Friday, January 14, 2011

What Is It with Women from Alaska Who Can See Critical Issues Others Can't?

Liberal Kirsten Powers (from Alaska):
"True, as always, [President Obama] delivered as “Healer-in-Chief” and provided inspiration. This was Job 1 for the speech.

"But there was another job: shutting down the nonsense about how Sarah Palin or right-wing talkers caused the shooting. This matters not only because it’s important to tell the truth, but also because it would set the stage to move on to really examining the true causes of this nightmare massacre."
. . .
"When the president did lay blame, it was on Americans in general. Among the many odd assertions he made: suggesting that “what a tragedy like this requires” is that “we align our values with our actions.” We were told to “expand our moral imaginations.”


"A mentally ill gunman opened fire at a Safeway. A lack of “aligning” or “imagination” really wasn’t the problem. Obama chided Americans to “be better,” as if we somehow caused this shooting to happen. He said, “We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us.”

"Now if Obama isn’t talking about political discourse here, I don’t know what he’s talking about. Certainly he can’t be suggesting that how you treat the mailman or your mother is at issue.

"Let’s be clear: How we “treat each other” also is not what caused this shooting. Mental illness combined with a gun and a 33-round high-capacity magazine collided to produce a tragedy. This may not have been the venue to discuss this in such pointed terms, but it also should not have been used as an opportunity to push further into the media bloodstream the lie that hostile rhetoric or incivility even played a role in this, let alone caused it."
[emphasis added]
Does it take an intelligent, insightful woman from Alaska to get to the center of the issue? Seems so.

UPDATE: Maybe Powers' argument is one that only a liberal could make without sounding sour grapes or as always carping at the president even when he does something positive. (Powers' first point.) Thus, conservative/Republican praise for the speech shows civility and gentlemanly-ness, more than insightful analysis.

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