Some context first, from the Simpsons:
Homer: I make you kids lots of promises, thats what makes me a good father
Lisa: Actually, keeping promise makes you a good father
Homer: No, that makes me a GREAT father
I bring this up only to point out a bit of glaring hypocrisy in Barack Obama's speech at the Tuscon memorial last night. From the text:
...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 think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that 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 our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.
I believe we can be better....
Are you included in that "we", Mr. president? because you have used a lot of hateful rhetoric yourself in the last few weeks...from calling Republicans hostage takers, to calling Speaker Boehner a "bomb-thrower" who he's "itching to fight", to telling Hispanic voters to "punish their enemies (meaning Republicans, again)...well, you get the point. And that's just very recent history...you're exhortations to Democrats to "punch back twice as hard" and telling supporters that “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” is already the stuff of hateful rhetorical legend...
So can you "do better", Mr. President? Are you capable of talking in a way that "heals, not wounds" ? Can you live up to the standards of a "civil and honest discourse" that your are asking of the entire nation? Or is this just another one of those moral clauses that the political class will be exempt from? Excepting anything any Republican ever says that can somehow be deconstructed into a 16th century insult, of course...
Let's see how your own rhetoric and discourse improves from here, Barack. Are you a man of your word, or - like Homer Simpson - are you much better at saying things than actually, you know...doing them?