The lead up to the President's speech, with various politicians and the like stepping to the podium to adoring cheers, seemed deeply out of place. The President's words seemed appropriate enough, but it seemed oddly inappropriate to have a memorial to those murdered and wounded punctuated repeatedly with cheers and applause. That is not the President's fault per se, but it has left me, at least, deeply uncomfortable with how this memorial was organized and executed.
At any rate, the speech seems neutral enough - a lot of platitudes, but how could anyone craft a speech for this occasion that would not be full of platitudes. As could be expected of Obama, he danced around the blood libel of the left, saying that no single thing anyone did caused this mayhem, but that our discourse should become more civil:
The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives - to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse. let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy - it did not - but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.
Color me not surprised. As to a call for "civility," the left's calls for "civility" over the past several days have been nothing more than the bare patina on a call to silence conservative speech. I note that Krauthammer thinks otherwise. He believes Obama has ended the blood libel. We disagree.
Given my jaundiced view of this President, I cannot objectively grade his speech beyond saying that it seemed acceptable for the occasion.