21 January 2009

Dissappointing Republicans And Democrats

The sun rose today, but still in the east.


Peter Burnet said...

Nonetheless, a chorus of small woodland animals was heard to burst into "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" at dawn.

Brit said...

It's a very, very good speech - aimed at adults, which makes it almost shocking.

joe shropshire said...

Not quite. It was aimed at the people who've cherished the notion that they are the adults. But to take an easy example, one of those people is this person.

Brit said...

Oh well, at least aiming at people who've cherished the notion they're adults is better than aiming at adults who've cherished the notion they're children, or indeed, at actual children, though how you can tell the difference between any of these fine categories is way beyond me.

Harry Eagar said...

I listened only to the last few minutes, while I was cooking dinner. Hey, somebody's gotta be the adult!

I would say that it was exactly aimed at children. Specifically, at the 14-year-old me who read in the newspaper Kennedy's speech and clipped it out and put it in a scrapbook. Boy, did I feel foolish a few years later.

Baba O`Reilly.

Susan's Husband said...

Now, Brit does have a point — this speech was aimed at a more mature audience than his earlier "Yes We Can" drivel which was aimed at those with a child's view of the world.

Perhaps, with some growth and further maturity in the future, Obama will approach the level of maturity of a good Bush speech. Maybe.

David said...


I saw the "speech for adult" comments over at Thought Experiments, but it was put directly in the context of English political speeches so I didn't give it a great deal of thought.

In the context of other inaugural speeches, which include several that would be on any list of great speeches and one of which, Lincoln's Second, is high on the list of greatest rhetorical pieces ever, I'm not sure what "adult" means. All political speeches are made for adults, since only people 18 and older can vote. So what distinction is being made? Smart people; mature people; knowledgeable people; people who are realists? It does seem like an elitist distinction. Which inaugural speeches were not for adults? Both of George Bush's speeches strike me as for adults. Neither promise easy solutions or quick resolutions; both speak of the need for sacrifice.

I just don't think that this speech differed all that much from other inaugural speeches; I don't think the distinction that you're drawing -- if I understand it -- is a real distinction.

Brit said...

Well, I was comparing it to other political utterances generally, and to what I would have expected specifically (ie. a lot of 'yes we can'-ing and flashy triumphalism). I bow to your superior knowledge when it comes to comparing it to other inaugural speeches.

There are several very striking and, for me, surprising passages. I speak as an open-minded neutral. For some of you there are of course no possible combinations of words that could be spoken by Obama that wouldn't make you sneer.