Words Are Not Deeds

Paul Krugman picks up on something that The Daily Show also echoed: that the words Barack Obama spoke in his inauguration speech were similar to those of George Bush. Krugman also goes slightly farther to include Bill Clinton in that mix.

Yes it is true. All three men have said things which look similar when you put them on paper. But words are not deeds, as every critic of Obama’s throughout the campaign has noted. Does anyone out there ever recall a moment when George Bush actually sounded like he meant anything he said? With the possible exception of the days immediately following 9/11, I don’t think I can come up with any.

That’s because at the very same time he spoke about responsibility, he was doing things in direct contradiction to his words. Its because when he says we don’t torture, it’s at the same time as we know we are torturing. It’s because he gave tax cuts to the rich while claiming it was about the Middle Class. And in the case of things like the Clean Air Act, the Patriot Act and many others, the previous Republican administration and Congress actually went out of it’s way to very specifically mislead the public in order to advance it’s agenda. Therefore, the words of George Bush are at no time in his administration worth considering as either fact or a genuine reflection of his intent.

Barack Obama, by contrast, owes his presidency in a very real sense to the personal responsibility of his supporters. It was the sense of duty that pushed people to knock on doors or make phone calls or create art or write songs that pushed him over the top. His grassroots campaigning has always been about inspiring people to action. . . and it worked. There is absolutely no reason to think that his call to action now won’t be followed up by very specific measures just like it was in the campaign.

That’s the difference.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.