This president is the root cause of the political anger that is out there.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, overseeing the investigation the Tucson shootings that left Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a coma and federal judge John Roll and five others dead, wasted little time in blaming heated political rhetoric for the crime.
Shortly after the first reports of the shootings, Dupnick said, “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital,” adding “We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” Giffords’ father, asked if she had any enemies, reportedly said that the whole Tea Party was her enemy.
There is no evidence whatsoever that the attack on Giffords and the others is a result of political rhetoric. The political anger there is — built over nearly two years of the Obama presidency — resulted in a force that ejected of 63 House members last November. And the root cause of the anger is to be found in the man who resides in the White House.
Every president is responsible for the political climate while he is in office. Using the Bully Pulpit, controlling his agenda and in dealing with the Congress and the public, every president has at least great control — if not sole control — of the level of heat in American politics. When a president loses that control, like Obama did last fall, it presages a political disaster for him and his party.
President Obama is a tumultuary. He governs by inflating or inventing crises which he insists must be acted upon as he prescribes with an immediacy that tolerates no delay or debate. His signature remark — repeated again and again — is that “The time for talk is over. The time for action is now.”
Obama derides debate, and refuses to answer critics, choosing instead to end the discussion. In January 2009, challenged by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Az) on the shape and size of the economic stimulus package he proposed, Obama cut off the discussion by saying, “I won.”
And that is his style. Whether it’s angry words spoken with a preternatural calm or calm words delivered in a visibly angry demeanor, he has cultivated the anger that propelled his legislative agenda through Congress in a tsunami of unread and undebated legislation.
The anger voiced at countless townhall meetings in 2009 was the first visible response to Obama’s stampeding Congress to remake America. People who had never been active in politics went to tell their congressmen and senators that they felt that their government no longer represented them.
But instead of listening to the protests of those new townhall activists, Obama and his congressional allies rammed the healthcare “reform” bill through to his signing ceremony when Vice President Biden memorably called it a “big effing deal.” It was, and it further distanced Americans from their government.
Too many Americans are alienated from their government because they don’t trust it. And, given the record of the past decade, they shouldn’t. Those who live in border states are virtually left to defend themselves against the encroachment of illegal aliens and violent crime. For all the spending that Obama has done, we still have nearly 10% unemployed (and many more in some states). Alienation and frustration breed anger.
And so does Obama. His cultivation of anger is nearly a constant in his rhetoric.
His style uses two rhetorical tools: stating angry words calmly or stating calm words angrily. There are many examples of each. His talent for managing anger — and his allusions to violence - first became evident in his presidential campaign.
At a June 2008 campaign fundraiser in Philadelphia, Obama calmly — almost jokingly - said “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”
On January 31, 2009, shortly after taking office, Obama used angry words calmly. Talking about Wall Street bankers in a video, he said “The American people will not excuse or tolerate such arrogance and greed.”
In December 2009 at the Copenhagen global warming summit, Obama’s dream of a new global warming treaty vanished when China and other nations balked at the economy-killing nature of the proposals. Then a visibly angry Obama hurled his calm signature line at the Chinese saying “the time has come not to talk but to act.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?