Chris Adamo
Obama's missed opportunity for greatness
By Chris Adamo
January 20, 2011

January 28, 2011 marks the quarter-century commemoration of the 1986 loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which at the time was the greatest space disaster ever to befall this nation. Those who lived through the event well remember the universal shock that ensued, shattering the national psyche in a manner rivaling Pearl Harbor and the September 11 attacks.

On the afternoon of that fateful day, the reeling nation was steadied in its grief by the somber yet stirring words of President Ronald Reagan. As a testament both to his realism and his ability to inspire, he exhorted America, the nation he loved, that "The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave." While being careful not to trivialize the horrendous calamity that had occurred earlier that day, he nonetheless offered real hope for that generation, and all future generations, that they would recover from their grief, overcome the obstacles, and press forward in their worthy endeavors.

In the waning years of the Cold War, and with several major domestic issues confronting him, President Reagan could easily have exploited the opportunity presented to him by such a dreadful tragedy to position himself and his party at an advantage over his opposition. A mere casual mention of the budget battles that had strained NASA's resources and capabilities to their breaking point would have been more than sufficient to remind America of which political party had restored its military and technological capabilities, and which party had incessantly sought to undermine such work in order to reallocate national resources towards continual failed attempts at social engineering.

But Ronald Reagan would never have sunk to those depths. He firmly believed that such behavior was beneath him personally, and beneath the dignity and honor of the office he had been granted the privilege of holding.

Sadly, the events that have unfolded since the January 8 mass murder in Tucson offer ample proof that neither the liberal political establishment nor its esteemed leader, Barack Obama bear even a tiny fraction of the greatness exhibited by Reagan on that fateful day. In place of inspiring and uniting leadership, so indispensable in times of crisis and need, America has been subjected to an endless tirade of vile and baseless accusations from every liberal Democrat office-holder and commentator, culminating in Obama's much awaited and much touted Tucson speech on January 12.

Of course it was a great speech, surely among the greatest speeches of all time. Speaking to an audience at the Tucson campus of the University of Arizona, Barack Obama delivered what was likely the single most profound assessment of the human condition since the writing of the Magna Carta. Or at least that was the preordained appraisal from the liberal media.

None of this came as any real surprise. Before he ever read a single word from his teleprompter, every liberal media outlet had already determined to place him and his speech upon the moral high ground at so lofty a perch that nobody would dare to contend otherwise. And apparently, to a great degree, the ploy has worked. Liberal and conservative spokesmen alike, we are told, are universal in their praise and adoration for Obama's soaring rhetoric and "unifying" acclamations. Unfortunately, under even moderate scrutiny, it becomes evident that the same old bitter partisanship, shabbily varnished with platitudes of conciliation, undergirded his words. And their ultimate purpose was revealed as just another leftist attempt to boost his standing and move the country left, though hopefully disguised more skillfully this time around.

Offering just enough mollifying oratory to distance himself from the vicious and unfounded indictments against conservative America that have been spewing from hate-filled leftists since the shooting, Obama nonetheless nodded and winked unmistakably in their direction in the next sentence. While appearing momentarily to dispel the notion that any words from those on the right had instigated the event, he immediately followed by lecturing the nation on how it could and should improve its discourse. America was not guilty of the crime, but could prevent a recurrence by mending its ways. This was the essence of shallow and self-serving doublespeak, foisted on the nation as a clever substitute for the principled and inspiring leadership it sorely needed.

Consider, Obama's statement "And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation." What are those "challenges" to which he refers? Was he suggesting that America might now be better positioned to pass "Cap and Trade"? Or was he contending that somehow, a less heated debate on the issues of the day might forestall future bloodshed on the streets of the nation.

Either the reference to the subject of "civil discourse" was relevant to the senseless murder and mayhem in Tucson, or its mention was just another transparent and unwarranted partisan attempt to assign blame to the recent groundswell of grassroots conservatism. Beneath the token facade of civility, the statement embodied political partisanship, ultimately bearing no contrast to those caustic liberal media mouthpieces on Capitol Hill and the nightly news.

In the immediate aftermath of the contentious 1991 confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in which law professor Anita Hill leveled unfounded accusations of "sexual harassment" against him, polling data showed, by a two-to-one margin, that public sentiments stridently favored Thomas. But despite the emergence of abundant information exonerating Thomas while discrediting Hill, derisive media stories continued relentlessly during the ensuing months. Eventually, the polling numbers were essentially reversed, with a significant majority of the general public accepting her accounts of their relational conflicts.

Clearly, this is the blueprint for the Tucson situation. No proof whatsoever can be found to substantiate the notion that Jared Loughner, the murderer, was ever incited by discussions from the right to commit his heinous acts. More significantly, evidence is emerging daily that characterizes him as an avowed liberal. Yet the left will continue its noxious indictments of "right wing media," "conservative talk radio," and the "tea party," as the real culprit, with hopes that empty accusations will stick.

Barack Obama had a chance to rise to the occasion and truly uplift the nation. But the ACORN/Alinsky instincts in him are too deeply rooted for that to happen. When history recalls the events of this time, he will be very small among them.

© Chris Adamo


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Chris Adamo

Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years.

He writes for several prominent conservative websites, and has written for regional and national magazines. He is currently the Chief Editorial Writer for The Proud Americans, a membership advocacy group for America's seniors, and for all Americans.

His contact information and article archives can be found at, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.


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