In the wake of the Arizona massacre, much has been written by so-called reporters, journalists, commentators, political pundits and bloggers about the Tucson memorial-service-turned-pep-rally featuring President Obama. While I struggled with what to say from my own conservative perspective in Reno, a Facebook friend encapsulated my thoughts and feelings beautifully. I suspect that many of you feel the same way, so here are the thoughtful words of Thomas Lynch, a Harrah’s VIP coordinator from Senatobia, Mississippi:
Earlier this evening, I debated an African-American woman who argued that [the Arizona memorial service] was typical of an African-American church service, where the audience participates with great gusto. I begged to differ….
“This was not an African-American church service. This was a multi-denominational memorial to six people who were murdered three days earlier. I hear but reject your characterization of the event….
First, [when] have you ever been to an African-American church service for a murdered member where they handed out T-Shirts [featuring a political slogan used by Obama’s group, Organizing for America?] Have you been to such an event where people of other faiths or viewpoints who attended and who preached were booed by the congregation [as Governor Jan Brewer was]? Have you been to such a service where the main speaker was more front and center than the subject of the meeting: the dead folk?
Here is what I saw and heard. I saw an immature, pre-selected audience… that included the Mexican immigration reform advocacy group, “Unidos Cuidados Americanos,” [bussed in with reserved seats… who subsequently booed Government Brewer (for her tough immigration control stance), when she tried to speak on behalf of the murdered victims.]
[I saw an audience] virtually identical to Obama’s standard campaign-stop, pre-selected audience: big on noise and light on substance.
I saw a university president acting like a fraternity house officer [who was] utterly infatuated with his role and completely oblivious to the inappropriate attitude of his students. With one off-camera rebuke, he could have changed the entire atmosphere, but he also was too egotistical to curb his ego.
In my view, [the memorial service] was a sickening example of a shameless left capitalizing on a tragedy to promote itself. The campaign-like applause at every pause in the speech [perhaps prompted by the closed captioning “Applause” on the Jumbotron], and Obama’s decision to play into it, made me queasy. [The President], too, had the opportunity to re-cast the atmosphere with a simple, “Remember why we are here,” as a real leader would do. Instead, his ego was too self-possessed to recognize what was happening.
I cannot find a middle ground on this. Obama has no standing and no moral high ground to ask for more reasoned discourse, as he is Public Sinner Number One. He should not even have addressed the issue [of political civility] at all, because the entire subject [was] beyond the scope of a memorial service.
Shame on him, shame on his [handlers] and shame on the University of Arizona. Had I been a guest, I would have left. [It was] a memorial, not political rally.”
Hear, hear, Thomas Lynch, from Senatobia, Mississippi! Thank you for speaking out for We, the (common sense) People of America.
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