[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
You can see the video for yourself, here. And here’s the key remarks:
It’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers unless the hostage gets harmed. Then people will question the wisdom of that strategy. In this case, the hostage was the American people, and I was not willing to see them get harmed.
Which reminds me of Lincoln’s great metaphors, like a-house-divided-against-itself or the snake-in-the-bed metaphor or my personal favorite, the wolf metaphor:
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails to—day among us human creatures, even in the North, and all professing to love liberty.
Yep, just like Lincoln’s metaphors, except that Lincoln’s were clever, wise, insightful and necessary. I mean aside from those three differences, Obama’s statement was positively Lincolnesque.
I mean how many ways was this statement stupid?
First, it was unnecessary. You don’t need a metaphor to explain. You needed the tax cut and this was the price you were willing to pay to get it.
Second, it is petulant and un-presidential. To quote Peter Wehner, “Obama has mastered the ability to look both unprincipled and graceless at the same time.” Not too long ago, Evan Thomas gushed “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.” Now he has come down to Earth.
Third, it is demonizing your fellow Americans as though they were enemies of this nation. So much for being post-partisan.
Finally, it tells the world that you will negotiate with terrorists. All they have to do is take live hostages and hurt them, and Obama will negotiate. At one point in time, Obama and his handlers denied that he would negotiate with terrorists. But now he has cleared up any ambiguity. Heckuvajob there, Barry.
November, 2012, can’t come fast enough.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]