We at VDARE.com have not always been impressed by Byron York's acuity - but he has come up trumps with Rethinking Obama's political performance in Tucson The Washington Examiner, 01/15/11.
This took courage well as brains, attributes notably lacking elsewhere as York notes:
Pundits and politicians alike praised President Obama's speech at the Tucson memorial service last Wednesday. "A wonderful speech," wrote the New York Times' David Brooks. "A magnificent performance," wrote National Review's Rich Lowry. "A terrific speech," wrote Sen. John McCain.
And those were just the voices on the right.
With the Obama speech coming after the MSM's extraordinary post-Giffords rampage for repression, it was inevitable that it would attract another outburst of Obamamania. Not going along with this nonsense will not be helpful on the Cool Crowd cocktail circuit.
Maybe York does not do cocktails. Noting
...many conservatives particularly admired the speech because the president took care to say, in clear terms, that political rhetoric did not cause the violence in Tucson...
But how could he have said otherwise? By the time Obama spoke, there was irrefutable evidence that shooting suspect Jared Loughner was deeply mentally ill and acted out of no recognizable political agenda.
he unflinchingly points out
...since it was impossible to tie the violence in Tucson to Republican rhetoric, the president couldn't very well use the shootings as the premise for a national conversation about the tone of political debate, could he?
Yes, he could. It might seem like a stretch — even to a calculating Democratic strategist — for Obama to portray Jared Loughner's insanity as the proper starting point for a national debate about civility in politics. Yet that is what he did.
and does not fail to stress the tastelessness:
...employing a tactic that in a less sentimental atmosphere would have been seen as breathtakingly cynical, Obama enlisted Christina Taylor Green, the nine year-old girl killed in the shootings, to support his cause
...the president's supporters had tied the killings to the issue of political rhetoric. In Tucson, Obama played good cop to their bad cop by assuring everyone that rhetoric had not motivated the violence. But he still brought up the topic...
Some Democratic strategists hope Obama can capitalize on Tucson the way Bill Clinton capitalized on Oklahoma City. Perhaps he'll be able to, and perhaps he won't. But he's already trying.
A fine piece of clear and brave writing. Veterans of the Conservative Wars will note that York gets to publish it on a small webzine while the lapdogs appear in the New York Times and the National Review.
Keep this up, Byron, and you are going to wind up having to write on VDARE.com!