As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together...
And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, it did not, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make (the victims) proud.
-President Barack Obama, eulogizing the victims of the gun tragedy in Tucson.
It doesn't stop. Not for a moment, not for a second, not for a heartbeat. it was a time for Americans to come together and, for just once, stop the idiotic sniping and spin and phony outrage and crappy punditry and just breathe for a second. A memorial for the victims of an act of chaos, Barack Obama's appearance in Tucson last night was the act of a president. It was what any president would do in a moment of national shock and it was this president who did it.
And that's the problem. It was this president. Having convinced themselves that Barack Obama is not only the worst, most corrupt, most evil leader in American history, but in world history, the right watched the speech like predators. Any hint of partisanship would be snatched and devoured by them. But Obama disappointed. It was a markedly nonpartisan speech.
So, of course, something else had to be wrong with it. What was it? It was somewhere. It had to be somewhere. Because, in their fevered, atrophied little brains, the wingnuts knew that President Obama was constitutionally incapable of doing anything right. Something was wrong. They just had to find it.
President Obama used to preach that there was no "Red America" and no "Blue America," just one America.
But tonight at the memorial for the Tucson massacre victims, it will be a sea of blue as the White House unveils the "Together We Thrive" logo and slogan.
Yes, the Tucson massacre is being branded...
There we go.
Lacking any words or actions to criticize, Malkin -- the lunatic queen of the wingnuts and purveyor of permanent outrage -- decided that a logo was the worst insult ever. And they were giving out t-shirts!
Of course, the shirts and the logo didn't actually say Barack Obama anywhere on them, but that doesn't stop Malkin from accusing Obama of politicizing the event and wondering, "Can't the Democrat political stage managers give it a break just once?"
Never mind that the University of Arizona put the event -- complete with the logo and t-shirts -- together. By the time the story got to conservative blogger Anthony Martin, the slogan "Together we thrive: Tucson & America" had become "Obama's new campaign logo" -- without any evidence at all that this is true. Just throw it out there. Lie. Because that's all they've got anymore.
And, if the logo wasn't enough reason for outrage (and it's not), then consider the crowd. The mostly young audience of students were actually receptive and welcoming and -- dare I say it? -- enthusiastic about the president's speech. They cheered. "Massacre Rally Theatre is a complete abomination," tweeted teabagger favorite Tammy Bruce. "Absolutely obscene. Clinton should be happy, no longer will 'Wellstone' be the benchmark." (For more on how the right politicized the late Senator Paul Wellstone's funeral, check here. Like the Phelps crew, attacking funerals is the wingnut's go-to.)
Yes, President Obama wasn't booed off the stage and, for that, he should be deeply, deeply ashamed of himself. The conservative blogoshpere certainly finds it offensive.
So, if you want civil discourse in politics, you're not going to get it as long as these lunatics have a seat at the table. Find a rational conservative -- if such a creature still exists -- and play nice with them. But this snake pit? It's not going to happen. They're incapable of it. You might as well try to sit down and have a rational discussion with a pack of starved hyenas.
Because they don't want to be rational, they want to be outraged. They lost in 2008, when the White House so clearly belongs to them. They were robbed of their entitlement and this makes Barack Obama a pretender to the presidency. No one, absolutely no one other than the farthest right politician has any right to hold office and any liberal or Blue Dog or RINO who does hold office could only have gotten where they are by hook and by crook. There is only one correct way of thinking and it's their way of thinking -- anyone who disagrees is a dangerous communist, perhaps even a terrorist, who must be torn down, down, down as quickly and as brutally as possible.
If you want civil discourse in politics, these people must be shunned. They must be shut out. The Sarah Palin/Michelle Malkin/talk radio wing of the GOP must be "refudiated."
Unless that happens, this whole civility thing is going nowhere.
Which tells me, outside of Washington happy-talk and a couple of handshakes, that's exactly where it's going.
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