For the second time in his presidency, BO has said the right thing in the face of great division. The first time was when he said that the criticism of his policies was not racist, and the second time, today, when he said that political rhetoric did not result in the horrible tragedy in Tucson.
I didn’t see this part of his speech because I was too appalled by the entire spectacle to continue watching. People are saying, accurately, that people have a right to grieve as they wish, but I’m not sure that anyone actually believes that whole circus wasn’t orchestrated by the WH–from the logo to the t-shirts to the screaming college kids, it had David Plough circa 2006-07 written all over it. It was, to my mind, in exceedingly bad taste and quite horrific to watch. So I turned it off.
Only later did I catch the last part of his speech on television, and I was actually quite pleased to hear it. He was certainly clear about his thoughts on the topic of political discourse (well, okay, so they’re not backed up by his own political rhetoric to date, but we’ll see if that changes now), and what he said was spot on:
And so deserving of our good example. If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.
The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, [ad lib: it did not], but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud. It should be because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other’s ideas without questioning each other’s love of country, and that our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations.
I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here – they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us. [insertion in original]
Note the ad lib insertion of “it did not.” This struck me when he spoke, for he said it pointedly, “it did not.” Not “it didn’t,” not the original text that didn’t include this. Hopefully, the vicious smear-and-smut peddlars at the NYT and other leftie publications will hear this and understand it.
But I’m not holding my breath. After all, BO’s statements about racism not being the cause of criticism against him had zero impact on the left. Why would this be any different?