Why I Like This White House

Years ago, back when I thought I was going to be a novelist, I had a writing teacher whose great rules of writing also served as great rules in life.  "Put your characters under pressure," he'd say.  "That's the only way you can see what they're made of."  

Well, sometimes life puts us under pressure, especially those people who are in the public light.  I've been impressed by the thoughtful responses of many leaders, Obama and Bill Clinton among them, to the earthquake aftermath in Haiti.  And on the other hand, we see the responses of people like Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson, people seemingly without a shred of compassion.  These are the times I am particularly glad to have Obama as President, to know that we have a government run by people who want to govern, who want to do what is right, who are connected to the world community.  

Robert Gibbs.jpgHere's a story about the way that Robert Gibbs, Obama's Press Secretary, responded to questions from the press about Limbaugh and Robertson from TPM.  He said the remarks by both men were "stupid".  Here's what Gibbs said about Pat Robertson's comments about how the Haitians had sworn a pact to the devil 200 years ago when they were overthrowing the French, the only successful slave rebellion in history  by the way.  

Asked about that today, Gibbs said:

It never ceases to amaze that in times of amazing human suffering somebody says something that could be so utterly stupid. But it like clockwork happens with some regularity.

Limbaugh had a rash of stupid things to say, pretty much all focused on President Obama - like the administration would use Red Cross contributions to gather information about donors.  Or use the contributions for other causes,  Or that Obama was quick to focus on Haiti in order to boost his credibility with Black Americans.  

Again, Gibbs:

In times of great crisis, there are always people that say really stupid things. I don't know how anybody could sit where he does, having enjoyed the success that he has, and not feel some measure of sorrow for what has happened in Haiti. I think to use the power of your pulpit to try to convince those not to help their brothers and sisters is sad.

I like how the White House has responded to this terrible natural disaster in Haiti.  And I think the American people will as well.  This is the best of who we are.


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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Allen published on January 15, 2010 10:21 AM.

What Have We Learned from this Difficult Year? was the previous entry in this blog.

The Tragedy of Haiti is the next entry in this blog.

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