As Adam noted on his blog, conservatives are in a tizzy over comments President Obama made in an interview with Bob Woodward. Obama, in a welcome bit of rhetoric from an American politician, expressed his faith in America's ability to withstand another terrorist attack:
"We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever ... we absorbed it and we are stronger."
Clearly, this is a message of affirmation; in some ways, it's a far-milder version of the speech President Thomas J. Whitmore gave on the eve of humanity's last stand against powerful alien invaders on July 4, 1996, "We're going to live on! We're going to survive!" Naturally, conservatives heard something far different:
This is a ridiculous reading of words that don't actually require much context or interpretation. Indeed, I'm sure that a precocious five-year-old could discern the president's meaning with minimal effort. Adam attributes the conservative reaction to a desire to see Americans as a "quivering mass of frightened little children," but it's also possible that this is a sincere failure to comprehend the president's words. With their poor reading comprehension skills, it's possible that these conservative -- like so many Americans -- are a product of our country's failed educational system. If it sounds unlikely to you, think harder; it explains so much.
- Jamelle Bouie
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