This afternoon President Obama delivered his final campaign speech at Norfolk State University.
He made sure to warn the spirited crowd of the impending mud slinging that will transpire as election day approaches –
“But I want everyone to understand, over these next two months, over these next 63 days, you will see more ads, more negative ads, more insults and distractions and baloney, than you’ve ever seen.”
His comment made me think of an article I read in Psychology Today titled –
“Three Fingers Pointing Back at You” by Jennifer Kunst, Ph.D.
“Maybe you know the saying, “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.” Jesus had a version of this wisdom when he said, “Don’t focus on the speck in your brother’s eye while ignoring the log in your own eye.” When cruel accusations fly, we all need to hear the voice of reason that says, “Look in the mirror, sister. You might just be talking about yourself.”
I found myself wondering …
How often (if ever) is President Obama guilty of hurling cruel, negative and insulting accusations?
To get my answer I sifted through a transcript of his 2008 DNC acceptance speech.
I uncovered 12 instances of Obama backbiting his opposer. I focused primarily on the comments directed at John McCain however, there are a few aimed at then President George W. Bush.
I kept most of the comments intact in order to provide context. However, I placed in bold the really juicy parts. Take a look.
These challenges are not all of government’s making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.
Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn’t know.
It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care. It’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.
Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction…And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.
I don’t know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead
(This is coming from a President that has George Clooney on speed dial and has been on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine seven times. By the way, John McCain has only graced the cover once).
Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.
The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives – on health care and education and the economy – Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made “great progress” under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors – the man who wrote his economic plan – was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a “mental recession,” and that we’ve become, and I quote, “a nation of whiners.”
John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell – but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.
And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we’re wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.
You don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice – but it is not the change we need.
We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans
So I’ve got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.
YIKES! Watch where you point that finger Mr. President for you are just as critical and negative as you claim your competitor to be.
An afterthought –
President Obama’s new campaign slogan is FORWARD. He promises that if reelected he will continue moving our country towards the CHANGE he promised 4 years ago.
In 2008 had this to say regarding progress –
“We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month…”
I ask you Mr President, if you still believe in your method of measurement, how much progress can you honestly say you have made?
He also made the following remark in the beginning of his speech and I wonder if this Thursday he will use it again?
“Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less…”