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Monday, May 2, 2011

Obama's Correspondents' Dinner Speech - Even More Remarkable Knowing What Obama Knew At The Time

I was harshly critical of Obama's Correspondents' Dinner speech Saturday night, and I still am. 

The speech was petty and unnecessarily divisive, and the video played just before the speech -- which at best bordered on mocking traditional patriotism -- was no better.

But in hindsight, the speech was even more remarkable because as Obama took the podium to lash out not only at Donald Trump, but at numerous Republicans figures, the operation to kill Osama bin Laden either was in progress or was imminent.

The speech could have set the stage to bring people together, because regardless of the outcome of the military operation, national unity would be important.  If the operation failed, we needed to come together and value the attempt.  If it succeeded, as it did, it could be a moment to lessen the harsh linguistic attacks on each other, to change the tone.

Instead, the Correspondents' Dinner speech set a tone we saw played out all last night into today on Twitter and elsewhere, with mocking derision directed towards George W. Bush and Republicans in general, as if the hunt for bin Laden really only started on January 20, 2009.  (We now know that in fact a key piece of intelligence was gleaned approximately four years ago, likely from a detainee at Gitmo.)

I congratulate Obama on giving the green light to the assault on bin Laden's compound, it showed a maturity of thought.  I wish I could say the same about the Correspondents' Dinner speech.

Update:  Jake Tapper reports that the operation was given the final go ahead on Friday, and was planned for Saturday night but was delayed a day due to weather.

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  1. But this post, unlike the post right after, is right on da munny. All of Sparky's speeches have been of this tone lately. Especially lately. He's making petulant little noises like an SDS radical leftie at a Wharton School of Business social mixer. Meanwhile ... anyone got jobs? As for me, my priority is finding a locking gas cap.

  2. Well, maybe Obama learned something after nearly screwing the pooch on failing to green light the SEAL's taking out Somali priates. Of course, he was miffed they took the shots when the tactical situation allowed it, and rumor has it retaliated against those SEALs.

    I think "maturity of thought" is being way too generous.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. And go ahead and tell me I'm politicizing it

    You act like we expected better of you, or something strange like that.

  5. Did my previous comment get taken down? It looks like someone responded to it, but it doesn't appear on the page. If it was taken down, may I ask why?

  6. Sorry, hit wrong button on this comment by @Joshua -

    "Oh boo freakin' hoo. You know what, for this time, for just this once, every last one of you conservatives/republicans/righties/"real americans" can seriously just STFU and eat some crow. Your guy - the tough guy in the flight suit, the guy who proved how awesome and tough America was, the strutting cowboy - didn't get the job done, and our guy - the one who apologizes for america, doesn't understand national security, and underestimates the threat from terrorism - did get him.

    For one day, just one freaking day, let him have it. And just shut up while he rubs it in your faces, which you all so richly deserve.

    And go ahead and tell me I'm politicizing it. You're right. Deal with it. "

  7. @Joshua - you only make a fool of yourself with such taunts. Other readers need not take the bait, if Joshua were so confident, he wouldn't feel the need to troll.

  8. A friend of mine who worked at a bank said an armless man used to come in and sign his checks holding the pen with his toes.

    In Cancun we watched an armless man play a guitar beautifully with his feet.

    Joshua is just as amazing ... typing out that paragraph. No, no, he's not armless. It's just a straight jacket.

  9. People were wondering why Obama chose last week to release his birth certificate. After the WHCA dinner, I figured it was to set up his Trump/Republican bashing. Now with the bin Laden action, it takes on another twist. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but I suspect that his political operatives figure they have two clubs with which to beat on Republicans

  10. Joshua, of course, fails to acknowledge that the Obama/Bin Laden success was built upon the shoulders of all the administrations before it and roughly a decade of hot and cold pursuit and intelligence gathering. Gitmo. interrogations, ... all those things he opposed.

    Lets see how he'll do starting from scratch. Suck on that Joshua, while we rub those facts in his face. The arrogant and unappreciative overtakes the "best and brightest".

  11. fortunately, there are plenty of real patriotic bigots like you that exist in this patriotic god blessed land of america who make a living criticizing your own president for laughing at hypocrites! God Bless!!

  12. Please. This operation is purely to distract from all the bad news coming for Obama. From the Blago trial opening, to Drake v. Obama (w/ tesimony about fraudulent use of Connecticut SSN), to stories about Obama Sr. being kicked out of the US, and how his "marraige" was to Dunham was likely a marraige of convenience, to Corsi's new book, to the OBVIOUSLY fake LFBC he just "released".


  13. For now, I'm perfectly willing to take my hat off to the President for giving the order.

    I will say, however, that for me this is a case of "one of these things is not like the others". President Obama's snarky speech on Saturday was in character, like his attack on Paul Ryan (when Ryan was sitting right there and couldn't respond) or the Supreme Court Justices (who were sitting right there and couldn't respond).

    Ordering a lightning raid that invaded a sovereign country for a targeted assassination -- now that was OUT of character. Remember, until recently President Obama was all for public civilian trials of terrorist mass murderers.

    How do I explain the contradiction? I don't; I don't have enough data.

    Maybe someday we'll learn something that sheds more light on the subject. In the meantime, I'm happy to give credit to the President. He didn't set the events in motion, and in fact he viciously attacked the procedures that made this possible. But when the magic moment came, he was the one who had to make the decision... and he made the right choice, without dithering. Way to go, sir.

    (Will he show similar strength of character on other issues? One can hope!)