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Posted at 9:35 AM ET, 01/13/2011

Obama's speech had a good heart

By Michael Gerson

A great memorial speech -- such as the one Robert F. Kennedy gave following the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. or the one Ronald Reagan gave following the Challenger disaster -- is tightly written, poetically phrased and solemn in setting and delivery. President Obama's Tucson speech was none of those things. But it succeeded nonetheless.

Telling the stories of heroes, the lost and the wounded was important and humanizing. There is dignity in the details. The concluding dedication of the speech to Christina Green -- calling the nation to be worthy of her innocence and idealism -- was powerful coming a president who is also the father of girls.

And I'd single out another element for praise. Obama made effective, appropriate use of religious references. He quoted Job on the reality of evil: "When I looked for light, then came darkness." He quoted the Psalmist on the reality of hope: "God will help her at
break of day." This is consistent with the long history of American presidential rhetoric. The need for hope beyond tragedy -- for meaning beyond random death -- leads to the language of faith. Not a sectarian faith, but a belief that parting and grief, while terrible, are not final.

It is the temptation of a former speechwriter to judge speeches based purely on their technical merit. But this can be a mistake. History will judge if this was a great speech, but it had a good heart.

By Michael Gerson  | January 13, 2011; 9:35 AM ET
Categories:  Gerson  | Tags:  Michael Gerson  
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Next: Obama's powerful Tucson omission

Comments

Was this a Memorial Service for victims who were senselessly gunned down? or a Rock Concert?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rycZLU6vzg&feature=player_embedded

I don’t get it: Why were Leftists hooting and cheering at a memorial service?

*orgiastic*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Was this a Memorial Service for victims who were senselessly gunned down? or a Rock Concert?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rycZLU6vzg&feature=player_embedded

I don’t get it: Why were Leftists hooting and cheering at a memorial service?

*orgiastic*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I was expecting to see Metallica come out on stage at any second with all the cheering and hollering going on.

Obama can't even hold a proper memorial service without turning it into a political rally. They have NO respect at all for those killed by their own kind.

Q: Obama gave a passable performance... I missed who got "best actress"?

*sick*sick*sick*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

A few days before this concert they had a real memorial services at a Catholic church. A Rabbi was there and they had 9 little girls who were in Christina’s choir come in and sing Amazing Grace.

That was a respectful Memorial. The families were able to greave and were embraced by those whom really matter.

The sideshow freak-fest must have been a shock to these poor people. I noticed the Husband of Gabby’s was non-plussed during the show. I saw him shake his head a few times, albeit slightly. Guess he didn’t want MSM riding his ass.

God Bless those who have injured and murdered families. They will one day be able to heal from this tragedy and move on with their lives.

I have a feeling Obama and his fools just made a whole batch of new conservatives over that embarrassment of epic proportion.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Dear KaddafiDelendaEst

If there is a psychiatric hospital close to your place, please get admitted. You really need help.

Posted by: arunc1 | January 13, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling Obama and his fools just made a whole batch of new conservatives over that embarrassment of epic proportion.

---

Riiiigggghhhhhhhtttttttt ......... When even Charles Krauthammer is praising the President for being Presidential, you come out looking, well, pretty small.

Posted by: arunc1 | January 13, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

So Gerson didn't like the speech it only had a "good heart".

I'm really truly surprised - NOT!!!

Posted by: rlj611 | January 13, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

It was a traditional black Christian church home going service. Making a joyful noise unto the Lord. Recalling the dead in song, laughter, smiles, tears and nods. To outsiders the call and response between pastor and flock and gospel music common in the black church may seem to some as being in poor taste and insensitive.

But does not Christian faith teach that being with the Lord through eternity is a very good thing prayed and hoped for through a life well and fully lived?

Most white people are ignorant of the black church tradition because Sunday morning is still the most segregated part of the week.

Posted by: blackmamba1 | January 13, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Conservatives are cautiously praising Obama this morning. This could be a strategy to distance themselves from the divisive, ugly rhetoric that has been issuing from the right for some time now. Good. The Wills, Thiessons, Gersons won't acknowledge their tacit support of the rhetoric but they will no longer be able to defend it or gain by it. Those "real" Americans who despise government programs and see Marxists everywhere - you're on your own now.

Posted by: rgray | January 13, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson is the man to watch as a spokesman for conservatives. He is articulate, intelligent and such an obviously decent man. This stands in contrast to Mr.Will and Dr. Krauthammer, good men in their time but now far too old and disgruntled.

Posted by: mmurray2 | January 13, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson is the man to watch as a spokesman for conservatives. He is articulate, intelligent and such an obviously decent man. This stands in contrast to Mr.Will and Dr. Krauthammer, good men in their time but now far too old and disgruntled.

Posted by: mmurray2 | January 13, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

good morning,

Frankly, the setting, a basketball arena, the many applause interruptions by an audience composed of many college students without any attempts on his part to stop them by speaking through the interruptions, his call to honor the victims by asking the Nation to act with civility to "do the people's business", and of course the extraordinary length of his comments made Mr. Obama's comments a speech more apropriate for delivery at a pep rally/ political event, which it was, rather than comments to be delivered at a memorial service, which is what the event should have been. An interdenominational service conducted within a Church where Mr. Obama would have delivered comments focusing principally if not exclusively on the victims would have been much more appropriate.

take care

Posted by: LulingRanchers | January 13, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday four Arizona Republicans resigned their posts due to threats of violence against them and their families from the Tea Party. Their motivation for taking these longstanding threats seriously was a disgruntled Tea Party activist gunning down 20 people including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The angry right does not deserve to be let off the hook for this act of violence incited by the know-nothing loudmouths who comprise the radical right media megaphone.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | January 13, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I, too, was surprised at the shouting and whistling at the Memorial last night. I am certain President Obama and the other speakers were also surprised. But, as someone pointed out, they had no control over the l4,000 people there. They all came to give a reading or a speech to do their part in the Memorial. They were not holding up "applause" signs or "whisle" signs! The people of Tuscon reacted in their OWN WAY! They needed to be uplifted, and obviously they were, and that is all that matters.

I couldn't help but wonder what John McCain was thinking as he and Cindy sat there! Just think, if it wasn't for Palin, it probably would have been a President McCain standing there before his constituents, the people of Arizona.

Posted by: cashmere1 | January 13, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

You written words sound as petty, jealous and out of touch as your words last night on CNN.

Posted by: NMP1 | January 13, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

What a petty conservative Gerson is. May he have sleepless nights and a empty libido.

Posted by: m1kem1lls | January 13, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

It is difficult for people with racial and bigoted worldviews to see anything positive in those they see with their jaundiced lens as opposites in race, sexual orientation, etc. - they simply aren't capable of dropping their hatchets. As for former speechwriters of the opposing party, individual characteristics manifest themselves at times like these - if they tend to be depressive with a negative bent to their personality, they too will be incapable of reviewing a speech by an opposite party member, objectively.

jiminlou

Posted by: 40245 | January 13, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

So, Gerson liked the speech because of religious references? That's it? Shallow and so very right-wing. No true credit for the President, just for the references. Pathetic, Gerson. Even Thiessen gave Obama credit for a speech for everyone.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 13, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Do don't leave us hanging Michael--what would have been tighter, more poetic or solemn. Rewrite it, work your magic, and let us all see greatness!

Posted by: Clio5 | January 13, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

This is a sweet comment by Michael Gerson and I appreciate it.

One thing people aren't picking up on, by the way, is the rhythm of human grief, if I may call it that. RFK actually told the crowd of MLK's death, so clearly he spoke the same day (within hours). I'm pretty sure President Reagan's wonderful statement was also on the day of the tragedy.

By contrast, this came several days later, after the emotions in Tucson had built up to the boiling point and poured forth in all the complexity of what we heard in the cheers -- pride in Tucson heroes and first responders, continued grief, hope for the wounded, and so on.

I guess what I'm saying is that things said and felt the day of a great tragedy, like Reagan and RFK's remarks, are a little different than those said after some time, even a few days, has passed. Not better or worse, just different.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter1 | January 13, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

From what I have read Michael Gerson, Fred Barnes and Wm. Kristol were the first individuals to advocate STRENUOUSLY and publicly for Sarah Palin to become a celebrity? politician and to be McCain's running mate. The three had been on an ocean cruise and stopped at the governor's residence in Alaska where they virtually fell in love with Palin. And here WE are choking on rhetoric defined by "death panels" and "Blood Libel," thanks to the above-mentioned triumvirate. You can Google for more info on this topic.

Posted by: janna2 | January 13, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Are the narcissitic Leftists here even aware that a conservative Federal judge was murdered by the lunatic Leftist shooter?

Obama is not elevating the discussion when Leftists are openly calling for conservatives to be assassinated.

And Leftists are now openly calling for Palin's assassination.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxgJKNpjSNI&feature=player_embedded#!

Death threats: how progressive!

ABC: Death Threats Against Sarah Palin at “Unprecedented Levels”
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/blood-libel-sarah-palins-controversial-reference-riled-emotions/story?id=12601352

Can Leftists imagine Giffords effigy hung from a noose?
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/10/27/can-you-imagine-if-an-obama-effigy-were-hung-from-a-noose/

Where was the TheObamateur's condemnation of this orchestrated campaign of Leftist violent rhetoric and vitriol?

Q: Is Palin Derangement Syndrome so advanced now that arunc1 is psychological incapable of posting anymore without attacking Mrs. Palin?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

[Clio5 whined: "what would have been tighter, more poetic or solemn."]

There is no denying that The Obamateur set the tone for this disgraceful public orgy of (not healing but) ...Thriving!?!

Converesly: There are young adults (taking their cue from real leaders) who know how to act appropriately at a college campus memorial for victims of mass murder.

FLASHBACK: President Bush @ VTech
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zdvpw86_qkg

In stark contrast, The Obamateur's performance at Tucson-apolooza was disgraceful.

Admit it, Clio5.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Adam has the audacity to climb up on his hind legs applaud Tuscon-apolooza after Obama's toadies spent the last decade goose-stepping at kristallnaght-style gutter riots (masquerading as “peace” protests).

Patriotic Americans are encourage to Enter the "Leftist-fascist Hall of Shame" and remember what "violent rhetoric" looks like.
http://www.zombietime.com/hall_of_shame/

BTW: When is billionaire progressive George Soros financing the unhinged Leftist rent-a-mob rally against ObaMao’s summary execution of three (un-Mirandized) Somali teens at sea? Afterall, that tactic was clearly more “fascist” than our patriotic moistening of KSM, et.al. The two year anniversary of ObaMao’s high seas shooting spree has already passed. Get busy, Adam.

Rage against the machine, Leftists!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 13, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

President Obama did not set the tone for this service. Did any of you listen or pay attention? He was the last speaker and the tone was set by the people of Arizona long before he took the podium and TV commentators were talking about it before he spoke. It fact, I first heard one of them comment at almost the very beginning and the discussion was about the opening blessing, the college environment, the stress of the prior few days. Noone attributed it to the President because as powerful as he is he could not have set the tone by merely sitting there. The right wing certainly gives him and a lot of power or are you just spouting nonsense from FOX or talk radio. Shame on you.

Posted by: withersb | January 13, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Gerson, why cant you just give the President full credit. You cannot seriously believe that you are or were ever as good as the President's speechwriter or for that matter, the President. Good grief, what an ego you have! I know what yeah.....it was good, but, means. I will take the word of the public over a partisan, self absorbed hack any day! You should be ashamed and embarassed to let your ego show so much!

Posted by: ruthella10 | January 13, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

while both the left and the right have been wrong and worthy of condemnation in their tone, the hatefulness and reactionary spite of the right wing knee-jerk haters in this thread shows how much you folks just don't get it ...

pathetic. and un-American.

Posted by: fendertweed | January 13, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@KaddafiDelendaEst

I hope Christina reaches down and soothes your anger.

Thank you for your comments.

......

Posted by: osmor | January 13, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The only people who should be upset in any way with the ceremony and presidential speech in Tuscon would be atheists and agnostics. The memorial service was larded with religion and references to supernatural faith. However, non-believers, although perhaps 10-15 percent of the population, seldom complain about the religiosity of our society, unlike almost every other special interest group.

Posted by: DWSouthern | January 13, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Michael, to judge a eulogy on its technical merits is completely inappropriate. The only criteria in judging a eulogy should be if mourners feel better leaving the service than they did upon entering. That is the real test of an effective eulogy.

For those who found the cheering inappropriate, think about this: It wasn't about you. The service was for those mostly affected by the tragedy, the people of Tucson. And, by God, if they needed to celebrate the lives of those lost and those left to heal by yelling, screaming or crying - then God bless. Criticisms that cheering was inappropriate at this particular celebration of the human spirit are petty and off-base.

Posted by: dailyfare | January 13, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Gerson was responsible in part for the Potemkin Village that was the Bush Presidency. From the outside it looked like an administration, but then when you expected it to spring into action and act like you expect an executive branch to act, as with post-war Iraq, Katrina, and the housing meltdown that took down the economy--it was entirely lacking in substance. So weigh his commentary accordingly.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | January 13, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Gerson was responsible in part for the Potemkin Village that was the Bush Presidency. From the outside it looked like an administration, but then when you expected it to spring into action and act like you expect an executive branch to act, as with post-war Iraq, Katrina, and the housing meltdown that took down the economy--it was entirely lacking in substance. So weigh his commentary accordingly.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | January 13, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Michael, to judge a eulogy on its technical merits is completely inappropriate. The only criteria in judging a eulogy should be if mourners feel better leaving the service than they did upon entering. That is the real test of an effective eulogy.

For those who found the cheering inappropriate, think about this: It wasn't about you. The service was for those mostly affected by the tragedy, the people of Tucson. And, by God, if they needed to celebrate the lives of those lost and those left to heal by yelling, screaming or crying - then God bless. Criticisms that cheering was inappropriate at this particular celebration of the human spirit are petty and off-base.

Posted by: dailyfare | January 13, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

----------------------------------------

My thoughts exactly!!

Posted by: zzishate@yahoo.com | January 13, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Gerson over at CNN:"You can either have a pep rally or a memorial service. You can't have both at the same time."

Right, because there's only one way to have funeral. All funerals must be alike. It's in Gerson's "bible" somewhere.

Clearly this boy has never been to a Black funeral, but you gotta be impressed by his dexterity--he opens his mouth and shows his ass.

Posted by: VirileneManly | January 13, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

oldabandonedbeachhouse...Bush administration a Potemkin village? Priceless! Right on the money and the best summation of the Bush years I've read yet.

Posted by: Jerryvov | January 13, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I will pay to subscribe online to the first newspaper that bans comments. Who decided everybody deserves a say? Two words: unexpressed thoughts. Have some!

Posted by: TomR3 | January 13, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Gerson, this is a tiny improvement from your assessment last night on CNN. Now, you say history will judge wherein last night you said the speech was disjointed and would not be remembered...hmm. You went on to say it was the president's responsibility to determine this memorial venue...hmmm. Mr. Gerson, tell us, what exactly do you do for a living, but criticize President Obama and in many instances divide this nation along party lines. The president on the other hand earns his living, as petty as it is, trying to hold the country together and by oath to what is best for us all. He does not profit from this either, maybe after he leaves office, he will write a few books and become a millionaire....Oh, I forgot, he has already done that so personal gain is not his issue...Is it yours?

Posted by: october30 | January 13, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Gerson, this is a tiny improvement from your assessment last night on CNN. Now, you say history will judge wherein last night you said the speech was disjointed and would not be remembered...hmm. You went on to say it was the president's responsibility to determine this memorial venue...hmmm. Mr. Gerson, tell us, what exactly do you do for a living, but criticize President Obama and in many instances divide this nation along party lines. The president on the other hand earns his living, as petty and small as it is, trying to hold the country together, and by oath to doing what is best for us all.

Posted by: october30 | January 13, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

A white co-worker told me she went to her best friend's (black) mother's funeral and said to her husband afterwards "that was the best funeral I have ever attended...". I asked her why and she said "even though there was crying, the music; the words; minister's eulogy, etc. was so beautiful and made me feel good that I knew the mother and it really uplifted me".

I don’t know that the audience was predominately black but I do think that people see memorials different than the traditional somber ones of old.

Posted by: rlj1 | January 13, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The irony is this political back-and-forth is exactly what the president was condemning. Instead of recognizing that people lost their lives and using that as an opportunity to look for similarities between us, about how we can come together as one nation, people on this board stick to political ideologies instead.

Sad.

Posted by: smc7404 | January 13, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

At the (conservative) National Review, contributor Jack Pitney wrote: "President Obama gave a fine speech reminding us that there is more to life than politics, and more to politics than self-interest."

Philip Klein of the conservative American Spectator wrote that "for his first time in office, Barack Obama sounded like the president of all Americans."

Posted by: smc7404 | January 13, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

It didn't take long after Obama's speech for the right wing pundits to dig their heels in his chest.

Sorry folks. Now that the kumbaya is done, things will go back to business as usual.

So sad, yet so consistent. Over the years we have had numerous instances like this. All have turned into farts in the wind.

Be interesting to see the response if one, or two, or three Republican politicians were shot in the head.

Posted by: TAndrea304 | January 13, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

It didn't take long after Obama's speech for the right wing pundits to dig their heels in his chest.

Sorry folks. Now that the kumbaya is done, things will go back to business as usual.

So sad, yet so consistent. Over the years we have had numerous instances like this. All have turned into farts in the wind.

Be interesting to see the response if one, or two, or three Republican politicians were shot in the head.

Posted by: TAndrea304 | January 13, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

It didn't take long after Obama's speech for the right wing pundits to dig their heels in his chest.

Sorry folks. Now that the kumbaya is done, things will go back to business as usual.

So sad, yet so consistent. Over the years we have had numerous instances like this. All have turned into farts in the wind.

Be interesting to see the response if one, or two, or three Republican politicians were shot in the head.

Posted by: TAndrea304 | January 13, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

For all those who criticized, even demonized President Obama over his healthcare bill one thing is undeniable. President Obama has a good heart. Whether you believe the healthcare bill that passed was unwise and unafordable, it cannot be denied that Obama's hope to insure millions of poor and their children comes from the best intentions. Calling Obama a Marxist, a Fascists, or worse because he wants to help millions of, as the Bible says..."the least among us"...shows him to be a good man. In this respect the Tea Party crowd are way, way off base.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | January 13, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It didn't take long after Obama's speech for the right wing pundits to dig their heels in his chest.

Sorry folks. Now that the kumbaya is done, things will go back to business as usual.

So sad, yet so consistent. Over the years we have had numerous instances like this. All have turned into farts in the wind.

Be interesting to see the response if one, or two, or three Republican politicians were shot in the head.

Posted by: TAndrea304 | January 13, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse


Gerson, the second class speechwriter flack for George W. Bush...

plies his silly rules on the major widely lauded speech (lauded all over the world)
of Obama's last night? That Obama wrote.

Silly little Gerson, but good enough for Fox and perfect for the failing WaPo. Gilding his own lily with gusto.

Posted by: whistling | January 13, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Does this silly twit think he stands on the mouht of major speech writers? Does he really? THat he should set rules and make grades?
HE wrote for George W. Bush! And not even his best speeches.

Still Gerson thumps his little chest and pronounces what a GREAT SPEECH is made of. And calls what will be in history noted as a major, turning speech, iffy. This isn't even disgusting, just silly.

Posted by: whistling | January 13, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Does this silly twit think he stands on the mount of major speech writers? Does he really? HIs name is nowhere on the list.
HE wrote for George W. Bush! And not even his best speeches.

Still Gerson thumps his little chest and pronounces, declares that he's the final word. L ast night he made a fool of himself, as he so often does. Today he mudddles it a little, still acts as though he's the judge of history.
This isn't even disgusting, just funny.

Posted by: whistling | January 13, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

So many of these comments are intended to hurt and wound. I guess the speech didn't hit home for everyone. Sigh. Too bad. Where does all that hate and anger come from?

Posted by: impressed1 | January 13, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Michael Gerson:

I'm not sure where your article is coming from. Yes, President Obama's memorial for the victims did have heart and you can tell it came from the President's heart. I cried throughout the whole thing and he almost cried when talking about nine year-old Christina. It was a wonderful and perfect memorial to those who were shot and to those who lost their lives. President Obama did not ask for applause and did not pause for applause. The people there were applauding his words which were so heartfelt and uplifting and also applauding those who showed so much courage during the rampage. Most of the people who have commented on here including yourself Mr. Gerson obviouslty did not understand his words conerning personal civility and decency in the media. Too bad for you and too bad for those who are complaining on here about the noise. And, last of all, Mr. Gerson, If you were President Bush's speechwriter, I can understand why I stopped watching many of Bush's speeches after just a few minutes. Even Elizabeth Hasselbeck on the View this morning said she cried and she talked about what a great memorial President Obama gave and she's about as Republican as you can get.

Shame on you, Mr. Gerson.

Posted by: INDem | January 13, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

We agree that Obama's speech succeeded. I found it very moving. Two minor disagreements (1) The first part of the speech, including biographical eulogies and testimonies to the heroes was "tightly written" - impressively so; (2) Shakespeare's Antony, "no orator" pointed to Caesar's wounds : "bid them speak for me" - as Obama pointed to the victims and the heroes. If that's not poetic, what is?

Posted by: fmcf | January 13, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

KaddafiDelendaEst

"Why were Leftists hooting and cheering at a memorial service?"

1. Obama was an invited guest speaker at an event organized by the University of Arizona, a state institution. He was preceded at the podium by the university president and the governor of the state. It was up to those hosts, not an invited guest speaker, to ask the crowd to refrain from cheering if that was their wish. .

2. There were a small number of reserved seats for families of the victims and other VIPs. The remaining 15,000+ tickets were issued on a first-come come, first-serve basis to ticket seekers in community that runs about 1/3 Democrat, 1/3 Republican and about 1/3 "Other". Consequently, there is no basis for your claim that this was a "leftist" crowd.

3. The crowd applauded during both Jan Brewer's remarks and Obama's. Frequent, polite applause for Jan Brewer is hardly the tell-tale sign of a "leftist" crowd.


"Obama can't even hold a proper memorial service without turning it into a political rally. They have NO respect at all for those killed by their own kind.

1. Obama didn't hold the memorial service, the university did.

2. By all appearances, "they" were average citizens of Tucson who took the time to attend a memorial service organized by their local university. If that is what you mean when you say THEY, your comment is a rather tasteless insult to the people of Tucson.

2. I have a lingering feeling that by "they"/"their own kind" you are suggesting that those who attended the memorial and Loughner are all leftists. As I've already pointed out above, there is absolutely no data to support your theory that the crowd at the memorial was overwhelmingly leftist. As to your suggestion that Loughner is a leftist and that the shooting was linked to his political ideology, the people who would take take exception to your remark include President Obama, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck. It's quite an accomplishment when you can get people from across the entire political spectrum to agree that you're an idiot.

Posted by: exco | January 13, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

KaddafiDelendaEst is obviously a troll, and not worth a response.

As many have said, it was Tuscon who was there, it was their memorial, their public event, and more than any of us who live elsewehere - their tragedy.

Though the KaddafiDelendaEst degenerates who populate the lowest regions of public discourse are allowed to have their say in our country, we owe them no attention.

Posted by: eezmamata | January 13, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Just so you know, the reason the memorial was handled with the tone you witnessed on TV is because the people of Tucson wanted it that way. After several days of very intense grief, they wanted to see some hope and reasons for gratitude in the middle of this senseless shock. The Republican mayor of Tucson summed it this way: if there was anything that was appropriate at the memorial it was the cheering, the wounded people in hospital wanted to see cheering. It lifted their spirits in this most difficult time. I find it hard to understand that some people can hate Obama and people on the Left so much that they can mock people for mourning in their own way. Appalling!

Posted by: asja | January 13, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty clear what the pre-ordained talking points are for the right - "Oh My, what an unseemly display of enthusiasm at a memorial service." I wonder if it came from Rush, from Beck or from BillO. It certainly serves to avoid looking at the substance of the speech which had perfect pitch. Obama was able gracefully to call for an end to the harsh rhetoric without engaging in finger pointing. He was out their leading - speaking of an inspiration to lead us forward to address this nation's problems. We certainly wouldn't want anyone to be able to see that.

Posted by: daubry | January 13, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION: Once again, the headline written by someone on the online staff in the menu on the main page is off point. On the home page, under various opinion pieces, we see (as I write this) "A good start." My, after this particular speech, that sounds rather grudging. But of course it's sloppy copyediting.

The homepage link should instead read, "A good heart." That's a short version of the actual title, as written by the actual author, of a piece on a sensitive topic.

If "start" could be corrected to "heart" on the homepage link, it would be much fairer to Mr. Gerson's intent.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter1 | January 16, 2011 12:56 AM | Report abuse

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