Obama’s speech at the Tucson memorial was an opportunity thrust upon him, not one of choice.
But the tone of the speech was consistent in many ways with the Obama 2.0 we saw during the lame duck session when Obama struck a tax deal with Republicans. Coming together to get things done was the theme.
Obama had no real choice, considering the results of the November elections. But there is nothing to suggest that the tone is anything more than a convenience to consolidate Democratic legislative gains of the past two years, particularly Obamacare.
Obama may be speaking in a more muted tone, but those in the Democratic Party and the base are not. The disgusting feeding frenzy of accusations which erupted immediately after the Tucson shooting simply was the culmination of years of training, in which the first reaction of the left-blogosphere and punditry is to blame Tea Parties for high-profile acts of violence regardless of the facts.
The narrative that Tea Parties and conservatives and Sarah Palin are messengers of hate and violence has been exposed for what it always was, a lie concocted by a cabal of media elites, Democratic Party operatives and left-wing bloggers in order to stifle legitimate opposition to Obama’s policies.
While this false narrative had been exposed numerous times in the past two years, this time it was different because the horror of the shooting had captivated the nation. The narrative was not debunked months later, as in the case of Bill Sparkman, when everyone had moved on, but front and center for all to see.
The nation received an education on how the Democratic message machine works, and that lesson will not be forgotten soon.
Nobel Prize winning columnist Paul Krugman was revealed to be what he has in fact become, a completely politicized advocate who ignores facts in favor of messaging. Krugman was almost first out of the gate in blaming right-wing rhetoric for inciting the shooting, used misleading quotations to support his narrative, and refusing to budge when the facts moved against him. The Board of Editors of The Times was no better.
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a hero of the left since he announced he would refuse to enforce the new Arizona immigration law, was revealed to be someone who ignored the facts in front of this face and known to his department in favor of hackneyed taunts of “right wing vitriol.” That Dupnik held fast to this narrative as everyone around him jumped ship on the slur, turned Dupnik into a caricature of a politicized savant who kept repeating “right wing vitriol” over and over again because he knew nothing else.
The purveyors of Palin Derangement Syndrome had their Waterloo. The accusations that Palin “had blood on her hands,” and the death wishes spewing from keyboards, were so over the top that the accusers were left looking like that of which they accuse Palin.
Since the shooting Saturday morning in Arizona, we have witnessed truly remarkable damage to the false narrative of Tea Party and conservative violence, and the damage was entirely self-inflicted.
But we have not witnessed the death of this false narrative. What we witnessed was not a suicide, but an attempted suicide.
So the vigilance must continue.