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From Ben Smith’s Blog on POLITICO — Obama associates the murders at Virginia Tech yesterday with the “verbal violence” of Don Imus. I think Obama has been exposed finally as being empty-headed and racially, well, compromised. Obama wins the “Yappy Headed Schmo” Award for this year and the next.

Obama on Virginia Tech, and “Violence”

A reader (who found my take on Obama’s Milwaukee talk cynical) points me to the audio of his remarks last night, a 23-minute .mp3 file you can listen to here. [UPDATE: IE7 users see below.]

It’s worth a listen, and it captures what moves a lot of people about Obama, and bothers others: His instinct for abstraction and large themes, and his sense that America’s problems have at their root solutions that have as much to do with hope and process as with any specific course of action.

Other politicians would — and will — stay with the concrete. They’ll talk about this tragedy, and, soon, gun control.

But while Obama mourns the slain students, he takes the massacre more as a theme than as a point of discussion.

“Maybe nothing could have been done to prevent it,” he says toward the end.

So he moves quickly to the abstract: Violence, and the general place of violence in American life.

“There’s also another kind of violence that we’re going to have to think about. It’s not necessarily the physical violence, but the violence that we perpetrate on each other in other ways,” he said, and goes on to catalogue other forms of “violence.”

There’s the “verbal violence” of Imus.

There’s “the violence of men and women who have worked all their lives and suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them because their job is moved to another country.”

There’s “the violence of children whose voices are not heard in communities that are ignored,”

And so, Obama says, “there’s a lot of different forms of violence in our society, and so much of it is rooted in our incapacity to recognize ourselves in each other.”

Many politicians would avoid, I think, suggesting that outsourcing and mass-murder belong in the same category.

From there, he mourns again the Virginia dead, and then says, “This is an opportunity I think that all of us have today to reflect,” and then heads into his stump speech — education, healthcare, energy policy, politics being broken — but returning to the Virginia Tech shootings.

Anyway, give it a listen

From the comments section (which I suggest highly that everyone read — because there’s a lot of excellent observation there):

“Obama equating the the Virginia Tech tragedy with the Rutgers girls getting their feelings hurt by an insensitive remark by Imus is why Obama shouldn`t ever be elected President. If he can`t tell the difference between a real tragedy and a verbal miscue then he doesn`t have the gray matter to be the most powerful man in this country and the world.”

C O M M E N T S : now closed