Anybody willing to look up the archives on this very site will see that I am an outspoken critic of Barack Obama. So if anybody dares respond to what I’m about to write by suggesting that I’m a “squish” or some other nonsense, well…. go crawl under a rock.
I had an engagement tonight and had to miss Obama’s speech. But I just now read the text, helpfully posted below by Phil Klein. I found it gracious, thoughtful, good-hearted, substantive, and eloquent. I thought it was the best speech I have ever heard Barack Obama give. By far. In its actual words was nothing, not a single thing, objectionable. If any conservative had given that same speech, we would have all been singing hosannas in praise of the speech and the speaker.
Many of the comments here, though, in response to the speech, were atrocious. There is nothing wrong with not liking the speech. There is nothing wrong with not liking the man. There is everything wrong with acknowledging that the speech was well worded and then blasting Obama anyway for supposedly being insincere, or for having read what somebody else wrote, or any number of other charges and insults. This is not an occasion to greet decency with nasty language, even if the decency comes from somebody you otherwise think indecent. These are tough times for this country. This was tragedy. This was a solemn memorial. And Obama is this nation’s president — a president who did NOT use this occasion to take any obvously political advantages from the situation. There was no self-aggrandizement; there were no attacks on his political adversaries or their motives; there was nothing but a wonderful tribute to the victims, to their families, and t the goodness of this nation. We should give credit where it’s due; and if we don’t think it is due, we should at least avoid giving offense where the offense has not, in this instance, been earned.
I wish this man were not our president. I would feel good if he decided tomorrow to step aside. But he will not step aside, and he is our president, and he did not say anything tonight that merited vitriol — and, in my reading, he DID say a lot tonight that was right on target. We should accept his grace notes, and move on. There will be plenty of time in the weeks ahead to oppose Obama’s agenda. Now is not the occasion to tear down the man.
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