What Flailing Looks Like

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

By most accounts, President Obama delivered a landmark speech last night at the memorial service for the victims of the massacre in Tucson this past weekend. Left, right, and center all seemed to agree that the speech hit the right notes and transcended the ugly partisan rancor that was churned up in the tragedy's wake. But for conservative critics of the president, magnanimity can only go so far, and they needed to invent something -- anything -- to attack Obama for.

Moments after the speech concluded, Andrew Breitbart reaffirmed his status as America's internet troll by blaming Obama for "death threats" aimed at Sarah Palin, and claiming that Obama's "4 days of silence" following the shooting "says everything."

Jim Hoft (without whom the internet would be a much smarter place) accused the president of lying when he revealed (with the blessing of her husband) that Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes for the first time just before the service started.

Glenn Beck credited the president for his words, but, like Breitbart, attacked him nonetheless for delivering them "almost a week" late: "A leader says that on day one."

NewsBusters attacked Obama for -- and it's still difficult to comprehend this -- his remarks honoring the memory of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim of the shooting, suggesting that Obama was somehow disingenuous for saying "we place our hands over our hearts," and was "repositioning toward the traditional middle with 2012 in mind."

No one expects the right to offer unvarnished praise for Obama. He's a Democrat, they're not, and their success stems from being antagonistic towards Democrats. But it's instructive to note that even as the president conjured a moment of national unity from the horrors of mass slaughter, his right-wing detractors responded by sinking even deeper into their own pathology.

Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart, Jim Hoft
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