April 18, 2007

Obama: Insults, Outsourcing 'Violence'

The culture of victimhood has a new champion, according to the Texas Rainmaker, and that champion is Barack Obama. Faster than someone can say "Ismail Ax", Obama used the Virginia Tech massacre to decry violence in American lives -- but as it turns out, "violence" covers a lot of ground in Obama's political lexicon:

Dem presidential hopeful Barack Obama condemned a violence obsessed culture in his first Wisconsin campaign stop, reflecting on the shooting deaths of more than 30 people at Virginia Tech earlier in the day. ...

The Senator described a culture in which "the violence of children and communities" is ignored, working class jobs are outsourced overseas, and foreign policies are put into place favoring military responses.

Obama also referenced comments radio host Don Imus made last week about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

"There’s a lot of different forms of violence in our society, and so much of it is rooted in our incapacity to recognize ourselves in each other," Obama said to raucous applause. "Last week obviously had to do with Imus and the verbal violence that was directed at women who were role models for all of us."

The news report missed the pertinent quote from Obama, who decried "the violence of men and women who have worked all their lives and suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them because their job is moved to another country."

So, in Obama's world, "violence" includes making a derogatory (and utterly insipid) statement about a women's basketball team, as well as a business decision to relocate. Where exactly is the "violence" in these actions? It used to be that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." That has apparently changed to "names may as well be sticks and stones, because either one will damage my fragile psyche." And if one wants to avoid the "violence" of losing a job, the only way to do so is to never hold one in the first place.

All of this is a despicable attempt by Barack Obama to tie his political platform to the Virginia Tech shootings. Efforts to push gun control in the hours following the shooting may be tacky, but at least the topic relates to the event. For Obama, the shootings are a valuable hook to play his class-warfare cards and to evoke Bobby Kennedy on the campaign trail.

UPDATE: I'm including the relevant clip of the speech, and it actually gets worse. Did you know that ignoring the voice of the children is another form of violence? What's next? Is voting against an insubstantial candidate with only two years of national office who exploits a shooting tragedy for political gain another form of violence that Obama insists we correct?

UPDATE II: Via Instapundit, Mickey Kaus says that the speech "doesn't come off quite as obscene as you'd expect" -- thanks to Obama's near-comatose delivery of it. I noticed that too, and even in the short clip you get the impression that he's mailing in his appearance. He has no energy at all.

UPDATE III: CQ commenter Geoff says that Obama's refusal to acknowledge his pain when his roommate switches off "American Idol" amounts to genocide. That's the spirit, Geoff!


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Comments (20)

Posted by hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:35 AM

The lack of reasoning demonstrated in that kind of speech indicates that Obama will be the Howard Dean of this election - riding high and then crashing.
Unfortunately, that leaves Hillary, who will never get called on anything.

Posted by james23 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:40 AM

What an airhead. Type of thing you'd expect from Katie Kouric, not from a Presidential candidate.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:55 AM

Who writes this stuff? Did Rosy O'Donnell get a job as a speech writer?

Maybe he had no energy, because this inane speech was draining the life out of him, as he read it for the first time.

This is the kind of speech the candidate should write himself.

Posted by Geoff [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:59 AM

What about the violence against me when I want to watch American Idol on the plasma TV, and my room mate is all, "no way dude I'm gonna play Wii" ...?

The fact that Mr. Obama refuses to affirm the pain I feel when I can't watch American Idol is violence against me. No, it's actually worse than violence because it hurts other people too, so actually, it's genocide.

Posted by Doc Neaves [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:04 AM

Shame, I was hoping for more divisiveness in the Dem party, but I guess eventually we were going to get stuck with one or the other anyway. Run Fred Run.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:13 AM

"There’s a lot of different forms of violence in our society, and so much of it is rooted in our incapacity to recognize ourselves in each other," Obama said to raucous applause. "Last week obviously had to do with Imus and the verbal violence that was directed at women who were role models for all of us."

This simply demonstrates how hard-core libs see the world: anything they don't like, anything that's "offensive" or "divisive" gets lumped under the broad category of "hate". The left hates hate! They will not tolerate intolerance!

The fact that he can even for an instant mentally equate what happened at Virginia Tech with somebody losing their job or being called a bad name speaks volumes about his immature and foolish view of the world.

What's next? Will he equate people rooting against the Cubs with the Holocaust?

Politicians are people (almost) like the rest of us and say foolish things that, after a few seconds of reflection, they'd realize that they shouldn't have said. Hopefully, Barry will "revise and extend" his idiot remarks.

By the way, I wonder if those libs in the audience who were greeting his cliches and pap with "raucous applause" can recognize themselves in, oh, Rush Limbaugh or Chimpy McBushitler. Somehow, I doubt it.

Posted by Cousin Dave [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:24 AM

So the liberals are about to do to the word "violence" what they've already done to the word "racism": redefine it to mean "anything liberals don't like".

Obama missed a golden opportunity to establish a presidential image for himself. He's great with college students, and if he had played it low-key and stuck to expressions of support, maybe did a campus visit or two, he could have really advanced his position vs. Hillary. But in equating a bunch of issues that are ticky-tack by comparison, he really trivialized what happened at VT and gave the impression that his own political concerns take precedence in his mind. That's not what people look for in a leader.

Obama's been able to skate on his new-kid-in-town image so far, but that won't last much longer. And I'm afraid we've just seem a demonstration of how his campaign is going to perform under pressure.

Posted by pst314 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:40 AM

"So the liberals are about to do to the word 'violence' what they've already done to the word 'racism': redefine it to mean 'anything liberals don't like'."

Nothing new, sadly. This sort of garbage has been commonplace in universities for decades--at least in humanities departments.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:59 AM

"Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing: crimes of violence.

The act or an instance of violent action or behavior.

Intensity or severity, as in natural phenomena; untamed force: the violence of a tornado.

Abusive or unjust exercise of power.

Abuse or injury to meaning, content, or intent: do violence to a text.

Vehemence of feeling or expression; fervor."

These are the American Heritage definitions of violence. Going by the dictionary definition, Obama's comments seem more reasonable. I can see the connection.

When someone loses a job, especially one they've had for a long time and relied on, that's can cause of "violent" upheaval in their life. And, I say that Obama would argue it's an unjust use of power.

And this statement is absolutely on the money:

"There’s a lot of different forms of violence in our society, and so much of it is rooted in our incapacity to recognize ourselves in each other."

Going back the the topic of incivility on the Web -- "Vehemence of feeling or expression; fervor."

That's exactly what happens, and Obama is exactly right that it has its root in people "demonizing" their opponents.

One of the speeches at my high school graduation cited the Native American expression "don't judge a person before you walk a mile in their shoes."

Those are words I personally try to live by (metaphorically speaking, of course), and something that's lacking overall in our country, but especially on the Internet.

Posted by biwah [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 9:06 AM

As a Dem supporter, a couple of months ago I was feeling pretty good about having three decent candidates to choose from - don't love any of them, but something was bound to shake out...

It might be time to readjust expectations.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 9:14 AM

I think I have it now. Outsourcing is violence. Abortion is not violence. Disagreeing with liberal positions is violence. Disagreeing with conservative positions is free speech. Terrorists who target civilians and children are insurgents. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are civil rights leaders. WMDs found in Iraq are not WMDs. It is not congressional pork but pet projects. It is not amnesty but a guest worker program. Only conservative Republicans are racists. Never mind the snowdrifts outside - global warming is real. Don't question the Left's patriotism - they will question yours instead. Jamil Hussein exists in a metaphorical sense. Fake but accurate. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

Posted by richard mcenroe [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 9:43 AM

"Obama missed a golden opportunity to establish a presidential image for himself. "

Actually, he's establishing exactly the presidential image I expected from him.

Please forgive the violence of this post!

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 9:49 AM

If Obama continues to get in Hillary's way, as Super Tuesday comes closer, then he'll find out what REAL verbal and emotional violence feels like.

Posted by Aitch748 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 11:05 AM

Don Imus made me feel bad. Iraq makes me feel bad. The VTech shooting makes me feel bad. So there's no difference. [/sarcasm]

Posted by biwah [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 11:42 AM

RBMN: Indeed.

He forgot to mention self-inflicted violence, even as he was engaging in it.

Posted by SwabJockey05 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 12:06 PM


Now THAT was clever...with I would have thought of it.

Posted by biwah [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 1:29 PM

What we have here is failure to discriminate.

The same conflationary rhetoric is coming from a fe different points of view. Malkin today puts her own spin on the shooting. Attmepting to tie the liberal bent of academia, she writes:

Instead of teaching students to defend their beliefs, American educators shield them from vigorous intellectual debate.
as the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes, so goes the erosion of physical self-defense.

You can try to tie a pretty bow around that package, but it's still pretty unwieldy. As with Obama, it's not necessarily that she's wrong about academia, or gun control, or about the fact that self-defense could have played a bigger role in curtailing the deaths at VT. Any attempt to get to the actual issues is headed off by the facile attempt to pass it all off as a cohesive narrative of the decline of American society - as seen from a particular collection of political beliefs.

Posted by biwah [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 1:36 PM

Last post heavy on typos, plus misplaced the italic above by a few words.

Also, Malkin link:


Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 3:53 PM

That was silly of Obama. I really thought he was smarter than that. I think that when people begin to campaign, everything becomes part of that campaign, even the mass murder of dozens of college students. It is all about them.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:19 PM

Every word that comes out of a candidates mouth is put under a microscope. Last week Rudys mistakes were being highlighted, next week it will be someone else. Is the election over with yet?