Obama takes direct aim at anti-government rhetoric

Pete Yost and Mark S. Smith
Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – President Barack Obama took aim Saturday at the angry rhetoric of those who denigrate government as “inherently bad” and said their off-base line of attack ignores the fact that in a democracy, “government is us.”

Obama used his commencement speech at the University of Michigan to respond to foes who portray government as oppressive and tyrannical – and to warn that overheated language can signal extremists that “perhaps violence is … justifiable.”

Just 45 miles from the immense Michigan Stadium, capacity 106,201, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, told an anti-tax gathering Obama’s policies are “big government” recipes that are “intrusive” in the lives of average Americans.

In Obama’s 31-minute address to what the White House said was his biggest audience since the inauguration, the president made no mention of Palin or the tea party movement. He did say that debates about the size and role of government are as old as the republic itself.

“But what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad,” said Obama, who received an honorary doctor of laws degree. “When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.”…

…Obama’s speech was the first of four he is giving this commencement season.

On May 9, he’ll speak at Hampton University, a historically black college in Hampton, Va., founded in 1868 on the grounds of a former plantation.

He’s also addressing Army cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., on May 22, continuing a tradition of presidents addressing graduates at the service academies. He announced his Afghanistan troop surge at West Post last December.

Also this year, for the first time, Obama plans a high school commencement. It’s part of his “Race to the Top” education initiative, with its goal of boosting the United States’ lagging graduation rate to the world’s best by 2020…

The complete article is at APNews.

Read also see this video at Real Clear Politics: Obama Uses Teleprompters At Commencement Address

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