Yes, people were dying in a gunfight across town, but Obama had a speech to givePosted: September 18, 2013
Andrew Malcolm writes: Barack Obama has never been accused of possessing the most refined sense of appropriate, especially when it comes to what normal people regard as tragedies.
Fifty-three weeks ago when four Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Obama appeared after a good night’s sleep, bemoaned the loss, vowed to deliver justice to the killers (still unfulfilled), then flew off for fundraising parties in Las Vegas. Hey, they’re still dead anyway, and there was big campaign money waiting.
When a 133-foot-tall wall of tsunami water rolled 10 miles inland to kill 16,000 in Japan two years ago, Obama expressed his sorrow, then went golfing. When bad weather canceled his trip to the funeral of Poland’s president, Obama paid his respects by golfing.
As the Gulf coast economy struggled back from the nation’s worst environmental disaster ever, Obama urged all Americans to vacation there. Then, he took his family to the New England coast.
Or our personal fave, his 2012 Virginia campaign speech when the audience began fainting from the heat. So, instead of cutting it short, Obama offered advice on hydration and how to stand properly until he was finished.
So, it should not be surprising that as heavily-armed SWAT teams combed the Washington Navy Yard Monday for at least one deranged killer, Obama took the occasion to proceed with one of his harshest partisan speeches in months.
Aides maintain it never crossed Obama’s mind to cancel the political speech as a gesture to the violent deaths of a dozen federal employees across town and their about-to-be-grieving families and co-workers. It’s not like coming weeks of budget and debt limit arguments will lack for Obama opportunities to utter the same repetitive talking points with his fading rhetorical skills.
Although it did occur to someone in his White House to cancel Monday evening’s Latin music festivities.
Last week too Obama acted strangely. When John Kerry’s chemical weapons gaffe created an opening for a savvy Russian power move to bolster its Syrian pal Assad, developments rendered pointless Obama’s scheduled war address to the nation. What did he do? He went ahead anyway and looked silly announcing he wasn’t going ahead with what he had called everybody together to hear.
Allegedly the Tuesday afternoon event was to mark the fifth anniversary of the nation’s financial crisis, not something normally celebrated. Do you remember fondly those glory days when the nation’s entire financial system teetered on the brink and it was all Bush’s fault?
Although, come to think of it, gas prices and the unemployment rate were a whole lot better back then than after nearly five years of Obama fixes.
Those poor people props standing behind Obama throughout his 3,800 words, including familiar bogus claims such as “Our deficits are going down faster than any time since before I was born.” It’s always about him, isn’t it?
Here’s another way to put that: During my first four years in office I created the nation’s first four trillion-dollar annual deficits, ballooning the national debt to nearly $17 trillion, and now those annual deficits aren’t quite that big anymore.
But we still need to hike the debt limit this fall and no GOP funny business about matching spending cuts.
Obama’s still complaining about the sequester cuts that originated with his staff. His political posturing was that Republicans need to stop political posturing.
And while Obama negotiates with Russia and, ultimately, Syria’s dictator over poison gas, he said he would never negotiate with the GOP over raising the domestic debt limit.
At one point the country’s chief executive, who professes a desire to work with Republicans, actually said of them, “There are a number of folks out there who I think are decent folks.” Others who disagree with Obama are — what? — indecent? Racist?
Clearly, this president, who — remember? — was going to bring us all together, wants fights over the budget and debt limit because he thinks such staged conflicts could help his party in next year’s midterm elections. Not very presidential, looking out for the country first. But, hey, he’s from Chicago.
The good news about Obama’s tasteless talking during the deadly Navy Yard confrontation is that basically no one saw or heard it, save for hardy souls on C-SPAN. (Scroll down for its full video of Obama’s remarks.)
The TV networks cut away to the police news conference at the scene of so many fatalities. And the buzz across the country was not about a sad Democrat’s fabricated fable over millions of new jobs. Don’t worry. That won’t stop him. He’ll be back for more.
Obama speech video courtesy of the C-SPAN Video Library
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