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Saturday, July 26, 2008

But what does it mean?

Barack Obama introduced new coinage into the language when he declared in his Berlin speech that "We are a people of improbable hope." The New York Times, among others I'm sure, enshrined it in their headlines, but can someone please explain what the hell it is supposed to mean?

Here's the context, the last paragraph of the speech (available here).

People of Berlin – and people of the world – the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.
The word improbable means "not likely to be true or to happen," and "unexpected and apparently inauthentic." It's synonyms include: doubtful, dubious, debatable, ridiculous, absurd and preposterous.

What, one can reasonably ask, what is untrue, unlikely, absurd or ridiculous about our hope? Did Obama say that we're unlikely to have hope? Or is just another nice sounding, but empty phrase that has characterized Obama's pontifications?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing and what's sad is that our local media between the sun times and the tribune have failed to note that the reason he has to make this trip now is that he's spent his 2 years on the senate foreign relations committee running for office. Rather than doing fact finding missions in 2005 and 2006 in afghanistan to see what the troops were doing and what was going on in Pakistan, our Senator was raising money and campaigning in virginia.

Newspapers want to know why no one reads them anymore, it's because the tribune and the sun-times (great to know what kind of crepes you had for breakfeast on o-force one Lynn Sweet), don't give readers this kind of context.

How about telling the readers that the reason he has to make the trips here and now rather than talking about the issues is because he's spent the last how many years building his political chits rather than his policy experience.



How about asking how he's going to deal with the hornets nest in pakistan where there are 3 nuclear powers back to back to back and what he's done in his life to show he can walk into the white house situation room and have the american people assured that he can make the right call.

How about noting the fact that the State Department has 9,000 diplomats to work with the other 6.2 billion people in the world and yet obama needs 3,000 foreign policy advisors to help him understand issues he would have mastered had he done anything on the senate foreign relations committee.

Anonymous said...

Let's see Barack Obama make an appearance in Springfield, IL at our current state capitol with his party's state leaders, Rod Blagojevich, Michael Madigan, and Emil Jones Jr and get the crowds and adulation he got in Germany. That might impress me, but I'm thinking if the crowds came it wouldn't be adulation in their hearts about Obama but rather disgust with his state political party. McCain should have come to Illinois while Obama was in Eurpoe and pointed out Barack's problems in his own home state. But McCain is a fool as well.