I’m sure it will be treated reverently by the boot licking libel and slander slinging media that bashed Palin for 5 days. They will undoubtedly describe it as the day that Obama brought us together as one again, after 8 years of bush, and 2 years of extreme partisan rhetoric.
I didn’t watch the speech, I read the transcript, I did flip over to watch the re-run of the 2008 inauguration of Obama, and couldn’t stand the cheering for more than about 90 seconds. What I did see, Obama did look a little irritated with all the clapping, but I don’t get the sense (after reading the transcript) as a desire for everyone to exercise more decorum for those who were being “memorialized,” but rather that they kept interrupting his brilliant performance.
At first, while reading “live post” comments at various sites, I thought, “maybe he realizes just how unseemly this is, and is embarrassed.” and a lot of commenters said the same. At first I thought, “well I remember G. Dub, getting cheered while giving a speech at ground zero.” Then I realized. Bush didn’t hand out T-shirts, Bush didn’t have a playbill, Bush had a rough outline, but not a script, not a teleprompter, not a podium, not a list of who was in the crowd that could be called out to demonstrate empathy. I don’t have a cite, but the Secret Service was pissed that he did what he did when he went there, is how I understand it, and by speeking simply and briefly, he inspired cheers. Not for him, but for OUR Nation, for OUR resiliancy, and in that unscripted, (worthy of a misty moment) when he says “I can hear _YOU_” really encapsulated why everyone cheered. He was a leader of all of us, and he heard, and he would make sure that we all were heard.
That’s not a bad kinda cheer in a somber moment.
Now, for our current leader.
Obama had this planned from minute one, and if he was uncomfortable with the spectacle his followers were gonna create, he should have known not to have held it in a way that was indicative of a political rally. His Fault. If he wanted to mourn, he shouldn’t have created his OWN memorial of the victims, he should have coordinated with someone closer in a, “I think it’s important for The President to speak, my office will keep in touch.” or some other softer approach. Instead, he hired out a stadium, recruited a bunch of 3rd year arts degree majors to do some silk screening, and stacked it with political appointee’s and props.
In the End Obama created that spectacle.
Also, remember a paragraph ago, I mentioned how in that simple ad lib of Bush’s he made it about all of us, and he is serving all of us? Only to spend the next 7 years being called the most polarizing political figure in the history of the universe? Well, this is 3 paragraphs from Obama’s “The Speech” (I guarantee at least one hack will refer to it that way.) One that is billed as completely a-politcal.
Their actions, their selflessness, also pose a challenge to each of us. It raises the question of what, beyond the prayers and expressions of concern, is required of us going forward. How can we honor the fallen? How can we be true to their memory?
You see, when a tragedy like this strikes, it is part of our nature to demand explanations – to try to impose some order on the chaos, and make sense out of that which seems senseless. Already we’ve seen a national conversation commence, not only about the motivations behind these killings, but about everything from the merits of gun safety laws to the adequacy of our mental health systems. Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
The first sentence is good, but the rest of the first paragraph is a call to arms to “act.” (pardon for my martial rhetoric.) He’s saying that we need to “honor” the victims with legislation after them is how I read it.
The second paragraph is about how ignorant we are of eachother and we need to have a “conversation.” Well, conversations, at least honest ones, just occur, they happen between civilized people who want to clarify an understanding and find where they agree to disagree. That isn’t what Obama means, “A conversation.” means “lets rehash this whenever it’s convenient for me, in the meantime you should shut up while I’m talking.” (stole the last sentence from Goober.)
And the third paragraph is far more self serving and insidious:
at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do
Notice, that those who don’t think as “we” do, are the same as those who don’t think as him. So “we” have to pause, and heal and not wound. He just granted cover for all of his surrogates to continue the brownshirt action against Palin, the Teapartiers, and fiscally responsible people who believe in the constitution as best as we understand it.
He had a few good portions, but to say it was A-Politcal, is an outright lie. Those three paragraphs are blatantly political.
On a happy note, did anyone actually watch the best and most healing thing that has happened on the television since last wednesday? 4 straight hours of bones re-runs ran on TNT rather than the travesty of this “memorial.” Boothe and Brennen, and some of the subject characters always make me smile while making me sentimental. Far more uniting than this guy is, that’s for sure.
(I’m fighting to contain anger and exhaustion, so I will afix the links later, I think all one of you knows the blogs and references I will be linking, I just don’t have it in me right now.)