Obama at Tucson
by Tom Donelson on January 15, 2011 at 3:45 PM
After a week, I have decided to write something on the Tucson tragedy even though there is not much to add to what has already been discussed.
To begin with, President Obama acted Presidential by presenting the right tone. While I am not convinced that this was his best speech, at least he did what Presidents are supposed to do in moments of crisis, unite and seek a higher purpose.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for those who planned the memorial. Beginning with T-shirts on the chairs with slogans to the Arizona University President, who introduced Obama as the man we've needed for such times, or something to that effect, it took on a feel of a political rally, undercutting the message that needed to be heard. (My wife, who like most Americans, does not drink or sleep politics, got up in the middle of the event and left telling me, “This has the feeling of a political rally.” I wonder how many other Americans felt the same way.)
If the week taught us anything, it taught us the complete bankruptcy of the political left. With their ideas in shatters and Obama forced to triangulate to save his presidency, the wild attack on conservatism and selected individuals showed a movement out of gas after two years of governing.
A model of this collapse is Paul Krugman. In the 1990’s, Krugman was a respected left of center economist whose works would earn him a Nobel Prize for economics, but since joining the New York Times staff, Krugman has turned into an angry partisan hack, whose writings represent lazy thinking and even lazier research. It is as if he mails in most of his piece, figuring that hatred for the right that he didn’t exhibit as an economist, will suffice. The fact that it does suffice for his employer speaks volumes for the New York Times.
In Krugman's new world, the right are not political opponents but immoral cretins to be squashed. For the past week, many Americans got a look at what the left have evolved into, angry, bitter, partisan, so sure of their superiority but so lacking in grace or decorum. What they accuse the Right of being, they are: nasty, mean and full of violent rhetoric.
For the left, the only solution appears to be the continued shredding of the Constitution with more restriction on speech, right to bear arms and everything else in between. It is a movement on a collision course with much of America and what it represents. As for Obama, he struck the right chord and repudiated much of what his own side has done for the past week. The question that remains is will Obama mature into a leader or drift back to the lowest common denominator that his movement has threatened to drag his Presidency to oblivion?