[Ed. – But succeed in impressing Kool Aid drinkers like Leonard (‘The’) Pitts.]
He didn’t bawl.
His voice only roughened for a moment and he dabbed at a couple tears that straggled down his cheek. As displays of emotion go, it wasn’t all that much. But it was, of course, more than enough.
Inevitably, President Obama’s tears became the takeaway from last week’s White House speech on gun violence. They came as he recalled the 2012 massacre of six educators and 20 young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“Every time I think about those kids,” said the president, tears shining on his cheek, “it gets me mad.”
One grows used to thinking of politics as a craft practiced mostly by people who are only technically human. One grows used to their cynical manipulations and insincere triangulations, to their poll-tested smiles, and focus-grouped quips. Which is why this moment was arresting. The president wept and it was a starkly human thing.
Or at least, that’s surely how most of us saw it. It is a sign of how angry and hateful our politics have become that some conservatives refused to accept the moment at face value.