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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obama's Tucson Speech, In Other Words

I thought Obama's speech at the memorial for the Tucson shooting victims was a good speech, better in writing than in delivery, which is unusual for him.

The pep rally atmosphere was strange, but I learned long ago that people grieve in their own ways.  And one cannot blame Obama for unsolicited cheers and shouts from the audience.

Some key passages seemed to be a rebuke to the fingerpointing and accusations that right-wing political speech -- and Sarah Palin -- caused the shooting.

A key passage in the speech was as follows (emphasis mine):
"The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives - to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud."
In other (my) words:

"Matthew Yglesias, Markos Moulitsas and Paul Krugman should be ashamed of themselves."
Obama kept the focus on the dead and injured, as I wish everyone had in the hours and days after the shooting.  Good for him on this.

Update:  I probably should have included Sheriff Dupnik in the quote.  That's what happens when you rush a post.

A lot of people on Twitter are saying it was cynical for Obama to wait several days to make this point about the fingerpointing, since by now a lot of the damage has been done.  That's a fair point; my review is of the speech, not the overall political situation.

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Related Posts:
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Blood Libel
Hijacking A Massacre

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24 comments:

  1. Good speech. He was presidential. Thought the atmosphere was a bit odd, but not offensive. I just wish he was stronger in telling the Left to STFU and stop blaming conservatives of murder, but I guess it was as good as a conservative could wish for. Not sure I agree w/ Krauthammer that the malicious smearing will stop, but we'll see. If any more Dems come out and continue to smear the right, it'll be a big failure by Obama. The left has looked awful since Saturday and if he was able to get them to shut up, he'd should do it. If he can't, then its on him.

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  2. Okay, forgive the expression, but I thought it was offenseive.
    They were giving out t-shirts, selling concessions (got cher popcorn here!), hooting, howling, screaming "I love you." This was not a memorial service.
    It was a political pep rally. I actually felt uncomfortable for The One because he was taken aback by the screaming of the moron college students who can't seem to have any common sense at all nowadays.
    The college president or SOMEBODY should have prepared that bunch to behave. The whole "He looks presidential" thing bugs me too because that's his JOB, for pete's sake.
    The fact that he LOOKS like that is, well, his JOB. I don't buy this "they all grieve in different ways" thing either. I saw them running in hours before the show and at the time thought, "Geez, look at em run. It looks like a sporting event."
    This MEMORIAL wasn't supposed to be about all them but it always turns into that.
    I was glad he talked about civility. Guess he's been reading the polls. Okay, okay, that's not nice but true. Such an opportunist.
    Alright, as long as I've gotten this low, I might as well go all the way.
    I'm not sure I buy the whole "she opened her eyes" thing. We've just heard these gimmicks too many time and they always turn out to be, um, fabrications.
    Cynical, I know, but I've had good teachers.

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  3. I didn't see the speech. Sounds like the usual Obama pap, calculated to be taken by every hearer to say what he thought should have been said, but in reality saying nothing whatever. What is "civil discourse" and what isn't? Blank out, as Ayn Rand would say.

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  4. "let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy,"

    Doesn't this indicate something like "It wasn't JUST the lack of civility, but something more complex? Does he really say that the lack of civility had nothing to do with the shooting?

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  5. Its pretty obvious why he waited Professor, even to a rube like me. He had to see where the polls were. If Krugman had gained the slightest bit of traction he would have been on Palin like ugly on an ape.

    No doubts.

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  6. Wow, you guys really can't stop for just one moment, can you? Did any of you reflect on the killed and injured when listening to his speech? Or were you thinking of ways to criticize it and him? Hopefully, for everyone's sake, it was the former and not the latter.

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  7. I'm not an Obama fan and I didn't watch the speech, but it sounds like he was trying to say the right things. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here.

    But I still don't like ObamaCare.

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  8. I agree; the words were carefully chosen so each person could interpret it as he or she wishes. "But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized..." the left will interpret it as they already very vocally have, and suckers on the right will think Obama's referring to those who have tried to pin blame on the right.

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  9. I'm not going to criticize Obama except to say that he is a cold fish. Perhaps a trait he learned from Rahm Emanuel. But the college crowd: disgraceful.

    Compare that bunch of liberal kids to the soldiers, and their families, at the Fort Hood memorial.

    This was turned into a political pep rally. And it was embarassing.

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  10. Phil said,"Wow, you guys really can't stop for just one moment, can you? Did any of you reflect on the killed and injured when listening to his speech? Or were you thinking of ways to criticize it and him? Hopefully, for everyone's sake, it was the former and not the latter."

    I can assure you that I am no more guilty of considering the political aspects of the President's speech than the President was in delivering it.

    Thanks for asking.

    And let me also thank you, Phil, for appointing yourself the conscience of us all. I feel certain that the pristine state of your soul allows you plenty of time to spare to judge people you've never met.

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  11. Phil, Hard to think about killed and wound at a pep rally in a gym

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  12. I watched as much as I could, it was embarrassing. There were people selling tee shirts and soft drinks. At least someone could have said,"lets wait until all the facts are in before making any type of judgements." The President and the leftist press did that for Maj. Hassan who murdered 16 people, why couldn't the President say, "lets knock it off about Sara Palin, she did nothing" but of course he didn't. Krugman of the NYT's is calling her an accomplice to murder and the President says nothing, the Editorial Board of the Times says nothing, major Democrats say nothing, they are beneath contempt for their silence. Sara is right, its a "Blood Libel" by the illiberal press and the Democrats.

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  13. It was a case of "telling them what they want to hear"....ambiguous in it's message. What is the deal with the pep rally atmosphere? it WAS a memorial service, wasn't it? To quote a comment from over at michellemalkin dot com...."nothing says class like a t-shirt with a slogan".
    I thought this guy was supposed to be the "smartest man in the room"...I don't want President Rock Star....

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  14. If you go back and watch the tape at CSPAN Obama emphasised what we been saying all along...

    And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy,(Obama then emphasised) It did not..

    http://tinyurl.com/4bhx7px - at the 1:11 mark.

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  15. "Wow, you guys really can't stop for just one moment, can you?"

    Wow, can't miss an opportunity for a little more finger-pointing, can you?

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  16. Unfortunately nothing has changed and the left will continue on with their "game". This is only their temporary pacification and Obama's words were their "treats". Expect the left to get worse in the days and weeks to come.

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  17. I guess it was the purpose-designed logo at the funeral (complete with giveaway Tshirts) supplied by the White House that took some of bloom off the rose for me.

    The coordination with Pelosi as described on her web page was a nice touch though.

    “Tonight the University of Arizona community joins with Tucson, the state of Arizona, and indeed the entire nation to acknowledge together Saturday’s tragedy. Appropriately, this remembrance is called ‘Together we thrive: Tucson and America.’ ‘Together we thrive: Tucson and America’ will be an opportunity to grieve, and it will be a demonstration of our strength, a strength in community—a strength in community that was demonstrated last Saturday, a strength in community there that is ongoing."

    http://pelosi.house.gov/news/press-releases/2011/01/pelosi-on-arizona-tragedy-in-this-hour-of-anguish-we-seek-renewed-commitment-to-hope-to-civility-to.shtml

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  18. One of the things that I really like seeing was the real emotion from Michelle Obama. There was real joy in her face when he mentioned the congresswoman opened her eyes.

    I thought the pep rally feel to it was odd, but as you said that cannot be blamed on him. I too picked up on it seemed to make him a tad uncomfortable. I am not going to tell someone else how to grieve, it isn't my place.

    I am not surprised by him giving a good speech, it is one of the things that he excels at, especially in front of a college crowd. The people there seemed to find to be a good evening, that is really all that matters.

    But the chances of this being the end of the Palin bashing, I am not waging any money on that.

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  19. Agree. Good speech. Unusual delivery. Essentially, the same message as Palin.

    Wondering which will be remembered?

    http://syd4.blogspot.com/2011/01/same-message-from-palin-and-obama-which.html

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  20. Only when he saw that the "wind is blowing with Vichy" did he announce "I will go" to Tucson. Why did he go there? What business does the President have there? He went only to put his back to the wind he suddenly noticed was blowing in his face. Did he lead the nation in mourning as Lincoln or Golda Meir did? Full disclosure, I did not listen to him speak, but did watch with the sound muted, and saw, once again, (surprise, surprise) the pantomime showman with the bobble head and raised chin, P.T. Bama. Maybe at his Curly Howard-Duce chin raise, the teleprompter reads, "Look empathic", and he's looking out over the audience looking for M. Pathic. But the initiative is elsewhere, and whether aware of it or not, he does not have it, and will not regain it, even if he drives over the synecdoche of Krugman several more times.

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  21. None of this will stop the left from being uncivil because they don't think of themselves as the ones hate-mongering. They'll read this speech as Obama coming down hard against Palin, and Rush Limbaugh and other right wingers.

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  22. "better in writing than in delivery, which is unusual for him."

    Oh, I don't know about that. You need to listen to his speeches on the radio or at least audio only. He's really not that good. Sure he'll always have a line or two which will be replayed in the MSM to make it sound like a great speech. But seriously he's just not that good.

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  23. Bravo, Mr. President, from someone who would rather chew on a toilet brush than vote for you.

    I'll lay the blame for the T-shirts on the memorial front-men and the pep-rally atmosphere on immature college students. The President could have delivered either another Ground-Zero-Mosque teachable moment or a solemn, moving (if a little run-on) remembrance, and, good-on-him, he delivered the latter.

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  24. Okay, okay, I take back what I said about opening her eye/s, now that we have verification. Dear Lord, I can't imagine what those people are going through and I'm quite jubilant that she's making a remarkable (we hope) recovery.
    The other stuff stands though. I thought in general it was a tasteless display, through no fault of The One. Well, who printed those tshirts? That was tasteless too.

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