Obama Cannot Rise Above Politics

By: Mona Charen | Posted: August 28, 2013 3:55 AM
Mona Charen

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 & 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."

The president went out of his way to phone Sandra Fluke when Rush Limbaugh rudely insulted her. This was part of his campaign to portray the GOP as anti-woman. But as my colleague Jay Nordlinger points out, wouldn't it have been easy for him to call someone on the other side who was equally mistreated? Had he picked up the phone to express his sympathy to Sarah Palin after her handicapped son was mocked on national television, it would have earned him tremendous goodwill from his political opponents and cost him nothing. On the contrary, his standing would have been enhanced all around.

Well, maybe phoning Palin is asking too much from such an implacable liberal. But what about Leo Johnson?

Never heard of him? That's because he worked for the wrong side. If he'd been the security guard for, say, the Progressive Policy Institute, he'd be in line for the Medal of Freedom by now.

Leo Johnson was the victim of a politically motivated crime and a doughty hero. He was the security guard on duty at the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., in August 2012 when Floyd Lee Corkins came through the door. Corkins was armed with a gun, 100 rounds of ammunition and 12 Chick-fil-A sandwiches -- which, he later explained, he planned to stuff in his victims' mouths. The plan was to murder as many FRC employees as possible. When Johnson asked for ID, Corkins pulled a gun out of his backpack and said, "I don't like your politics" and fired at Johnson, shattering his left arm. Johnson nevertheless was able to tackle Corkins and get the gun away from him.

Leo Johnson had to undergo several surgeries to repair the bones in his arm, including one that harvested bone from his hip to replace the bone that wouldn't grow back in his arm. As Mark Hemingway reported in the Weekly Standard, Johnson paid a high price for his heroism, suffering no fewer than five blood clots in his lungs and undergoing prolonged blood thinner therapy requiring a lengthy hospital stay. Since Johnson is the primary caretaker for his mother, who has health issues of her own, and his 103-year-old grandmother, it was an ordeal for the entire family. A phone call from President Obama might have cheered him considerably, but it was not forthcoming.

Obama's constant invocation of "politics" to explain what's wrong with Washington is shallow and silly. Politics belongs in the capital city. But it's also galling, as this president has demonstrated almost no ability to transcend politics -- even when it would be nearly effortless for him and provide balm for the nation.

To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Tags: News, Columns

Comments (1)

Cindy Mullen
1:47PM AUG 28TH 2013
Sadly, the president was one of the few leaders who could have done more to stop the hatred and intolerance of anyone seen as different, in race, class or political parties and ideology.
Sadly, from the time that Obama first walked across the stage as a canidate for president, he began the "poor lil' black man, the evil other guys don't want me to win", wars, against anyone who didn't embrace his "transformation" plans of America. Remember the speeches he and his wife gave about how they would FORCE us to change everything, so we could accommodate and appease everyone that hated us or wanted to live here off the taxpayers? And from that time on, it seems as though the minority races, and our leaders, the wealthy and prestigious minorities began showing nothing but rudeness, anger, disregard and spat out vile labels towards anyone they seen as a non minority, not the right minority, not the right social class, or anything that showed them as different thinking or just different.
Our many minority leaders in govt seats of power, as well as Obama's dept heads and appointed "advisers", joined in with Obama, as soon as he began leading in the polls. And all of them have done whatever they could, as well as many of their media outlets, financing buddies, political pundits, and their many groups, supporters, teachers, etc, to further the divide of the citizens with their declared war of race, class, gender and political party affiliation. It not only speaks volumes about Obama's true feelings about our nation, but also speaks to why we are seeing so much crime of murders, beatings, etc.
One thing I really don't understand, is why is it only a "hate crime", when: 1) The victim is black and the criminal is a non minority or "not the right mix of races"?
2) Can only be done to an African American? All other crimes neither fit the "new definition" of a hate crime, nor does it apply to anyone NOT considered black.
3) If a white person is the victim, and the crime is committed by a black, it is considered to either be "silently" deserved, or it was just a crime, race and class will never have anything to do with it. Even when the criminal is telling them they hate them or imply that they did it because the victim was white or if they are making racial remarks.

I had a lot of hope for Obama. I felt that he held the nation in the palm of his hand. And really believed that if anyone could ease and stop the nonsense that every non minority in our nation is a racist waiting to prey on every African American in the nation or any minority, Obama could. But he didn't. In fact, he and his party, along with all the other groupies, mouthpieces and other prominent and leaders of our communities, have pushed and shoved their form of reverse racism, since the win of Obama in his first election.
While he was touting his "I will unite the nation and the world with all I am and can do", he and his party associates and members, were doing everything they could to create bigger issues, as well as began their "the time for America's past sins of slave ownership and racial crimes against the slaves" wars. And Obama and all his party members and supporters, as well as all the others that have joined in to make things a lot worse, and we, the people, are more divided now, then ever before in the history of our nation.

It is time that America remembers that WE are all citizens of the same nation. We all have dreams. We all want better. But we will never get anywhere, until we get over the fact that like many other countries, our nation also had slaves. And while I know that right now everyone has jumped aboard the "lets get revenge, retribution and retaliation", on any non minority in our nation, and joined Obama and his party members to create even more tension and division than in the 60's, isn't it time that the citizens all remembered that we all should be enjoying the same equal rights, freedoms, liberties, treatment and chances? No one is better or worse than anyone else. None can claim that their race or their class is better, or more deserving, or even "pure", we are many races, many classes, especially today with all the "mixed" marriages, or children. WE are all human, we are all equal, and we all deserve the same treatment, respect, regard and consideration. If not for the reason of just being a human, then for the sake of our kids, and what kind of nation we are leaving for them. We deserve better, and so do they. Our leaders SHOULD know better, and be better, leading by example. Instead, they are leading the charge to divide us. Maybe so we aren't paying attention to what they are really doing. We have enough coverups and scandals, to show us that the leaders are being less than honest with us, as well as our money. Isn't it time we found out what and how or to who? Time to call for an opening and auditing of the books? I think so.
Isn't it time we all got over ourselves? Isn't it time that we stood united for the sake of this country and our kid's futures? If we don't get over the idea that "someone OWES me a living, because I sure won't be responsible or accountable for myself or family. I don't want to work or sweat. I have a hangnail, or am hung over." or the "Someone white owes me because my ancestors were slaves, and now I have plight in my life. Someone owned my forefather or mother, and now I want repaid for the sins of the white man." garbage.
It doesn't matter what is used for the excuse, the problem is that hatred and intolerance only divides us. It doesn't solve the problem, but it sure garners those votes from those who can be enraged or riled over the constant calling to "rise up for revenge and retaliation" of the minorities. It is pathetic. There is trash, there is bigotry, and there is hatred in every race, every class and every area one can think of. Isn't it time we all realized that we are God's children. And we are all equal under Him. And as far as our nation goes, if our leaders would study and learn the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as the Declaration of Independence, and applied it equally, we wouldn't be facing the kind of division we are today. And if our leaders were really working for ALL of us, instead of their own party, own associates and own groupies, they would have been finding ways to unite us, not divide us. And while we are focused on this nonsense, they are bankrupting the nation and taxpayers, as well as our future generations. They are spending us into falling over the insolvency cliff, and ensuring that they and theirs are getting wealthier. Meanwhile our nation's needs and citizens have been ignored for decades, to the point of crumbling and failing. At what point do we come together to save what is left? They are so busy declaring the Constitution unconstitutional, with Obama on constant campaign mode, too busy to BE a leading president, that our nation not only is becoming more impoverished, but is being changed so much with the new transformation, that we will indeed, become that 3rd world country our leaders seem to want. And if we don't do something soon, we won't even have a country to call our own, much less leave for our children. And what kind of future are they going to have, by the time our leaders finish dividing us, and bankrupting us?

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