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Helen Thomas: "An Eloquent Defense Of American Democracy" [WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES, BARF ALERT]
TheBostonChannel.com ^ | 6 May 10 | Helen "Precious Thing" Thomas

Posted on 05/06/2010 1:50:21 PM PDT by seanmerc

An Eloquent Defense Of American Democracy Obama Also Notes Harshness Of Public Discourse

Helen Thomas, Hearst White House columnist

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. is so divided that it seems to me that the nation has lost its compass.

Even in times of national crisis, including the Great Depression, World War II, the Vietnam War and a string of scandals such as Watergate, the political center has held together. But now I’m not quite so sure.

President Barack Obama has been most conciliatory as he seeks the middle ground on a host of issues, even to the point of caving to the political opposition. But when not one Republican in Congress could vote for the health care reform legislation, one has to ask: Who do these lawmakers really represent? Themselves?

Especially surprising to me is the fact that the Republican women in Congress voted with their male colleagues against the health legislation.

The Republicans have become the party of ”NO,” even to congressional efforts to rein in Wall Street, whose greedy excesses led to the Great Recession.

The federal government has become the target of intense hatred from conservatives, except of course those conservatives in states around the Gulf of Mexico who now are asking the federal government to help people and businesses devastated by the continuing oil spill. Suddenly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, the Coast Guard and other federal entities don’t look so evil as they go about the job of cleaning up the mess and helping people in need.

In an under-noticed May Day address at the University of Michigan commencement, the president dealt head-on with the ignorance and destructive consequences of the current atmosphere of name calling and partisanship.

Speaking at the same campus where President John F. Kennedy announced the creation of the Peace Corps and President Lyndon B. Johnson unveiled his plans for a “Great Society,” Obama told the Michigan audience: “Before we get too depressed about the current state of politics, let’s remember our history.”

“What troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad,” the president said. “One of my favorite signs during the health care debate was somebody who said: ’Keep your government hands out of my Medicare’ -- which is essentially saying ‘Keep government out of my government-run health care plan.”

“When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in democracy, government is us. We. The people. We the people hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders and change our laws and shape own destiny.”

Obama also took note of the harshness of public discourse.

“To keep our democracy healthy is to maintain a level of civility in our public debate,” he said. “It’s important for everyone to join in the debate. But you can’t solve all our problems if all we do is tear each other down.

“You can question someone’s views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism. . . Throwing around phases like ‘socialist’…and `Soviet-style takeover’ and `fascist’ and `right-wing nut’ may grab headlines, but it also has the effect of comparing our government, our political opponents, to authoritarian and even murderous regimes.”

`This democracy we have is a precious thing. For all the arguments and all the doubts and all the cynicism that’s out there today, we should never forget that as Americans we enjoy more freedoms and opportunities than citizens in any nation on Earth. We are free to speak our mind and worship as we please. We are free to choose our leaders, and free to criticize when they let us down.”

Not all political speeches are created equal. We should stop the music for a brief interlude and think about these remarks.

I believe historians will look back on that speech as one of Obama’s best. It’s a message of optimism and of fundamental truths that all too often seem to be ignored in these super-heated times.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: barackobama; bho2010; bho44; democrats; dims; dumbocrats; elections; helenthomas; liberalmeatheads; obama; obamalamadingdong; obamarama; rats; senileoldbat
Speaking of "lost compasses"...
1 posted on 05/06/2010 1:50:21 PM PDT by seanmerc
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To: seanmerc

OMG!.....A corn patch is missing its scarecrow!


2 posted on 05/06/2010 1:51:21 PM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: beckysueb; Beowulf9; DirtyHarryY2K; Dominic01; freedomlover; greatdefender; holly go-rightly; ...
Yoo-hoo, Helen Thomas ping list members! Here's the latest liberal lunacy from everyone's fave infobabe.
3 posted on 05/06/2010 1:51:36 PM PDT by seanmerc
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To: seanmerc
"...President Barack Obama has been most conciliatory as he seeks the middle ground on a host of issues..."

I am sure he will allow us to pick our color choice of linens when we go to the death camps too.

Gosh, he's SOOO conciliatory.

This is pure propaganda. The cold Civil War has truly begun.

4 posted on 05/06/2010 1:53:22 PM PDT by I Buried My Guns (Novare Res!)
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To: seanmerc

5 posted on 05/06/2010 1:55:50 PM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2013)
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To: seanmerc

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=sXzrUztyd1Y


6 posted on 05/06/2010 1:59:28 PM PDT by 353FMG (Islam -- America's road to destruction.)
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To: seanmerc

ok, barf alert doesn’t cover it. You really need to warn us about the size of the image!


7 posted on 05/06/2010 2:00:13 PM PDT by Newton ('No arsenal is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.' -Ronald Reagan)
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To: seanmerc

Helen failed to note a few key points:

1. It’s the American way: a majority of Americans did not and do not want Obamacare.
2. Not even the Congress knew what surprises lurked in that un-read bill.
3. Now that the secrets are out, the number of Americans who don’t want it has increased.


8 posted on 05/06/2010 2:02:16 PM PDT by O6ret
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To: Newton

Hey, I included a barf alert AND a graphic images warning. I think I gave plenty of warning. :-)


9 posted on 05/06/2010 2:04:47 PM PDT by seanmerc
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To: seanmerc

Isn’t she past her “use by” date???? YET??? Her brain seems used up...

Republicans ARE the Party of NO....NO State Controlled Health Care, NO higher taxes....NO unelected Czars running policy....the list goes on and on and on....heck, I say it’s the Party of HEXX NO


10 posted on 05/06/2010 2:05:21 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Destroy AMERICA.....Vote DEMOCRAT)
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To: I Buried My Guns

‘conciliatory’???

Watch what he does, not what he says.


11 posted on 05/06/2010 2:06:24 PM PDT by griswold3
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To: seanmerc

12 posted on 05/06/2010 2:06:42 PM PDT by South40 ("Islam has a long tradition of tolerance." ~Hussein Obama, June 4, 2009, Cairo, Egypt)
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To: seanmerc

guess I should have better prepared myself... but then can one ever be prepared enough to see that face?


13 posted on 05/06/2010 2:12:34 PM PDT by Newton ('No arsenal is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.' -Ronald Reagan)
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To: seanmerc
This article is located with so many falsehoods (outright lies):

President Barack Obama has been most conciliatory....
In actuality, obama stated that "elections have consequences". And in the obamacare fiasco, he gave only lip service to the Republicans, rejecting every one of their contributions to the bill. And, the Republicans were pretty much locked out of any discussions prior to the bill. And pelosi stated that in order to see what's in the bill, you must first pass it.

The Republicans have become the party of ”NO,” even to congressional efforts to rein in Wall Street, whose greedy excesses led to the Great Recession....
Is she talking about the recent recession? If so, that recession was caused primarily by the loose lending practices forced on the banks by Congress. Bush, Cheney, Greenspan, and others all advised Congress numerous times that the loose lending practices would result in financial disasters.

“When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in democracy, government is us. We. The people. We the people hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders and change our laws and shape own destiny.”
That's why obama and Congress forced obamacare down our throats without seriously considering any public input, making special deals (quid pro quos) with several Senators in order to get their votes, and against overwhelming public opposition.

“You can question someone’s views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism. . . Throwing around phases like ‘socialist’…and `Soviet-style takeover’ and `fascist’ and `right-wing nut’ may grab headlines, but it also has the effect of comparing our government, our political opponents, to authoritarian and even murderous regimes.”
Well, I seem to recall that obama, pelosi, and others questioned the motives of Tea Party members, stating that they were right-wing nuts, and other derogatory terms. And, if obama doesn't like the terms 'socialist' or 'Soviet-style takeover', then he should change his modes of operation. We're seeing right now the same issues that arose after WWII in countries like Poland, where the Soviets subverted local governments prior to their taking over the country.

14 posted on 05/06/2010 2:13:10 PM PDT by Real Cynic No More (The only thing standing between us and complete victory over the evildoers is POLITICS!)
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To: seanmerc

15 posted on 05/06/2010 2:17:56 PM PDT by PLD
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To: seanmerc

OMG! ...and I thought I was prepared!


16 posted on 05/06/2010 2:23:41 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: seanmerc

17 posted on 05/06/2010 2:28:35 PM PDT by Zakeet (Will Rogers never met the Wee Wee)
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To: seanmerc; monkapotamus; Bender2; All

I seen HELLLLLLL


18 posted on 05/06/2010 2:42:49 PM PDT by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us ,resistance is futile")
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To: seanmerc

Speaking of inadequate barf warings and graphic picture warnings: AAAAHHHHHGGGGGGGGGG!!!! Eye-bleach, 1,000,000,000 gallons, STAT!!!!


19 posted on 05/06/2010 3:02:38 PM PDT by Old Student (We have a name for the people who think indiscriminate killing is fine. They're called "The Bad Guys)
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To: seanmerc

20 posted on 05/06/2010 4:15:25 PM PDT by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)
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To: seanmerc

“Middle ground” - HAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


21 posted on 05/06/2010 6:52:07 PM PDT by LiteKeeper ("It's the peoples' seat!")
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To: seanmerc

“Obama has been most conciliatory as he seeks the middle ground”

Hello? This man mocks us publicly every chance he gets! There is always some snide remark.


22 posted on 05/06/2010 8:03:20 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

“His highness has been most conciliatory. You should bow and kiss his ring. He is all things good for you, and most wise.”

What a maroon.


23 posted on 05/06/2010 8:33:03 PM PDT by jdsteel (CONGRESS: Take it again in twenty ten.)
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To: seanmerc

What does Hellen know about optimism and honesty?

About as much as she knows about styling her hair.


24 posted on 05/06/2010 9:21:12 PM PDT by Melian (The two most common elements in the world are hydrogen and stupidity.)
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To: seanmerc
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

25 posted on 05/06/2010 9:29:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway
President Barack Obama has been most conciliatory as he seeks the middle ground on a host of issues, even to the point of caving to the political opposition. But when not one Republican in Congress could vote for the health care reform legislation, one has to ask: Who do these lawmakers really represent?

This woman is just too far gone round the bend for any serious discussion.

26 posted on 05/07/2010 1:50:42 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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