Posts tagged “west wing”

If I was Obama’s speechwriter…

I would totally steal from Aaron Sorkin! This speech would have worked a charm during the campaign, but it would be good to keep in your pocket for anytime when the rhetoric devolves. It would go something like this:

America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms.

Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.

I’ve known [Sarah Palin] for years. And I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason [Sarah] devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that [she] simply didn’t get it. Well, I was wrong. [Sarah]’s problem isn’t that [she] doesn’t get it. [Sarah]’s problem is that [she] can’t sell it!

We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you [Sarah Palin] is not the least bit interested in solving it. [She] is interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it, and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle age, middle class, middle income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family, and American values and character, and you wave an old photo of [Bill Ayers] and you scream about patriotism. You tell them [he]’s to blame for their lot in life. And you go on television and you call [Obama a terrorist].

We’ve got serious problems, and we need serious people. And if you want to talk about character, [Sarah], you’d better come at me with more than an [educational foundation board meeting] and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I’ll show up. This a time for serious people, [Sarah], and your fifteen minutes are up.Aaron Sorkin

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Obama creates a public megaphone at We'll see. We'll see.

I’ve been seeing far too many people saying they are glad the election is over. They are excited because “now life can go back to normal.” I’ve also heard (and seen) many progressives out there getting a little too excited about Obama’s election. I’m hopeful that change is coming, but let’s be pragmatic here, people. Obama just spent more than anyone in the history of the world to get elected. He voted for the bailout of Wall St. He also voted in favor of granting immunity to the telecom industry for their part in illegal wiretapping of all Americans. There is a lot of “same” in this “change”. I’m not saying that things aren’t going to get better. I just think we all need to keep our head on a swivel and keep this new hope alive by not allowing it to get bogged down in the politics and policies of the same.

That said, I am excited to see the strong moves he has made on the transition front. In particular, I am impressed by the creation of It is the web home of the Obama transition team, created to allow us to track the transition. Additionally, it actually asks for citizen input on the transition. However nominal an act, this “megaphone” created by the burgeoning Obama administration is there to listen to the traditionally voiceless public. This, coming even after getting elected, is a good thing. It hearkens back to the days of Andrew Jackson’s big cheese day. Yes, West Wing fans, there actually was a big block of cheese, open to the public, in the White House foyer., just like Jackson’s public cheesing, exists ostensibly so the public can feel connected to the powerful. With that in mind, please remember to keep your head on a swivel, keep your mouth to the earpiece and don’t be so giddy about the prospect of change that you forget to demand real change.

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