IBD Editorial Slams Obama's Uncivil Rose Garden Rant

Friday's Investor's Business Daily hit the nail on the head about President Obama's petulant Rose Garden performance after losing on gun control in the Senate: "After Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot, President Obama called for 'more civility in our public discourse.' Now, after losing a Senate vote, he uncivilly calls his political foes willful liars — with Giffords at his side."

The unsigned article slammed not just Obama, but also Gabby Giffords for her New York Times op-ed:

"We should be civil," Obama said at the Tucson memorial service, "because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other's ideas without questioning each other's love of country."

What does the civility meter register for Obama's false charge — coming Wednesday after the Senate gun control bill failed — that "the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill"?

Doesn't sound like he thinks National Rifle Association members and other Second Amendment defenders are Americans who love their country, does it?

Would the president like to be accused of committing a willful lie when he said that ObamaCare would bring down insurance premiums? It would not be a false accusation, because they are in fact climbing.

Being so uncivil with Giffords at his side in the White House Rose Garden further pulls back the curtain on the charade. Giffords herself, as unquestionable as her courage is, just served up a heaping helping of incivility in a New York Times op-ed.

Senators of both parties opposing intensified background checks — checks that would not have prevented the Newtown, Conn., school massacre — are guilty of "cowardice," and "willfully false accounts," she wrote. That's quite a bit beyond questioning their ideas.

The grand talk from the president after the Giffords shooting included a plea that "rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let's use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy."

How empathetic is calling your political opponents willful liars? About as empathetic as your super-PAC accusing Mitt Romney of killing a steelworker's wife. Or your campaign calling Romney a felon. Or accusing doctors of amputating diabetics' feet for an immediate payoff of $30,000 to $50,000 rather than "a pittance" they'd get for saving the appendages, as Obama did in 2009.

James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal also called out Gabby Giffords for violating the post-Tucson spirit. His Best of the Web Today column on Thursday was headlined “Gabby Giffords Poisons the Well: The incivility and unreason of her case for gun control.”

Taranto proclaimed  "Giffords's 900-word jeremiad should be included in every textbook of logic and political rhetoric, so rife is it with examples of fallacious reasoning and demagogic appeals."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis