I thought Obama’s speech at the memorial for the Tucson shooting victims was a good speech, better in writing than in delivery, which is unusual for him.
The pep rally atmosphere was strange, but I learned long ago that people grieve in their own ways. And one cannot blame Obama for unsolicited cheers and shouts from the audience.
Some key passages seemed to be a rebuke to the fingerpointing and accusations that right-wing political speech — and Sarah Palin — caused the shooting.
A key passage in the speech was as follows (emphasis mine):
“The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. 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, 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 them proud.”
In other (my) words:
“Matthew Yglesias, Markos Moulitsas and Paul Krugman should be ashamed of themselves.”
Obama kept the focus on the dead and injured, as I wish everyone had in the hours and days after the shooting. Good for him on this.
Update: I probably should have included Sheriff Dupnik in the quote. That’s what happens when you rush a post.
A lot of people on Twitter are saying it was cynical for Obama to wait several days to make this point about the fingerpointing, since by now a lot of the damage has been done. That’s a fair point; my review is of the speech, not the overall political situation.
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