Kicking off the 2012 campaign on the shoulders of the dead

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Kicking off the 2012 campaign on the shoulders of the dead

Everyone is buzzing about the Tucson pep rally memorial service yesterday. The consensus seems to be that Obama was presidential and gave a wonderful speech that hit all the right notes. Ed Morrissey went so far as to say it might be the finest moment of his presidency. Rich Lowry called it a magnificent performance. Jim Hoft said it was the best speech he’s ever given. William Jacobsen called it a good speech, better in writing than in delivery. Charlie Martin was pleasantly surprised at the tone of the speech. And on and on and on. The overwhelming response seems to be fawning praise. It’s so amazing! The president gave a good speech! How wonderful!

I disagree.

Everything I saw at that memorial service last night disgusted me. First, there was the fact that this event, which was supposed to be a memorial service, was given a slogan. It was branded. The brand was stamped all over university buses preceding the event to advertise, as well as free t-shirts handed out to people who attended the service.

Oh, and the concession stands were open, too. Because you can’t pay your respects to those murdered by a madman without a large Coke and some popcorn, right?

Yet we’re somehow surprised at the pep rally-like atmosphere? Please. Add in some styrofoam Greek columns and you’d have Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention all over again. The disgusting, disrespectful whooping and cheering was infuriating — but not surprising. Obama played into it. Not once did he ask for solemnity or respect. Instead, he basked in the blow of the fawning adoration he’s undoubtedly missed since being elected. (Michelle points out that the raucous atmosphere was shockingly missing during President Bush’s memorial service after the Virginia Tech massacre.)

Best moment of his presidency? That says a lot more about how awful our president is than it does about how wonderful his speech was. It’s sad that we are so drawn into mere words that we ignore all actions. Giving a good speech does not make one a good leader, but judging by the reaction to Obama’s speech last night, we have apparently forgotten that little fact.

And for an event that, according to Obama himself, was supposed to be about “unity”, there was shockingly little present. Jan Brewer was booed as she spoke. The mayor of Tucson, for some strange reason, was not invited to speak, apparently because it was more important to hear from Obama’s cabinet members. The unity only applies to certain people, I guess. And his Democrat buddies certainly have wasted no time ignoring the call to unity — they’ve gone right back to attack and smear mode. Will Obama continue the call for unity while his bullies in the mainstream media continue on their merry little way? I’m not going to hold my breath. His speeches might sound pretty, but they don’t change anything.

This wasn’t a memorial service. It was a campaign speech. Have we really forgotten the 2008 campaign already? This event tonight was identical to nearly every stump speech he gave while campaigning to be president, right down to the soaring oratory. This is why I’m a little confused as to why so many on the right are so excited that Obama gave a good speech. Why is that something to be so amazed by? His speechwriters wrote a nice speech for him, and he read it off of his teleprompters magnificently. It meant nothing. The call for unity was as shallow as virtually every other platitude he came up with in virtually every speech he gave while running for president. I halfway expected the crowd to start chanting, yes we can! If anything, this speech should serve as a low point. Obama allowed what should have been a somber memorial service for the nation to pay our respects to the dead turn into a pep rally, and I think we’ve all got a sneaking suspicion why.

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  • randy says:

    “Obama allowed what should have been a somber memorial service for the nation to pay our respects to the dead turn into a pep rally, and I think we’ve all got a sneaking suspicion why.”

    Whoever accused people like bin obama of possessing an overabundance of dignity and decorum?

  • Mjdzfun says:

    I searched my soul for a place to be open and accepting of last night’s campaign pep rally. I tried very hard to not give in to a knee jerk anti partisan feeling. I was stunned, shocked, absolutely disgusted…a lttle 9 year old girl is dead. And that’s not to take away from the grandmother, she did not deserve to have her life ended by a psychopath. Watching the video of Pres Bush is what last night was supposed to be, solemn and respectful.

    I am flabbergasted by the right’s “Last night was pitch perfect.” Unless, they are happy that once again Obama has shown himself not up to the task of presidency and needs to be routed in 2012. In that line of thinking, yeah–last night was pitch perfect.

  • Randy W. Stotler says:

    I can’t fully blame Mr. Obama, he delivered what was a respectful speach that was hurt by the youth of today and those misguided individuals in the crowd. However, I felt that any time throughout the speach he could have respectfully reminded those in attendence, that even though we all handle grief differenty, we need to remember “that tonight we are gathered here to pay our respects and mourn those that were lost and pray for those that are healing.” Instead I saw at least two seperate times when the chest came out, the swagger kicked in just slightly, and the smirk started to appear on his face, as though it was all about him. I understand that it’s easy to get caught up in the minute, but he allowed it to slip away just for an instance. Personnally, I wasn’t surprised, but when my wife whose a little more liberal than me started complaining, I knew it wouldn’t go over very well with alot of people.

  • Big Al says:

    I think you got that kind of reaction from the right concerning Obama’s speech for the very simple reason that it wasn’t what was expected. I think everyone was thinking there would be a bit more finger pointing and less, uh, inclusivness, to it… at least from what I heard about it. I didn’t watch it.

  • Lance says:

    Excellently put, Cassie, and my sentiments exactly.

  • croy says:

    I’ll give Obama, as opposed to almost everything else about the event (although Daniel Hernand was pretty good as well) a pass here. There is precisely zero chance I wold contemplate in the most remote corner of my mind the possibility of voting for him but I’ll give him a pass

    His speech, per se, was appropriate and to a very limited extent unifying. Wether it was worthy of the fawning accolades from conservatives I’m not so sure. I confess that as I listened to the speech (and was disgusted by the behavior of many in the crowd I was almost relieved and nearly as enthusiastic as some of the the comments you note. Perhaps they (and I) were grading him on something of a curve. The almost uniformly idiotic and destructive policies aside, much of his rhetoric during the Presidency has been irascible, incindiary and intensely partisan. Against this background last night’s performance was (and I don’t dispute that there might well have been – probably was – political motivation behind it) very impressive and since he will remain President for at least two more years (and honestly we’ve got a lot of work to do unseating him) it is somewhat gratifying when he speaks and acts in a manner almost worthy of the office.

  • randy says:

    Didn’t Gabrielle Giffords vote for Obama Care that includes a clause to provide “death with dignity” for extremely ill patients if they are considered too sick to bother with? Congresswoman Giffords seems to be getting the best of treatment. Wouldn’t she prefer to “die with dignity” since that is what she wanted for us?

  • randy says:

    “I went to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting memorial and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”

  • Thank you, Cassie, for being a voice of reason in all this.

  • May I give a different perspective on the first comment of Randy’s?

    I, for one, am thrilled that Gabby Giffords and the other victims who survived the shootings have access to the medical care that they do, whether or not they appreciate the genesis of it. Every human life is precious, and I’m happy that no one looked at a woman with a bullet in her brain and decided that it was too expensive to heal her, or that she would not contribute enough economically in the future to be worth healing.

    I hope that conservatives can advance the message of the sanctity of life, the moral good of capitalism, and the strength of our health care system so that Congress can value all human life, support capitalism, and bring free-market and charitable principles to the health care market to improve the quality of care for all – even if the government or progressives don’t get credit for it.

    I hope that we can encourage the new crop of Gabby Giffords’ colleagues to create incentives for the most talented and compassionate Americans to practise medicine, rather than creating a bureaucracy to tell doctors how to do their jobs. Fund the doctors, medical schools, and residencies, not 16,000 new IRS agents.

    Do it because brilliant, talented people who are saving Gabby Giffords are going to have a harder time saving the next person if Washington gets involved. Do it because the system that produced the doctors and the hospitals and the technology that allowed a woman, suffering from horrific injuries, to open her eyes is worth preserving.

    Rant over.

  • randy says:

    Cassie said “I would just like to let the record show that I find Randy’s comment completely abhorrent.” The fact of the matter is that people at the memorial service were given and wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Together We Thrive”. So Cassie is saying she found the memorial service abhorrent which is unreasonable and much worse than finding these tee shirts tasteless.

    Roxeanne de Luca says she is thankful for the medical system that we have in America which delivers the best service in the world. I agree with Roxanne but Gabby Giffords wants to eliminate the common folks ability to receive top notch care while she and her fellow elitists will receive this type of care. hypocrisy!

    Roxanne also states “Every human life is precious”, so I can unequivically state she is concerned that the life of every terrorist in Afghanistan killing our troops is too precious for our troops to kill in order to defend themselves. Sorry but I do not believe the 911 killers, son of sam berkowitz, stalin , Jared Lee Loughner and many other evil murderous people’s lives are precious. In fact if a person murders another person they forfeit thier “precious” life.

    Rant over.

  • randy says:

    Cassie shows a picture of the tee shirts and says “The brand was stamped all over university buses preceding the event to advertise, as well as free t-shirts handed out to people who attended the service.” So how could she find my comment abhorrent – makes no sense to me or just inconsistant do as I say not as I do liberal thought process.

  • I would say that you have the only objective analysis of the event I have read. Period.
    Even Krauthammer waffled…………and surrendered.
    Stay true to your values and convictions, Cassy.
    Do not let the bastards wear you down!

  • gsr says:

    Indeed, Barry Soetoro, just like 95% of all politicians, looked at Tucson and thought to himself, “how can I benefit politically from this?”

    The irony of it all is, Soetoro is the most foul-mouthed, trash-talking president ever in US history.

    It’s a joke but when the media is on your side(Barry), you are made out to be a God and when the media dislikes you(Palin), you are the devil.

    Its as simple as that.

  • gsr says:

    The supposed intellect of Barry Soetoro and Michelle Robinson is uttterly irrelevant. Philosophy is what matter most in a pol.

    I would rather be lead by Palin or someone else with less “scholarship” than the Obama’s BECAUSE:

    1) See above, philosophy matters. The Obama’s, like most academics/lawyers/media types are big government, central planning socialists.

    2) Palin has more PRACTICAL, life experience. The Obama’s have ZERO business experience. ZERO military experience. They went to school on the taxpayer dime, they got political correct jobs due to GOVERNMENT DIVERSITY programs.

    3) This is why Obama’s approval rating among white, registered voters hovers around the lowly figure of about 33% – OUCH.

    4) Since over 70% of all registered voters today are white, Obama has a poor chance of re-election.

  • Penny says:

    I watched on television this “great speech” and decided that in this arena as in many the bar of excellence has been lowered. The man actually uttered the words “we must expand our moral imaginations”. Huh? Go back and watch President Reagan’s speech following the shuttle disaster and then tell me again that this was a great speech.
    Oh, please.

  • croy says:


    Well, yes, the bar of excellence, in respect of both eloquence and content, has been lowered considerably but on this occasion Obama did manage – poor vertical leap and all – to jump over. In my comment above I mention that his speeches have to graded on a vary steep curve and am pleased to note that this past weekend Andy MacCarthy said roughly the same thing in conceding that Obama gave probably the best speech of his presidency – which says sufficiently little to be sure.

    Also I have to associate myself with Cassy’s comment above constitutionally prohibited, economically ruinous and medically disastrous is beyond dispute and those who voted for it, either out of megalomania, partisanship or simply horribly misguided good intentions, should be held politically accountable – yes even the notably odious one like Alan Grayson. As for Gabby Giffords, I’m glad she made it and hope she recovers completely and quickly.

  • Just wanted to say that I am eployed at a large biotherapeutic company in Clayton NC and I support Barack Obama with all my energy. I encourage all my friends and colleagues to re-elect Obama in 2012!! I LOVE YOU OBAMA

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