Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama’s Words

No one disputes that President Obama is an eloquent and persuasive speaker. Occasionally, however, he makes statements that demand careful parsing and exegesis. Sometimes, in fact, his statements are downright appalling.

Consider the following quote from his most recent press conference, in response to a question from reporter Lynn Sweet, concerning the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

President Obama:

“Now, I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts what role race played in that, but I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. And that's just a fact.”

Let’s take a look at these words carefully. “Somebody” was in his home, but there was proof that “they” were in their home. Who are they? Is professor Gates Legion? Were there codefendants known to Obama that have not been reported upon? How many people were arrested?

The President seems to have a problem with pronouns: he frequently misuses the reflexive pronoun: “Michelle and myself…”

He also frequently utilizes the pleonastic phrase: “The reason is because…”

So one must ask: does the President so famous for his ability with words, know how to speak English?

Is this what he learned at Columbia and Harvard?

This may all seem pedantic and nit picky (it is) but I raise these issues because what, other than his ability with words, were supposed to have been his qualifications for the presidency?

Or was there another qualification?

Perhaps liberals are guilty of racial profiling.

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