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01/12/2011

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Stormy

"this was obama's bullhorn on a smoking pile of rubble moment. he pointed fingers at the finger pointers. to his credit"

Wait a minute...is pointing fingers what the point of the event was last night? To his credit? I thought that the event was to be about the people of Tucson, a memorial for the fallen, and to provide comfort and healing words to the injured and the relatives and friends of the fallen. Am I mistaken in my understanding? Was the point to burnish the President creds and have him scold others for their uncivil and toxic speech? So, which was it? A memorial or a Presidential bully pulpit? While I thought that Obama acted and spoke presidentially, I was put-off by the atmosphere of the event beginning with a benediction delivered by an Indian Medicine Man through to a president delivering a memorial speech that was interrupted by applause 50+ times, concluding with a long standing ovation for the president, and shouting, cheering, and whooping. Who was this event about? If this is how the people of Tucson choose to heal with a memorial, that's fine, but it is somewhat divergent with that which I am accustomed.

Jim Buie

Thanks, Sam, Joseph, and Stormy, for your charitable remarks. I, too, thought Obama hit just the right notes, and since he reportedly stayed up much of the night writing the speech himself, it obviously came from his heart. As you said, "presidential." We agree. Words for all of us to keep in mind:

"To sharpen our instincts for empathy...(to) make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”

“If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost,” Mr. Obama said. “Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle." Text.

In the age of the Internet, where billions of people can speak their mind, there will always be unreasonable and extremist voices out there. By reacting so frequently -- indeed by defining ourselves mostly in reaction -- we give extremist voices the thing they desire most -- attention -- and don't communicate what we really stand FOR in a positive way, just what we stand against.

Fred Gregory

Sam, The decorum was tawdry and it mixed well, in the worse way, with the speech as I said in my earlier comment.

FROM RIGHT TRUTH

January 12, 2011
Obama Begins His 2012 Campaign in Tucson Arizona on Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Passing out t-shirts and displaying banners emblazoned with the words "Together We Thrive", what was billed as a memorial for the Tucson massacre victims took on the look and feel of a campaign event for Barack Obama. Michelle Malkin calls it a "bizarre pep rally" a "branding of the Tucson massacre" a "sea of white and blue [no red]".

President Obama used to preach that there was no “Red America” and no “Blue America,” just one America.

But tonight at the memorial for the Tucson massacre victims, it will be was a sea of blue as the White House unveils the “Together We Thrive” logo and slogan.

The tone for the evening was set prior to anyone stepping foot on the stage or at the podium. The Democrat political stage managers, as Malkin calls them, set the mood as they approached attendees, passing out t-shirts. T-shirts! Who ever heard of t-shirts being passed out at a memorial service?

Listening to Obama use, and I do mean use, little 9 year-old Christina-Taylor Green's death in the manner he did was simply repulsive. See and watch the speech here.


As to some in the crowd, the shouting and whistling, it sounded like a "hope and change" rally from early 2008, not a time or mourning and remembering those whose lives were cut short or changed forever.

There were 'cheers and whoops' all night, similar to a rock band playing and the drunk crowd whistling and cheering them. Or maybe it was more like a sporting event. I have seen funerals and memorials that were celebrations of life, but this was very strange.

The New York Times offers this: Obama Calls for New Era of Civility in U.S. Politics. Isn't that what he preached during his 2008 campaign? Seems to me civility has gone downhill fast under Obama and his media.


The use of references to God, and Heaven, and the many scriptures quoted from the Holy Bible, coming from so many Democrats, was out of character.


It was all rather odd. Very odd. But the mood set by the Obama front men and organizers seems clear: "Let the campaigning begin!"


Update: Ace of Spades seems to agree with me:

Question: Why did he stage this yet again at a college? I know that's where he prefers to campaign, but, um, this wasn't supposed to be a campaign event.

Why was the audience filled with people entirely unconnected to the victims? Was it an accident these people were college students? I.e., Obama fans?

Mick

Good job Sam.

Fred... whatever.

Spag

Fred, I agree that the decorum and presentation was unsettling, but what really counts is what Barack Obama said. There, I have no fault with him whatsoever. It was a great speech and was entirely consistent and in accord with the opinions of decent people on this blog over the past five days.

Sometimes the man gets one right, and last night was just such an occasion.

Ned Neese

i used to have to go all the way to Trap Hill and pay two prices to get me some good blood libel sausage. Not no more.

Spag

You can still "carry the cross" in nearby Stone Mountain.

cheripickr

"there will always be unreasonable and extremist voices out there. By reacting so frequently -- indeed by defining ourselves mostly in reaction -- we give extremist voices the thing they desire most -- attention -- and don't communicate what we really stand FOR in a positive way, just what we stand against."

Posted by: Jim Buie | 01/13/2011 at 04:00 PM

That sort of clear-eyed, even-handed, common sense commentary exemplifies the “discussion” some of the town criers around here claimed to be conducting, even as they seized the earliest unwarrantable opportunity to smear the victims’ blood on the hands of their chosen political targets. Their shamelessness in that regard apparently has no limits.

You and I are probably miles apart politically but I agree completely with what you said, and have tried to convey the same message (quite unsuccessfully) since this thing began. Actually you haven’t really said much at all over and above what could be said based on what is known,, which is why it makes so much sense.

It is good to know that there are people remaining on both sides who can disagree on most issues yet refrain from trying to rip the opposition’s throat out in blame every time some random lunatic snaps, or at the very least wait until some semblance of supportable evidence comes to light. Hearing you alone (I think)on the left echoing my exact sentiments gives me some badly-needed hope because the depths of the political sewer-dwelling on this one is among the most indecent and depressing of any “discussion” I think I have ever followed around here, from people who I thought were above it.

Jim Buie

The sewer is always out there for anyone who wishes to dwell in it. I know "liberal" activists who have long since abandoned Daily Kos because of the acerbic attacks on them and on Obama from the left. I used to be disturbed by the Internet's empowering of the voices of the fringes. And yet I don't think they represent a statistically larger percentage of people than they did before the Internet was invented.

It's easy to attack one's opponents at their weakest point, to presume their motives are always base or self-serving, to denigrate and demean through distortion and ad hominem attacks. That's a kind of pollution. The challenge is to honestly wrestle with their strongest points.

Some of us define ourselves by what we are against, the unreasonableness of the left or the right. But it's impossible to sustain that outrage on a daily basis forever -- at some point you do have to look inward and see the flaws in your own logic.

Spag

I'm going to have to remember all of these wonderful words and see how long the sentiment lasts. Forgive my skepticism. Too often past is prologue.

Stormy

One question. Since what was billed as a "memorial" for the fallen and wounded, what does the slogan "Together we Thrive? have to do with a memorial? I do not see any connection to a memorial and a slogan that suggests that we will thrive on a communal basis (social justice?). It has been said that Barack Obama and the White House were surprised by the pep rally/campaign rally tone to the event. Fair enough. However, the blue t-shirts with the Together We Thrive was lifted from a post to Obama’s own Organizing for America in a Feb. 11, 2008 post by self-described “globalist” John Berry:

“What I see in Obama is a chance for revolution. A chance for every group to be heard; A chance to live the American dream that has been denied to so many…

“In a previous career, I was the global leader of Diversity for a global fortune 500 corporation. I have studied the affects of diverse groups working together and the results can not be denied. Together we Thrive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

So, University of Arizona event organizers did not originate the “Together We Thrive” T-shirt. They merely recycled it for Obama—and recycled it for the Memorial for the dead. I understand that the “Together We Thrive” T-shirt has “Rocking America and Rocking the Vote” which is a common theme of the DNC.

Tell me, Jim Buie, does this mean that the Tucson event was really an opportunity for an Obama 2012 campaign kick-off, rather than it a memorial for the dead? "Some of us define ourselves by what we are against, the unreasonableness of the left or the right. But it's impossible to sustain that outrage on a daily basis forever -- at some point you do have to look inward and see the flaws in your own logic." Where are the flaws in my logic?

Stormy

"Obama hit just the right notes, and since he reportedly stayed up much of the night writing the speech himself"

Where was that reported and how do they know? It was also previously reported that he stayed up much of every night when we wrote his second autobiography, Audacity of Hope. "I usually wrote at night after my Senate day was over, and after my family was asleep -- from 9:30 p.m. or so until 1 a.m," What are the possibilities that Jon Favreau was involved in both efforts?

Jim Buie

Stormy, it was reported here (paragraph 10) that Obama wrote much of the speech himself.

"Tell me, Jim Buie, does this mean that the Tucson event was really an opportunity for an Obama 2012 campaign kick-off, rather than it a memorial for the dead?"

I guess that would be the same as saying Bush's speech in the NYC rubble after 9/11 was just a campaign speech. I certainly don't believe that. Do you?

If you ask the families of the dead if they feel the event paid tribute to their loved ones, what answer are you likely to get?

tk solomon

the families would say that if a politician wasn't inconvenienced by a bullet, no t-shirts, sloganeering or beltway entourage would have set up their traveling show in AZ. writing your own speech isn't on the same level as building the log cabin you were born in with your own hands...as the man who marketed Gettysburg did.

Jim Buie

So TK, you think Gabby Gifford was simply "inconvenienced by a bullet"? Stormy and Fred, you think Obama's speech and appearance were just a campaign opportunity, and there was nothing positive to be gleaned or learned from what he said?

Might your responses be characterized as hyper-partisan?

Spag

Jim, you are missing TK's point and the very clear sarcasm in his statement.

Criticizing the decorum is a legitimate, non "hyper-partisan" act. If you think otherwise, then perhaps you are confirming that it is "easy to attack one's opponents at their weakest point, to presume their motives are always base or self-serving,"

cheripickr

Jim, whatever you do, make no attempt whatsoever to decipher the screed of one tk solomon. This has been known to lead to a syndrome of vertigo, horizontal rapid eye movements termed nystagmus,and involuntary facial tics called "tardive dyskinesia", often followed by grand mal seizures, self-mutilation, and occasionally death. There are a select number of similarly infectious commentaters here, and I will point them out to you as they are detected by the software.

cheripickr

Ned Neese, for one.

Spag

It's the part about "building the log cabin you were born in with your own hands" that has me puzzled from a scientific standpoint.

Stormy

Hey, Jim Buie, about that "he reportedly stayed up much of the night writing the speech himself", to quote you. Robert Gibbs seems to tell a totally different tale. Either Gibbs is lying or you are severely stretching the truth to the benefit of your politics. According to this article, Obama did provide his thoughts about the speech, but you are really stretching the truth here. This makes a point about Obama supporters. The reality of things are not enough, you have to enhance the scenario to make Obama look saintly.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-13/news/ct-met-obama-speechwriter-01-14-20110113_1_cody-keenan-hari-sevugan-obama-presidential-campaign

WASHINGTON — — President Barack Obama's emotional speech on the Tucson tragedy was penned in part by a 30-year-old Chicago native who works in the White House.

Cody Keenan, a graduate of Northwestern University and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, long toiled anonymously in the White House speech shop, assigned to what a friend called the "eulogy and commencement beat."

But after the much-applauded speech in Arizona, his anonymity is a thing of the past.
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Flying back to Washington aboard Air Force One, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters late Wednesday that Keenan had been the speechwriter.

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