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May 13, 2011

Krauthammer on the El Paso speech: 'Breathtaking invention and statistical sleight of hand'

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Charles Krauthammer has much to say about Obama's recent immigration speech, and manages to succinctly and appropriately define it as one that perfectly illustrates Obama's political style: "Professorial, almost therapeutic, invitation to civil discourse, wrapped around the basest of rhetorical devices -- charges of malice compounded with accusations of bad faith":

"I"m going to do my part to lead a constructive and civil debate on these issues."

- Barack Obama, speech on immigration, El Paso, Tex., May 10

Constructive and civil debate - like the one Obama initiated just four weeks ago on deficit reduction? The speech in which he accused the Republicans of abandoning families of autistic and Down syndrome kids? The debate in which Obama's secretary of health and human services said that the Republican plan would make old folks "die sooner"?

In this same spirit of comity and mutual respect, Obama's most recent invitation to civil discourse - on immigration - came just 11 minutes after he accused opponents of moving the goal posts on border enforcement. "Maybe they'll need a moat," he said sarcastically. "Maybe they want alligators in the moat."

Nice touch. Looks like the Tucson truce - no demonization, no cross-hairs metaphors - is officially over. After all, the Republicans want to kill off the elderly, throw the disabled in the snow and watch alligators lunch on illegal immigrants.

The El Paso speech is notable not for breaking any new ground on immigration, but for perfectly illustrating Obama's political style: the professorial, almost therapeutic, invitation to civil discourse, wrapped around the basest of rhetorical devices - charges of malice compounded with accusations of bad faith. "They'll never be satisfied," said Obama about border control. "And I understand that. That's politics."

How understanding. The other side plays "politics," Obama acts in the public interest. Their eyes are on poll numbers, political power, the next election; Obama's rest fixedly on the little children.

This impugning of motives is an Obama constant. "They" play politics with deficit reduction, with government shutdowns, with health care. And now immigration. It is ironic that such a charge should be made in a speech that is nothing but politics. There is zero chance of any immigration legislation passing Congress in the next two years. El Paso was simply an attempt to gin up the Hispanic vote as part of an openly political two-city, three-event campaign swing in preparation for 2012.

Accordingly, the El Paso speech featured two other staples: the breathtaking invention and the statistical sleight of hand. (all emphasis mine)

Take the time to read the whole thing.

Krauthammer is essentially saying that the El Paso speech is epic (yet typical for Obama) dishonesty, distortion, deception and political thuggery by using all manner of lies and slight of hand to vilify his political opponents (which the president sees as anyone who disagrees with him). And like Krauthammer appropriately points out, the El Paso speech perfectly illustrates Obama's political style.

However, Krauthammer isn't alone in his assessment of the speech.

Stacy McCain calls it "a masterpiece of distortion, distraction and outright lies":

Obama lied about the border fence, he lied about Republicans, and he lied about who it is that's playing politics with the issue: It's him.
Jake Tapper found that Obama got only two facts right:
1. There is a country called "Mexico," and
2. It has a border.
Herman Cain (via Stacy McCain) says that Obama is not only out of touch with what's really going on ... he has absolutely no intentions of getting serious about making it a priority [to] empower the states. Cain goes on to note that the only reason the president is talking about immigration reform now is to distract from failed economic policies, distract from the fact that unemployment has gone back up to 9%, distract from the fact that there are things he can do to bring down gasoline prices such as announcing a drill here, drill now plan, this is just another diversionary tactic to get most of the people focused on his lack of common sense solutions for all the other issues we face:

Rick over at Wizbang remembers Bill Clinton and the much deserved reputation he gained for being an extraordinary liar, and thinks we can now say with confidence that Clinton's habitual problems with the truth pale in comparison to Obama's. This President's penchant for prevarication is unmatched. He makes Clinton look like Mother Theresa.

Rick's analogy is spot-on ... Barack Obama is in a whole new league all by himself, we've never seen such an unprincipled, dishonest, ruthless, say-anything-for-political-gain, opponent-vilifying, politician in our lifetime.

And as for Obama's claim that he wants to do his part to "lead constructive and civil debate" ... the man not only lacks the character and ability to do so, he clearly doesn't even know what it means.

Putting it rather simply, the people of the United States of America elected in 2008 the most unqualified, dishonest, ill-informed, ruthless, unprincipled, power hungry president in history, and the he managed to perfectly illustrated all of these attributes in just one speech. Let's 'hope' that we don't make the same mistake in 2012!

Related: Where Obama's Border Lies

Posted by Hyscience at May 13, 2011 6:52 AM

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