with his very intelligent and deeply contemplative mind.”

      Nothing weird about that.