Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dear Leader condemns "anti-government rhetoric."

The AP story here.

May 1, 2:14 PM EDT

Obama takes direct aim at anti-government rhetoric

By PETE YOST and MARK S. SMITH
Associated Press Writers

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- In a blunt caution to political friend and foe, President Barack Obama said Saturday that partisan rants and name-calling under the guise of legitimate discourse pose a serious danger to America's democracy, and may incite "extreme elements" to violence.

The comments, in a graduation speech at the University of Michigan's huge football stadium, were Obama's most direct take about the angry politics that have engulfed his young presidency after long clashes over health care, taxes and the role of government.

Not 50 miles from where Obama spoke, the GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, denounced his policies as "big government" strategies being imposed on average Americans. "The fundamental transformation of America is not what we all bargained for," she told 2,000 activists at a forum in Clarkston, sponsored by the anti-tax Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

Obama drew repeated cheers in Michigan Stadium from a friendly crowd that aides called the biggest audience of his presidency since the inauguration. The venue has a capacity of 106,201, and university officials distributed 80,000 tickets - before they ran out.

In his 31-minute speech, Obama didn't mention either Palin or the tea party movement that's captured headlines with its fierce attacks on his policies. But he took direct aim at the anti-government language so prevalent today.

"What troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad," Obama said after receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree. "When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us."

Government, he said, is the roads we drive on and the speed limits that keep us safe. It's the men and women in the military, the inspectors in our mines, the pioneering researchers in public universities.

The financial meltdown dramatically showed the dangers of too little government, he said, "when a lack of accountability on Wall Street nearly led to the collapse of our entire economy."

But Obama was direct in urging both sides in the political debate to tone it down. "Throwing around phrases like 'socialists' and 'Soviet-style takeover,' 'fascists' and 'right-wing nut' - that may grab headlines," he said. But it also "closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation," he said.

"At its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response."

Passionate rhetoric isn't new, he acknowledged. Politics in America, he said, "has never been for the thin-skinned or the faint of heart. ... If you enter the arena, you should expect to get roughed up."

Obama hoped the graduates hearing his words can avoid cynicism and brush off the overheated noise of politics. In fact, he said, they should seek out opposing views.

His advice: If you're a regular Glenn Beck listener, then check out the Huffington Post sometimes. If you read The New York Times editorial page the morning, then glance every now and then at The Wall Street Journal.

"It may make your blood boil. Your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship," he said.


The entire transcript is here.

39 comments:

D said...

Obama Says "it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us."

Hmm, guess he never got the memo that the US is a Constitutional Republic. Maybe he should read that fact book published online by the CIA. Also, our government is not us, it is supposed to represent the majority of us but it does not define us.

MPA dragon said...

"What troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad," Obama said after receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree. "When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us."

When will the leftists read our Constitution and realize that we do not indeed have a Democracy? When will they realize that "our" government is indeed menacing? When will he realize that there is no "our" when he is apparently at least unAmerican and possibly a Martian.

Tangalor said...

"When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us."

There's that Democracy word again.

Excuse me while I attempt to muster up some surprise about all of this. Just another warning to knock off the dissent or face being killed, ultimately.

jon said...

Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."

neitzsche.

dwayne chandler said...

"the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship." Oblahma, May, 1, 2010.

My dick wants to laugh.

dwayne chandler.

Uncle Al said...

[pedantMode]
...the govt is we.
[/pedantMode]

Except, of course, that it not only is not supposed to be, but also after generations of gerrymandering and ballot "access" laws govt is thoroughly controlled by a self-selected self-regarded elite.

Charlie said...

Well, we condemn unconstitutional government. So there.

re: "a serious danger to America's democracy"

REPUBLIC!

re: "incite "extreme elements" to violence"

Which side is threatening violence?

re: "in our democracy, government is us"

Constitution be damned? Individual rights be damned? What about when the majority is wrong? What are the limits of this "democracy?" Can 51% of the public vote away the rights of the other 49%?

re: "But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship"

True, if for no other reason than understanding the mind of your opponent.

sofa said...

"Dear Leader condemns "anti-government rhetoric.""

And we the people comdemn anti-American actions.

dennis308 said...

Is this the same Obama that just a couple of weeks ago made fun of the Tea Partiers when he was in California. And why won´t he take the time to read one of these opposing views called The Constitution of the United States of America then he would see that we are a Constitutional Republic He keeps on spewing this Democracy Bull Shit and to many people now believe that is the truth.
I believe that he has now made his appearance as peace maker so that his minions can find a manner to blame the RADICAL RIGHT for some action that they are about to initiate. I have absolutely no trust in this man or his minions and believe that they are capable of anything.

Dennis
III
Texas

Slobyskya Rotchakokov said...

Then using this asshole's logic, HE should take a look at the Constitution of the United States of America... just to see the opposing viewpoint.
Lying Kenyan commie bastard - he apparently fancies himself another Uncle Joe Stalin... "They dare speak against the government? Get their names~! Such speech cannot be allowed!"
Just remember that lists work both ways before making your next move, comrade hussein.

Charlie said...

Excellent quote, Jon. Most excellent.

Good_ol_Al said...

I am not anti-government, just the corrupt scoundrels running it.

rexxhead said...

I've heard and read all those opposing views and have concluded that they are valueless.

Where to now?

chinasyndrome said...

Obummer just doesn't get it.The Government should be us,is supposed to be us,alas it is not us.You do as you please no matter what we want.Dear sir keep up what your doing you may meet Us.

China
III

Brutus said...

Of course, with this type of rhetoric from the president and the various government entities (DHS) all the way down to the local yokels (Fusion Centers) ... you do know where this is all heading ... right?

Ah yes, and lest I forget ... our 1st amendment free press.

We are being warned to be very afraid because they are preparing for our ... consequences ... if we don't.

Piss on the president (and piss on Bush too).

Pwai said...

I find this enlightening:

'When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.'

We The People are "the government"

We The People are the ones currently being spoken of as "some menacing, threatening foreign entity..." on a daily basis.

And the last part shows that he believes the two-fold fallacy that America is a popular democracy, and that he and his co-workers are actually the ones with the final word, above and beyond We The People.

So through elaborate and demented augmentation of word meanings, he hasn't told one lie in his mind.

Taylor H said...

Well, at least he acknowledges that everyone doesn't like him.

Anonymous said...

This entire speech is some straight-out-of-the-Lenin-handbook level subversive disinformation. Tell a lie 100 times and it becomes truth. It is just designed to infuriate and confuse you. Perfect example:

The financial meltdown dramatically showed the dangers of too little government, he said, "when a lack of accountability on Wall Street nearly led to the collapse of our entire economy."

Is there anyone on here who can read that and not immediately have a near-seizure due to the insane reversal of facts in that statement?

Anonymous said...

Also, can anyone explain to be the dangers of too little government within the context of the "Wall Street financial meltdown"? What I mean is how can a corporatist state exist without the proxy of government to steal from the citizenry to socialize their losses?

Anonymous said...

"His advice: If you're a regular Glenn Beck listener, then check out the Huffington Post sometimes. If you read The New York Times editorial page the morning, then glance every now and then at The Wall Street Journal."

I fail to see how The Wall Street Journal, which is a shill for the anti-gun corporatist right can be a counterbalance to The New York Times, which is a shill for the anti-gun liberal Left.

Pick yer poison, folks.

MALTHUS

Anonymous said...

This is what all tyrants do - oppose and decry any criticism of their rule - usually to the point of hunting down, kidnapping and "disappearing" those critics.

" . . . the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship," he said."

So, reason, logic and common sense don't come into the equation? We are supposed to accept lies and betrayal by the corporate elite (or communist elite - they're merely two sides of the SAME COIN) who run this world as the way things are supposed to be? And allow self-destructive behavior to run rampant? What is the matter with this fool? What is the matter with those who support him and his ideas?

Matter of fact, I have begun to ask myself the basic question "what is the matter with this whole society?" This entire worldwide society is acting as someone who is in total and abject denial of the problem, which is so obvious to a seemingly (very) few of us. We seem to be acting like the abused wife, who, having grown up in an abusive household, knows only the survival techniques learned in that environment, so keeps going back to her abusive husband because that's what she KNOWS how to deal with.

She doesn't know how to deal with anything else - especially real freedom, power, self confidence and love.

I hope, for this country's sake, that "we the people", the Americans and the states (the wife) divorces this insane government (walks out on the husband) before it becomes necessary to protect ourselves with force (by killing the son-of-a-bitch).

-JRM
III

straightarrow said...

Is it "us" when 70% of Americans who opposed the HCR were ignored?

Is it us when restrictions on that which "shall not be infringed" is infringed?

Is it us when SWAT or their brothers are MFFT are deployed to roust grannies who are exercising the first amendment?

Is it us? Is it us? I think not!

Even if this were a democracy, which it is not, it definitely isn't "us". It may never be "us" until we give them substantial reason to fear "us".

suek said...

"It may make your blood boil. Your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship," he said.

'In a blunt caution to political friend and foe, President Barack Obama said Saturday that partisan rants and name-calling under the guise of legitimate discourse pose a serious danger to America's democracy, and may incite "extreme elements" to violence.'

He should take his own advice. Talk about contradicting oneself...!

What it says to me is "Of course you're welcome to your own opinion - as long as it agrees with mine"

Charlie said...

Thank you, Anonymous@1546, you make a very good point.

The only time a corporation becomes "too big to fail" is when the government sees it as its duty to socialize corporate losses.

TJP said...

Pure democracy only works on a small scale. On a larger scale, governance is legitimized by a minority of people who actually vote, and directed by an even smaller minority whose political party is in power. So, in reality, humans are capable of only one form of governance: the strong beat up on the weak and steal from them.

I admire the Founder's wisdom and the Constitution as much as the next person, but maintaining that is far too much work for people who would rather that governance is reduced to a simpleton's choice of the tariff or the rod. Unless a politician vows to do absolutely nothing about an issue, we are being forced to choose between the tariff and the rod.

Along the lines of my previous comment about the ludicrous suggestion that defense may be construed as a threat, I thought you'd all like to know that inquiry is also a threat. We may therefore deduce that our fe'ral gov't is threatened by accountability and any means to establish it--even asking casual questions.

Rhodes said...

Mr. President you and your government sir and we share nothing more in common than the wolf and the watchdog. While both may seem to share outward similarities the sense of purposes could not be more different.

Should you wish to be as we then strive to be more liken to Jefferson than King George. If not please at least refrain from insulting our character with such comparison.

Anonymous said...

He's just greasing the skids for the false flag "Riechstag" event before the November elections.

Dan said...

I apologize.
I'm a little drunk.
The only thing I can say is...
FUCK HIM!
How many shitty countries talk about being democratic?
Some feel the need to put iot in their nam, to fool somebody.
This asshole has no idea that we are a representative republic.
Demopcracy is dangerous.
Tyrants love mob rule.
History is going to repeat.

DMS said...

I started trying to deconstruct Obama's speech but was soon overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. His speech is a reeking Augean Stables of equivocations, conflations, and outright lies, sitting precariously on a putrescent landfill of false premises and stolen concepts. I'm not sure which is more frightening: that the "Leader of the Free World" spouts such obviously carefully crafted gibberish, or that a significant number of people are taken in by it.

David M. Schmidt
III

Dakota said...

What kind of an asshole makes a speech like that at a graduation. Using a graduation podium to threaten and incite is .... amazing.

I thought graduation speeches were for inspiration not condemnation.

Neil E. Wright said...

Obama called for greater tolerance in a "poisonous political climate." He criticized both ends of the political spectrum for using words such as "socialist," "fascist" and "Soviet-style takeover" and lamented that such thinking has begun "to creep into the center of our discourse."

"This kind of vilification and over-the-top rhetoric closes the door to the possibility of compromise,"

NO MORE COMPROMISE!

....snip....
COMPROMISE NEVER WORKS with wanna be tyrants and dictators. All that "compromise" does is buy time for the tyrants and dictators to further undermine the foundations of our once free nation.

FREEDOM!

Witchwood said...

When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.

Following the Kenyan's logic, unlimited government = unlimited representation. Hence, there is no real reason to limit government in any way. Obama unabashedly seeks unlimited government.

His advice: If you're a regular Glenn Beck listener, then check out the Huffington Post sometimes. If you read The New York Times editorial page the morning, then glance every now and then at The Wall Street Journal.

I see no reference to genuine conservatism in this remark. Since a neo-con is properly understood as a right-liberal, the only options worth mentioning to Obama are far-left or center-left. Pass.

Snaggle-Tooth Jones said...

He, like Bubba Clinton before him, is telling a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The fact is, he's simply not in control of what is about to happen.

Amd I'm guessing he knows it.

dennis308 said...

Obama using the Transcontinental Railroad as a example of how well Big Government works is kind of ominous.
The Transcontinental Railroad was one of the most Corrupted Endeavors ever committed by the Government and Private Enterprise. The Railroad Companies were Granted Loans and ¨Right of Way¨over vast ares of open land and owned either 1 or 2 miles of that land on each side of the tracks.But at the East end and also in the West some of the lands that the Railroads wished to acquire was already owned. The Railroads would sometimes offer to buy this land usually at much less than it´s actual value and if the farmer or rancher would not sell the Rail companies would either burn them out or out right kill the people in their way. All of this was done despite a large outcry from the people, Newspaper articles, people writing their Governors and Representatives,(kind of like the Health Care of today).And the people who did stand in the way of this Great National Project were often called Unpatriotic and ridiculed in the more Progressive News Papers just like some are now doing.
I believe this was the largest abuses of what the Government likes to call Imminent Domane in History even up to the present day.
But it was all for the National Interest and Our Own Good, sound familiar.

Dennis
III
Texas

Anonymous said...

What is about to happen, Mr. Jones?

They're working feverishly on amnesty, biometric ID, and Puerto Rico, to hike the pro-communist / welfare-state-client vote and simultaneously threaten the opposition with a new tool to facilitate repression.

My guess is that both sides of the treasonous aisle are going to sell a combination amnesty + "papiere, bitte" atrocity to the clueless masses.

The leftie statists will approve of the tens of millions of new Democrat voters, and the rightie statists will rejoice that new "unforgeable" papers will in theory allow for a more effective immigration control (and most definitely an effective dissident control, but they aren't able to think one step ahead).

Where does this leave the minority constitutionalist, other than fucked or in a state of armed rebellion?

If they wanted to control the southern border, they could have easily done so decades ago. This ID thing is aimed squaredly at suppressing dissent.

-S
III

straightarrow said...

Well, so much for the sincerest form of patriotism.

Dedicated_Dad said...

"D" said "...our government is not us, it is supposed to represent the majority of us but it does not define us..."

Actually, Each Senator is supposed to represent HIS STATE. Each Congressman is supposed to represent THE PEOPLE of HIS DISTRICT. In extreme cases, a MAJORITY of the people therein.

*NONE* of these fools is doing anything of the sort anymore. ALL are representing nothing more than the wishes of the biggest donors to his/her branch (Republitards/Commucrats) of The Government Party.

This is the biggest problem, because it leads to the sort of abrogation of Liberty and our Constitution that has created all other problems.

"MPA dragon" said "When will the leftists read our Constitution and realize ... When will they realize ... When will he realize that ...

As brevity is the essence of eloquence, I am compelled to "Fix That For You":

"When will the leftists read our Constitution?"

There. FTFY!

Anonymous @ 05:09 said "...Where does this leave the minority constitutionalist, other than fucked or in a state of armed rebellion?..."

I'll take "In a state of armed rebellion for all I have", Alex!

As to the OP, the bit about listening to The Slimes or Huff-Po -- the former is no better than Pravda at its worst, the latter is... Well...

Bugg-NUTS! Seriously -- those people are as unhinged as their Masters like to claim *WE* are.

I've spent too many years of my life sharing a household with a person whose mental illness and the violence spawned thereby was barely -- and usually 100, totally **UN-** controlled.

Reading a forum full of posts all made by such loons is more than I can stand.

The only thing I ever manage to take away from such descents into madness is an echoing line from Dr. Seuss' "Cat in the Hat" -- "This mess is so big, so great and so tall, there's no way to fix it -- there's no way at all!!"

God help us -- and God Save Our Republic!!

DD

Joel said...

I've read the full transcript, but - trust me - the full context isn't much better unfortunately.

My initial thought was: No, Mr. President, we are NOT against government. If we were against the concept of government then we would be for the state of anarchy. Which, I know for myself, I am not.

However, we ARE against a corrupt Federal Government which has over-stepped the legal binds placed upon it by our Constitution.

But this talk of being "anti-government," from our President, is no different than the accusation of being "anti-immigrant," versus "anti-illegal immigration."

My second though was on the issue of the word "Democracy." We are a "Republic" in the technical sense, and not a democracy.

In pure democracy the majority would trample the minority. A Republic was sense as a sensible balance between a monarchy and a democracy.

However, don't hold your breath for the Public Schools to teach the above points.

Happy D said...

"His advice: If you're a regular Glenn Beck listener, then check out the Huffington Post sometimes."

Research on this issue shows that non-leftists are already more likely to look up opposing views.

As usual don't trust me look it up for yourself.