Barbara Simpson, "The Babe in the Bunker," as she's known to her KSFO 560 radio talk-show audience in San Francisco, has a 20-year radio, TV and newspaper career in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.More ↓Less ↑
If “It’s not over till the fat lady sings,” then I submit that “It’s not over till the skinny guy cools it.”
The one thing Barack Obama didn’t do in his speech at the shooting memorial in Tucson was “cool it.”
The event at the University of Arizona was supposedly a memorial service for the six dead and 14 wounded from the shooting massacre outside that Safeway in Tucson on Jan. 8.
Instead, with few exceptions, it was a glorification of the lowest common political denominator and a re-election rally stained by the tears of the victims’ families.
While Obama’s tone was soothing and familiarly monotone, and his words not particularly inflammatory or accusatory, he kept alive the divisions that threaten to tear apart not only Arizona but also the country.
Obama stated that “none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack,” but he did nothing to tell liberals that their accusatory rhetoric was uncalled for and downright dangerous.
He also did nothing to tamp down the media frenzy that perpetuated accusations and lies about specific individuals and groups sharing political beliefs.
He sounded like Rodney King: “Can’t we just get along?”
Actually, Barack, no we can’t – until someone takes a principled stance concerning wrongdoing. You missed your chance.
Ever the politician – and rather like a modern parent who really doesn’t want to accuse the errant child of wrongdoing but wants things to change – Obama took the neutral middle ground, sounding like a paid, corporate mediator.
It sounds good but means nothing.
A child, hearing such words from mom, lets the reprimand slide like water off a duck.
What would work better would be for the kid to get a couple of goods swats on his behind. Mom makes the point, and little Johnny would remember it.
Unfortunately, Obama, Michelle and the selected members of his administration were there to play smoke and mirrors and lead the thousand of gullible followers in the audience, down the primrose path toward the next election.
How else do you explain the ludicrous and almost sacrilegious sight of Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano reading from the Bible?
For people who represent an administration and a party that do all they can to get religion out of the public arena – and, in fact, two people who avoid speaking of religion in their public utterances – what they did was an insult to believers.
This whole production was shameful and reflects the duplicity of our top officials.
It should serve as a warning to Americans that whatever we hear from Washington is not just tinged – but soaked – with crass, opportunistic politics.
In other words, they do whatever it takes to accomplish the agenda and get re-elected.
Speaking of re-election, it appears that Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik may just have blabbered his way out of office. People I spoke with in Arizona last week are roaring mad at him for hogging the microphones and damning Tucson and Arizona with accusations of hate and racism.
He’ll certainly face strong opposition if he runs again after eight terms, but he may not have the chance. A petition effort is already underway to recall him.
Then last week, he issued a terse statement saying there would be no further comments on the shooting, implying some kind of problem.
Hmmm, perhaps his accusations were jeopardizing the prosecution of accused killer, Jared Lee Loughner.
Dubnik attended the memorial, but he was seen and not heard.
Who knows though, he could wind up with a talk show.
What was heard and seen was a so-called “memorial” that raised questions and eyebrows – beyond the president’s speech and the Bible reading.
It was a bizarre combination of religious revival and P.C. political pep rally.
The university president praised the school’s diversity and accomplishments and a Native American faculty-member, Carlos Gonzales, declared he was Mexican – greeted by audience cheers – gave his autobiographical history – more cheers – and then, with feathers, offered an eight-minute opening “prayer.” That got cheered, too.
Since none of the dead or injured were Native American, why weren’t prayers offered by a priest, minister or rabbi – which would have represented the religions of the victims?
More bizarre were the interruptions of applause, shrieks and whistles from the “audience.” There were more than 30,000 people in the building and another 13,000 outside – ostensibly to honor the victims and their families.
Wrong. Their actions clearly showed they were there to cheer Obama and his wife and, when they got the chance, to cheer for Mexico.
Talk about lack of decorum, lack of protocol and a very basic lack of manners. Perhaps the university should establish a required course in manners and protocol for all students. They clearly have none.
Obama’s speech was interrupted nearly 60 times. That’s not a memorial speech – that’s campaigning – and Obama made no attempt to stop them. He could have done so, but he clearly loved it.
The first clue was when he and the first lady walked in to take their seats. They approached the chairs, faced the audience, then turned to sit. But the applause continued. They turned and faced the cheering audience for endless minutes.
They forgot it wasn’t their event.
Speaking of inappropriate, someone should tell Michelle that a white, three-quarter-sleeved sweater isn’t appropriate at a memorial service for a bloody shooting which included among the victims a congresswoman and a federal judge. She looked like she just stopped in after lunch.
Then, before leaving, Obama mixed with some audience members for pictures!
We once had high officials who understood protocol, propriety and common decency.
Not with this crowd and it’s part of the diminishment of this country.