The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

August 28, 2013

Obama can't seem to rise above politics

It’s ironic that President Obama so often carps about politics — blaming “politics as usual” or “hyperpartisanship” for everything from the lack of economic growth to joblessness to climate change — when he is the most relentlessly partisan president in recent memory.

Obama is a staunch left/liberal who finds it very difficult to rise above politics and attempt to unite the country. Arguably, his very best speech, the one delivered in Tucson after the Gabby Giffords shooting, did transcend partisanship. It was an outlier.

The president inserted himself into the Trayvon Martin story in a deeply irresponsible manner. Disregarding the case’s complexities (the fact that Zimmerman was clearly in a fight, the fact that not a particle of evidence suggested racial animus on Zimmerman’s part, the fact that Zimmerman had alerted police to strangers of every description), the president legitimized the racial incitement tactics of Sharpton and Co. by suggesting that a son of his would resemble Trayvon. A son of Obama’s might also resemble Chancey Luna or James Edwards, two of the perpetrators of the depraved murder last week in Oklahoma. That teaches us what exactly?

Unlike the Martin tragedy, the murder of Christopher Lane does appear to have had racial overtones. More than that, Lane’s murder may have been conceived as revenge for Trayvon Martin. One of the killers tweeted, “Ayeee, I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!” followed by a string of expletives. “Woods” is apparently slang for white people. In another tweet, he said, “90 percent of white ppl are nasty. HATE THEM.”

The president has not expressed condolences to the Lane family or to the nation of Australia. You might say that’s not a presidential role. Perhaps. But the secretary of state has been silent, as well, and when a White House spokesman was asked about the case, he said, “I’m not familiar with it, actually.”

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