- RNC gets hold of a photo of the facade being erected at Mile High Stadium for Barack Obama’s acceptance speech. The layout features – gasp – columns, like those on the Parthenon in ancient Greece or, if you will, every monument in official Washington. Do the math: Columns = temples = god worship = god complex = messiah = Obama = self-importance = arrogance.
- The word goes out via blast e-mail to willing fellow-travelers national and local to mock the pretentious Obama for daring to pretend to be a Greek god.
- Pliant lap dogs comply like hungry children who will not be fed until they strap the plow to their backs and till the fields.
- Locally, a Marquette law visiting professor embarrasses himself by sucking up the GOP garbage and distributing it as Legitimate Concern about an imaginary character named "Barackus Caesar" who is "stupid enough" to believe that appearing before historic American architecture used in everything from the Lincoln Memorial to Junior Bush’s stage at his ‘04 convention is a "good idea".
- When the actual details of the convention site are put in context of the large stadium and people point out the obvious non-religious nature of the columns and previous use of columns on non-temple historic landmarks and in political rallies since the beginning of American time, the wing-nuts do not back down from their obviously phony construct. "Whether you think it's fair or not," snoots the impossibly Obama-phobic visiting professor on his comment thread. "Obama is acquiring a reputation for staggering self importance and regard. You don't play into that." That the professor is guilty of ridiculous and unsupportable smears and sucking up is perhaps the reputation he should be more concerned about.
As Barack Obama stepped onto the stage before the large crowd that could be gathered by no one else (I would love to see the Republicans try – they couldn’t get that kind of turn-out for an exhumed Reagan, much less the hapless McCain), the columns were off to the side – framing the video screens for those in the stadium – and nowhere to be seen in the frame featuring the dynamic Obama, who seemed to be speaking in front of a pane of windows. Tomorrow, I suppose we'll be treated to a treatise on the history of fake windows in religious imagery (were they symbolic of mirrors, so he can admire himself?) and the attempt by Obama, by standing in front of them, to stop you from seeing through to the Truth.
It is one thing to take advantage of the beautiful video image of the cheering capacity crowd on a perfect night in a football stadium; it is quite another to be able to take advantage of stadium acoustics to make a great one-word line even better. Early in the speech there was a dramatic moment when he made clear that the legacy of Bush was firmly attached to McCain and both were put on notice. "Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough!" The "enough!" echoed and vibrated through the stadium and through my HD audio channel. It was a one-word wake-up call to the audience and around the country. Enough, indeed.
Those concerned that he was not specific enough and would just come out talking about "hope" and "change" (which wasn’t a fair characterization of his stump speech, but, never mind) would have much to chew on in this dramatic address. From energy independence to health care to Iraq, Obama was concise, articulate and, of course, exactly right.
He did not shy away from fights with McCain on areas assumed to be his strengths:
- "If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have...We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy...I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first."
Boo-yah, McCain. Boo-yah, all your Republican lap-dogs and lackeys. This will fall on deaf ears for people like Rick Esenberg, Charlie Sykes, Mark Belling and the other tiresome local subscribers to the RNC daily talking point e-mails, who provide endless free advertising for the GOP and who will keep pretending Obama is someone they know he isn’t and McCain is someone they say he is. "This election has never been about me," said the supposed Anointed One. "It's been about you." Did you hear that, wing-nuts? Humility from the one you claim thinks of himself as a messiah? Not that you’ll admit it, but your pants are down and your lies are exposed.
We can only hope the (I’m betting) record audience watching at home heard that message and will finally make the smears themselves an issue, and dismiss the tiresome Republicans who cannot be elected on their own merits.
Barack Obama kicked ass tonight, not just a little, and not a moment too soon. The Republicans next week will be back on their heels, with a bunch of meaningless arguments for a couple of talentless candidates. On the stage supposedly designed as a temple in Denver, it was the absent would-be Emperor McCain who could be seen clearly – by many, for the first time – as not worthy and without clothes.