Saturday, February 17, 2007


You're going to hear a lot about Barack Obama in the next year. And not just from me. May as well do your homework. I did - and found one of the best speeches on the role of religion in politics I've ever heard.

I would admit that it's also the ONLY speech on religion and politics I've ever heard, but I don't want that to diminish the impact of the endorsement.

So what's it all about? Barack takes aim at conservative politicians who mean to portray all Democrats as godless and immoral. He says that the religious do not have a monopoly and morality, but also that constructive religious support has been essential throughout our nation's progress and cannot be ignored today. Some really great stuff in here, especially for open-minded conservatives.

Here's something to watch for that rubbed me the wrong way. I noticed that Barack changes his tone, inflection, and manner depending upon the crowd he is addressing. Before an assembly of church-going African Americans here, you'll note his delivery is decidedly more "urban," for lack of a better word. At first I found the subtle adjustment a little disingenuous of him (think Hillary). But then I caught myself doing the same exact thing! And I wasn't even aware I was doing it.

I realized that this adjustment in communication style and delivery, at least in my case, was occuring on a subconscious level. I wasn't choosing to forfeit grammar, gratuitously employ expletives as adjectives, and end all my sentences with apostrophes. I was just mirroring the people with whom I was interacting. And you'll notice Barack starts out doing a little of that here. It's actually kind of amusing. But he settles down about 3 minutes in and the common sense starts pouring out. Almost scares me to think that Americans, after hearing what this guy is shoveling, would even consider the alternatives. He's slick. He's sharp. And he's got good ideas. Which basically means he's screwed because if the results from last two presidential elections proved anything, it's that we don't want slick, sharp, and good ideas in the White House. We like our late night comedy just the way it is.

That won't stop me from drumming up support for him, though. I can't help it. I have a common sense fetish. Good ideas turn me on, baby. In fact, last night I downloaded every one of this guy's speeches, drew down the shades, and uncorked a bottle of red. It was hot. Didn't even make it half way through his first speech before I needed a cold shower.

Kidding inside, I encourage you not to dismiss this guy simply because he's a Democrat (dad), or because he's only been in politics for 10 years (isn't that a PLUS?), or because he's Christian, or because he's black, or because he's also white (didn't you know?), or because he's a man (didn't you know?), or because he's smoother than Billy Dee Williams, or because his name makes you think about a cave in Afghanistan, or because you don't vote (slacker).

Check out the issues link on his page when you get a chance. You might be surprised to learn you have a lot in common. When I saw government corruption third on his list of issues, it became instantly clear that he's been shopping AYNtK for ideas.

And I'm happy to provide them.

Barack: Three day work week, baby. We can DO this!

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