Yes, we need civility and positive constructive speech. And we need an adult to lead the way. There is no more influencing or visible source for that than the President. I believe the President should be unyielding in standing for civility and especially being the example of it. The President, though he can blame others, would best be responsible for the end result happening, with no excuses - or, as Harry Truman said, "the buck stops here."
I would call on the President to correct his behavior and to stand strongly for, and to be a great example of, civility, cooperation, and constructiveness. Yes, we can use blame and criticism for political purposes, but it is at great peril for the American people.
EXCERPTS FROM OBAMA'S TUCSON SPEECH
January 13, 2011
"And much -- much of this process...
... of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self- government.
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do, it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we're talking with each other in a way that -- that heals, not in a way that wounds.
But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other.
That we cannot do.
That we cannot do.
As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let's use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together. After all...
Let's make sure it's not on the usual plane of politics and point-scoring and pettiness that drifts away in the next news cycle.
The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better, to be better in our private lives, to be better friends and neighbors and co-workers and parents.
And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their death helps usher in more civility in our public discourse, let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy -- it did not -- but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation in a way that would make them proud.
And I believe that, for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us."
HAS HE FOLLOWED WHAT HE ASKED US TO DO?
Though I know he is a good man, he has not even come close to following his own admonitions.
I know he is under extreme pressure and in a negative environment, but, I believe, we are looking for him to be "the adult in the room" - and the President does not seem to be one. There are only a few, but I had hoped he would be one of them.
The man who says he wants to unite us has divided us more than any time I can remember. The rhetoric is good, the follow through is not.
Accusing Republicans of holding a gun to the head of the American people
Obama is the first president since Richard Nixon to personally launch verbal assaults on his enemies.
"Don't think we're not keeping score, brother," Obama famously told Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon.
Univision radio, Obama urged Hispanic votes for Democrats, and said: "If Latinos sit out the election instead of, 'we're going to punish our enemies and we're going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us'
Talks on extending tax cuts: It's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers
That "tells me they are more interested in politics ... than they are in solving the problem."
I'm a warrior for the middle class.
Blames GOP for debt limit battle, budget battle, immigration reform vailure,
"I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street,"
And much, much more. Not being an adult by any stretch of the imagination.
FAILURE TO STAND FOR WHAT HE DECLARED - THE HOFFA SPEECH
Jimmy Hoffa, September 5, 2011, right before the President spoke:
"We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere - it is the Tea Party. And you know there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is that we like a good fight. And you know what? They've got a war, they got a war with us and there's only going to be one winner. It's going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We're going to win that war," Jimmy Hoffa Jr. said to a heavily union crowd.
President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong."
Perhaps in the understandable fear of political loss, the President did not speak up and stand for what he said, in the Tucson speech, that he wanted us to live into.
Later, when there were one or two people in a large audience who booed a comment from a gay soldier , blamed the Republican candidates for not addressing that and for prejudice against gays, although no one knows if the reaction was to the content only (which is much more logical) - but he appears to have manipulated it. "We don't believe in standing silent when that happens", he says, while standing silent after the Hoffa speech.
Biden was at an AFL-CIO rally when he told union members: “You are the only folks keeping the barbarians from the gates…the other side has declared war on labour’s house.” (Obama was present at the same rally, but said nothing.)
THERE IS NO VALID EXCUSE
It is not a valid reason to say, like a child would, "well, the other side did it".