The President took the Republican party to task for its actions this weekend in a stern denunciation (well, stern for him anyway) at a San Jose fundraiser, the first of his campaign. His remarks (via AMERICAblog Gay):
At his first fundraiser in San Jose, President Obama took aim at Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, without naming the Texas governor by name, and was critical of the recent GOP debates. He said the 2012 election will be "a contest of values."
"Some of you here may be folks who actually used to be Republicans but are puzzled by what's happened to that party, are puzzled by what's happening to that party. I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately? You've got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change," he said, to applause. "It's true. You've got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don't have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because they're gay.
"That's not reflective of who we are," Mr. Obama said. "This is a choice about the fundamental direction of our country. 2008 was an important direction. 2012 is a more important election."While eloquently put and extremely accurate, I worry that Barack Obama's rhetoric on the intractability and intrinsic insanity of the GOP's recent stances (and tacit approval of the rabidity of their supporters) is too little, too late. Of course these remarks were made at his first fundraiser. Campaigning has officially begun for the White House, and that's when he needs to be seen as a strong opponent to the ridiculous politics of the right. However, remarks like this would perhaps have been more useful (and better for his campaign) if he had made them, oh, when policy was being decided.
Calling for an end to Republican craziness is great! How about we do so when, for example, they're holding the country's economy hostage and threatening shutdowns in order to avoid generating revenue with which to repay our debt? Strong rhetoric isn't just needed on the campaign trail, but also in the day-to-day operations of our nation. It's something that's needed, and it isn't necessarily something we've seen.