Presidential Disconnect

by Robert A. George
November 6, 2009

Yesterday, however, stark reality of a very different sort intruded: News broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas. Soon enough, the full impact of the horror became evident: 13 dead, another 30 injured. The full details and investigation of the shooting — evidently by a base Army officer — will become clear in the days ahead.

It’s President Obama’s reaction to it that is disturbing. Networks reported that the White House had been notified of the early afternoon shooting. By late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 PM, cable stations went to the president. But, instead of what might have been expected — a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion — viewers saw a wildly disconnected and, inappropriately “light” president making introductory remarks. At a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a “shout-out” to “Dr. Joe Medicine Crow — that Congressional Medal of Honor winner.” The president eventually spoke about the shooting — in measured and appropriate terms, but how could anyone have advised him to begin in this manner?

Anyone at home aware of the major news story of the previous hours — and that meant everyone watching given that this appearance by the president would not normally have been covered by the networks — had to have been stunned…

…Indeed, an argument could be made that Obama should have canceled the Indian event, out of respect for people having been murdered at an Army post a few hours before. That would have prevented any sort of jarring emotional switch at the event…

The article continues at Mr. George’s blog.


“…Ah, the dangers of giving shout outs without a teleprompter. Crow is not a Medal of Honor recipient. As noted by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society:

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress, it is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Crow’s name is not included on the Society’s Medal of Honor recipient list. He was, however, awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in August.

Obama, often described as “cerebral” by the mainstream media, should know the difference between the Medal of Honor and the Medal of Freedom, especially since he personally awarded the latter to Crow. Don’t expect his blunder to receive wide coverage. It’s not something he can blame George Bush for.”

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