Brushing aside legitimate criticism, concerns, and harsh questioning of the Obama Administration in wake of the Christmas “dingaling” bomber (as talk radio host Michael Medved refers to Umar Farouk Abdulmullatab), President Obama concluded his weekly radio address (January 2, 2010) with the following call for national unity:
But as we go forward, let us remember this-our adversaries are those who would attack our country, not our fellow Americans, not each other. Let’s never forget what has always carried us through times of trial, including those attacks eight Septembers ago. [Did he just invoke 9/11 (not the first time, actually)? Something President Bush was criticized for doing repeatedly?- wordsmith]
Instead of giving in to fear and cynicism, let’s renew that timeless American spirit of resolve and confidence and optimism. Instead of succumbing to partisanship and division, let’s summon the unity that this moment demands. Let’s work together, with a seriousness of purpose, to do what must be done to keep our country safe.
As we begin this New Year, I cannot imagine a more fitting resolution to guide us-as a people and as a nation.
As Medved pointed out in his program Monday, if the president wishes for politics to “stop at the water’s edge”, why then did he feel it necessary to include the following, earlier in the same speech:
It’s why I refocused the fight-bringing to a responsible end the war in Iraq, which had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks [he's used this line in past speeches- wordsmith], and dramatically increasing our resources in the region where al Qaeda is actually based, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s why I’ve set a clear and achievable mission-to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies and prevent their return to either country.
Why does the “new kind of politician who rises above the petty Washington politics of old” never botheres to reach across the partisan divide himself and acknowledge that President Bush kept us safe since 9/11?
What is it with Mr. Unity, Barack Obama, who calls for the nation to come together at this particular moment, even as he sticks in politically partisan cheap shots within the same speech? As Michael Medved points out, how about leading by example, Mr. President?
Michael Medved writing in USA Today:
Obama undermines his own unity pleas by inserting cheap shots against his predecessor in even high-minded public pronouncements. His Nobel speech explicitly praised America’s battles in Afghanistan and in the first Iraq war 19 years ago, conspicuously excluding the current Iraqi conflict (in which soldiers continue to sacrifice). He also emphasized his decision to close Guantanamo a surefire applause line for his European audience but an utterly gratuitous slap at George W. Bush. Similarly, the big Afghanistan speech featured an out-of-context slam of the prior president’s decisions on Iraq. The whole world knows that Obama represents a fresh start, so these reminders of the raging disagreements of the Bush years unnecessarily undermine the spirit of solidarity the new president seeks.
Repeating the mantra “Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11″ is a politically partisan cheap-shot that stands only to alienate Americans such as myself, who rejects the conventional mainstream understanding of that statement.
Would excluding that gratuitous cheap-shot have weakened his radio address? No. Such partisan sniping is “sooo yesterday’s news”; and amongst his fellow liberals, so passé: Been there, believed that..time to moveon.org to the present…None of them need reminding of what a “miserable failure” “King George” was.
But President Obama can’t help himself because he is not the president everyone who voted for him wishes him to be: A great American president who can unite the nation. Nope. He is a divisive liberal president who represents only one side of the country. The wrong side. He is not conducting himself as the American president, but as the liberal Democrat president.
I’m not the one with the unity problem. I’m not the one who has trouble leaving politics behind at the water’s edge. President Obama is the partisan problem. And the saddest part is he can’t even see it; nor would it appear, can any of his advisors recognize his divisiveness.