President Obama is concerned about the heated rhetoric that accompanies much of the debate about his policies. In a commencement address in Ann Arbor, Michigan today the President asked the electorate to turn down the volume in a debate he not only started but also fueled with his own irresponsible rhetoric.
By Peter Slevin
Saturday, May 1, 2010; 5:45 PM
ANN ARBOR, MICH. — Reflecting on 15 months as the leader of a polarized nation, President Obama delivered a spirited defense of government on Saturday in a direct rebuttal to Republicans and “tea party” followers who question his politics and his priorities.
Obama called for tolerance and the pursuit of diversity of thought in a “poisonous political climate” and criticized people at both ends of the political spectrum for “throwing around” words such as “socialist,” “fascist” and “Soviet-style takeover” — and said a similar attitude is “starting to creep into the center of our discourse.”
“This kind of vilification and over-the-top rhetoric closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation,” Obama told a crowd of 92,000 at the University of Michigan’s commencement. “It prevents learning — since after all, why should we listen to a fascist’ or ‘socialist’ or ‘right-wing nut’ or a ‘left-wing nut’?”
What a heaping pile of chutzpah from the Skip Gates defending, Cambridge police insulting, pitchfork threatening, middle America despising, race hustling President. A frequent commenter asked today about the apparent intense loathing of President Obama and the attribution to him personally of so much that voters find wrong. The answer in short is statements like the one above. There was no “democratic deliberation” in the passage of ObamaCare. Republicans were excluded from deliberations on the most important piece of social legislation passed in a half century. There was no “democratic deliberation” on the Stimulus Legislation, the largest single Keynesian spending experiment in half a century. There was never the possibility of compromise on these legislative behemoths yet the President deigns to lecture us on etiquette while he defecates on our policy positions. This president doesn’t get it. He never did. He doesn’t get it in a way that Marie Antoinette didn’t get it, which is why he complains when the middle class becomes inflamed as he steals their lunch and then expects them to simply eat the elitist cake he offers instead.
From the same article some very good push back from the Tea Party:
In response, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Obama of hypocrisy, while Judson Phillips, a founder of Tea Party Nation, said Obama’s own followers should heed his words.
“We’re seeing a lot of incivility from the other side, people referring to us as tea-baggers and racists, people who lie about us,” Phillips said. “I’d be interested in the president telling those people to be civil.”
The President can’t and won’t tell his base to be civil because they represent all of what is left between him and the loss of the House and perhaps the Senate in 2010.