What Obama Should Say

I find the contrast between Palin's emails to Beck and the president's decision to go directly to Arizona telling. Frum urges Obama to go all in on mental health:

Liberals will want the president to address gun control. Unsmart. Stokes your opposition, leads to a political contest you cannot win, and even if you do win, what really do you accomplish? A ban on extended magazines? Next time the killer will bring two guns.

But more resources for mental health services? Democrats say yay. Enhancement of power to commit the dangerously mentally ill? Will appeal to the center and right.

My own view is that Obama should not use the occasion to duck it. It must be possible to speak of the need for a more civil discourse without directly linking this mass murder to the far right's rhetoric. Obama should talk of Giffords' life and service, of the inevitability of robust debate in a democracy, of the health of lively argument ... but also of the need to remember who we are at our best. He can easily exonerate anyone but Loughner of direct responsibility for this crime, and yet also say it is an opportunity for something new, and better, and calmer.

This moment is made for this president. He wanted to depolarize the country, and failed. If he can find a way to use this as a teaching moment, without it becoming a partisan moment, the rationale for his candidacy and presidency will gain strength.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Just In