Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 10:18 AM ET, 01/14/2011

Obama's Tucson speech will not 'change the tone' of politics

By Adam Serwer

President Obama's speech at the Tucson memorial Wednesday night garnered praise from both conservatives and liberals, but it's unlikely to change the tone of our political discourse.

For some reason, though, this idea seems to have gained traction.

By not pointing fingers or seeking to score political points, they said, Obama positioned himself well as he readies his State of the Union Address for Jan. 25. That speech will lay out his goals for the year ahead, his first with a divided government.

"The president's speech last night was potentially seismic for him," said Richard Greene, a communications strategist who has written on history's most unforgettable speeches. "Every time the president shows himself in this very warm, very human light, a light that everyone can relate to, he softens up the argument against his agenda."

Whatever good will the president has earned among conservatives will dissipate quickly. As Greg wrote earlier this week, calls for civility are usually short-lived in Washington -- and by historical standards, the incivility of our political discourse isn't as unprecedented as it seems. There are reasons for partisanship -- Republicans and Democrats simply want different things. Should Republicans in Congress decide to cooperate with the president, their tone will have to change -- after, all there's no cooperating with a tyrant -- but that will be because they see some benefit in doing so, not because Obama gave a gracious speech in Tucson. 

Likewise, many of the presidents usual antagonists in the conservative media, such as Glenn Beck, praised the president for his speech. But, ultimately, Beck's audience wants to hear baroque conspiracy theories about generations-long liberal schemes to subvert the United States; they're not there to hear him offer balanced, wonky critiques of how the HAMP program has failed to stem the foreclosure crisis. They want to hear him explain why the president is trying to destroy the country. That's why they come to him in the first place.

A few weeks from now, if not a few days or hours, that's what they'll get. A single speech by the president cannot shift the market incentives of the ideological media, nor the underlying structural incentives that create polarization and partisanship in the first place.

By Adam Serwer  | January 14, 2011; 10:18 AM ET
Categories:  House Dems, Political media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Morning Plum
Next: How Obama got conservatives to listen to him

Comments

Well Adam since you brought it up, a lot of people (not GB fans obviously) can give...wonky critiques of how the HAMP program has failed to stem the foreclosure crisis.

As I posted yesterday, the crisis is still deepening and it deserves a paragraph or two in the State of the Union, it really does.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 14, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Of course it won't. Republicans can't rile up the rabble with nicey-nice.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 14, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@Adam-

"A single speech by the president cannot shift the market incentives of the ideological media, nor the underlying structural incentives that create polarization and partisanship in the first place."

This is the crux of the biscuit. As long as there is financial reward for teh crayzee....
I don't know which came first: the audience or the performer. After a while they stuck in a feedback loop.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 14, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Of course the speech won't change anything because Obama didn't try to DO anything. The moment Obama tries to enact policies the Right doesn't like is the moment the vitriol resumes. My fear is that, in part to avoid that fate, Obama will only offer policies that the Right endorses. Meaning that more tax cuts and an assault on the Welfare State are coming. But they will be "bi-partisan" so it would be churlish to object.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 14, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain to me whether it is the position of the right that "violent rhetoric" has no effect on raising the level of danger for politicians, etc or have Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, et al. gotten more threats and been foreced to seek more security as a result?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | January 14, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Banks repossessed one million US homes in 2010. "2011 is going to be the peak," senior vice-president Rick Sharga told the Associated Press. Why? About five million homeowners are now at least two months behind on their mortgage payments. Yeah five million missing payments.

TARP etc. relieved everyone of the moral hazard of the housing bubble debacle, all except Lehman, Bear Stearns and of course, retail borrowers. Obama does not have to worry about Palin and Beck, he does have to worry about the #1 economic problem facing America in 2011, foreclosure.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 14, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Typical. Beef up security, but don't do anything about automatic weapons in the hands of the unstable.

Yeah, kinda like promising impossible spending cuts but hands off what we continue to refer to with a straight face as "defense"

Posted by: caothien9 | January 14, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

One other point: the Right NEVER takes its eye off the ball. The comparison of Reagan to Obama is as ludicrous as the comparison to Lincoln. It isn't the genial tone that is most important about Reagan. Reagan never for one second forgot what he wanted to accomplish. Reagan had a philosophical lodestone he never lost sight of. Obama? Not so much.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 14, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Well, the tone that the President set in his speech will not have a lasting effect, if threads like this are going to keep pouring water on it.

I thought that what Glen Beck said, should help with his followers, who tend to view President Obama as not even being an American. Why not leave it a that.

Beck said something positive, so we should say good for him, in order to encourage him to do more of the same, instead of being so reflexively negative, just because it was Glen Beck who praised what The President said.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 14, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"Obama's Tucson speech will not 'change the tone' of politics"

How can you possibly state this as a fact?


Other than all evidence in the historical record, of course.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing that most Americans realize the hysterical reaction of the liberal media over the massacre in Arizona is merely an opportunistic, partisan ambush of it's political enemies. In years past the Democrat controlled media would have gotten away with a propaganda bonanza and most people would have been clueless.

The anti-TEA PARTY campaign was pre-scripted and at the ready when the tragedy occurred. Almost every Democrat, media operative began spewing the same lies instantly after the incident.

The New York Times seems to be the head dog in a large pack of leftist, media hounds.

Where the big dog goes, the little pups follow, including all the WaPo Obamacrats.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 14, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Let the games begin, old tone and all.

Now it'll be the Republicans getting nothing done, and whining about it.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 14, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca (from the prior thread):

That article on Social Security is must-read:

"Historically, elderly poverty has declined substantially from the days before the New Deal of the 1930s. The government's official statistics go back to the '60s, when the elderly poverty rate stood at 35 percent. By the 1980s, the official rate had dropped to 10 percent, a plunge economists attribute to the Social Security Act's old-age insurance program. "Our analysis suggests that the growth in Social Security can indeed explain all of the decline in poverty among the elderly over this period," concluded Gary Engelhardt and Jonathan Gruber in a rigorous 2004 National Bureau of Economic Research report. Since then, however, benefits have plateaued and the reduction of the poverty rate stalled out. Engelhardt and Gruber calculated that every ten percent decline in benefits would lead to a 7.3 percent increase in elderly poverty."

This is what is at stake. Whether Social Security is cut with smiles or snarls is irrelevant.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 14, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't think battleground actually reads the comments of these threads. If he did, he'd realize how untrue the last sentence of his is. But, whatevah...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 14, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

This gets it exactly right. The usually mainstream media narrative misses the mark in that it drains any of this of a political component. The rhetoric of the GOP (and of the Dems) has as it's goal the advancement of a specific political agenda. If you take that out of the equation, of course it just seems like bickering, and that we should be able to get past it. But that's the same feeling a small child would have when he hears his parents argue. If you can't understand what the debate is about, you'll think it's the easiest thing in the world to just get along.

Having said all that, there is a qualitative difference between the modern conservative strategy of demonizing their opponents in a rhetorically violent manner. I disliked Bush and thought he was the least competent president in modern American history, but I never heard a mainstream liberal figure implying that we were going to take arms against his unconstitutional oppression, or that his presidency (while of questionable legitimacy due to Bush vs Gore & Florida debacle) was *illegal*.

Where were the liberal gun rallies staged across the river as a show of force to the Bush government? It never happened.

Instead you get references to some college kid with a papier mache Bush puppet wearing a swastika. Pathetic.

Posted by: ibc0 | January 14, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Whatever, battleground ... poor persecuted conservative.

Palin is toast. That video of hers was like the medics with the pads. "Clear!"

Flatline.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 14, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

ChuckinDenton, enough PL liberals joined the Palin lynch mob to make it true. As to the audience at Obama's speech, did you happen to notice the applause and cheering 56 times?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"It's amazing that most Americans realize the hysterical reaction of the liberal media over the massacre in Arizona is merely an opportunistic, partisan ambush of it's political enemies."
---------------------------------------

I'm not sure what I like better about this sentence: 1) That battleground makes the claim about "most americans" without any need to cite source; or 2) That it is "amazing" Americans finally figured out something battleground has known for so long. Ever so modest that battleground.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 14, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

All

I think we can pretty much agree that the tone will not change much. There may be a few individual politicians who will engage their brain before they open their mouth, good for them. I think Obama gave a great and inspiring speech and reminded us all what is important in our lives but that is a separate issue from policy.

I can still disagree with policy, as can anyone else, whether my voice changes to an inside voice or not. I will not accept silently policies I disagree with, whether it's the presumed coming threats to Social Security, the new bailout of the banks disguised as real estate reform being proposed by Third Way or the war in Afghanistan.

Obama is appealing to the centrist or unifier in all of us, I will presume it is because that's who he is at the core and certainly not malign his motives. But that doesn't necessarily mean I agree with him on how to get our country back on track.

It's in my nature to be a thorn in the side of conservative democrats, but a polite one.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 14, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Heh heh heh. Palin lynch mob.

Palin built the scaffold, wove the rope, placed her head in the noose and then did a video whining "they're trying to hang me."

Yeah Jake the crowd applauded a great speech by the President. Suck it up.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 14, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

2010 marked the last anyone will see of the real Barack H. Obama. From here on in Obama will be very modest and bi-partisan and moderate. He has graduated from the Bill Clinton school of triangulation.

Notice he didn't jump into the partisan fray after the Arizona massacre?? His mentor, slick Willy, held him back, told him what to do and helped him write his speech.

Obama the healer. Obama the understander. Obama the bi-partisan teddy bear. Obama the feeler-of-our-pain.

Campaign 2012 is underway!

Posted by: battleground51 | January 14, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

President Obama is a very civil man. The speech he gave in Tucson was consistent with what he has called for, every since he entered the national public arena.

He has remained restrained, and has not engaged in vitriolic laden rants, at any time, since we all first got to hear him speak for the first time.

He has remained true to his own convictions, and that is why his speech was received as being authentic.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 14, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

ibc0, I'm not talking about some college kid. Are you really forgetting the prominent Bush haters this quickly? CINDY SHEEHAN? Reid and Pelosi said some pretty hateful stuff too. Limiting the discussion just to talk about assassinating Bush (not even the actual attempts to do so):

Even before [George W.] Bush was elected president, the kill-Bush talk and imagery started.

1) When Governor Bush was delivering his 2000 convention speech, Craig Kilborn, a CBS talk-show host at the time, showed him on the screen with the words "SNIPERS WANTED." You don't remember that? Didn't Alec Baldwin have some choice words about killing him too? Freedom of speech, and all.

2) After Bush was re-elected, Bill Maher, the comedian-pundit, was having a conversation with John Kerry. He asked the senator what he had gotten his wife for her birthday. Kerry answered that he had taken her to Vermont. Maher said, "You could have went to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone." (New Hampshire is an early primary state, of course.) Kerry said, "Or I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone." (This is the same Kerry who joked in 1988, "Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they're to shoot Quayle.")

3) Also in 2006, the New York comptroller, Alan Hevesi, spoke to graduating students at Queens College. He said that his fellow Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer, would "put a bullet between the president's eyes if he could get away with it."

4) "Death of a President" was a 2006 "documentary" film recording the assassination of George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. President, on 19 October 19, 2007, in Chicago, Illinois. What a coincidence.

Do any of these ring a bell?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@Claw-

I haven't seen the speech-just read it. Did no one cheer Brewer? Anyway, silly line of attack/criticism, if you ask me.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 14, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Most conservatives have gotten over Sarah Palin and do not consider her a serious presidential prospect. It seems, though, that many leftist, worry-warts still have Paliomania. That disease of the mind that forces its victims to talk and write compulsively about eveything Palin.

It's a psycho-sexual, obsession with Democrat media types like Sarge Greg and his blogging buddies. A love-hate thing that haunts their dreams.

It must be awful! I'm glad I don't have it.

Sarah Palin is a good cheerleader for the right and distraction for the pantywaist Obamacrats, though. I'll give her credit for that.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 14, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"I think we can pretty much agree that the tone will not change much."

The tone change will be temporary. More significantly we're seeing a momentum shift. This event has given the POTUS the bully pulpit, just when the opposition party thought they had a chance to cut off his agenda, cold. POTUS has regained some of his 'mojo' with the memorial speech, with the next big political event being the SOTU address. Where battleground sees a return to campaign form, I think we're going to see a President returning to his ongoing efforts to form a 'more perfect union' and call for 'agreeing to disagree without being disagreeable' while 'finding common ground' in order to move forward. If repubs force their vote on the lost cause of health care repeal, they'll look petty, just when POTUS is trying to bring us back together.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Campaign 2012 is underway!

Mitt & Huck, the businessman and the rube, plenty of missionary zeal that is for sure.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 14, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"I think we can pretty much agree that the tone will not change much."

The tone change will be temporary. More significantly we're seeing a momentum shift. This event has given the POTUS the bully pulpit, just when the opposition party thought they had a chance to cut off his agenda, cold. POTUS has regained some of his 'mojo' with the memorial speech, with the next big political event being the SOTU address. Where battleground sees a return to campaign form, I think we're going to see a President returning to his ongoing efforts to form a 'more perfect union' and call for 'agreeing to disagree without being disagreeable' while 'finding common ground' in order to move forward. If repubs force their vote on the lost cause of health care repeal, they'll look petty, just when POTUS is trying to bring us back together.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

A useful primer today for the amnesia-wracked blamestream media on just how widespread the Blame-Righty meme has been over the past two years.
http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/14/blame-righty-a-condensed-history/

President Obama wisely counseled the nation this week at the Tucson massacre memorial that “Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.” But as the progressive Left’s smear-stained recent history shows, criminalizing conservatism is a hard habit to break.

Own your Leftist media smear campaign, Adam.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 14, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Liam-still doesn't think that "they bring a knife to the fight, you bring a gun" is vitriol.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

ChuckinDenton, I didn't see Brewer. Did you ever watch the Wellstone memorial?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

battleground51 imagines
"It's a psycho-sexual, obsession with Democrat media types like Sarge Greg and his blogging buddies. A love-hate thing that haunts their dreams. ... I'm glad I don't have it."


Your story is not convincing.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The more people keep saying that it will be temporary, the more likely that it will turn out to be. All we are saying, is give civility a chance.(In memory of John Lennon)

Self-fulfilling prophecies.......

How about we give it a chance.

Instead of going all Onion: "Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity has finally ended".

Posted by: Liam-still | January 14, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Here's how Obama wins in 2012 and avoids becoming another Jimmy Carter:

1. He moves right-of-center and becomes Republican-light.

2. The economy is good and getting better.

3. Jobless rate is below 5%.

4. Republicans nominate another, fuddy-duddy RINO like Dole or McCain.

If all those line up, Obama will be another Clinton and squeeze out a second term.

But remember, Clinton had a crazy, little, good-luck gnome to get him over the top, both times, Ross Perot.

Obama may not be so lucky as "Slick Willy".

It's looking very bad with less than two years to show time.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 14, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

[caothien9 spat: "Heh heh heh. Palin lynch mob"]

Leftists feel the "unprecedented number" of death threats against Mrs. Palin is funny.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/blood-libel-sarah-palins-controversial-reference-riled-emotions/story?id=12601352&page=1

/Palin Derangement Syndrome

*sick*sick*sick*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 14, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

All, my take on the real brilliance of Obama's speech:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/how_obama_got_conservatives_to.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 14, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"It's looking very bad with less than two years to show time."


The question is, can you beat something with nothing?

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 14, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh there is no doubt the tone will change and not temporarily, but it does not have to do with the Tucson speech

It has to do with the fact that November is over, the Rs only got the |hi:lower| House of Congress (last time with the |hi:lower|, promise) and now the Cold Light of Dawn, 2012 is coming over the horizon, party in disarray, TP more curse than blessing, America is sick of Beck and Limbaugh and Palin and America needs leadership and the Republicans have painted themselves into a nasty corner. If Republicans want to get out of that corner, they'll have to be civil or America will ignore them.

Mitt and Huck get that. Tpaw and a lot of the rest of those charlatans don't.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 14, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@claw-

You (conservatives) have the hotline to God/Buddha/Allah as to how a funeral/memorial should be conducted? That's some pretty weak Tea.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 14, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Liam

I'm pretty sure the politicos in DC aren't reading my little meandering predictions or opinions, the only tone I can control is my own. I agree with bsimon though, the President has gained some steam going forward, how long it lasts is anyone's guess. Presidential politics are just around the corner so we're headed for the usual shark infested waters.

Shrink

I'm finding it sort of amusing watching Pawlenty spin his way through the current climate tea party/moderate/tea party/moderate while Romney/Huckabee2012 sit back and wait for the perfect moment.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 14, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"'while 'finding common ground' in order to move forward"

BSimon: What that "common ground" will be is what worries me. Will it be a retrenchment of Social Security under the aegis of "bi-partisan reform"? Will it be corporate tax cuts under the guise of "bi-partisan reform"? If so, count me out.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 14, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

How many times do we have to keep counting you out.

You already told us you Joined the Green Party, and you have made it very clear that you can not stand President Obama.

You told us, long before the Tucson event, that you were out. We get it.

Get busy electing your Green President.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 14, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Here's why I believe Paliomania is a real affliction with many Democrat media types:

The Obamacrat lickspittles claim Palin is dangerous and stupid and not worthy of any credit for anything. They obviously fear her very being and want her to go away.

The surest way to make Palin go off radar is to totally ignore her. Deprive her of the publicity she seeks. Total shunning is very effective. No fame, no claim.

BUT, the leftist Paliomaniacs hang on Palin's every move and word and blast it across their media empire in big headlines. The Democrat media become her enablers, stupidly.

Result: The people that already hate Sarah will still hate her but people who don't hate her will begin seeing her as a victim of left-wing persecution. She will get their sympathy vote. The Palin lovers will love her all the more.

Paliomania is a self-defeating malady. There can be no doubt.

It's similar to the knee-jerk, blame game the Obama media compulsively fell into after the Arizona shootings occurred. The Obamacrats ended up shooting themselves in their feet with that.

All these self-defeating traits. It's a wonder liberals ever win anything.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 14, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Here's why I believe Paliomania is a real affliction with many Democrat media types:

The Obamacrat lickspittles claim Palin is dangerous and stupid and not worthy of any credit for anything. They obviously fear her very being and want her to go away.

The surest way to make Palin go off radar is to totally ignore her. Deprive her of the publicity she seeks. Total shunning is very effective. No fame, no claim.

BUT, the leftist Paliomaniacs hang on Palin's every move and word and blast it across their media empire in big headlines. The Democrat media become her enablers, stupidly.

Result: The people that already hate Sarah will still hate her but people who don't hate her will begin seeing her as a victim of left-wing persecution. She will get their sympathy vote. The Palin lovers will love her all the more.

Paliomania is a self-defeating malady. There can be no doubt.

It's similar to the knee-jerk, blame game the Obama media compulsively fell into after the Arizona shootings occurred. The Obamacrats ended up shooting themselves in their feet with that.

All these self-defeating traits. It's a wonder liberals ever win anything

Posted by: battleground51 | January 14, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The WaPo loves my comments so much it posts them twice.

How nice!

Posted by: battleground51 | January 14, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Rush is discussing the pep rally in Tucson. The t-shirts were White House idea.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Clawrence for listening to Rush, so that we do not have to. You are A Great American, and weren't those Unity T. Shirts a real threat to the nation.

I hope Rush has a secure Panic room that he can stay in, until the Great T-Shirt Threat has been defeated.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 14, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

What's with the frequent references to "spittle" by conservative posters here recently? I've seen it before, but it seems as if it is being used more frequently when addressing this topic.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 14, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

You have to understand where they are coming from. Guns safe. Spittle dangerous.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 14, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, Liam-still. I think you are forgetting about the "controversy" surrounding the Mission Accomplished banner on the USS Lincoln. The press should at least dig into the t-shirt / logo controversy as well.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

ChuckinDenton, I do not have a hotline. However, you admitted that you only read the speech. That's why I asked if you ever watched the Wellstone memorial? I did, and I know someone who was there in person too. Maybe an older example will make my point: most people who heard the Kennedy-Nixon debate on radio thought that Nixon won.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

So, standard, Rupe's-Romper-Ranger piece I see for you today. So what are YOU, personally going to do to try and change this rubber-band effect that you speculate your colleagues have on the global narrative?

Are YOU going to try to go on some form of national media to speak out forcefully against slipping back into the meme that's offered up as the gruel of everyday copywriters and plagiarizers like you? Are you going to write a piece that you can walk into Weymouth's office and demand that it be put on the front page above the fold because the globe demands it?? OR, are you going to sit at your desk in the bullpen and let your copy scheduler tell you that 3 inches is all you get and it's on page 44??

What's left of your media outlet is pathetic. I feel sorry for some of the old timers that are still there because they actually have some credentials they can articulate and work from.... almost all gone and you lot will in charge of the meme.. gonna run this??

Humm... This is interesting. A story in the Guardian Newspaper Thursday night reports that a petition is being passed around to REMOVE Beck from his TV show on the Fox Propaganda channel because of "..accusations that he has whipped up hatred in the wake of the Arizona shooting"....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/13/glenn-beck-petition-fox

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | January 14, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

ou're welcome, Liam-still. I think you are forgetting about the "controversy" surrounding the Mission Accomplished banner on the USS Lincoln. The press should at least dig into the t-shirt / logo controversy as well.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 12:53 PM
...............................

You are correct again sir, and A Great American.

Please urge Rush to keep his Golden Microphone in his Panic Room, until we have defeated the grave threat from all those Unity T-Shirts.

I would advise that he not come out of there, for at least two years.

Thanks once again, for listening to Rush, so that we do not have to.

I am going to nominate you for tthe prestigious annual Golden OxycontinMoron Trophy award, for your valiant service, and heroism, in the face of that horde of dangerous Unity T-Shirts.

Without you and Rush, the T-Shirt extremists might very well have won.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 14, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

While the speech may not have a lasting impact on the politicians or the conservatives in the media, I think it may have a greater, and more lasting impact on the average American. I think there will be less tolerance of this kind of rhetoric among reasonable people.

Of course, only time will tell, but I think there has been a subtle shift in the public's tolerance of hate speech.

Posted by: elscott | January 14, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

elscott, do you consider either of the following to be hate speech?

"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," Obama said during the 2008 campaign. "Because, from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I've seen Eagles fans."

"That Scott down there that's running for Governor of Florida," Rep. Kanjorski (D-PA) said. "instead of running for Governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him."

Maybe it's something in those cheesesteak sandwiches?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: battleground51: You make many claims but give nothing to substantiate them. Do you not think it a reasonable question after all the threats of violence from the Tea Party, Giffords windows being shot out, her being "targeted" etc.?, and then an attempt on her life?

It WAS a reasonable question, but not a reasonable conclusion.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 14, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes, claw, I do think Kanjorski's words were hate speech. I specifically mentioned that yesterday as ugly and inappropriate.

And I assume, like many others, that President Obama regrets his use of that very common phrase.

Cheesesteak, Moosesteak, Prime Nevada Beefsteak.....perhaps you are advocating vegetarianism as the solution?

Posted by: elscott | January 14, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

God knows; the one thing that Right Wing gun lovers hate, is the notion of someone talking about using a gun to defend oneself against a knife wielder.

The NRA would never urge that people own handguns to protect theirselves, and The Republican Party would surely never side with them, on that, would they. That is why they are so shocked at Barack Obama quoting a Sean Connery line from The Untouchable about bringing a gun, to defend oneself from a knife attack.

Damn NRA and Republican Party with all their namby pamby calling for to keep people from using handguns against knife wielding attackers.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 14, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Democrats in Congress - who are supposed to know better, are attacking Palin! Clyburne recently attacked Palin, saying she was pretty but not intellectual!
Hey, IF anyone actually believed democrats were intellectual -- Knows Better by now!
Democrats don't even know what the word means.
Democrats are "intellectual wanna-be's" !!!

Posted by: ohioan | January 14, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

No, elscott, I am not advocating vegetarianism. Whether Obama "regrets" it or not, you didn't answer my question: is what Obama said hate speech?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

You're not? That's too bad. I thought you might be on to something there.

Will you answer this question?

Just as a hypothetical, if the victim of the shooting last week had been Governor Rick Scott, would you have said that Rep. Kanjorksi was complicit in that shooting? Or would you have immediately said, "Oh no, of course not. It was a crazed loner. Kanjorski's words had nothing to do with it. Let's make sure we keep up all the nasty rhetoric on both sides."

Can you honestly answer that question, claw?

Posted by: elscott | January 14, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

elscott, I will be happy to answer the question. I would have said: "crazed gunmen shoot people for irrational reasons (i.e. John Hinckley, Jr. re: Jodie Foster); based on that one untimely statement, as a matter of law, Rep. Kanjorski cannot be held responsible."

Since you clearly don't want to admit that Obama is guilty of "hate speech" under your very own logic, how about we switch targets (no pun intended) and answer the question as to the four instances against GWB that I posted in response to ibc0 at 11:16 AM? I understand if you don't think those are "hate speech" because it was directed at GWB, but what if the same exact words were directed at Obama?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

claw, you must not read my comments very often or very carefully.

I'll take you at your word that you would not have implicated Rep. Kanjorski, but at least I think you can admit that other conservatives would not have shown your restraint.

Of course, all that violent rhetoric against George Bush was wrong, wrong, wrong. And yes, it was hate speech, and I don't defend a single word of it.

I wept and prayed when Ronald Reagan was shot, just like everybody else in America. My humanity trumps my politics.

Posted by: elscott | January 14, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Others, on both sides, would obviously not show restraint. I'd like to think that my humanity trumps my politics too. Keep in mind however that I was only 12 when Reagan was shot.

Now, if you posted on some other thread that what Obama said was "hate speech" then you are correct that I've missed that. Why can't you just say "yes" or "no" again?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I was very young at the time Reagan was shot, as well. But it still effected me deeply.

I was just reading an article written by RJK,Jr., who said that when President Kennedy was shot, Dallas 4th graders in one classroom broke into applause at the news.

We have to stop the hate, on both sides of the aisle, because it poisons our children.

I agree with Liam, who pointed out that the quote you are referring to is from a Sean Connery movie. Quotiing an often-used phrase from a movie does not equate, in my mind, to the violent rhetoric or imagery of others.

You know, George Bush recently decried what was termed his "gun-slinging rhetoric" and I give him points for that. Why can't you give points to President Obama for his calls for a better tone in politics?

Posted by: elscott | January 14, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

whoops, edit needed...

should have been "affected" me deeply.

I hate it when I do that! Can we have an edit feature here someday, Greg?

Posted by: elscott | January 14, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Because neither you nor he are being logically or morally consistent in this regard. It's not "hate speech" when Obama says it, but I'd bet everyone else would jump down Palin's throat if she says the same exact thing at her upcoming January 29th keynote address at SCI.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"conspiracy theories". Funny, when these rad libs were cracker hippies and blacktivists in the 60's and 70's they STATED they wanted to overthrow the US Government.
The Clinong-Kool-Aid drinking kids in the media weren't around or old enough to ignore that fact

Keep telling the big lie....

Posted by: SavageNation | January 14, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Look, claw, I understand that you are a huge fan of Sarah Palin's. But you're not really being logical or morally consistent when you try to equate one simple movie quote used once by President Obama to the litany of gun-related rhetoric that Ms. Palin uses.

The woman loves to shoot things. She loves to pose with her guns. She loves to teach her children to kill animals. She loves using gun-related sayings and imagery. She loves guns. They are her trademark, and I assume they are a large part of why you love and defend her so much.

That's your right. But it's clear that we are not destined to have a substantive conversation about this because you only want to try to back me or any Democrat you can find into a corner to score a political point that seems to be really, really important to you. I know that's what you're trying to do, and you know that's what you're trying to do, so let's just leave it at.

Have a nice evening.

Posted by: elscott | January 14, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

First, I am indeed being consistent. Second, I didn't equate the two. Everyone can see that I honestly answered all of your questions on this thread while you evaded mine. That's not "scor[ing] a political point." It's called common courtesy (especially in this new era of peaceful discourse).

If anyone else wants to discuss, let me know.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 14, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Greg stipulates that the "political discourse is not as unprecedented as it seems."

I don't know if that is true or not. Palin also alluded to this and said that in fact early in our history, disagreements were settled with duels (e.g., Burr v. Hamilton).

First, I reject Palin's argument about the duels. She is not saying we should resolve things with duels, but she is implying things can get really heated and vitriolic.

But, secondly, if the rhetoric nowadays is really not as "unprecedented" as it seems, it is much more compounded today by the fact that we have the internet. Any old crackpot can post a nasty, snide comment on just about any blog.

I have a Google news widget which scrolls news headlines from many different sources, foreign and domestic. If I happen to see a headline which interests me, I can click on that headline and see what the news article says. I then can respond to the article in many cases.

You can find stories that you likely will not see elsewhere until the story becomes larger and perhaps gets a national presence. Example: I read an article tonight about how the Tea Party in Tennessee wants to change textbooks to remove negative things that might be said about the Founding Fathers. This includes such things as the Founding Fathers owning slaves as well as the bad treatment of American Indians.

This personally really upset me, and the urge was to Google this tea party group, find an email address, and send them a nastygram. I did not do that, but it is human nature to fight back when attacked. Apparently, it is a small group that wants this to happen, but perhaps it might grow?

So I do believe the nastiness and hateful rhetoric is all around us, greatly amplified by the ability for people to use the internet.

Posted by: Denjudge | January 14, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse


Mortgage rates are historically low you can easily refinance these days your mortgage to 3%. It is the best way to save money. Search online for "123 mortgage refinance" they did 3.54% refinance and free analysis of my current mortgage

Posted by: nicolepolson123 | January 16, 2011 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company