Monday, February 1, 2010

Words Are Important

I still have not listened to or read the president's State of the Union address. I have, as discussed in my last posting, been listening to the commentators on FOX. As a result, I understand from former NYC mayor Rudy Gulliani that the president is soft on terrorism because he barely mentioned the subject in the address. I understand that the president has failed at everything he has attempted to do in the last year, including closing Guantanamo, passing comprehensive health care, and bringing our troops home. Significantly, I am now aware that the president did not learn the lesson from the recent Senate election in Massachusetts and accept the referendum on his policies from the electorate in that great Commonwealth.

My last posting drew a lot of comments from my more conservative friends. I am grateful to them for their efforts to enlighten me. From them, I now realize that the president's middle name is indicative of his secret anti-American sympathies, that he is working above his pay grade because he said so when asked a question about bio-science with a quip while campaigning for office, that he is out of touch with the American people, that he excludes the GOP from participating in the legislative process and that he is responsible for a host of other ills plaguing our country.

I am not buying it. I was going to argue about the demagoguery coming from the right but, after the president's visit to the conference of Republican House members in Baltimore last week, I don't need to. If you take the time to click here and watch the unscripted, televised live exchange between the president and members of the GOP House caucus, and you're being honest, you cannot help but come away admiring the president. You don't have to agree with his policies; he acknowledges that there will be differences. However, if you think of the political risk the president took by taking on questions from the caucus on live television, working without notes, you realize it's a far cry from having a president who would not admit to making a single mistake and who would only appear at town hall meetings that were filled with his pre-screened supporters. Add in the obvious intelligence and command of the facts with which the president responded to each and every question and challenge, and the provocative smears and half-truths used to attack the administration (and win elections in Massachusetts) ring particularly hollow.

Please watch the linked video. It really is amazing and demonstrates why I am so much more comfortable with Barack Hussein Obama sitting in the Oval Office while he takes the necessary time to address our challenges than with any of the alternatives.

Finally, I used to think the definition of "chutzpah" was the story of the son who murdered his parents and asked the court for mercy because he was an orphan. I now think it's the story of Republicans who railed incessantly against allowing prisoners from Guantanamo to be moved to secure prisons in the United States, delaying the president's plan to close the prison, and then belittled the president because he did not keep his promise to close Guantanamo within the year.

Similar examples abound and, as a result, I find the vitriol spewed on FOX to be the height of hypocrisy. Guess which network cut from the president has he responded to questions from the GOP caucus last week to take comments from the president's critics? It's one thing to merely call yourself "fair and balanced". It's another to allow both sides of the debate to be aired before directing your viewers to agree with your agenda.


Anonymous said...

I found your blog via MinnPost. It's very enjoyable and well written. It's nice to find a civic minded, informed individual who weighs his decisions and isn't chained to a party ideology. Like you I'm frustrated by the lack of a well read & informed public. Reading blogs like yours gives me faith that their are others out there. Keep up the good fight!!


Tom said...

Amen to Anonymous.

Personally, I am afraid that Obama has let us down because there was so much promise in his campaign. Unfortunately, he is and always has been a "centrist" who will not give us the progressive leadership we need unless we keep up the pressure.

Mary said...

Some days, Sam, I feel as if I can write pretty well. There are no days, however, when I feel I can write as eloquently and with as much reason as you do. I have read through the posts down to your tribute to Deb's mother, where I had to stop because it seems there cannot be much more to say than that.

Except this, for you: So often these days when I feel the need for comfort, I find a way to listen to the President, and I am soothed. We have, I tell myself, at least one guy who is patient with the time it takes to fix a mess, who is wise enough to not express whatever fluster he might feel, who listens and thinks, and who knew enough in advance to have daughters who insisted he get a dog.

Now I must remember to also come to Prairie Pondering, because there's at least two of those kind of guys.

All my best, Red and Frankie's person