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Posted in: Culture Wars & Censorship

Published on Aug 27, 2008 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

The DNC: A Night of Political Soap Opera


It was an evening of political soap opera. Senator Biden's wife, Senator Obama's wife, each wept a little in their seats. Biden and his son hugged each other. In full view, both Democratic candidates kissed the other candidates' female relatives. And although the speakers at the DNC got one rousing ovation after the other, even though I myself was sometimes moved by the theatrical tactics–the platitudes did not move me so much as sadden me. The speeches were fraught with promises which bore no relationship to reality and which failed to deal with the existential peril to America posed by Islamic jihad.

The only speaker who even remotely touched upon this was Senator Biden who only once mentioned dangerous "fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan"–as if al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad, etc. do not exist world-wide. President Clinton ignored this very Islamist threat when it might still have been contained. It now exists on every continent and it became so on his watch.

Both President Clinton and Senator Biden were charismatic speakers. Biden mainly presented himself as a family man, whose track record as a brave and caring single father was and is exemplary. Biden also praised his white-haired mother, (who was present), and his father, (who has since gone on to his final reward). Both parents had taught "Joey" Biden to "pick himself up after he was knocked down." Biden's gratitude and love for his parents and for his children and grandchildren was sincere and moving.

I am sure that Oprah might have loved these staged performances, but I am not sure what they have to do with transforming the American economy and repairing America's international reputation.

Just because a six term Senator has, admirably, also functioned as a hands-on father does not mean that he can–or has–passed legislation that will allow all American fathers and mothers to do likewise.

If we wish to put working America back on its feet, we need specific plans, not platitudes and we must do so without robbing Peter to pay Paul and without bequeathing enormous debt to the next generations.

I heard no specific programs. Did you?

Now, President Clinton strongly praised Obama as "ready to lead" right after he spent ten months condemning him as unfit to lead. This Big Dog doesn't need to learn any new tricks. But are we to believe him? Was he lying before or is he lying now? Or, do we still exempt Bill from telling the whole truth so help you God? Charles Krauthammer, commenting afterwards said: "(Bill) can fake sincerity like no one else ever has."

I can’t– and thus I’m not a politician. But America, at least the Democrats,  are ready to vote for a new kind of American Idol,  a  new shining Camelot,  in the hope that this will save us economically and restore our failed reputation in Paris, Mecca, and Teheran.

Alas, this cannot be done, not quickly and not on the cheap,  not without winning major military victories and not without enormous sacrifices.


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