Past performance is no guarantee of future results:
Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I’ve heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.
“America is not a nation that accepts the hypocrisy of workers who mow our lawns, make our beds, clean out bed pans, with no chance ever to get right with the law.”
—The president today in Las Vegas (appropriately enough), as transcribed by C-Span. Mockery on Twitter was, not surprisingly, swift and appropriately brutal. As one Twitter wag responded to the president’s inane remarks, “And we have reached peak ‘If it were Bush’. Thanks for playing everyone.”
Update: Hillary isn’t covering herself in glory either today. Shot:
Hillary Clinton now on immigration order: “This is about people’s lives, people, I would venture to guess, who served us tonight.”
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) November 22, 2014
@JimmyPrinceton lol…and they’ll empty her bedpan later tonight.
— Dan Sommers (@sommerd34) November 22, 2014