Mr. Obama continued, "But what we can't do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. 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 us 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 our hopes and dreams are bound together." Bravo, Mr. President, bravo!
Alas, that détente disappeared faster than Kool-Aid at an Obama rally, faster than a bottle of Jack Daniels at the Kennedy compound, and even faster than the results of a paternity test at the California governor's mansion. No sooner had the dead been laid to rest in Arizona than Democrats were back on the hyperbolic, rhetorical offensive, ascribing the worst motives possible to their political opponents. Charges of racism, hatred, apathy towards suffering, and many more abounded. Consider:
After Senate Democrats failed to pass or even vote on a single budget for more than two years, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that it would be "foolish" for Democrats to pass a budget, after letting the country's fiscal crisis get ever more perilous so they can take cheap shots at Republicans while making sure they have no budget votes to haunt them, Democrats now accuse Paul Ryan and the Republicans of murdering the elderly. In an ad released during the recent NY-26 special election, Democrats depict a Ryan look-alike pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair through the woods and out of a clearing to the edge of the cliff. As the elderly woman begins to panic, realizing her fate, the Ryan-clone shoves her over the cliff and to her death.
This is civility? Accusing your political opponents of pre-meditated murder so that the rich can keep their tax cuts? The left went into a frothing at the mouth, rabid hysteria over Sarah Palin's "death panels" comment, yet the ObamaCare law grants a board of unelected bureaucrats power to decided whether or not government will pay for (and therefore, if a patient will receive) treatments based on a government-formulated assessment of the value of that person's life to society.
On the other hand, the Ryan budget actually provides for near-double digit increases in Medicare funding, while introducing block grants to states and other free market mechanisms which would reduce costs and increase accountability through competition (something the left despises since it clearly identifies winners and losers), and for this they are accused of killing old people? Until Democrats back off of their unwavering support for taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood abortion mills, which are responsible for the deaths of far more innocents in fact than Ryan's Medicare reforms would be in theory, I really have a low threshold of tolerance for their hypocritical, moralizing lectures.
The accusations against Republicans did not end there though. In Obama's budget speech, he accused Republicans of heartlessness, saying that the Ryan budget would "give" (as if they had been given the money instead of earning it) "millionaires and billionaires" more money while leaving "poor children," "children with autism" and "kids with disabilities" to "fend for themselves." Absolutely nothing in the Ryan budget justifies such slanderous lies; but then, the truth has never gotten in the way of Obama spinning a yarn of lies, misrepresentation and deceit when it suits his purposes. After all, this is the same man that told a group of Hispanics that they needed to support him and the Democrats last November because "We're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends." Heck, we could have a victorious end to the war in Afghanistan by the middle of next week if we could convince Obama that the Taliban is trying to cut taxes for the wealthy and reform entitlement spending. He'd send in SEAL Team Six and take every last one of them out.
Last month, making a speech near the Mexican border, Obama accused Republicans of racism for wanting a secure border. It couldn't possibly be drug, gun and sex trafficking that results from this unabated influx of illegals, or the Americans and law enforcement agents that have died as a result. No, it must be racism. Obama joked that Republicans wouldn't be happy unless we built a moat on the border and filled it with alligators to devour all of those pesky Mexicans. Way to set high that bar of civility, Mr. President.
When gas prices hit $3 per gallon under Bush, Democrats blamed it that president, accusing him of using his power to enrich his buddies in the oil and gas industry. When gas hit $4 per gallon under Obama, somehow it is still Republicans' fault. On the other side of the coin, a recent admission by Barney Frank that he used his influence to land a high-ranking job at Fannie Mae for his gay lover, Herb Moses, drew no more than a yawn from the media. At the time, Frank was chairman of the House oversight committee responsible for monitoring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ... the same Fannie and Freddie that he proclaimed were the picture of fiscal health and regulatory responsibility ... just before they collapsed, costing the taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout money.
Also receiving scant attention was the recent re-signing of the PATRIOT Act by Barack Obama, the counterterrorism law that he adamantly opposed under Bush. Under Bush, liberals and Democrats screamed bloody murder, proclaiming it to be the end of our civil rights, regaling us with visions of jackbooted storm troopers breaking into innocent citizens' homes, spying on them, torturing them and turning America into a fascist hell. Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall many Democrat politicians taking to the airwaves when Obama reauthorized the law, lamenting it was the end of liberty. I don't recall leftist organizations warning us of the nightmarish repercussions.
Personally, I don't get all that worked up over hyperbolic political speech. No one of any intelligence will believe that Republican efforts to reform Medicare result from a desire to kill old people, or that our desire to secure the border and combat drug and gang crime is because we loathe our melanin-enhanced brethren. No one of intelligence believes that conservatives want poor children to starve or go without medical care, or that we'd happily destroy the environment we have to live in to make a few extra bucks. And those not intelligent enough to discern hyperbole from reality are going to vote Democrat anyway, so there is no point in wasting our breath convincing them otherwise.
No, it's not the slanderous hyperbole directed at conservatives and Republicans that grates on me, it is the fact that I have to be lectured to on the need for civility by people accusing their political opponents of the most hateful, racist, homophobic, sexist, uncharitable behavior. That just gets annoying.
Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville resident, married, with eight children. He is chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be emailed at email@example.com.