The President was in a room full of admirers at a White House concert Thursday night. When he approached the podium to honor the legendary Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin, the audience only giggled a little when he bungled the spelling of a popular song.
“When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her, she had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African-Americans, and women, and then everyone who felt marginalized because of what they looked like or who they loved,” he said. “They wanted some respect.”
CBS took him to task on this error:
“He bobbled the spelling, but President Obama had nothing but respect for the “women of soul…”
“The pumped-up audience gave a hearty laugh but was more than willing to forgive the president for spelling it ‘R-S-P-E-C-T.'”
The article goes on the explain the atmosphere was that of a “mutual admiration society.”
Okay, so maybe the press didn’t “take him to task,” nor could they be bothered to mention it when Obama misspelled “Ohio.” Good for them for not hitting a man over inconsequential errors, right?
But wait just a second… Does anyone else remember 1992 when Vice President Dan Quayle spelled the word “potato” incorrectly? He was in New Jersey leading a spelling bee for sixth-grade students, and the flash cards prepared by teachers were inaccurate. When a child spelled “potato” on the blackboard, the Vice President urged him to add an extraneous “e” at the end. The media frenzy that ensued helped solidify his reputation as a knuckle-dragging idiot. Quayle never heard the end of it, and he’d write in his memoir this was the beginning of the end of his political career.
Whether a President can spell in the high-pressure moment of speeches or photo ops, of course, is absolutely irrelevant, and the biased media is an ever-present reality. However, the President’s inability to spell “respect” is nothing compared to his inability to grasp the concept. Since taking office, his administration has disrespected the rights of many Americans.
His administration’s IRS has admitted to systematically targeting patriotic, pro-Israel, liberty, and tea party groups based on their protected free speech. (In fact, at Citizens for Self-Governance, we are suing the administration in a class action lawsuit on behalf of these citizens.) But what’s less known is that the IRS also targeted adoptive families.
In 2012, the IRS requested additional information from 90 percent of returns claiming the adoption tax credit and went on to actually audit 69 percent. If you didn’t adopt that year, you had roughly 1% chance of being audited. If you did, you had a 69% chance. Why would Obama’s administration target adoptive families, when the adoption fraud rate is 0%?
In the President’s speech to the “women of soul,” he said people were sick of being marginalized by how they look or whom they love. He also relayed an interesting anecdote about Aretha Franklin. “When somebody asked her why [her song] had such an impact, she said, ‘I guess everybody just wants a little respect.’ Today, they still do.”
I’m sure patriotic Americans who love their nation agree. I’m sure the interracially adoptive families who love their children agree.
We still want respect, and we’re now demanding it.
We wish the President actually believed in it… no matter how he spells it.