President Barack Obama, known for his lectures to others on civility, saw fit to use the obscene and derogatory term “tea-baggers” in a book interview with author Jonathan Alter.
Below is an excerpt from Alter’s new book The Promise: President Obama, Year One, to be released May 18:
Obama said that the unanimous House vote against the Recovery Act ‘set the tenor for the whole year’: ‘That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.’ For Obama this was the greatest surprise of 2009.
“It is insulting to have him lecture on civility while being the least civil participant,”said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Obama, get out of the gutter, wash your mouth out with soap and grow up. Obama is acting like a teenager -- trying to be funny by using foul language and sexual innuendo. Pre-teens think that is funny. Adults do not.”
The revelation of Obama’s use of the term “tea-baggers” comes within a few days of his oft-cited May 1 commencement speech at the University of Michigan.
Obama bemoans name-calling…
“We've got politicians calling each other all sorts of unflattering names.”
…but what name does he use?
Obama calls for basic civility…
“Now, the second way to keep our democracy healthy is to maintain a basic level of civility in our public debate.”
…but is the use of this term civil?
Obama laments the demonizing of political opponents…
“We can't expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down. You can disagree with a certain policy without demonizing the person who espouses it.”
…but has no problem doing it himself:
Obama reminds others of the Golden Rule…
“So what do we do? As I found out after a year in the White House, changing this type of politics is not easy. And part of what civility requires is that we recall the simple lesson most of us learned from our parents: Treat others as you would like to be treated, with courtesy and respect.”
…but his version of civility: