Jimmy Hoffa, the president of the Teamsters, opening for President Obama’s at Obama’s Labor Day rally:
Let’s take these son of a bitches out!
Oh, but let’s be fair about the context:
We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war . . .
President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. . . Let’s take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.
If this were a Republican, he would surely be accused of inciting violence. (And from a union leader, that’s no idle threat.) At the least, it’s some of that intemperate, martial language that the left says we shouldn’t be using.
And we’re not. You can’t find any major political figures on the right saying this sort of thing. (If you could, the left wouldn’t need to make it up.) But they are. And they’re doing it from the president’s podium.
UPDATE: When Obama came on, he listed Hoffa among a bunch of other union presidents and said “we are proud of them.” I wonder if anyone in the White House press corps will ask about this.
UPDATE: Jake Tapper asked chief White House press flack Jay Carney and grilled him when he tried to defect the subject. Carney refused to condemn the remark, saying no one (but Carney) spoke for the president. Tapper ultimately backed Carney into the corner, resulting in this priceless exchange:
TAPPER: The precedent you are setting right now for the 2012 election is, the Republican candidates are the ones that we need to pay attention to; and those who introduce them at rallies, their surrogates, we don’t need to pay attention to anything they say.
CARNEY: I think I’ve said what I can say.
TAPPER: Is that the standard now?
CARNEY: You can report it as you like. [Crosstalk]
TAPPER: I’d rather not have to do this Washington kabuki every time something happens, but if that’s the standard?
CARNEY: The standard is, we should focus on the actions we can take to grow the economy and create jobs.
So it’s official. Policy is what matters, and all that civility stuff was just so much demagoguery. Sure, we knew that all along, but it’s good to hear the White House say it explicitly.
UPDATE: The White House communications director:
What everyone should do is make their best judgment of how they be civil.
Oh, so the White House’s position is it’s not appropriate to criticize the speech of others? That position won’t last long.
UPDATE: An amusing counterpoint: Although the White House says that everything from the podium is the speaker’s alone and has nothing to do with the president, they actually vet the opening prayers at the president’s events. (Via Patterico.)