Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barack Obama's Infomercial - The Closing Argument

There's something on my television.....
It's yellow. No, wait, it's more like amber.
Is it the bubbles rising to the top of a Budweiser?
Whatever it is, it's rolling about in a similar fashion. Almost like....the amber is waving.
Yes, the amber is waving. But what could it be?
The camera pulls back and focuses just a bit....
Why, the amber wave is wheat ! Or is it wheat ? We didn't grow wheat in Mississippi, so I'm not quite sure.
Is it barley? Milo?
Let's call it "grain". It's definitely some kind of grain.

OMG, that's brilliant ! Barack Obama's infomercial begins with a shot of Amber Waves Of Grain !

Next, we're obviously travelling on the Obama campaign bus, looking down on the Amber Waves of Grain. I bet we're in Obama's home state of Kansas, and we're being reminded of Obama's deep-rooted midwestern values.

Ok, enough of that. LiveBlogging this entire thing would be like deconstructing a Home Shopping Network Sale on cubic zirconias.

The ad was very, very well done. It promised goodies for just about everyone except some people who won't vote for Obama anyway.

According to various message boards, four of the five families featured in the ad live in swing states (Kentucky being the only exception.) With the exception of some good electric blues (played by the 72-year old Wal-Mart guy) the music was the elegaic stately stuff like Spielberg used in the cemetary scenes in "Saving Private Ryan". Oh So Serious.

Let's start with the extremely fertile Rebecca Johnston and her extremely virile husband Brian of North Kansas City, Missouri. They have four kids: Nathan, Marley, Ethan, Gabriella, and their two cats.

As part of the voiceover narration, Barack Obama said the following sentence. With my own ears, I heard him say this sentence, shortly after Rebecca was shown bringing the kids out of the house and driving them someplace in her minivan: "Ten years ago, she (Rebecca) bought a house outside the city so she could send her children to good schools."

Let's repeat that brutally honest sentence again for the benefit of those still in Fort Worth who have not joined the exodus to Burleson, Crowley, and Aledo. "Ten years ago, she bought a house outside the city so she could send her children to good schools."

I couldn't believe it when I heard it. I grew up in a segregated private school, and took more than a little bit of pride in finally sending my daughter to a public school in Fort Worth. (It took us a while. Didn't happen until she was in the 9th grade.) She never claimed that she learned anything, but as I saw it, at least she wasn't in a segregationist academy. And we still haven't joined the White Flight abandonment of Fort Worth.

I have no idea where I'm heading with this, but I think I've been conned.

"Ten years ago, she bought a house outside the city so she could send her children to good schools." Obama said it like it was so obvious. Like, ten years ago she got tired of the headaches so she stopped hitting herself in the ears with hammers. Ten years ago, she got tired of the blisters, so she stopped dipping her head in the french fry grease. Ten years ago, she joined so many of the other Democrats who were fleeing from the consequences of their political opinions. Duh.

At the end of the infomercial, Obama promised to shut down government programs and entities that don't work. We'll see, won't we? I bet you dollars to donuts that nothing in the school system changes, with the exception of Bush's No Child Left Behind program, which, according to some authorities, is starting to work.

Rebecca goes on to show us the inside door of her refrigerator. All four kids have their own tray filled with snacks for the week. The kids and Brian know that when their tray is empty, that's all for the week.

Brian works at a tire re-tread factory, where he has to stand all day long, but he needs surgery on one knee. They've postponed the surgery, since they don't feel that they can get by on his disability pay during the recovery.

Ok, is there anyone else who thought of this movie when Rebecca was telling her story?

Rebecca complains that prices keep going up and up and up, and she can remember a time when she didn't have to worry about this stuff.

But there are others in our great land who have always worried about "this stuff". When did they worry the most? Prior to conception. They decided not to have that second, or third, or fourth kid.

Cutaway to Obama at the Denver rally with The Parthenon backdrop. Platitudes. Talking Points.
Cut to Obama in a down home, scaled back, raw lumber version of the Oval Office. This part was brilliant. The setting lets you imagine him as President. He's not in an exact Oval Office replica, which would be presumptuous on his part. It's saying See, I'm not so scary. You could get used to me talking to you from the White House, couldn't you?

Obama, speaking from the knotty pine Oval Office, discusses the bailout and that if elected he's going to see to it that you, the taxpayer, are paid back first. Well, Barack, who else is there to pay back????? We're the ones that gave you the money ! (Well, there's China, Peru, Brazil, OPEC, several Carribean banking centers, etc. I guess I spoke too soon.)

He's going to cut taxes for everyone making less than 200k, he's going to put in a tax break for every business that hires someone, he's going to eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, freeze forclosures for 90 days, and give low cost loans to small businesses.

And that was just the stuff associated with the FIRST family. I haven't even gotten to the 72 year old Wal-Mart guy, the schoolteacher, or any of the other stars of his vignettes. If elected, Barack Obama will be a busy man.

I don't have the time to discuss Obama's entire closing argument. It's getting late. Plus, no one in their right mind would read all of it. I might get to Wal-Mart guy later on. I have a conspiracy theory about that one.

At one point in the infomercial, Obama says "we are our brothers keeper". (An answer to Genesis 4:9)

I agree. That's why I give more money to charity in one year than Joe Biden has in ten years. I've done ok for myself, and I was taught to share. (That's where I disagree with the hardcore Ayn Rand branch of the Libertarians, BTW.) We contribute a decent chunk to Broadway Baptist Church, a wonderful place which specializes in helping people. If I were to get sick, regardless of the heresies I throw down on these pages, they'd probably help me even though they don't have to.

And that's the kicker, isn't it? There is absolutely nothing virtuous about requiring someone to help someone else. Obama is giving us these incredibly wholesome visions of service, community, and caring, and then generating war-whoops of approval when he says he's going to make "Them" pay for it.

As H.L. Mencken put it, "Whenever A injures or annoys B on the pretense of saving or improving X, then A is a scoundrel."

B represents the people who are generally working hardest to grow our economy. Only two percent of our current millionaires were born into millionaire families.

X represents Rebecca and Brian, the people who are now struggling to get by. They are people who could use some help, should you choose to give it to them. I don't mind sharing with the Rebeccas and the Brians and other X people, and you probably don't either. But at some point, those of us who are struggling to get their one child through Texas A&M start to wonder how much more we can do for the Rebeccas and the Brians and their four kids and two cats.

I wonder when people are going to figure out who A is.


TarrantLibertyGuy said...

It's weird how you and I are on a similar wavelength. I just watched the 'Every Sperm is Sacred' video about two days ago.

And it made me do a little analysis and yep... Out the two, I'm more of a MICHAEL Palin fan.

As usual good work. I didn't get an opportunity to see the 30 minute infomercial, so I'm glad I have the Whited Sepulchre to do all the grunt work.

I imagine part of the informercial went like this:
"So, how much would you pay for a government that gives you ALL this? 10 Trillion? 11 Trillion? But WAIT! There's more!!"

fembuttx said...

Maybe they should get rid of their 2 cats...They are a nuisance and expensive to feed and you have to give them a box to shit in.

The Duggar family from Arkansas has 18 kids, they can afford 2000 dollars a month in groceries. They have no pets. What I find amazing is that they never have the urge to slap the crap out any of those children. I wonder who will interview them for a political campaign??

Be careful Whited, after McCain crashed his 4th or 5th plane. The men at his military base cheered.

Me, clean my act up, whatever.

fembuttx said...

And thanks for the Monty Python clip....Sperm sperm sperm sperm sperm.....I would like to hear Sarah say 5 times without spitting it out.

sandersonmom said...

They should have had Obama kiss a white baby. THAT would have been something.
fembuttx, you COULD clean up your act.

Whited, you do know that you have made a grave mistake by asking the impossible.

Dr Ralph said...

You'll probably be shocked to hear I still have not watched the Infobamamercial (though I can't swear I won't go catch it online at some point between now and Tuesday.

Despite LBJ's infamous "Daisy" commercial (it ran exactly once) some would argue that the modern era of political advertising began in 1968 as chronicled in Joe McGinniss's recounting of Nixon's 1968 campaign in "The Selling of the President." Amazing to think this came a short 4 years after the "Daisy" ad.

For a more contemporary review, which covers the campaigns from 1952 through 1992, see "Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Campaigning," by Kathleen Hall Jamieson. Large portions can been seen on Google Books.