In the 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address, Barack Obama gave his greatly lauded speech about the fallacy of America being divided into red states and blue states. He talked at length about a new era of bipartisanship. However, President Obama has shown himself to be a divider not a uniter. Much anticipation awaited this President as he assumed office. Many Americans were blinded by the shining promises made by Barack Obama when he addressed the Democratic Convention. Michael Gerson wrote that “it is a sad, unnecessary shame that Barack Obama, the candidate of unity, has so quickly become another source of division.”
The President organized a meeting with Republican leaders to broker a deal on the framework that will shape the vote on extending the Bush tax rates before they expire in just a few days. It was absolutely breathtaking to listen to the President of the United States address the nation over the past two days. His rhetoric was beyond divisive as he attacked the Republicans with whom he had just met to extend the current tax rate for the next two years. He referred to the Republicans as “hostage takers.” You would not believe the entire statement even if I described it here, so please view the link to the video clip below.
First, Obama addressed the nation in a very angry tone and terse manner. He described the deal that he had brokered with Republicans over the weekend as if they had used mafia- like arm-twisting tactics on him. It is clear that this President carefully orchestrated the timing to avoid a more serious showdown with the new Congress that will be seated in January. Only at that point would Republicans have enough voting power to force any action of any kind. He resentfully described the extension of the current tax rates and bitterly complained about the estate tax, which will be temporary, as benefitting the wealthiest Americans.
“I have no doubt that everyone will find something in this compromise that they don’t like. In fact, there are things in here that I don’t like. Namely, the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and the wealthiest estates.”
(video clip from Dec. 6th)
Then, on December 7th he held a press conference to further bemoan his own carefully chosen actions to intervene in the legislative process on behalf of the American people and the wellbeing of our economy. He stated that Republicans had been holding middle class tax cuts hostage. He then referred to the Republicans as “hostage takers.” Yes, he is eager to refer to Republicans who were voted into office by American citizens as “hostage takers” and yet avoids labeling individuals who are radicals from the Middle East as “terrorists”!
It is difficult to characterize his use of the words “hostage takers” as anything other than shockingly disrespectful language completely unbecoming of the office of our presidency. It is a thuggish tactic that should be reserved for community organizers and openly flouts the use of the “bully pulpit.” I am simply appalled by this abusive political discourse.
video clip of Obama on Dec. 7th, “hostage takers”