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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