I went to a memorial service and all I got was this lousy tee shirt!
Who's brilliant idea was it make tee shirts and turn what should have been a reflective memorial service into something that resembled a political rally. Though the President's tone and message were proper, the crownd was over the top. Hoots and hollers were throughout the speech. The audience members acted at times as if they were at a Lollapalooza festival instead of a memorial service to remember the six people who were gunned down on their streets by a crazed gunman.
While I appreciate the President callig for toning down the rhetoric, ("what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other"), I can't help but wonder where those words have been prior to the speech. The media and politicians have been savaging Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, talk radio, the Tea Party, and conservatives since shortly after the shooting right up to last night's speech, a full four days, and the President has been silent. So, while I appreciate him finally speaking out on it, it came out as more of an applause line because of his lateness to the issue. The audience, in their obliviousness to the decorum of the event, predictably stood and cheered.
The thing that really bothers me about all of this hysteria of "dangerous rhetoric" is that it appears to me to be an attempt by many of those on the left to squelch criticism of our elected officials and our government. We have the First Amendment exactly for that purpose. It is so the press and the people are not fearful of speaking out against their government and its officials. Keep an eye on what legislation is going to be presented, and the media spin on things such as the "Fairness Doctrine" for talk radio, banning certain symbols and metaphors, and the predictable calls for more gun control. It could be a very interesting and entertaining 112th Congress.