Now that President Obama is about to leave, yes, we can!

By Dave Andrusko

President Obama delivers farewell address in Chicago

President Obama delivers farewell address in Chicago

As is our custom with the last post of the day, this will be brief.

With other more pressing things to do last night, I watched President Obama’s farewell address this morning.

After watching and then reading the transcript, here are three quick thoughts.

First, Mr. Obama ended his speech with his calling card: “Yes, we can.” Part–a big part–of what he could do last night is what Obama always does: talk about himself.

According to Peter Hasson, Obama referred to himself 75 times–“I” 33 times during the speech, “my” 20 times, “me” 10 times, and “I’m” or “I’ve” 12 times.”

So, yes, we can–we can listen to Obama update us on what he said in 2008 when he humbly accepted his party’s nomination for President: in years to come we can tell our kids “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Modest to the end.

Second, he told the adoring audience in Chicago,

After eight years as your president, I still believe that. And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea – our bold experiment in self-government.

It’s the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Equality before the law–rights we have simply because we are human, not because they are ascribed to us–is the beating heart of “our bold experiment in self-government.”

You would think our first African-American president, who in the next paragraph says, “It’s the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing,” would understand that pro-lifers are driven to make equal rights a reality for unborn babies.

Third, Obama said

But that potential [for greatness] will be realized only if our democracy works. Only if our politics reflects the decency of our people. Only if all of us, regardless of our party affiliation or particular interest, help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now.

As Obama moves out of the White House (but no doubt remaining in the public eye), I wonder if he will be able to look himself in the mirror and honestly say that he “help[ed] restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now”? Or, put another way, by treating his opponents with a haughty disdain, did he contribute to creating a situation where there is now the need to restore a sense of common purpose?

In nine days, Obama will be an ex-President. And with this great friend of Planned Parenthood out of the way, yes, we can begin the next phase of the journey that will culminate when the unborn child is welcomed in life and protected in law.