You will have to forgive me and, hopefully indulge me. I tend to get my news a little late. I don't do broadcast television and I can't seem to keep up with Mr. Stewart on a regular basis on Hulu. A lot of what comes to me comes through some great friends on Facebook so I am just now getting up to speed on the whole National Prayer Breakfast brouhaha.
First, stop by the rec list and read Obama's nuanced, thoughtful remarks at Prayer Breakfast have the right in an uproar by subir. It tells you all you need to know.
The article is a great read and does a pretty good job of lining up the immediate reaction to the President's speech. If you still care about what I have to say, come back.
Here is what I find to be another piece from WaPo about the prayer breakfast that is worth a read. Why Obama invoked the Crusades — and what it says about how he views terrorism by Aaron Blake.
Obama, for the duration of his presidency, has forcefully tried to separate Islam from what terrorists who claim that faith do, in the name of it.Apparently, it's a thing that President Obama will not use the terms "radical Islam" or "Islamic radicals". Even some Democrats (ahem, Tulsi Gabbard) want him to use these terms. But I believe, as I think does Mr Blake, that the President wants to reframe the concept. He is trying to do what all of us on the Left should be doing.
The most striking example was in September, amid the growing threat of the Islamic State, when Obama declared not only that the terrorists were perverting their religion -- as he has often said -- but that they were actually "not Islamic" at all.
Don't fight your opponent on their own battlefield. Forgive me Sun Tzu. I think the actual concept is not to fight your enemy where they are strong. And make no mistake, Jingoism is a powerful force in US culture.
Blake calls this "perhaps the defining semantics debate of [Obama's] presidency" and I agree.
He can cower and fight a rear guard action to salvage the ACA and his reputation.
Or, he can stand proud and tall in the bully pulpit and call out the ugliest elements of American society.
That's why I voted for him. I want, just for a little bit, to hear my President say that we can do better, that we can be better and that we can rise above the divisions to work towards that more perfect union. Don't fight against Conservative memes. Create your own. Be bold. Be hopeful. Change the debate.
No one has said a lot about him, except for a piece in The Wall Street Journal about relations with China and Obama playing "China's game".
But, look at that presence of peace. Think about living a good life and doing well by others. Think about making the world better and kinder.
If we can all think about that and leave the internecine battles about whose prophet is the correct one then we might actually do some good in this world.