One Little Thing about That Speech, Mr. President – Andrew C. McCarthy – National Review Online
Posted January 16, 2011on:
Yes I listened to “the” speech. I haven’t bothered to listen to Obama for some months now because frankly I am just plain tired of seeing his face and listening for the inanities that so often flow from his mouth. But this week I was listening for him to come out and denounced the as Sarah Palin called it “blood libel” that his dedicated fans were spewing all over the airwaves and news print. I felt that surely he would be as appalled by these totally unwarranted and merciless attacks from the Left fanatics as were all thinking human beings. But our President had not one word to say until “the” speech. And then it was just a lot too little and way too late.
As for the rest of his …..(whatever it was) this article by Andrew McCarthy in National Review pretty much sums up what I felt. Well, maybe McCarthy was a tad or two more charitable than I am but these thoughts would be the ones coming from my “better” side I would like to think…..maybe. BB
OH, and I hope you notice I didn’t even pick out and color code the points I wanted you to make note of. 🙂 One more chance to exhibit my “better” aside maybe??
January 15, 2011 4:00 A.M.
One Little Thing about That Speech, Mr. President
Obama has made the prosecutors’ work just a little harder.
Before giving a much-anticipated speech in which he would lavish attention on the smallest details of a horrific crime that is now the subject of his administration’s most closely watched federal prosecution, Pres. Barack Obama spent hours with his attorney general and trusted legal adviser, Eric Holder. Flying across the country together, preparing for their joint appearance at a University of Arizona memorial service (or was it a rock concert?), they had plenty of time to strategize about what he should say, to ensure that the speech would have no negative impact on the case.
What could go wrong?
Okay, okay, that’s not really fair. As it happens, the president gave a superb speech, the best of his presidency — though it wasn’t the gem the awed punditocracy seemed to think it was. Mr. Obama is graded on a generous curve whenever he comes within a ZIP code or two of doing the right thing, particularly by conservative pundits so anxious that America know they can rise above the riff-raff’s icky partisanship and give credit where credit is due.The president, unwilling to give credit — or place blame — where it is due, opted for moral equivalence. Culpability for the poisoning of our discourse is, in his telling, shared by all of us. No need to mention that his lunatic base had spent days slandering conservative commentators as accomplices to murder and mayhem. Mr. Obama, moreover, still finds irresistible any opening to portray America as forever failing to live up to his lofty aspirations, rather than to embrace the greatness of the America that we have — an America in which last weekend’s events are so shocking precisely because they are so rare, and where the survivors survived due to the heroism of ordinary citizens.
In the scheme of things, though, these are quibbles. So is the observation that the president’s graciousness made such an impression because he has so often lacked grace. For a few moving minutes, at least, he was the president we hoped he would be, wedding intelligence and empathy with his unparalleled delivery. This time, no police had “acted stupidly,” no Republicans were told “they can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back,” and Jared Loughner’s atrocities were not spun as somehow George W. Bush’s fault.
That is not to say the scene was not disturbing. The raucous throng gave an ostensibly solemn ceremony the air of the Wellstone memorial. The Obamaphilic electioneering by the university president was nearly as off-putting as the self-absorbed weirdness of that Chicano Native American, there to remind the world of Arizona’s heartless racism (i.e., its citizens want the immigration laws enforced). When it came Obama’s time to soar, though, soar he did. Blessed by fortune to break the news that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes for the first time since being shot, the president was uplifting and, at times, inspiring. The families of those killed and wounded were clearly comforted. The president could have done no better thing, and nobody could have done it better than he did.
But there was one slip up. In a fitting sketch of John Roll, the chief federal district judge slain in the shootings, President Obama extolled the judge’s dedication to the law, his devout Christianity, and his civic-mindedness. Underscoring that last virtue, Obama said Roll had stopped by the Tucson mall simply to say “hi” to his congresswoman, Representative Giffords. That shouldn’t be a problem, but it is. Unfortunately, this is not just a tragedy to be eulogized. It is also a case to be tried.
Murder is a state crime. There are only a few narrow situations in which it can be prosecuted federally. One is the killing of a federal officer. That status, though, is not enough to invoke federal jurisdiction. The Justice Department must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, at the moment of the murder, the victim officer was performing his official duties. A federal judge’s official duties do not include saying “hi” to his representative in Congress — no more than doing so would be a part of your job.
Really, it is so hard not to be absolutely thrilled with our current President isn’t it? BB