Last night’s Obamacare news conference was a major fiasco on several levels. Obviously there were many unanswered questions concerning the future of health care in America, who’s going to pay for it, when will Congress implement the plan etc. These are all valid questions. At best, I expected a boring but focused conversation about health care. Obama and teleprompter did their usual spill: blame the Republicans, talk in endless circles, exploit several Main Street common folk as examples for why it is imperative that we need health care reform NOW. After the pontification has ended, Obama takes questions from his pre-selected media lap dogs. It normally takes Obama more than several minutes to answer one question before moving on to the next.
For myself as viewer of now five of the Obama conferences, I think I have the pattern pretty locked down. At some point during the Q&A someone will ask Obama a question that comes totally from the left field of a moron’s asshole. Or he will call on some unorthodox media source like Mad Magazine or the American Kennel Club Gazette. No surprises there. Before the end of the hour, someone is going to ask a question that has NOTHING to do with the issue at hand. President Obama will get a big smile of relief on his face as he takes 5 minutes to answer the question about his dog, nail clipping collection or whatever issue of distraction it was.
Like the news conferences before, last night was no exception.
Case in point, the question that was fielded Obama’s way by Chicago Tribune reporter Lynn Sweet about the recent arrest of Harvard Professor Henry “Skip” Louis Gates Jr.
Gates, as you may know, is an important and influencial figure among historians of African American history. I admire his work and have read many of his books. Great guy.
However, the point here is not about Skip.
I was more than a bit unnerved at the question and by the end of Obama’s answer what was a minor annoyance had elevated me to full blown pissed off.
For back story purposes allow me to show the clip of Obama and Lynn Sweet.
Is it just me or does it seem simultaneously odd and not odd for this question to come up at a news conference on health care reform?
Odd, because Ms. Sweet’s question did not have a damn thing to do with the topic of the news conference. Timely and not so odd because it came at the very end of the hour and it plays well into the Obama administration’s ability to encapsulate any issue in a discourse of racism in America, thus deflecting any critical afterthoughts of the president.
As you can see, Obama responds to Ms. Sweet’s question by going into painstaking detail about Skip’s arrest in Cambridge, MA. He even goes so far as to say that the Cambridge police “acted stupidly”. Obama began by explaining that Skip was a personal friend, therefore he should have simply answered Ms. Sweet by expressing that it was an unfortunate event and he certainly hopes that the matter is settled quickly.
Of course this is not what happened.
Obama took the opportunity to once again turn a seemingly normal issue into a referendum on race.
What does this do to the white, liberal and the guilty?
It makes them feel proud that they have elected Barack Obama as our president. All questions about his execution of health care reform, the stimulus, the war in Afghanistan and any other issue paramount to voters will melt away in a chocolaty ocean of hope and change.
Please believe me when I say that this will be a continuing pattern as Obama’s re-election campaign draws near.
Obama: Cambridge police
Updated: Thursday, 23 Jul 2009, 9:50 AM EDT
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama said Wednesday that police acted “stupidly” in the arrest of prominent black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and that despite racial progress blacks and Hispanics are still singled out unfairly for arrest.
“This still haunts us,” Obama said.
Obama called Gates a friend, and said he doesn’t know all the facts of the case. Nonetheless, Obama said, anyone would have been angry if treated the way Gates claims police in Cambridge, Mass., treated him. Gates claims he was arrested in his own home after showing ID to police who responded to a report of a possible burglary.
Police say Gates yelled at the officers and initially refused to show his ID. Gates allegedly yelled “this is what happens to a black man in America” and “you don’t know who you’re messing with” before he was arrested, and police said he was uncooperative. ( read the arrest report )
“Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof he was in own home,” Obama said during a prime-time news conference that otherwise focused on the health care debate.
“What I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately,” Obama said. “That’s just a fact.”
The nation’s first black president held himself up as testament to what he called the “incredible progress” minorities have achieved.
I find it ironic that our first African American president has awakened a renewed interest in minorities as victims.
Concerning Lynn Sweet, a far better question would have been about the escalating black on black crime and fatalities in her very own Chicago. Chicago is a city proud to call Barack Obama it’s own.
“He began here as a community organizer,” Chicagoans will boast. “We found inspiration from his work.”
Okay, then what the hell happened last summer when 36 youths were violently slain?
That is the real story. Ask that question Ms. Sweet.
Autographed Letter Signed,