I know that every statement made by Barack Obama comes with an expiration date, but this one’s ridiculous. May 1st, 2010:
You can disagree with a certain policy without demonizing the person who espouses it. You can question somebody’s views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism. (Applause.) Throwing around phrases like “socialists” and “Soviet-style takeover” and “fascist” and “right-wing nut” — (laughter) — that may grab headlines, but it also has the effect of comparing our government, our political opponents, to authoritarian, even murderous regimes.
Now, we’ve seen this kind of politics in the past. It’s been practiced by both fringes of the ideological spectrum, by the left and the right, since our nation’s birth. But it’s starting to creep into the center of our discourse. And the problem with it is not the hurt feelings or the bruised egos of the public officials who are criticized. Remember, they signed up for it. Michelle always reminds me of that. (Laughter.) The problem is that this kind of vilification and over-the-top rhetoric closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation.
Check the label on that one, because it should read May 4, 2010, as Jake Tapper reports:
Three days after he decried the lack of civility in American politics, President Obama is quoted in a new book about his presidency referring to the Tea Party movement using a derogatory term with sexual connotations.
In Jonathan Alter’s “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,”President Obama is quoted in an November 30, 2009, interview saying that the unanimous vote of House Republicans vote against the stimulus bills “set the tenor for the whole year … That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.”
Tea Party activists loathe the term “tea baggers,” which has emerged in liberal media outlets and elsewhere as a method of mocking the activists and their concerns.
In that same May Day speech, Obama also challenged University of Michigan graduates to watch more than one television station and read more than one blog. Maybe Obama needs to watch something other than MS-NBC to get his news.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
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