Bob the Builder for President

Last week James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal poked fun, in his online column Best of the Web Today, at one of Hilary Clinton's little campaign slogans ("We're going to knock balls out of the country's park for the home team, which is America"), comparing it (rather unfavorably) to past pronouncements of Democratic Party Personages ("Ask not what your country can do for you...", etc.). The very next day he did the same thing with one of Bill Clinton's little speeches.

Continuing in the fine tradition of Bill and Hilary Clinton, Obama for America sent me a mailing yesterday with a slogan proudly printed in huge letters right on the front of the envelope, for all the world to see: "Yes we can." In smaller print, right underneath that, was the citation: "Barack Obama, January 8, 2008", as though the bon mot were a significant utterance that would be remembered for years to come as an Obama original, to be esteemed right up there with "I shall return" and "I have a dream".

Well, it will certainly be remembered, but mostly by toddlers, who hear their buddy Bob the Builder saying it every day on TV. The rest of us are mostly going to scratch our heads and wonder, "We can what?" The banalification of American politics continues apace.


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