Presidential History

Unclench Your Fist, Hand Over Some Cash

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To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.  To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West—know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.  To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

While the "unclench the fist" bit is clearly the best line in the speech, the use of the phrase "mutual interest" here was what caught my ear. Might just be wishful thinking, but that phrase sounds like an allusion to the power of trade to me.

NEXT: Same Old, Same Old. Thank Goodness.

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  1. The speech was pretty good, but nothing beats the benediction…

    “Where the Red Man can get ahead, man!”

  2. That is a good line, I like the ‘wrong side of history’ bit. We’re almost to the second decade of the 21st century, it’s time for the world to start acting like it.

  3. We’re almost to the second decade of the 21st century, it’s time for the world to start acting like it.

    Agreed. Bush’s presidency was like an 8-year whip-it binge for our country’s development.

    P.S. It sure is nice to say Bush’s presidency was

  4. how about “where yellow is mellow”

    And I thought this was the best part of the speech.

  5. “unclench your first”?

    Let he among you who has not sinned cast the first stone. IMO, the line is a treasure trove of hypocrisy. America needs to unclench her first, then we can talk.

  6. Excuse me, I erred. I meant to write “fist”, not “first”.

  7. libertymike —

    I said this sort of in passing on another thread, but I think humans in general are way too obsessed with hypocrisy. It’s counterproductive, leads into tu quoque lines of reasoning and argumentation which deflect from actual problems.

    I mean, honestly, what is it about America’s power hypocrisy that prevents Mugabe, for example, from loosening his fist on his own people?

  8. “unclench your first”?

    I realize that was a typo, but it gave me a great idea for a soft drink:

    ObamAid!

    Unclench your thirst!

  9. Might just be wishful thinking, but that phrase sounds like an allusion to the power of trade to me.

    Everything about President Obama sounds like wishful thinking to me.

  10. Are we going to have a separate blog post for ever sentence uttered?

    Not even liberals are that bad today.

  11. Hey, has anyone seen a transcript of Biden’s speech? I assume he made one–I didn’t watch any of this nonsense.

  12. “Mutual interest” sounds a lot more like “you don’t blow us up (or our friends), we won’t blow you up.”

  13. elemenope-

    Good point. Yes, Mugabe’s madness stands on its own and can not be justified or rationalized by our treatment of the Ryan Fredericks in our society.

    Additionally, I heard the great libertarian radio talkmaster, Gene Burns, express an almost identical point concerning hypocrisy.

  14. we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist

    A little wishy-washy, but it seems to show some awareness of RC’z First Iron Law:

    You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish.

    Unfortunately, making unilateral concessions to someone who is threatening you is rewarding them for making the threats, and will only ensure more of the same. So, the proper order is, indeed, you unclench your fist, and then I will extend a hand.

    Which O doesn’t quite say, but, hey, I can Hope, right?

  15. “I didn’t watch any of this nonsense.”

    Me neither, but it’s fun watching the stock market tank while the post inauguration luncheon is sending two senators to the hospital.

  16. Taktix,

    Humor. I recognize that.

  17. “Good point. Yes, Mugabe’s madness stands on its own and can not be justified or rationalized by our treatment of the Ryan Fredericks in our society.”

    *sarcasm on*Nonsense. Everyone knows that Mugabe has to be tough because of the white power structure that controls the international economy and the reptilian Jews directing the conspiracy from the center of the earth.
    My reasoning is simple.
    1.All of Zimbabwe’s problems can be traced back to the era of white rule in Rhodesia.
    2.The Rhodesians were British
    3.British people are white
    4.The majority of Americans are white
    therefore
    the majority of Americans are responsible for the starvation of Zimbabweans.
    *sarcasm off*

  18. In the very beginning of his speech, Obama said:
    “Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath”

    Isn’t the correct number 43? Cleveland had 2 non-consecutive, so he should really only count once by Obama’s standard.

  19. I think it’s the mutual desire to enact speech codes. Wouldn’t want to offend anyone in the era of hope and change.

  20. “Isn’t the correct number 43? Cleveland had 2 non-consecutive, so he should really only count once by Obama’s standard.”

    Taft counts as two.

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