Here's an excerpt from the transcript of Obama's speech in Milwaukee on violence at Virginia Tech, via Powerline:
There's also another kind of violence though that we're gonna have to think about. It's not necessarily physical violence but that the violence that we perpetrate on each other in other ways. Last week, the big news, obviously, had to do with Imus and the verbal violence that was directed at young women who were role models for all of us, role models for my daughter. ...[T]hat's a form of violence - it may be quiet, it may not surface to the same level of the tragedy we read about today and we mourn, but it is violence nonethesame.
We [inaudible].... There's the violence of men and women who have worked all their lives and suddenly have the rug pulled out from under 'em because their job has moved to another country. They've lost their job, they've lost their pension benefits, and they've lost their health care and they're having to compete against their teenage children for jobs at the local fast food place paying $7 an hour.
There is the violence of children, whose voices are not heard, in communities that are ignored. Who don't have access to a decent education, who are surrounded by drugs and crime and a lack of hope.
Old fogeys like me will recognize this as a knockoff of Jesse Jackson's 1988 speech at the Democratic Convention:
"What's the fundamental challenge of our day? It is to end economic violence. Plant closings without notice -- economic violence. Even the greedy do not profit long from greed -- economic violence."
Despite all the state-of-the-art glitz of the Obama campaign, the evidence is mounting (see my much denounced article "Obama's Identity Crisis") that Obama is, in his heart, just Jesse Jackson All Over Again.
Of course, if you are running for President, or if you are yapping on the radio for hundreds of hours per year, some of your improvisations are going to fall terribly flat. One could reasonably expect a little forgiveness following an apology, but that is exactly what Sen. Obama did not extend to Imus.
Mickey Kaus writes:
Barack Obama's misguided attempt to connect the Virgina Tech murders with the Imus slur ("quiet violence") and, yes, loss of health care benefits due to layoffs and overseas competition, doesn't come off quite as obscene as you'd expect when you listen to it--because Obama's delivery is too fatigued and subdued, even depressive, to trigger the sense that he's manipulating anybody. Still, it's not exactly evidence of a fresh intelligence, or even basic common sense, at work--much less rising to the occasion. It suggests a mindset that tries to fit every event into a familiar, comforting framework he can spoon-feed his audience without disturbing them. ...
Mickey appears to be picking up on my point that Obama's autobiography has all the hallmarks of being a written by a literarily gifted depressive. Certainly, during Obama's Ross Perot-like rise to near the top of the Presidential candidate heap over the previous couple of years, he didn't show signs of depression. Perhaps, however, he goes through a mild manic-depressive cycle, although not as a blatant as Perot's in 1992. Lots of high achievers do -- you claw your way into power, money, or fame during an up phase and hang on during a down phase.
I don't follow politics enough to have a worthwhile opinion, but I've been picking up hints from the press in the last month that perhaps his depression, if such it is, might be back. Mild manic-depression shouldn't disqualify him for the White House, but it's the kind of thing we ought to know about a candidate -- unlike in 1992 when nobody in the media except Saturday Night Live mentioned that Perot was enormously manic-depressive.