Only 67 Days Remaining!
Hate is for Campaigns – Campaigning is Always
As he accepted his Party’s nomination for President in 2008, then Senator Obama laid out his case for change. Among the fundamental promises made by the nominee was the promise of political discourse without the type of gutter sniping that has come to characterize Washington, DC. Obama – in a manner that had to be pleasing to both Republicans and Democrats at the time – pledged:
“But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator [McCain] takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism.”[i]
Events moved fast after that speech and it seemed like there had been hardly time to draw a breath before President Obama was vilifying and marginalizing Tea Party participants as “Tea Baggers,”[ii]waving imaginary tea bags in the air as he talked about them; calling on Hispanic voters to “punish our enemies;” [iii] and “referring specifically to Republicans such as Senator John McCain, who are stressing border security and supporting strict immigration laws…as not being ‘…the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.’”[iv] Ridiculing the Arizona legislature’s attempt to pass a strict immigration law, Obama told attendees at the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Dinner:
“Unfortunately, (Senator) John McCain (R-AZ) couldn’t make it. Recently, he claimed that he had never identified himself as a Maverick – and we all know what happens in Arizona when you don’t have I.D. – Adios Amigos!”[v]
As Obama was personally making these comments, he was also leading a Party, whose members were making such comments as “the ‘tea party’ can go straight to hell,”[vi] that members of Congress with the Tea Party movement, would like to see blacks treated as “second class citizens” and “…hanging on a tree,”[vii]or that “…the Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.”[viii]
How can we not admire the new level of civil discourse promoted by Barack Obama?
[i] Senator Barack Obama, (Aug. 28, 2008), ABC News web-site, Barack Obama Makes History as First African American Nominee of Major Political Party, retrieved January 4, 2012, from http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Conventions/barack-obama-makes-history-african-american-nominee-major/story?id=5680403&singlePage=true
[ii] Jonathan Alter, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, (New York, 2010, Simon & Schuster), 129
[iii] President Barack Obama (Oct. 25, 2010), Story by John McCormack, (Oct. 25, 2010), The Weekly Standard, The Blog, Obama to Latinos: “Punish” Your “Enemies” in the Voting Booth, retrieved December 18, 2011, from http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-latinos-punish-your-enemies-voting-booth_511932.html
[v] President Barack Obama (May 1, 2010), C-SPAN.Org, C-SPAN’s White House Dinner Hub, 2010 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, retrieved May 2, 2010 from http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/05/01/HP/A/32352/2010+White+House+Correspondents+Dinner.aspx
[vi] Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), quoted by L.A. Times (Aug. 20, 2011), LA Times web-site, Rep. Maxine Waters: ‘The tea party can go straight to hell’, retrieved January 4, 2012, from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/08/tea-party-maxine-waters-hell.html
[vii] Rep. Andre Carson (March 10, 2011), Story by Judson Berger, (Aug 31, 2011), FoxNews web-site, Rep. Andre Carson: Tea Party Wants to See Black Americans ‘Hanging on a Tree’, retrieved December 18, 2011 from http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/31/rep-carson-tea-party-wants-to-see-black-americans-hanging-on-tree/
[viii] Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), quoted by Rick Klein (Sep 30, 2009), ABC News Web-site, Democratic Rep.: ‘Republicans Want You to Die Quickly’, retrieved January 4, 2012, from http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2009/09/democratic-rep-republicans-want-you-to-die-quickly/