Written by Daniel Greenfield
In 1986, at the closing session of the Communist Party shindig in the Karl Marx Theater in Havana, Castro had declared, "Let no one think that what I have here is a lengthy speech; it is the party's program." He then went on to speak for 7 hours and 10 minutes.
Obama's ridiculous 6600-word marathon is also not a lengthy speech; it is the party's program. The professional flatterers and fawners in the media have long since given up describing the teleprompter-in-chief as a talented speaker. These days Obama gives speeches that not only sound like they were read from a teleprompter, but also written by a teleprompter.
The obscene performance began with a celebration of an economic recovery that exists only in Washington, D.C., which has grown fat on the money that its corrupt political interests have stolen from the rest of the country, and ended by comparing a woman waiting in line to vote for him with a police officer who risked his life to stop a mad gunman.
And in between these two cynical and ugly bookends was a dog's dinner of out of control spending, class warfare and more bad ideas than even Castro could have come up with in seven hours.
As out of touch with the rest of the country as if he were speaking at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana, Obama claimed that spending was under control, the national debt was no longer a problem, the war in Afghanistan had been won, the economic recovery was here, unemployment was fading and Al Qaeda was a shadow of its former self.
Obama described the "sequester" that he had come up with as "a really bad idea" and blamed it on Congress. He took credit for the oil production that he had fought every step of the way and blamed Hurricane Sandy on global warming; a claim that even few global warming researchers are willing to make.
There were more calls to fix all those broken bridges, which he had somehow been unable to fix for four years, despite running trillion dollar deficits. And finally a proposal to really help the economy take off by legalizing 11 million illegal aliens and thereby doubling the unemployment rate in a single year.
Any Diogenes in the audience taking it upon himself to shout "liar" at every lie would have worn out his vocal chords in a matter of minutes.
Like most bad speakers, Obama has been reduced to relying on props. And since he isn't allowed to bring a slideshow, the props are his designated victims.
"Gabby Giffords deserves a vote," Obama insisted toward the end of his Castroesque word jumble of Soak-the-Rich, Ban-the-Guns and Help-the-Poor-by-Taking-Away-their-Jobs. "The families of Newtown deserve a vote."
They have a vote, of course, but what he really meant is that they should have not only a vote, but a veto on account of their moral supremacy as official victims. Before Havana-on-the-Potomac got started, one of the designated victims from three years ago came forward to say that Obama had betrayed her. But that's also part of the program. The designated victim of today is Obama's victim of tomorrow.
The people that Obama promises to help today will be put out of work by him tomorrow.
During the word marathon, victims come in handy as human touches in the middle of Obama's latest expensive technocratic gimmick, but as soon as Obama gets what he wants, they're yesterday's news. And there are always gimmicks; whether it's trading hubs with 3D printers or an Energy Security Trust.
With the 2013 State of the Union address, Obama finally discovered his inner Castro. Anyone who took part in a drinking game based around class warfare would have been under the table by the 2000th word as Obama dressed up all of his proposals with scarecrows made out of the rich.
Obama announced that he was in favor of Medicare cuts, further cuts than those already made by ObamaCare, but immediately tried to hide them by assuring his audience that the "wealthiest seniors" would have to pay more. Whenever any unpopular proposal was mentioned, the class warfare came out as a cheap distraction. And when the strawman in a top hat and monocle wouldn't do, the leader of the least transparent administration brought out the euphemisms.
"We'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare," Obama said, "because our medical bills shouldn't be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital – they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive." This is one of those ominous things that sound reassuring if you don't think about them.
Hospitals charge based on expenses. If a hospital isn't reimbursed for a test, it stops ordering it. If it isn't reimbursed for a day spent in the hospital, it stops admitting Medicare patients. Quality of care is a euphemism for cutting Medicare expenses by forcing hospitals to reduce admissions through fines and denial of reimbursements. That not only cuts Medicare expenses directly, it also cuts them indirectly by killing senior citizens.
"Tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour," he declared, as if wages could be somehow separated from the rest of the economy without affecting the cost of living and the existence of those low-paying jobs that keep people from joining the masses of the unemployed.
Raising the minimum wage is just another scam. A tasty treat that looks good up front but leads to more lost jobs and a higher cost of living. Tethering minimum wage to the cost of living is like trying to lift yourself up off the ground by your own belt.
"We can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda," Obama bragged. The core of Al Qaeda had not been located in Afghanistan at any time during his administration, which made it that much easier to defeat.
While Obama lost the War in Afghanistan to the Taliban and will "complete the mission" by retreating and letting them have the country, Al Qaeda has spread across North Africa and came within a hair of taking over Mali.
North Korea had detonated a nuclear weapon and Obama warned its regime that successfully testing nuclear weapons "will only isolate them further"... except to countries like Iran and Pakistan looking to buy their nuclear technology.
Obama carefully tiptoed away from his disaster in Egypt, issued some more toothless warnings to Iran and Syria, and then having completed the demonstration of his international impotence, turned to the inevitable assault on the Bill of Rights.
And then finally the leader who has refused to be constrained by the Constitution, by any law or limitation, by the rights of others or by the laws of economics, by the truth or by any sense of shame, declared that, "this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others."
The man who had rejected all obligations and bankrupted the United States for generations to come, who had cut healthcare for seniors and destroyed the economic future of the young, concluded his speech with the same cynicism and dishonesty with which he had begun it.
"Our conscience, a communist spirit, and a revolutionary vocation and will, were, are and will continue to be a 10,000 times more powerful than money," Castro had declared at the end of his speech in 1986. In less than 15 years, history proved him thoroughly wrong. It will take even less time than that for history to disprove Hussein.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.