Tucker Carlson makes a good point: We will learn exactly what kind of man Barack Obama is tonight, when he speaks in Tuscon:
Obama’s political fortunes have been in dramatic decline recently, so it’s understandable why he and his advisers might view the killings in Tucson as a lifeline. They should resist the temptation. The president should memorialize the victims of this tragedy. He should highlight the heroism we saw during the event. And then he should stop.
It’s hard to believe he will. Instead, the president is likely to call for a change in our political discourse. He’ll ask Americans to treat their political opponents with respect, to tone down the rhetoric, to stop demonizing one another. Few would argue with that sentiment. But it’s the context that counts.
The suggestion – and it will surely be implied rather than stated – is that the killings in Tucson are the result of overheated political debate, a talk radio segment gone bad. And as a factual matter that’s not true. It’s a lie, designed to help Barack Obama and hurt his political enemies. It is in fact a sophisticated example of what the president himself will seem to be decrying: the politics of personal destruction.
Let’s hope the president pulls back tonight, and honors the memory of those who died by refusing to seek political advantage. We’ll know a lot more about what sort of man Barack Obama is by the time his speech is over.
Some of us already have a pretty good idea, but this will likely seal it for those who were still willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt. For myself, I pray that he says the right thing. But for a man who was sold to us as a deep, brilliant, thinker, he oft has a real knack for becoming self-centered at the time when selflessness is called for most. Not to mention a growing ability to put his foot in his mouth, and offend folks at every turn...
If history is any guide, Democrats have done quite the poor job at memorials like these, tending to turn them into partisan sideshows.
Obama claims he is a student of history. The validity of that claim, too, will be tested tonight...