In the wake of the horrible shootings in Tuscon directed at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, everyone in the media looked to President Obama wondering if this was his chance to regain his footing amongst the American people. They wondered and waited with baited breath to see if this would be his moment, his Challenger disaster, his Oklahoma City bombing, or his 9/11 (despite the fact he had a chance at Fort Hood and totally botched it). They anticipated him delivering a great speech, one that would help heal our nation and return civility to the political discourse.
They got a great speech, or so they say. Hell, even if he didn’t have his teleprompter there, stumbled over every word, and even insulted the families of the victims, they probably would have still called it one of the greatest speeches ever given by a president. They wanted a “great speech” and they got it because they were focused solely on getting one. They had the template and the narrative written before we even knew who the shooter was. Even conservative pundits were fawning of the speech and praising it as if it were the greatest thing any president has ever said. I know this because I caught the second half of the speech and the commentary afterwards on Fox News and read articles the next morning. All of it sickened me.
It sickened me because everyone was out there knew it was going to be a “great speech” because it was what they wanted to hear. It sickened me because we had all sorts of people who watched that memorial service turned pep rally and still praised it. They listened to what he had to say and completely ignored it. While I missed most of the part of him talking about the victims, I caught the rest and it was terrible. Speech-wise it was fine. No faults there but it was the content after honoring the victims was terrible. That entire part of the speech, despite him saying that the current political rhetoric obviously had nothing to do with the shooting, was still predicated on the fact that words has a role. Why else would he have said that we as a nation need to talk to each other “in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds” if words and rhetoric had nothing to do with it? If it was really just a random act of violence committed by a mentally unstable man who has been obsessed with the congresswomen since 2007, why would he need to say such a thing? And why did nobody seem to pick up on this? The fact of the matter is, he believes that the rhetoric from conservatives had something to do with it and decided to subtly put that in there since he can’t say such a thing anymore after the beating he and his party took in November. He’s trying to be seen as moving towards the center when in reality he’s going to keep on with his agenda, no matter what. He’s already shown that he isn’t moving to the center with his language during the tax rate extension debate, referring to the Republicans as “hostage takers” despite the fact that his party was still in control.
I have no clue why so many conservative pundits and politicians alike are now trying to play nice with the President Obama and the Democrats after we won a huge victory. I don’t know if they want to try to be seen as the nice guys or if the Republican elite are trying to undermine the Tea Party conservatives that are challenging their power. Those “Republicans” will do anything they can to undermine them and that’s exactly what I think happened after that speech. Either way though, despite all the talk about civility, it’s not time to reach across the aisle. The liberals didn’t do it for us so why are we now doing it for them now in the wake of this shooting?
I’d like to leave you with something to ponder. Since when do memorial services have themes and t-shirts? These guys have absolutely no shame but yet we want to play nice. They cannot even keep politics out of a God damn memorial service. Oh and never mind the actual origins of the “Together We Thrive” slogan. I don’t know if I’d call this a new low considering how low they’ve stooped before but it’s damn close. Pathetic.