2/13/2008

'What about the loaves and fishes?'

“There was a boy there,” the Holy Bible says, who had a small basket of fishes and bread loaves as Jesus spoke to the multitudes. Jesus bade him to take his little basket and feed the thousands and thus performed a miracle.

Joe Klein, Time’s political columnist and author of six books, has quoted author, educator and Democratic Party activist Donna Brazile (LINK):

“All of which is very nice,” Klein says of Barack Obama’s online fundraising, “but it's now time to find out what the candidate actually stands for. As Donna Brazile told me a few weeks ago, ‘We know he can walk on water. Now, what about the loaves and fishes?’ "

In a more secular analogy and quoting a popular commercial at the time, Walter Mondale, on the campaign trail, asked, “Where’s the beef?”

History has proven many a great orator has failed at leadership, that essential characteristic needed most when the rubber hits the road in American politics.

Have you really listened to Barack Obama’s stump speech? Or, are you caught up in the platitudes and heart-jolting homily?

MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell recently related a conversation with a friend. When she asked him whether he would vote for Obama or Clinton, he replied, “My heart tells me Obama, but my head tells me Hillary.”

As we know, propaganda can be used for good or for evil purposes. The very definition of propaganda is: an expression of opinion or action by individuals or groups deliberately designed to influence opinions or actions of other individuals or groups with reference to predetermined ends. Because the propagandist does not welcome scrutiny, efforts are made to appeal to emotions rather than to intellect. Obama is very skilled at using its “glittering generalities” technique.

In their hearts, Americans who have followed closely the grave results of the Bush presidency are desperate for a leader.

This dialogue from Rob Reiner’s “The American President” says it all:

Press Secretary (Michael J. Fox): “People want leadership. And in the absence of genuine leadership, they will listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership, Mr. President. They're so thirsty for it, they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.”

President (Michael Douglas): “Lewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty, Lewis. They drink it because they don't know the difference.”

For God’s sake, folks, it’s crunch time. Know the difference.

The nominee-apparent of the GOP, John McCain, told his party last night, “We do not yet know for certain who will have the honor of being the Democratic Party's nominee for president, but we know where either of their candidates will lead this country, and we dare not let them."

Up against this old war hero, the party-that-loves-to-hate will go for Obama’s anti-war jugular just as it did John Kerry’s and Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan’s.

As Slate.com’s chief political correspondent John Dickerson (LINK) puts it, Obama is “the pet rock of the wealthy liberal wing” of the Democratic Party. Can a Democratic nominee who cannot win the votes of the working-class survive in November?

We are about to hire a chief executive in this country, and we had better be absolutely certain qualities of leadership are high on the resumé.

A starving nation – with so many wrongs to be righted - cannot be nourished with a cupful of hope. “What about the loaves and fishes?”

9 comments:

phillipdhill said...

Here is what I think should happen:

President Clinton and Vice-President Obama

Obama has proven that he can be a leader but I don't see the loaves and fishes either. He would be great as the next in line.

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Hillary's loaves are voting for Bush’s authorization without congressional oversight and her Fishes are failure to provide Healthcare and her husbands NAFTA. Obama IS talking in platitudes and sound bites similar to the way Dr. Martin Luther King did in the 60's. Neither candidate can have much success regardless of their policy viability without a majority of like minded liberals in congress. In the end we will all vote for the one we feel has the best chance to mobilize for change. If Dr. Martin Luther King was running against Hillary I would vote or him. The shear power of his speaking ability and conviction to his ideals can accomplish miracles when all of the political prowess in the world will fail.

airth10 said...

I see Obama as another Jimmy Carter. People are gravitating to him because he is viewed as an "outsider", like Carter portrayed himself.

As an outsider Carter did not fit in or mesh well with Washington insiders. I see the same happening with Obama if he is president.

I find that women are fickle in there support and thus are turning away from Hillary because many are not ready for a women president and because of Obama's 'glow'. And the backlash to Bush has made some of them starry eyed.

Anonymous said...

A few minutes ago, driving back from the gym, Frodo tuned in for his 5 minutes of Rush Limbaugh (you have to negotiate with your enemies). Limbaugh was taking a call from a 33-year-old Republican in Eastern Washington, who grew up with Ronald Reagan as his hero. He had always voted Republican. "This year," he told Limbaugh, "I'm voting for Obama."
After Limbaugh started breathing again, he pursued the young man to find out why. The young man said, that although he knew Obama would be a liberal, he believed in his good heart. He added that John McCain could not be trusted to be one or the other. "I feel that Obama is a inspiration to all of us, as I felt Reagan was," he said, "and I think he's asking all of us to share in an effort for the common good."
Limbaugh blathered, fumed, and fussed, but it was obvious he was shaken by what the young man had to say. Limbaugh concluded by saying, "Boy, we are really in trouble."
Frodo had a fish sandwich this afternoon (it was quite tasty, and Frodo noted no shortage of either fish or bread about) while he contemplated Obama's platitude about $4,000 for tuition grants, in exchange for national service. He thought he might also take a look at Obama's web-site to see his generalities on other such unspecified platform positions. Most of all Frodo enjoyed the fact that Rush Limbaugh was too upset to eat.

Anonymous said...

Like Phillip, I'd love to see a Clinton-Obama ticket, in that order. There are things I like about both of these candidates. I'll support whichever wins the Dem nomination.

BJ, another great read. Thanks for alerting me. - bbj

Anonymous said...

Not everyone wants a fight- fight world. It may work and it may not, but there are a lot of people out there that want to see it tried.

Hillary is always going to be in that arena, and you may say that she's forced to be there--well, maybe the key to the next president is someone who can figure out in decades of time how NOT to be there. I don't know, but I watch the people speak, and I think they are tired of the old way. The people matter.

I can't imagine them running together with such fundamentally different styles. But we will see.

Anonymous said...

Jan has spent most of the past four to six hours listening to Clinton and Obama speaking from different venues.

Jan read an article last night where the writer expressed his deep concern that Obama has a "personality cult" following. If this is the case, where does this leave our democracy?

Jan sees pros and cons with both candidates and could well vision them as a team. Both have a wide range of abilities to offer.

However, Jan thinks Hillary is a familiar face around the world, even with those who are enemies of the USA. As First Lady, she already has worked with and for people in numerous foreign countries as well as in the United States.

From what Jan has observed, a Pres.Clinton and VP Obama ticket looks like a very promising team. And with that, a team that would mobolize the people for the purpose of healing the past and creating a great future as everyone works for the good of the masses of the people. Therein lies the loaves and fishes to feed and nurture the multitudes.

Anonymous said...

As I have said before, Although Hillary and Obama are neck and neck, there are still lots of uncomitted delegates. Just saw where Romney endorsed McCain, so that race is over.

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