Free Markets, Free People

Political Dialogue Is Just Now “Coarsening”?

In his 60 Minutes interview yesterday, President Obama remarked on the state of political dialogue:

President Barack Obama said in an interview to be aired Sunday night on “60 Minutes” that he sees “a coarsening of our political dialogue.”

“The truth of the matter is that there has been, I think, a coarsening of our political dialogue,” Obama told Steve Kroft in an interview taped at the White House on Friday evening.

“I will also say that in the era of 24-hour cable news cycles, that the loudest, shrillest voices get the most attention. And so one of the things that I’m trying to figure out is: How can we make sure that civility is interesting?”

So what’s his point? Well there are two. One is he doesn’t believe he and his ideas/agenda aren’t getting the news coverage they deserve because the “loudest and shrillest voices get the most attention”.

Of course, that was something the left counted on when they were in opposition to the Bush administration. But now that they are the establishment, they suffer the same problem the right did for 8 years. They’re not news. You’d think the “reality based” community would understand that dynamic.

That brings us to the “coarsening political dialogue”. The premise, of course, is it wasn’t coarse before, or at least, not as coarse.

Two points: one – it was just as coarse if not coarser prior to January 20th of this year. Anyone remember Harry Reid calling the president a liar and a loser? Nancy Pelosi claiming Bush was “incompetent?” Those are two of a myriad of examples that any reasonable person would agree are examples of “coarse political dialogue”. So I’m not buying the “coarsening of political speech” that Obama believes is happening. The difference between now and then is the “coarse speech” is aimed at him and what he’s doing.

Two – the coarsened speech occurred after January 20th of this year and well before Joe Wilson – the target of this particular riff by Obama – uttered a word. Citizens were denounced as “un-American” by Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. They were called “evil mongers” by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid. Various Democratic Congress persons called them “brownshirts”, political terrorists and a mob.

Certainly political dialogue is coarse right now, but it is nothing new, certainly not worse than before and when you consider the examples I’ve given, definitely not the exclusive provenance of the right.

Obama’s remark about all of this seems to have a slight hint of whining about it.



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16 Responses to Political Dialogue Is Just Now “Coarsening”?

  • I again recommend the best de-coarsening of political discourse method I’ve ever discovered.

    Do not watch or listen to Obama, ever.

    Pay attention to what he is doing, but never listen to him.

    Works like a charm.

  • “One of the things that I’m trying to figure out”, he says?

    What, he’s now devoting the presidential attention to helping CNN figure out how to boost their ratings? Good! Everything he touches turns to crap. The more time he spends “helping” CNN instead of the economy, the happier we’ll all be.

  • Mr. “Argue With Neighbors, Get In Their Face” thinks that there is a coarsening of our political dialogue.
    Who’d a thunk it ?

    Does Dr. “open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words” ever listen to himself ?

    • Who among the Obama syncophants have got the guts to tell the Emperor he has no clothes? Who is going to buck Rahm Emmanuel and go to Obama and tell him the Tea Partes are potentially legitimate?

      Bush was widely condemned because people accused him of living in a bubble and not being willing to reach out to even hear a contrary opinion, much less consider a differing opinion – what say the world of Obama today?

  • It is pretty clear that the strategy now has been as it always is- stick with the PR plan and follow it to the letter. Use the Passive/Aggressive approach and the Good Cop/Bad Cop approach in dealing with opposition. First you trash the opposition, then you flinch at the reaction and wonder aloud why no one is civil anymore. First you let your supporters fire salvos at your opponents, then you step in, express puzzlement at their strident tone, and take a softer approach to tarring your opponents.

    It hasn’t changed, not since he entered the race for the Democratic Party nomination. The question now is, has he stuck to the plan because he still feels it will work, or because he has no other idea how to proceed? He has been bleeding public approval for a while now, and that calls for a change in approach, but he has stuck to the same approach.

  • Obama’s only experience is the old community organizer playbook where he, the co (so to speak), represents the downtrodden et al fighting the mighty power broker (whomever).

    Now, HE’S the powerbroker; the situation is reversed.

    His lack of experience does not allow him to view the world through this prism (community organizer speak).

    In ‘normal speak’ he’s being hoisted on his own petard.

  • He didn’t like being called a liar during his speech.

    Now he has to go get a drink when he’s re-running that part of the speech and can’t watch himself in all his glory.

  • Two possibilities:

    1. TAO and the left generally are like spoiled children who cannot conceive of the possibility that they are ever at fault, that their behavior is ever bad, and that it’s not ALWAYS somebody else’s fault;

    2. TAO is cynically trying to belittle the message of his opponents by casting them as “coarse” and “uncivil”. “Don’t listen to what my opponents say; listen to how I tell you that they sound.”

    There is, of course, no doubt that TAO is only referring to his opponents; he isn’t speaking of SanFran Nan, Dingy Harry, Bill Maher, Garofalo, and all the other lefties out there who have been demonstrably coarse and uncivil for the past several YEARS.

    I don’t think that this gambit will work, however. First, it’s been used so many times that it’s become a tired cliche and few people pay attention to it. Second, anybody who’s paid the slightest bit of attention knows that the political atmosphere in the country has been quite poisonous for some time. Third, I think that an aroused populace is going to recognize that – once again – TAO is REFUSING to discuss substantive issues. The people at the tea parties and townhalls have been demanding answers, only to be insulted and ignored. He’s just insulted them again. They won’t take that too kindly.

  • You know I seem to recall Howard Dean, Democratic presidential front runner and leader of the DNC saying “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.”

    Now just where would lord high Obama say the dialog in the last nine months has been any coarser than that?

  • This post blew out my irony meter….

  • They’ve been drowning carrying Obama’s water from about month 4.

    They’re blaming everyone but the two people responsible for their situation.

  • Wow. I am impressed by what The Clown™ has to say. After all, when George W. Bush was President, all the Democrats did was call him a liar, a war criminal, a Nazi, Hitlerian, a loser, and – in a real moment – said that the war in Iraq “is lost.” And I seem to remember way back in 1987, when they were calling Ronald Reagan an old man and a dunce, and said that Robert Bork would bring back segregation and slavery.

    Yep, the dialogue is coarsened, but it became that way long before this thug launched himself on this country, his party being the chief coarseners.

  • This Obama guy is a dangerous and demented clown:D

  • sanctimonious

    1. Making a show of being morally better than others.
    2. hypocritically pious
    3. Holy, devout


    I think (1) and (2) fit just fine.

    Contrast this with Bush 43’s behavior towards Democrats during his first year in office. Remember the invitation to Ted Kennedy & family for movies and popcorn at the White House? Etc.