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Posted at 10:11 PM ET, 01/12/2011

The president as preacher

By E.J. Dionne

President Obama spoke Wednesday night as the pastor in chief, not as a politician. His address in Tucson was highly personal, rooted in the biographies of the victims and in scripture, more about the country as a family than about government. It was neither therapeutic nor political and dealt only in passing with the roiling controversies that have divided left from right.

He spoke movingly about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her struggle for life. But the figure at the center of the speech, to whom he came back again and again, was nine-year old Christina Taylor Green, "an A student, a dancer, a gymnast and a swimmer."

He returned to her to teach a moral lesson - she saw life "through the eyes of a child, undimmed by cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted." And he closed by describing her simple wishes, including the hope to jump in rain puddles. "If there are rain puddles in heaven," the president said, "Christina is jumping in them today."

He did issue a call to civility, but pointedly took no sides on the controversy over the role of vitriolic politics in the tragedy. "And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse," he said, "let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility cased this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest discourse can face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that makes them proud."

"What we cannot do," he said at another point, "is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other." And then, twice, he repeated, "That we cannot do."

These and other calls to more respectful ways of doing politics - we must, he said, "make sure that we are talking with each other a way that heals, not in a way that wounds" - will probably draw the lead sentences and headlines. But I came away thinking much more about the speech's religious and (if it's not too grand a word to use) existential moments. "We may not be able to stop all the evil in the world," he said at one point, "but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us." Obama often touched on spiritual themes before he became president, and then largely backed away from them in his first two years of office. In struggling to find hope in tragedy, he was brought back to that ground Wednesday night.

By E.J. Dionne  | January 12, 2011; 10:11 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Next: Obama saves Tucson memorial from the unseemly

Comments

Maybe the Presidents speeech was not that political, but in my opinion that was not to be expected on a memorial service.
Almost every American President has to give this kind of speeches when tragedies occurs. After all the American President combines the offices of a European Prime Minister with that of head of state. In Europe the function of head of state is fullfilled by Monarchs or more ceremonical presidents.
I thought the speech was very "presidential" combining the lives of the victims withe noble aims we should at least in our better moments aspire for.
I cannot think of any European politician since Winson Churchill who could make such a moving and powerfull speech. Americans may have in European eyes trouble with reaching in modern times a reasonable gun control. But with their political process is nothing wrong if they result in the election of a President who can write such a healing speech in time of tragedy.

Posted by: JohanGruppenAmsterdamtheNetherlands | January 12, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

You sound like an old Grinch, grudgingly giving the President a little credit for his speech but complaining it wasn't "therapeutic" (speak for youself) or so political in nature you could use it to complain about him more. I suspect an overwhelming majority of Americans who heard it appreciated being pastored to (as opposed to, for example, being hectored by Sarah Palin).

Posted by: patposton | January 12, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The president gave a wonderful sermon which had a message for everyone.

Let's hope everyone was listening and will follow the ideals and challenge he spoke of in memory of those who died.

Posted by: BettyW1 | January 12, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have read this right.

Your terribly upset scripture was read at a eulogy for six dead people.

Was he supposed to read satanic scriptures?

Posted by: Ciap | January 12, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

An excellent speech! Perfect balance. Quintessential Obama - what depth and compassion! Proud to have a President like him. God bless USA.

Posted by: luvusa1 | January 12, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

You got spanked tonight, Dionne. Heed the lessons of the sermon.

Posted by: jefferson4 | January 13, 2011 12:29 AM | Report abuse

He delivered once again, I'm fortunate to hear and witness one of the best orators in American history. Thanks president Obama, what a moving and inspirational speech.

Posted by: sshipman1 | January 13, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Your article is one of the reasons unstable people continue to barrage our country with contentious actions.

We don't need you to designate our pastor; we need you to inform, not to inflame.

President Obama was and is brilliant. He was somber, respectful, insightful and inspirational. You cannot deny his ability to call on this nation's news media (and politicians of both parties) to control their inciteful rhetoric and that your partisan article is exactly what has made these United States so divided.

You remind me of Sarah Palin...since you're incapable of information, you incite!

Posted by: olgaolivia1 | January 13, 2011 1:11 AM | Report abuse

The campaign bus from hell rolls on. As an insignificant mortal, I find it surprising that the One didn't attempt to resurrect the vics. Could it be that he's not the messiah? Wouldn't that be a kick in the nest eggs.

Posted by: jbksss | January 13, 2011 2:11 AM | Report abuse

patoston wrote:
"You sound like an old Grinch". Written like a shining example of the developmentally challenged among the electorate. A more or less living advertisement for concertina wire as a property improvement.

Posted by: jbksss | January 13, 2011 4:37 AM | Report abuse

jefferson4 wrote:
"You got spanked tonight, Dionne. Heed the lessons of the sermon."

The spanking includes most of us who comment on article in the Washington Post. How many of us will learn, and how many of us will continue as usual?

Posted by: jimwalters1 | January 13, 2011 4:38 AM | Report abuse

You´ve got a great president, that´s for sure. Greets from Munich, Germany

Posted by: portplume | January 13, 2011 5:36 AM | Report abuse

The President's speech was directed at partisan scum like Dionne, who lept on top of the corpses immediately to demonize conservatives.

Posted by: bobmoses | January 13, 2011 6:15 AM | Report abuse

I've been on the edge of my seat for the past week over this horrific tragedy. I've been in a completely reflective mood about where our country is going. And I do think the need to examine our political discourse, and how it not only degrades us, but also gets in the way of facing serious challenges that the nation faces, has been a legitimate process of examination. It's been more than blame for many of us. It has been a stance of "we're all culpable" and "how can we do better?"

I found President Obama's speech perfectly on target in making the issue real and personal, reminding us of the full lives of the victims. And he was pitch perfect in calling on us all to unite in national tragedy to find our better selves, particularly as all we do, say, consume, support, condone, perpetuate etcetera is witnessed by our children. What world do we want to give them? What example do we want to set?

I am truly moved to take this as a personal action call to be better myself. And I also will boldly be faithful that all Americans, all across the political spectrum can and will do this too. It may be naive, I may be disappointed, (I hope not) but for this moment, my faith is strong.

Posted by: lindsaycurren | January 13, 2011 6:16 AM | Report abuse

To me the whole thing seemed like one big 'Hollywood' coach and scripted Obama show, where as usual Obama was more the center of attention instead of the victims and the ones who they were supposed to be 'mourning'.Most leaders make something like that short and sweet, not Obama.And whats with all the ear to ear smiles and posing for pictures ?Is that what you do when you are 'truly' heart broken and in mourning ?Gimme a BREAK.Another crises not waisted and Played like a fiddle again!!

Posted by: votingrevolution1 | January 13, 2011 7:04 AM | Report abuse

innocent people are murdered every day in America...
innocent people are being put on the streets because they lose their home in America...
innocent people are losing their jobs every day...
obama has to do a lot more than just talk...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 13, 2011 7:13 AM | Report abuse

for 4 years the dems locked out Republicans in the house and senate...
now they look to shut up Republicans using this shooting...
don't let the dems control the debate...
they have no right to...
they have caused their share of political violence...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 13, 2011 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Great show by the president only I switched channels. Do doubt I missed the music that normally comes along with the show. Obama did learn something spending 20 years listerning to the Rev Wright at sunday service.

Still there was not much of a service when muslin did shoting at miltary base. One choices the right place to put on a show. It is all about timing and place. It could have been another landing on carrier with sign mission accomplished. Another hollywood production. And the crowd went wild!

Posted by: artg | January 13, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

It's difficult enough to stomach the comb-over midget twice a week. Twice in a single day is grounds for aspirating vomitus into my mask.

Posted by: ej_smug | January 13, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

EJ must have hear a different speech. The young aide was more inspiring than Obama who was almost as flat as his cabinet members until he got into campaign mode towards the end. OBama is definitely no Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: topgun97365 | January 13, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

ej-smug, ''the comb-over midget.'' hahahaha. e.j., it's too bad it takes something like this to bring people back to the message of hope that the prince of peace gave us. and i don't mean the religion of peace.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | January 13, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: topgun97365
EJ must have hear a different speech. The young aide was more inspiring than Obama who was almost as flat as his cabinet members until he got into campaign mode towards the end. OBama is definitely no Ronald Reagan.
------------------------
You are so correct. President Obama is no Ronald Reagan and thank goodness for that. I could never tell, when Reagan spoke, if he thought he was starring in a "B" rated movie or making a presidential speech!!

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | January 13, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: topgun97365
EJ must have hear a different speech. The young aide was more inspiring than Obama who was almost as flat as his cabinet members until he got into campaign mode towards the end. OBama is definitely no Ronald Reagan.
------------------------
You are so correct. President Obama is no Ronald Reagan and thank goodness for that. I could never tell, when Reagan spoke, if he thought he was starring in a "B" rated movie or making a presidential speech!!

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | January 13, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Obama calls for healing, not blame


Where's your apology, WP/Milbank/Capehart for your knee jerk slander of Palin and others when they was NO EVIDENCE? Huh?

Where's the apology from Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, the New York Times the WP, the Tucson sheriff for their knee jerk opportunity for spewing propaganda?

Posted by: dforce | January 13, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was possibly the best speech he's made since taking office. I found myself thinking, "This is the orator I've missed." I was worried he'd turn it too political, but his call for civility and, more importantly, to not try to assign blame was brief but well put. It seemed heartfelt and honest to me. All in all a good one.

When he took the stage the audience cheered a little too much for the occasion in my opinion but that's not really something you can control with that many people.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | January 13, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I was shocked to hear the blame placed on everyone but the perp for the killings in Arizona. The president let his lap dogs continue their bashing without a peep for days. Then he flys into to town gives some prepared speech and everyone swoons. But he never seems engaged or really sympathetic. I think most people see through this.

Posted by: psurgeonchris1 | January 13, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The past week has been awful in many ways. We have seen a deranged individual inflict grievous wounds on a member of Congress and kill or wound many others, including a federal judge, a nine-year-old girl, and a husband whose last act was to shield his wife's body with his own. We have then seen both ends of our country's political spectrum spend more effort on blaming each other than on lamenting this national tragedy, and I've been one of those piling on in this free-for-all.

The conduct of our national leaders, on both sides of the political aisle, has been one of the bright spots in this otherwise dark time. President Obama has given a speech that asks Americans to honor the dead and wounded by setting aside partisan hostility to work together for the good of our country. Speaker Boehner has done a commendable job of trying to bring Congress together in a respectful and nonpartisan
way to remember the dead, support the wounded, and encourage their families.

Let's follow their good example, stop offering harsh criticism of each other, and try to figure out what things we can agree on to move our country forward despite the many challenges it faces.

Posted by: 02Pete | January 13, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Obama's first words yesterday should have been an apology to what he calls his political enemies.

His own words have been treacherous!

HOW ABOUT THESE NON VIOLENT(wrong) METAPHORS BY OBAMA??

** Obama: “They Bring a Knife. . . We Bring a Gun”
** Obama to His Followers: “I want you to argue with them and get in their face!”
** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose a-s-s to kick.“
** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”


Posted by: jjcrocket13 | January 13, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I am anything but a supporter of the President's political agenda - but for you to suggest that he failed in his effort to give solace and missed an opportunity to make a political statement: "It was neither therapeutic nor political and dealt only in passing with the roiling controversies that have divided left from right" strikes me as callous and reprehensible. I applaud the president's efforts to bring comfort and solace to the families and victims, and to the nation at large, and I believe he largely succeeded. If I have misapprehended your intent, forgive me, but your words convey a sense of disappointment that somehow the president has let you down by not sinking to the level of those on the left and right who see this tragedy as nothing more than a chance to score debating points. I hope I am wrong - you can certainly explain yourself if I am.

Posted by: tbowden1 | January 13, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The speech/memorial service was just right. He is president but he always told the stories of the individuals. People who think the assembled cheered too much - free speech. I don't live there and haven't been "personally touched" by the tragedy so if they feel like cheering - let them.

Posted by: rlj611 | January 13, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Really, Palin should have gave the eulogy. It would have been on target I'm sure.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 13, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The President's speech would have been more sincere if he acknowledged his shortcomings regarding civility in public discourse. I could go ad nauseum about's President Obamas' "violent" rhetoric that he now condemns. Nevertheless, his speech was a good beginning--lets see if the President follows his own advice.

Posted by: AmericanFirst3 | January 13, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

The President mentioned the presence of "cynicism and vitriol" in today's discourse. The comment sections of internet newspapers is increasingly becoming the petrie dish for such as the semi-anonomyous registered readers opt to use the medium to talk trash in a way which puts to shame NFL players, and which would stun some of their mothers.
Objective critiques are helpful and welcome, even as we can disagree. Let's allow trash talking to be the domain of linebackers and free safeties.

Posted by: dpurtell | January 13, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the poster who said Obama's speech was "flat." Obama always sounds flat to me. I also agree with the same poster that Obama is no Ronald Reagan. Obama just can't capture that smugness. But there's hope: Ms. Palin captures it in her latest faux presidential-looking YouTube speech.

Posted by: zaphod71828 | January 13, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Liberals were traitors and scum yesterday and they will still be traitors and scum tomorrow ... end of story.

As Mel Gibson said in Braveheart at the battle of sterling 'I'm going to pick a fight !'

Posted by: killerm1 | January 13, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

In other words, Dionne, Obama told people like YOU to curb your hate speech against Palin and others on the right...

Posted by: dforce | January 13, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

This man says the same thing over and over and over...zzzz...boring!

HILLARY WAS RIGHT

OBAMA looked like a obedient puppy in Arizona. And why does he keep inviting Boehner only to get his hand slapped. His grandparents didn't do sooo well in the compassionate department. They probably only tolerated him because he were their only daughter...FIRST BORN!

Bush didn't do that much outreaching when we switched to have Nancy as House Leader.

OBAMA ACTS LIKE A LAME DUCK PRESIDENT ANYWAY...IF HE TAKE THE NEXT TWO YEARS AND GIVE INTO ALL THE GOP DEMANDS

ESPECIALLY SOCIAL SECURITY

LET GUT HIS BUTT IN 2012

I WILL NOT VOTE FOR THIS MAN IN 2012

As much as I am sad for Chritina family. He cannot compare her life to those little children living on the southside of Chicago forever dodging bullets.

HE NEVER ADDRESSED BLACK CHILDREN FROM CHICAGO GETTING GUNNED DOWN AND PROBABLY HAD ASPIRATIONS AS WELL.

STOP CALLING HIM THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT

HE'S THE FIRST JEW PRESIDENT!

I BLAME BILL CLINTON FOR THOSE STRON REMARKS IN SOUTH CAROLINA....BECAUSE HILLARY OUT SUPPORTED OBAMA 2-1 WHEN IT CAME TO THE BLACK VOTE...AND SHE HAD THE HISPANIC VOTE...

IT WAS THE JEWS WHOM REBUKED HILLARY, AND THEY ALL WORK THE PAPERS

IF HE GOES AFTER SOCIAL SECURITY AFTER GIVING THE BUSH TAX CUT AN EXTENDING TWO YEAR PERIOD.....I HOPE PEOPLE WILL TAKE TO THE STREETS

LETS GUT THAT PISS-POOR HCR...HE SHOULD HAD CREATED JOBS INCENTIVES...

WE HAVE GOT TO STOP OBAMA

HE DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO GOVERN

ALL MY WORKING CLASS FRIENDS WHO MAKE UNDER $40,000 SAW THEIR TAXES GO UP!

NO ONE WANTED THAT TAX-HOLIDAY

I STAYED WITH HILLARY ALL THE WAY UNTIL SHE CONCEDED.....

I REALLY DISLIKE THIS PRESIDENT AND IF HE THINK HE CAN WIN WITH THE RICH INDEPENDENT JEW VOTE....

BETTER START MOVING TO HAWAII

ILLINOIANS DON'T WANT HIM NO MORE THAN THEY WANT RAHM FOR MAYOR


HARRY REID

PLEASE STOP THE PREZ (WEAK) AND GOP FROM GOING AFTER SOCIAL SECURITY

IF WE STOPPED BUSH...AND HE USUALLY COULDN'T BE STOP

THEN STOP THIS RICH JEW LOVING PRESIDENT

AS A BLACK LIBERAL

I CAN'T STAND LOOKING AT HIM....I WAS ABLE TO TOLERAT BUSH....BECAUSE HE WASN'T TRYING TO DOGG THE LIMELIGHT LIKE OBAMA DOES

LOOK AT HIS FAMILY PHOTO....NO ONE IS EVER HUGGING...EVEN HIS MOTHER DOESN'T HAVE PHOTO OF HUGGING HER BLACK SON...

THAT'S WHY HE WAS SO IN AWE OF MICHELLE FAMILY AND WANTED TO BE PART OF IT

I GOT HIM DOWNPACKED I WATCHED HIM IN CHICAGO

HE WAS NOT A COMMUNITY LEADER IN THE TRUEST SENSE OF THE WORD

BLACKS AND LATINOS

DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS OREO IN 2012

HE IS FROM HAWAII THEY DON'T HAVE ANY RETIREMENT ENTITIES...BUT JUST HIGH TAXES

OBAMA IS WORST THAN GWB

NEVER THOUGHT I SAY THAT.BUT IT'S

Posted by: dove369 | January 13, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@lindaycurren

Thanks. You are not the only one who has reflected within. Let's leave our children something great. Let the words "My Country Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty" be cherished by all Americans.

If we do our best to love our country, love our family, love our neighbor, our life will not have been lived in vain.

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


Obama's first words yesterday should have been an apology to what he calls his political enemies.

His own words have been treacherous!

HOW ABOUT THESE NON VIOLENT(wrong) METAPHORS BY OBAMA??

** Obama: “They Bring a Knife. . . We Bring a Gun”
** Obama to His Followers: “I want you to argue with them and get in their face!”
** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose a-s-s to kick.“
** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

Posted by: jjcrocket13
________________________
as Krauthammer correctly noted, rhetoric like this is perfectly appropriate to politics, and has been since ancient Greece, at least. Obama's point was that we shouldn't be so quick to blame anyone or anyone's rhetoric, or use this for political gain, though obviously we could all use a bit more civility. can't you agree with that?

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 13, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

At the funeral, it looked like they were finally pledging allegiance to the U.S. being One Nation under YAH. Women may be weak with muscle to over power; but there is a lot of heart that out weighs the fear. The U.S. seal of our forefathers, Israelites. We are Joseph’s coat of many colors. The KJV was made by the blood line of King David. Now recognize YAH's nation. A nation of ISRAELITES.

Posted by: RedFeather | January 13, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

At the funeral, it looked like they were finally pledging allegiance to the U.S. being One Nation under YAH. Women may be weak with muscle to over power; but there is a lot of heart that out weighs the fear. The U.S. seal of our forefathers, Israelites. We are Joseph’s coat of many colors. The KJV was made by the blood line of King David. Now recognize YAH's nation. A nation of ISRAELITES.

Posted by: RedFeather | January 13, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama's first words yesterday should have been an apology to what he calls his political enemies.

His own words have been treacherous!

Posted by: jjcrocket13

===========================================

I would have preferred a mea culpa too but let's give credit where it is due. Obama had the right tone and did castigate those who did take advantage of this to attack their opponents.

Posted by: bbface21 | January 13, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Dionne is one of those most responsible in the media for trying to score political points by tying the Tucson tragedy, by one means or another, to Republicans, conservatives, the Tea Party, talk radio or anyone deemed by the leftist media and Democrats in general to be critics of Democratic, leftist, big government, big spending, bankrupt socialist policies. He has a host of cohorts including Krugman, Robinson, Olbermann, Schultze, Maddow, Matthews, O'Donnell and all the other purveyors of hate at MSNBC. They, along with the mainstream media and the thousands of fringe leftist media outlets, disgraced and embarrassed themselves to a degree unprecedented in the history of so-called journalism. They and the Democrats owe an apology to the Tucson dead and wounded, to the many people they libelled, and to the country as a whole. No doubt, instead, they will continue to dig a deeper hole before moving on to try to score poitical points by tying the next tragedy in some way to political opponents. Now, Dionne has the gall to deny that the President took the left to task for their disgraceful conduct. In the most eloquent address of his Presidency, while trying to avoid inflaming the debate, the President stated categorically: "Let us remember it is not because a lack of civility caused the tragedy- it did not". He also condemned those who have engaged in demonizing and pointing fingers at political opponents on account of the tragedy. Who else was he directly targeting than those who had libelled others as the cause of the tragedy? Only the leftist media and Democratic politicians engaged in this despicable conduct and even began to attack Republicans and conservatives of all stripes while the bodies were still warm. Tucson may not just become an epic disgrace to the media and Democrats of all stripes but the Waterloo of the Democratic Party. The whole country was not fooled by this pathetic libel.

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

I'm no expert on speechifying, so I'll leave those judgments to others. But I know a little something about reading newspaper columns... How on earth did several of you manage to interpret Dionne's post as criticism of the speech? I'm pretty sure he intended it as praise. Sounded like praise to me.

Posted by: bobsewell | January 13, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

It's heartening to see that our teleprompter-in-chief didn't blow it for once. I think that his majesty's speech should be touted on the front pages of the liberal media's newspapers for at least two weeks to help bolster the sagging egos of our liberal friends!

Posted by: realist2 | January 13, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

President Obama gave a wonderful speech. This was one of his best moments as a president. I am a independent who voted for Obama, but think most of what he has done so far as president has really hurt the United States. We now owe $14 trillion dollars,and $2 trillion was because of Obama. We now have Obama care that 65% of Americans don't want. Actions speak louder than words. He can give a great speech, he needs to work on being way less liberal.

Posted by: bvhi2 | January 13, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Dionne babbled: "In struggling to find hope in tragedy, he was brought back to the spiritual Wednesday night."
-----------------------------------------
You mean Obie I started screaming God Dam n America? That's his spiritual roots after all.

And what was with the free T shirts at a memorial?

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 13, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama's first words yesterday should have been an apology to what he calls his political enemies.

His own words have been treacherous!

HOW ABOUT THESE NON VIOLENT(wrong) METAPHORS BY OBAMA??

** Obama: “They Bring a Knife. . . We Bring a Gun”
** Obama to His Followers: “I want you to argue with them and get in their face!”
** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose a-s-s to kick.“
** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

Posted by: jjcrocket13
________________________
as Krauthammer correctly noted, rhetoric like this is perfectly appropriate to politics, and has been since ancient Greece, at least. Obama's point was that we shouldn't be so quick to blame anyone or anyone's rhetoric, or use this for political gain, though obviously we could all use a bit more civility. can't you agree with that?

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 13, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse
===================================

Joe T - yes I can agree...what I dont agree w/ is the delusional accusations made by the 'left' minutes after the shooting occurred - and I do mean delusional - baseless in fact and or evidence - yet the left repeated this trumpet for days....and now - as more and more FACTS - repeat that FACTS comer out - they are looking more and more pathetic - an absolute embarrassment. Where was Nobama just after the shorting calling for calm - or telling people to take a step back and wait for the facts...not a word....ah - but he did make those statements just after the Ft Hood shooting - go figure. If only he followed his own teachings....

Posted by: short1 | January 13, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

President Obama gave a wonderful speech. This was one of his best moments as a president. I am a independent who voted for Obama, but think most of what he has done so far as president has really hurt the United States. We now owe $14 trillion dollars,and $2 trillion was because of Obama. We now have Obama care that 65% of Americans don't want. Actions speak louder than words. He can give a great speech, he needs to work on being way less liberal.
______________________________
Weren't you paying attention in the campaign? Obama ran on overhauling health care. It was a core tenant of his platform. I don't undertand why you voted for him, and can't understand why you would be disappointed or surprised that Obama did precisely what he said he would do. Your numbers are totally off, and nowhere near 65% of Americans were against health care reform. Even if it was half of Americans, which it was not, many of those were displeased because the legislation did not do enough. In the spirit of the President's speech, I am not trying to attack you personally. I am willing to believe that your worries are sincere and that you care about this country. I just ask that you temper your fear about the future just a tad. As we are seeing, many (though not all) of the concerns about the bailout and the stimulus plan have been proven false. The same might be true of healthcare. Just try to listen with an open mind.

Posted by: October10S | January 13, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama's first words yesterday should have been an apology to what he calls his political enemies.

His own words have been treacherous!

HOW ABOUT THESE NON VIOLENT(wrong) METAPHORS BY OBAMA??

** Obama: “They Bring a Knife. . . We Bring a Gun”
** Obama to His Followers: “I want you to argue with them and get in their face!”
** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose a-s-s to kick.“
** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

Posted by: jjcrocket13
________________________
as Krauthammer correctly noted, rhetoric like this is perfectly appropriate to politics, and has been since ancient Greece, at least. Obama's point was that we shouldn't be so quick to blame anyone or anyone's rhetoric, or use this for political gain, though obviously we could all use a bit more civility. can't you agree with that?

Posted by: JoeT1 | January 13, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse
===================================

Joe T - yes I can agree...what I dont agree w/ is the delusional accusations made by the 'left' minutes after the shooting occurred - and I do mean delusional - baseless in fact and or evidence - yet the left repeated this trumpet for days....and now - as more and more FACTS - repeat that FACTS come out - the Dems are looking more and more pathetic - an absolute embarrassment. Where was Nobama just after the shooting calling for calm - or telling people to take a step back and wait for the facts...not a word....ah - but he did make those statements just after the Ft Hood shooting - go figure. If only he followed his own teachings....must have been all that 'peaceful' teachings he received from Rev Wright for 20 years.....you know "God Damn America"..all that peaceful stuff.

Posted by: short1 | January 13, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The T-shirts with logo were so appropriate for a memorial.

Posted by: drowningpuppies | January 13, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Lets make Gabrielle Giffords dream come true and close the boarders! Now that the dream act/scheme act has been stopped I have a gift for my fellow Americans. First we need even the stupid Democrats who are still in love with Obama for some reason to listen! Here is how we end most of Americas problems.
We are being invaded so lets take all of the illegals that are in prison and send them south of the border. Then have Obama for once in his life keep his word and bring all of the troops home. Next we simply take all these happy American troops and station them along the boarder with the order to shoot anyone they see coming north! Immigration problems over. Billions of dollars saved to help Americas economy done! No more war, no more over crowed prisons and no more letting people break the law by wandering into America when ever they want to. It would also go a very long way in showing the world that America is not a country of wimps! Just that we made the mistake of making a wimp our president. Time to end the half measures this is America time to man up! As always let me know what you think I am at work http://www.westmichiganbusinessreview.com for the rest of this week.

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

Okay, I thought is was a great speech.

Nevertheless, and you may call me old fashioned, but I also think the concert T-Shirts and those garish applause lights were just a tad bit over the top. And does anybody know what that Indian thing was all about last night?

And so it goes...

Posted by: packard1 | January 13, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Palin had her "I am not a witch" commercial yesterday. It is not working.

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

Palin had her "I am not a witch" commercial yesterday. It is not working.

Posted by: WmLaney | January 13, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I thought is was a great speech.

Nevertheless, and you may call me old fashioned, but I also think the concert T-Shirts and those garish applause lights were just a tad bit over the top for a memorial service. And does anybody know what that Indian thing was all about last night?

And so it goes...

Posted by: packard1 | January 13, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The Consoler-in-Chief?

More like the Exploiter-in-Chief.

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

Clueless Comrade Barry, echoing the talking points of the state controlled Marxist media, calls for more civil discourse.

“We can do better,” he says.

Better at what?

Making excuses for the heel of the boot we live under?

How many of these comments would be considered by today’s Marxist Democrats as “inflammatory, anti-government rhetoric”?

“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”

“An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.”

“I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.”

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

“Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.”

“Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

“The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people and that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

All of these quotes are from Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence and the Statue of Virginia for Religious Freedom, the first Secretary of State and third President of the United States, the founder of the University of Virginia, the Library of Congress and the U.S. Patent Office.

"I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." – President Kennedy addressing a White House reception for 49 Nobel Prize winners

Clueless Comrade Barry has a different take.

Something like: “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.”

What is wrong with detesting, even hating if you want to use that word, those who seek to steal your property and your freedom?

Don't tread on me!

Liberty or death!

Sic semper tyrannis!

The hatred of tyrants and tyranny is as American as baseball, apple pie and the Fourth of July.

I detest the Marxist miscreant Clueless Comrade Barry and will exercise my God-given, Constitutionally-protected, natural right to say so as long as I have life in my body.

The LAT, the NYT, the WaPo and MSLSD can kiss my caboose.

Posted by: LePauvrePapillon | January 13, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The president gave a wonderful sermon which had a message for everyone.

Let's hope everyone was listening and will follow the ideals and challenge he spoke of in memory of those who died.

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

"The president gave a wonderful sermon"

Sorry but that would make him pastor Obama not president Obama. Personally I don't think he is qualified to be either.

Posted by: Straightline | January 13, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Very little of the quoted scriptures seemed to make any sense in the context of the event. I am still perplexed.

I was surprised that the `Native American' didn't use that quote `And mine brother Easau has an hairy shirt..'

The Biblical quotes were well intended but obtuse.

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | January 13, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

its pretty obvious reading the comments here that there is a hard core element that posts here that gets off on their own hatred and bile. I wonder about their mental status, and I wonder, do they own a Glock? many more of these events are on their way, until we stand up to these folks.

Posted by: underhill | January 13, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

As I have called each day since this tragedy in one line or another, let these people bury their loved ones before we start pointing fingers. I am glad the President took the tone he took. This is a tragedy and the only fact that we know is that a man tried to shoot a Congresswoman and instead killed and wounded many. This is the first such act in 30 years. At this point, he is in the hands of the criminal justice system. We can turn on each other later on, let's just wait to see if Congresswoman Giffords recovers and allow the dead to be laid to rest. Then we can start our silly debates.

Posted by: genericrepub | January 13, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Want to watch a Republican freak out? Utter the following statement: “This shooting demonstrates that we really need to tone down the violent political rhetoric.”...


Then sit back and watch the angry right wing freakout begin, even though there is nothing partisan or pointed about that statement they'll automatically go into victim/attack mode with BS questions and statements like this: “Why are you pointing fingers? Both sides do it! Why are you blaming Sarah Palin?”.


It's like a Pavlov's Dog trick.


And then there's my personal favorite Wingnut excuse: “He was just crazy!”...


No sh^t! You have to be crazy to walk into a crowd of people and start spraying bullets, killing a bunch of elderly people and a little kid. That is crazy.


The point we have been trying to make for the last couple of years is that Republicans need to stop whipping up crazy people with violent political rhetoric. This is really not a hard concept to follow. There are crazy people out there. Stop egging them on!

.

Posted by: DrainYou | January 13, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The shooter's own friend stated that he did not political TV or listen to political radio. At best he spewed his craziness over gaming forums.

But I suppose no tragedy should go to waste, and we must infer that heated political shows somehow molded this man. I suppose the next logical step would be to ban guns, the Tea party, and impose the fairness doctrine.

Vitriolic speech was not a contributor to this act of a crazy man, and those of you who so callously use it to further your political ends should be ashamed.

Posted by: Wiggan | January 13, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I thought is was a great speech.

Nevertheless, and you may call me old fashioned, but I also think the concert T-Shirts and those garish applause lights were just a tad bit over the top for a memorial service. And does anybody know what that Indian thing was all about last night?
And so it goes...
Posted by: packard1
============================================
The beautiful ceremony by the Native American, blessing the harmed in his religion showed that people whom are different are not them but Americans with something that enriches all. The T-shirts while boorish will become collectibles, garish lights is opinion but I told my children hooting and whistling was out of place in this venue and they should not do the same when honoring the lost and harmed.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 13, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"What we cannot do," he said at another point, "is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other." And then, twice, he repeated, "That we cannot do."
____
E.J. I believe he's talking to you.

Posted by: sovine08 | January 13, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama spoke like a pastor? A pastor or a Rev. Like Rev Wright for example. Rev Wright spoke in a church, but he is still a far left radical. Obama spoke at the funeral, but he is still a far left radical. Obama is no pastor. He may be in your eyes if your one of those who saw Obama as the savior who was supposed to have delivered you from having to live in a capitalist free market society any further then necessary.

Posted by: houstonian | January 13, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Pres. Obama demonstrated leadership and that he is a class act. As for Ms. Palin, she proved that she is not.

Posted by: missgrundy | January 13, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The sad part is that liberals were only concerned about their Messiah's image, and not the lives that were taken away by one of their own.

Posted by: THINKbeforeyouvote12 | January 13, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The sad part is that liberals were only concerned about their Messiah's image, and not the lives that were taken away by one of their own.

Posted by: THINKbeforeyouvote12 | January 13, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

he paused, and looked toward the heavens,
seeing something us mortals cannot see,
his place there, his peace, his moment
of zen, above a world so distant and
convuluted, not to see the perfect peace,
the perfect stillness,
and yes,
you may call my obama,
spiritual,
you may call him,
a servant,
thank you DJ'
you brought me back to my alter boys days,

go in peace now,
and may his contenance shine down
on you
and you
and you

Posted by: simonsays1 | January 13, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

he paused, and looked toward the heavens,
seeing something us mortals cannot see,
his place there, his peace, his moment
of zen, above a world so distant and
convuluted, not to see the perfect peace,
the perfect stillness,
and yes,
you may call my obama,
spiritual,
you may call him,
a servant,
thank you DJ'
you brought me back to my alter boys days,

go in peace now,
and may his contenance shine down
on you
and you
and you

Posted by: simonsays1


I'm sure GOD is not impressed that "your" Obama spent over 20 years with Reverend Wright. lol

P

Posted by: THINKbeforeyouvote12 | January 13, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

he paused, and looked toward the heavens,
seeing something us mortals cannot see,
his place there, his peace, his moment
of zen, above a world so distant and
convuluted, not to see the perfect peace,
the perfect stillness,
and yes,
you may call my obama,
spiritual,
you may call him,
a servant,
thank you DJ'
you brought me back to my alter boys days,

go in peace now,
and may his contenance shine down
on you
and you
and you

Posted by: simonsays1


I'm sure GOD is not impressed that "your" Obama spent over 20 years with Reverend Wright. lol

PS-what a great job "your" Obama did with cleaning up crime in Chicago. BRAVO!!

Posted by: THINKbeforeyouvote12 | January 13, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

President Obama's speech last night was brilliant, moving and uplifting. Yes, because he is a deeply religious man, it also had it's spiritual side.

Posted by: MNUSA | January 13, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Pres. Obama demonstrated leadership and that he is a class act. As for Ms. Palin, she proved that she is not.

Posted by: missgrundy


"If they bring a knife, then we'll bring a gun"-Barack Hussein Obama, showing his "leadership" skills and proving without a doubt just how "classy" he truly is.

LIBERALISM.............THE GUTLESS CHOICE

Posted by: THINKbeforeyouvote12 | January 13, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Pres. Obama demonstrated leadership and that he is a class act. As for Ms. Palin, she proved that she is not.

Posted by: missgrundy


"If they bring a knife, then we'll bring a gun"-Barack Hussein Obama, showing his "leadership" skills and proving without a doubt just how "classy" he truly is.

LIBERALISM.............THE GUTLESS CHOICE

Posted by: THINKbeforeyouvote12 | January 13, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

President Obama's speech last night was brilliant, moving and uplifting. Yes, because he is a deeply religious man, it also had it's spiritual side.

Posted by: MNUSA


"Allah Akbar"-Barack Hussein Obama, the "religious" man. LMMFAO!

Posted by: THINKbeforeyouvote12 | January 13, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

As a left-wing Catholic Dionne misuses Catholic Social Thought and makes Jesus into a Socialist. I would shun him.

Posted by: ravitchn | January 13, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

2 Chronicles 26 (The Bible) NIV

16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.

17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. 18 They confronted him and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God.”

19 Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD’s temple, leprosy[c] broke out on his forehead.

20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him.

21 King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house[d]—leprous, and excluded from the temple of the LORD. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.

Posted by: ProCounsel | January 13, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

why has obama failed so miserably?????

Consider that Obama mocked the Bible books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus by name. Obama’s speech is still on You-Tube. These books are in the Jewish part of the Bible, the Old Testament , which is also part of the Christian Bible.

Note that Obama has never even CRITICIZED the Koran, much less MOCKED it.

Deuteronomy 28, in the very book Obama mocked by name, pronounces specific curses:

15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you

team obama confusion and stupidity??

20 The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him


ineffective failed stimulus billions–unable to produce any jobs???


38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off.


foreign debt–loss of national sovereignty???

43 The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail.

Sources:

Obama mocking Deuteronomy and Leviticus by name
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi-V_ilJu0w

The Bible: http://www.biblegateway.com/

Posted by: ProCounsel | January 13, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

preacher barack hussein obama............

a 20 year

graduate

of the rev. wright seminary

of "civility" and tolerance..............................

Posted by: ProCounsel | January 13, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I largely loved the president's speech. I think he did a wonderful job of calling for civility, unity of purpose, hope, etc. He spoke well; but he didn't act accordingly.
I am an atheist and I felt as if he had no room for me in his America. I suspect Muslims share the feeling. It was all about Christianity with a nod toward Native American religion at the beginning. I understand that the people who were killed and hurt and their families MIGHT all be Christian and this might have been purely for them; but then the whole nation idea should have been left out completely. All of America is not on bended knee as the president falsely implied toward the end of his speech.

I believe it would have been not too difficult to find some quote out of the Koran or from strictly non-religious sources to truly drive home the same points as well or better than the constant reference to biblical passages did - the president's speechwriters are no slouches and should be able to do this. I don't accuse any of them of being stupid, so they should have anticipated that this memorial left out a large minority of the president's fellow Americans.

Words are great; but deeds count!

Posted by: IgnoredAtheist | January 13, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

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