Surrounded by human political props, President Obama viciously attacked Republicans in Congress Monday, as bodies were still being counted at the Washington Navy Yard and possible gunmen were still on the loose.
Obama: Extreme GOPers want to hurt people
From the South Court of the White House, as the scope of the tragedy at the Navy Yard just three miles away was still unfolding, Obama told assembled reporters that "after all the work Americans like those standing behind me have done," the Republican Party is so "extreme" that it is "really willing to hurt people just to score political points."
Do as he says, not as he does
Asked hours later if the mean-spirited tone of Obama's remarks were appropriate while a national tragedy was still unfolding, White House press secretary Jay Carney said it was "entirely appropriate, today, for the president to talk about that." Carney insisted that, since Obama briefly mentioned the still-ongoing events at the top of his speech, the rest of his partisan political attacks were perfectly acceptable.
The show must go on
After suffering through a weeks-long humiliating defeat in Washington and abroad on Syria, Obama and his handlers in the White House were determined to change the subject Monday on their terms.
They saw the five-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers as the perfect opportunity to defend Obama's economic record and were determined not to let that opportunity go to waste, no matter that people were dying at the Navy Yard. Asked if anyone in the White House ever considered cancelling the economic event in light of the Navy Yard shooting, Carney said flatly, "No."
That is not leadership, that is partisanship at its crudest.
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