Obama, "no excuses," Boxer inexcusable – UPDATED

I like this clip of President Obama speaking forcefully and passionately, and I think, from the heart, about teaching our children to expect more from themselves.

Embedded video from CNN Video

Obama is speaking to the NAACP, but his message is pertinent to all of America, where we spend a lot of time telling our children how “special” they are, but don’t re-inforce that message by allowing them to really discover their uniqueness and individual genius by offering enough daily challenges and responsibilities.

I count myself in that charge. Although I tried to instill certain disciplines in my kids (and heaven knows they’re anything but social conformists), I know I also let some bad habits develop. Allowing laziness (or thoughtlessness) to become habitual in our kids really does prevent them from living out their lives to their fullest potential. I do bless the Boy Scouts (and their BSA-active Dad) in helping both boys realize their abilities in surprising ways.

Obama’s message is a good one, a positive and constructive message for all of us. “No excuses,” is a difficult and mature mindset that we do well to cultivate.

Barbara “Call me Senator” Boxer, on the other hand, betrays an ugly and condescending “soft bigotry” that delivers a bad message, a negative and destructive one, to the nation, and it is almost painful to watch. Thankfully, Harry Alford, President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce rejects her message, and gives us a better one:

Just how awful is Boxer, here?
She not only plays the racist game of assuming that because she is speaking to a black man, he will undoubtedly be swayed by the opinions of other black people, but just listen to how she speaks to him. Such condescension! Her tone is creepily reminiscent of a kindergarten teacher’s; she doesn’t exactly speak to Alford in words of one syllable, but very nearly.

How proud Boxer is to repeatedly pronounce the word “div-er-si-ty,” as though it is a magical power word! And what disdain she shows when her target does not obediently bow down before that false idol!

When Boxer says, “Let me talk to you, this is friendly,” I don’t know how Mr. Alford managed to restrain himself from leaping across his table, yanking her tongue out of her mouth and beating her senseless with it. He did manage to let her know how out of bounds she was, but I think he was too much of a gentleman, and too respectful of where he was, to really lay her out with a verbal thrashing.

He should have let her have it; that was a “have you no decency” moment waiting to be articulated.

I suspect Barbara Boxer is not a particularly smart woman, and that she is so intellectually deficient (and ideologically obedient) that if anyone were to do to her what she did to Alford (i.e., if anyone had shown her various feminist opinions in order to demonstrate to her that she should not bother to formulate an opinion of her own, because “all of the right sorts of women think in this correct way”) she would not even realize that both her intelligence and her individuality had been dismissed and disrespected. She would just moo and fall in line. And she expects everyone else to moo and fall in line, too.

President Obama’s highlighted remarks about the need to challenge our children, and to let them know that we expect more from them – that they should expect more of themselves – are very welcome. We all of us would do well to adopt a mindset of “no excuses” and to apply it both to ourselves and to our press, our churches and yes, our political leadership; I welcome the notion that a “no excuses” president might therefore stop blaming his predecessor or his nation nearly every time he steps up to a microphone, that a “no excuses” congress might admit they have erred terribly in their earmarks, their pork and their overall spending habits, and then enact a “no excuses” reformation of their own corrupt and greedy body, that a “no excuses” press might ask real questions about broken promises on transparency, lobbyists and much more, and that “no excuse” bishops, ministers, rabbis and other clerics might challenge the rest of us by displaying great fidelity and humility to the creeds in which they profess to lead their respective flocks.

“No excuses” does not have to mean “no compassion,” or “no reasonable consideration.” But it does draw a line, and increasingly lines and boundaries are blurred in America, the most dangerously blurred being the lines between government authority and individual thought and liberty.

Barbara Boxer displayed a “soft” racism, but within it there was something even more insidiously destructive, a deliberate attempt to erase the distinct and intrinsic line – the one recognizing an American man as an individual, with valid powers, opinions, abilities and reasons of his own.

There is no excuse for that.

There is no excuse for lying to the pope. No excuse, at all. If you’re lying to a pope about an issue as important as human life, well…that’s pre-tty inexcusable.

There is no excuse for not admitting to a bad idea. It just takes some swallowed pride. And maybe a mindset of “a surge.” Bush eventually admitted -after waiting too long – that he’d made errors in Iraq, and then bucked every naysayer and backed a surge, and it worked. Obama should maybe swallow his pride, admit (without the excessive wait-time) that his “stimulus” does not stimulate, then buck every far-left naysayer, and plan some spending cuts, tax holidays and real job stimulation, instead of (as he accused his predecessor of doing in Iraq) simply “changing the rational” for his actions. That would be something to deeply admire in this president.

There is no excuse for devaluing human life over bottom lines.

There is no excuse for calling the police and shutting constituents down when the people who elected you want to peaceably communicate their displeasure.

There is no excuse for elected politicians ignoring the people who put them in office

There is no excuse for destroying the middle class while trying to “save” a nation with an excellent and (if unmeddled with) rather self-correcting economic tradition.

There is no excuse for hating Trig Palin. Hatred of his disabilities and resentment of his very existence powerfully reveals your own deficiencies.

There is no excuse to driving down the dollar for political expediency

There is no excuse for doing all the things you say you hated other people doing.

There is no excuse for a deficit of 1.84 TRILLIONS

There is no excuse for voting a weak candidate to a life-long and powerful appointment, against ones own conscience, especially if the other party doesn’t even need your vote.

There is no excuse for inflicting healthcare policies that do not work elsewhere onto one’s own country. Especially when the country is plainly telling you they do not want it

There is no excuse to propose infanticide as a solution for population control.

There is no excuse for either of these stories or the double standards they expose.

There is no excuse for who you vote for. You cast your vote, and then deal with it.

And, really…

There is no excuse for the sort of baseball the NY Mets are playing.

UPDATE: Per Hot Air, Harry Alford calls Barbara Boxer a racist – listen to the man – he pulls ZERO punches.

Last year, after Hillary’s “hard working white Americans” remark, we talked a little about racism, and I quoted a friend:

“…when you constantly need to go out of your way to mention someone’s race, or someone’s gender, or someone’s sexuality, it’s because you are conscious of it. And if you’re conscious of it, that means you’re not really “color-blind” or “gender-blind”. In fact, it means exactly the opposite. It means you’re fixated.”

It’s true. And if you’re fixated on race (or gender, sexuality, creed) then it is very difficult to see the person before you as anything but a member of a group-identity, rather than as an individual human being, worthy of your attention and respect.

There’s really no excuse for that, either.

Fausta has more, including another video with Alford “giving ‘em hell.” Listen to the whole thing. Alford is not having any of what Boxer is pushing, and he is great – funny, irreverent and smart, and even moving; “the hug I got from my son afterwards told me I did the right thing.”

Also, check out Moe Lane

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Terrye

    I am sorry, perhaps I am just jaded, but I think Obama is putting on a little show here…right down to the cadence of his speech.

    Boxer is just a relic.

  • YogusBearus

    What’s the deal with California anyway? I know I would be major embarrassed if I had their politicians representing me.

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  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    I heard Boxer’s bigoted lunacy on the radio and realized once again that the real racists in this country are those liberals who see virtually everything in terms of race. But try to get that concept past the liberal media’s Iron Curtain.
    Just like I heard not a commentator raise the question inquiring if there was a connection between Sotomayor’s repeated use of her Latina-White Male racist comment and how she handled the Ricci firefighters’ case.

  • http://lowlytuber.blogspot.com tim maguire

    There’s also no excuse for police shutting down protestors who aren’t breaking any laws (assuming they in fact are not) no matter who demands they do.

    I disagree on Sotomayor. I think she is a mediocre choice, but the ability to choose Supreme Court Justices is one of the things people think about when they vote for president. As a result, the president is entitled to some deference. Absent a serious problem, and not just policy differences, Obama should get who he wants.

    [I agree with you and have always said that a president is entitled to his nominees...also thought Miers should have been allowed her chance to testify before the committee. That said, my point was that a senator who does not agree with this choice should not - in good conscience - vote for it. After all, the president doesn't even need the GOP votes -admin]

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  • Bender

    I am sorry, perhaps I am just jaded, but I think Obama is putting on a little show here…right down to the cadence of his speech.

    Yeah, I’ve pretty much given up on listening to (and trusting in) anything the Teleprompter says.

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  • kelleybee

    Thank you, dear Elizabeth. This is the perfect post to fit the mood that has had me for a few days. Hope you get you new ‘puter and burn up the keyboard!!

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  • brooklyn

    Another fine post.

    What can one say about Senator Boxer?

    I disagree a little with the idea GW Bush made a mistake in Iraq, or took too long to realize it, etc.

    The only thing that makes it different in my opinion, knowing the history of other endeavors such as Shiloh, Battle of the Bulge, The Battle of Chosin Reservoir, etc., is that admirable endeavors like these, which require the use of force are never easy.

    This was not like having a Majority in the House and Senate, and getting your Democratic Party to spend over a trillion in Partisan Pork in your first few months as President.

    No, the mission in Iraq was simply unheard of in it’s difficulty, it’s complexity, it’s overt challenge.

    Iraq is the size of California, with 25 Million formerly oppressed for over 20 years, who speak a completely foreign language to the USA’s and it’s Allies Forces, in a desert environment, etc., etc.

    After the first successful Mission of removing the monster named Saddam, the basic formula of helping the Iraq People build their own government, their own police force, their own army, etc., was going to take time. Radical Muslim Terrorists in the Region, and a few ugly neighbors tried to stop this empowerment of a Free Society that could become a new Ally to the Free West.

    Even after decades, the Israelis could not stop suicide bombings…

    As with any Military engagement, we suffered losses and pain, but it still remains perhaps the lowest in US History in comparison to other equatable endeavors.

    I understand many would suggest GW Bush could have tried a Surge sooner, but the strategy had not been fully developed and it was far more complex then just adding more forces. (Which would have increased US casualties early on…)

    Like Lincoln, FDR, etc., GW Bush was listening to the Military direction. It is very hard to manage any operation as President when the action is so far away.

    Regardless, mistakes are always going to be made in such challenging efforts. The Surge was a product of the prior efforts. The only threat to the eventual outcome was indeed the weakening of resolve in the face of Terrorist tactics which rely heavily on the Media Coverage and Propaganda.

    GW Bush was relying on the support of more moderate Allies like Tony Blair, and the joint effort with a number of Countries, including some political egos in the Senate, may have compromised some conceptions early on. The desire to encourage the Iraqis to reject the Terrorists, and embrace the Free West, seems to have encouraged a softer footprint.

    Regardless, I just feel, the true objective analysis will not see this effort in Iraq as many have portrayed it today. Just simply because it is so difficult.

    The strong Bush Administration’s leadership in a number of areas was admirable and sound, but nothing is ever perfect.

    After watching Mr. Paulson testify, many may just learn the Bush Administration was right again, this time in regards to the US Economy, even if the Obama-Democratic Partisan spending afterwards has made matters far worse:


  • expat

    Do we have videos of Obama defending Bill Cosby when he told black kids to pull up their pants and learn proper Engish? Do you think these sentiments were discussed during his training sessions with ACORN? He has said so much to so many different audiences that I can’t believe anything he says.

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  • Leah

    President Bush said it best in one sentence:
    The soft bigotry of low expectations.

    He didn’t hector us waving his finger at us for 2 minutes. Sorry there is something known as overkill.

  • Ken

    Alford is speaking to the committee in his position as head of an African-American group. What’s racist about saying in effect, “you don’t represent all African-Americans”?

  • Ken

    “I am sorry, perhaps I am just jaded, but I think Obama is putting on a little show here…right down to the cadence of his speech.”

    He’s a black man speaking to a black group. Why shouldn’t he adopt a black preaching style? Dr. King did the same thing — he didn’t start out with those cadences we remember.

  • Dee

    Didn’t Bill Cosby say the same things to the NAACP back in 2004? IIRC, he was castigated for being too harsh. Why is it ok when Obama says virtually the same things?

  • Ken

    The better question is what’s wrong with saying it in the first place? Why can’t black overachievers urge black underachievers to do better?

  • Dee


    The obvious answers to your questions are: nothing, and of course they should.

    However, the leftists have a huge problem with anyone other than another leftist saying those things. It’s called racist, hateful and mean-spirited if those words are spoken by a republican or conservative.

    Don’t know Cosby’s politics, but I doubt he’s a leftist. What he said certainly didn’t score popularity points with the NAACP, unlike the breathless wonder of the left when Obama spoke.

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  • Robohobo

    In comments admin said:

    …a president is entitled to his nominees…

    Yes, he is. And I am entitled to point out that this articular nominee is a racist of the worst type. She is a member of la Raza Unida and also la MeCHA, I believe. Go do your homework. These folks are the worst type of racist. I have dealt with them my entire life.

    As for The 0bamanation and his latest speechifying. No excuses? I am just flabbergasted. This fool has nothing BUT excuses:

    It’s Bush’s fault.
    We inherited this economy.
    The CLB is good enough for you plebes.
    We will pass this bill this year, I promise.
    And on and on……

    I cannot and will not defend that person in any way. He deserves whatever gets served to him in the future.

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  • Ken

    Dee, you’re right, lefties bash conservatives for talking tough love to the poor. I don’t remember white lefties bashing Bill Cosby, but maybe they did and I missed it.

  • Ken

    Sotomayor is not a member of MEChA. That’s a myth, you can look it up. And her heritage is Puerto-Rican American, not Chicano.

    As for NCLR, they’re a civil rights and anti-poverty group, and John McCain spoke to their national convention last year.

    And given that Bush was president for 8 years, he deserves some blame for the economy, no? You don’t have to agree with people politically and ideologically to recognize they’re well-intentioned.

  • Obloodyhell

    > I don’t know how Mr. Alford managed to restrain himself from leaping across his table, yanking her tongue out of her mouth and beating her senseless with it.

    1) You can’t get a good grip on anything that oily and slippery, so the first action is impossible

    2) You can’t really beat anyone with anything with so little mass. I hear it’s made of mylar so she can move it about as quickly as possible.

    3) “Beat her senseless”?
    a) How could you tell?
    b) Don’t you have to have sense to beat in the first place?



  • Obloodyhell

    > I don’t remember white lefties bashing Bill Cosby, but maybe they did and I missed it.

    You did, or you’ve chosen not to remember it.

    Either way, Cosby got dissed, completely, joining the ranks among “sell outs” and “Unca Toms”.

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