Why won’t President Obama shut up about the Gates arrest?

Posted by: ST on July 24, 2009 at 10:34 am

Because he just sounds more stupid about it by the second:

President Obama today stood by his comments that the Cambridge, Mass., police department acted “stupidly” in its arrest of Henry Louis Gates, telling ABC News that the Harvard University professor should not have been arrested.

“I have to say I am surprised by the controversy surrounding my statement, because I think it was a pretty straightforward commentary that you probably don’t need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who’s in his own home,” Obama said.

Except if he’d have read the danged police report, he’d have seen that the issue was a hell of a lot more complicated than how he’s making it out to be. The way he misrepresents the scene and circumstances of the incident in this interview is even more of an indication of how this President knows well how to demagogue an issue when it suits his political purposes.


In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Terry Moran to air on “Nightline” tonight, Obama said it doesn’t make sense to him that the situation escalated to the point that Gates was arrested.

“I think that I have extraordinary respect for the difficulties of the job that police officers do,” the president told Moran. “And my suspicion is that words were exchanged between the police officer and Mr. Gates and that everybody should have just settled down and cooler heads should have prevailed. That’s my suspicion.”

The president said he understands the sergeant who arrested Gates is an “outstanding police officer.” But he added that with all that’s going on in the country with health care and the economy and the wars abroad, “it doesn’t make sense to arrest a guy in his own home if he’s not causing a serious disturbance.”

Tom Maguire, who has taken to calling Obama “President Stupidly,” has the best response I’ve seen yet to that last particular bit of nonsense coming from our celebrity President:

Almost! With two wars and a faltering health care reform effort, maybe President Stupidly should not be bloviating about local police matters, especially when he does not have the facts.


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30 Responses to “Why won’t President Obama shut up about the Gates arrest?”


  1. Severian says:

    Well, this is what a vain narcissist like Obama does, repeatedly. When he sticks his foot in his mouth with an inappropriate comment or reaction, he is incapable of stepping back and saying, well, I was wrong, I should have done this or said that. No, he doubles down and digs his heels in and gets even more obstinate and off base. See how he’s handling the Honduras mess, same as here, he is mentally incapable of backing down, which bodes ill for the nation. And Bush was supposed to be the arrogant, stubborn one right? 8-|

  2. ptg says:

    As far as I can tell, Gates wasn’t “in his own home” at the time he was arrested. Didn’t he follow the cop out the door and onto his porch? That makes the disturbance he was creating a public one.

    I would have cuffed the old loudmouth just to teach him to have respect for law enforcement.

  3. proof says:

    As the “post-racial” President (No, seriously! Stop laughing!), Obama had the opportunity to be Presidential and make no comment whatsoever on a matter where he had not been fully informed on the facts.
    Having the opportunity to channel his mentor Jeremiah Wright was just too good for him to pass up!

  4. Great White Rat says:

    Almost! With two wars and a faltering health care reform effort, maybe President Stupidly should not be bloviating about local police matters, especially when he does not have the facts.

    Illogical. He doesn’t have the facts on the health care “reform” bill, the stimulus spending, or the wars either, but that never stopped him from running his mouth reading his teleprompter on those.

  5. Luke Taylor says:

    How has Obama help anyone in this country? Just think of all his overseas trips in how he has maligned the greatness of our country. He continues to maligned the best health care system on the planet. Lastly, he has maligned the Cambridge Police Department. He (Obama) is hell bent on taking this country down and returning the wealth to those who do not work. Marxism is the only word to describe his efforts.

  6. Rose says:

    Two interesting scenarios –
    One – since no reporters were raising their hands to ask questions, and all of the questions appeared to have been prescreened and prepared for – was this question, and its answer, intentional on his part?

    Or, two – was he feeling all cocky, and answered this (perhaps unexpected) softball question without the prewritten answers, as if he were shooting the breeze with his buds at the local bar, he in his infinite wisdom – and you got to see the real Obama here?

    I kinda think it was the latter. He went off script and they are scrambling to cover for it now.

  7. Rose says:

    You might also like this link –
    LINK from RBO – Klein: Gates lawyer was young Obama’s mentor. Radical black activist tied to Black Panthers, supports reparations

  8. Steve Skubinna says:

    But he added that with all that’s going on in the country with health care and the economy and the wars abroad,

    That non sequitur has me scratching my head. How even such a self absorbed drama queen like Obama can make this into an attack on his efforts to nationalize health care and turn the economy into a socialist basket case is beyond me. It’s right up there with Michelle’s remark during the campaign about “this isn’t helping my kids.” Or for that matter, the famous “can’t I finish my waffle” crack.

    Because in Obamaland, everything comes back to the Obamas personally. I think the rest of us are simply phantoms created to lend depth to Obama’s fantasy world. We only think we exist independently.

  9. BP says:

    I think this incident is very telling of the true character of BO. You just can’t listen to racist diatribes every Sunday for 20 years and not be affected by them.

  10. Tom TB says:

    The Cambridge house that Gates lives in is owned by Harvard University. It had been broken into recently, that accounts for Gates and the taxi driver having to force the door open, as the locks hadn’t been properly repaired. Why wouldn’t the officer want to make sure Gates was who he said he was? Why couldn’t Gates just have acted like a gentleman?

  11. Brontefan says:

    since no reporters were raising their hands to ask questions, and all of the questions appeared to have been prescreened and prepared for – was this question, and its answer, intentional on his part?

    Have you ever heard of a “red herring?” It is a device to shift people from thinking or studying too closely one topic by opening another. He thought he could schmooze his way to victory on TV by using his glorious rhetoric and handsome face…but it was backfiring. His double-talk was not selling and he was desperate for a mood alteration. Let’s forget about the National Health Care disasterous bill and focus on the poor black Harvard professor who was wrongfully arrested. What sort of college professor engages in such verbal abuse? I thought he was an educated man. Liberals have no problem playing a race card to get their way.

  12. rcm says:

    “I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station,” the president added. “I also continue to believe, based on what I heard, that Professor Gates probably overreacted as well.”

    He SAID they both overreacted. He SAID he could’ve chose his words more wisely.

    In other words, HE was among those in this situation who reacted stupidly.

    Please don’t try to tell me that anyone else who was arrested by the police in their own home would be ok with it.
    I’ve read of people who had their property trashed and worse, have been hurt, by DEA wrongly raiding their home.
    No apology from authorities there, and no widespread media coverage or outrage on behalf of those (non-Ivy League ) wrongfully targeted, either.

    I’d say all three of these guys behaved stupidly, the cop, Gates, and Obama.
    But, HEY, what great meat for the media. Everyone can get on their high horses and proclaim the situation to be more evidence of the evil nature of whichever particular politics they despise.
    Even better, then they can get even MORE outraged about reactions from either side.
    Enough, already.

  13. omapian says:

    The public expects police officers to investigate suspicious conduct while facts are incomplete and circumstances are ambiguous. We should give them the benefit of doubt when their actions are reasonable based upon the information available at the time the officer takes action. If the officer acted unreasonably, he should have been corrected immediately, based upon his conduct in that specific case.
    There is no justification for the President of the United States to wait a week and then use the police response to a citizen-initiated call to investigate suspicious conduct to condemn allegations of racial profiling whereby people are targeted by police without any discernible reason.
    If POTUS believes the officer acted ‘stupidly’ while conducting this investigation –is there some ‘un-stupid’ way to verify that an uncooperative persons is not a threat to the legal resident of the home, that would have satisfied him? Since the arrest was for disorderly conduct, was there reasonable cause to believe the professor was disorderly? if so, what should the officer do while he is trying to disengage and the Professor follows him out into the public withloud and abusive conduct?
    On May 27, 1991 police officers questioned a man who was chasing a naked 14 year-old boy down the street. Jeffrey Dahmer convinced the officers it was a lover’s quarrel, and, based upon the information available at the time, the officers let them both go home.
    Since it is so easy to pass judgment after all the facts are known, I would like to believe POTUS, who has a clear history of controlling press conferences and knowing in advance what questions would be raised, would heap praise upon the officer for his diligence despite the uncooperative nature of the professor.

  14. Lorica says:

    =)) This man is such a meglomaniac it is truly laughable. It’s all about you Barry!! This controversy continues because our S*** for brains President can’t keep his mouth SHUT!!! Did you all hear his converstion with the White Sox picture who thru a no hitter?? Barry told him the reason why he was able to do this was because HE, the one, wore a White Sox jacket when he threw out the 1st pitch at the All Star game. Dayum what a Pig!! – Lorica

  15. Younganj says:

    I can not believe anyone can honestly say the Cambridge police were justified for baiting Mr. Gates to step outside of his home so they could arrest him. What was his crime? Showing anger when the officer refused to look at his identification to prove he indeed lived in the home they thought he might be breaking into? Maybe a good reason to arrest Mr. Gates was because he mentioned how he could now identify with the plight of so many men of color whom have been arrested or harassed by the police without merit. I applaud President Obama for showing loyalty to a friend. The fact that the officer had no problem making a disrespectful remark concerning President Obama and Gates’ request for an apology is disconcerting to say the least. I f Mr. Gates was not such a prominent figure he might have shared the same fate of the Jena Six.

  16. gene says:

    do you think the n.a.a.c.p. would have coffee and cakes if a white man called them stupid for being a racist group?or al sharpton or jesse jackson?would these race baiters say,oh,just a misunderstanding of words,forget about it.hell f..king no!they would want the person on national television to apology’s to all the race baiters and then call for his head on a silver platter!

  17. WRoth says:

    I believe that race did play an issue here.The history of discrimination progammed both these men to their reactions in that fateful moment. It does matter that both were trained in race relations. In the final analysis it changed nothing about the incendiary quality of this meeting. Gates who is a Harvard Scholar on race is well aware of the the victimizations of young Black men who are pulled over in disproportionate numbers, left on the side of streets when trying to catch a taxi, looked at with distrust when in the wrong car or in the wrong neighborhood. Even though he was aware of these things and no doubt had experienced some, he probably never expected to undergo such indignanties in his own Home. So of course he reacted badly, he may even

    havehad a pyschotic break from such an incident. The policement if he was properly trained for sensitivity should have realized that. If I was accosted by police in my home I might react the same. Of course you would hope you would keep enough presence of mind not to provoke a policemen, but who knows. The man is 58 years old and 5’7′ he presented no threat to the officer. The office just would not stand for disrespect even though he has mortally wounded and direspected Professor Gates. He should have left the man alone, a mistake was made, perhaps it was not his but the woman who called. But once he realized that P.Gates was that upset,perhaps he should have called a police social worker or pyschologist to the scene to talk him down and leave the man in his own home. he was only trying to get home after a long over seas trip, instead he ends up in jail. What a nightmare! If that officer is the result of sensitivity training they need a new program. What hope do we have. Perhaps they should call it insensitivity training.

  18. WRoth says:

    Obama doesn’t have to shut up. He is the President he can comment on what he likes. Perhaps he could have been a little more cautious and chosen his words better, but I essentially agree with what he said. The stupidy was on the part of the officer, it was incumbent on him to smooth the situation over since P.Gates was guilty of no wrong doing, but officers are not geared that way. P.Gates, acted emotionally, he lost control, but what caused that? It was a reasonable reaction to a insane situation. Actually P.Gates is lucky he wasn’t killed like Amadou Diallo in NYC on trying to enter his own home.police officers demand total respect and obedience even if they are in the wrong. Obama has made many comments on race relations throughout his career and especially during his run for office. He is in a unique position as a mixed race person with the appearance of a Black man to show sensitivity to both sides. He was raised by a White mother, and White grandparents and even admitted his grandmother who has loved and raised him a little Black boy would time get nervous if a group of Black boys walked near her. So he knows people can carry preconcieved notions and stereotypes even if they are not intentionally racist, and it is something that is built into law enforcemt mentality sensitiviy trained or not. Also having lived in a Black Man’s skin he is aware of the prejudgements directly as it has related to him his whole life. Having attended Harvard and lived in this area though it may have been long ago, he probably also aware of the racial climate overt and covert. Let me say I believe if a White Harvard Professor had become belligerant after being confronted by police trying to get into his own home the situations would have been entirely different.To the person abe who said the officer had no way of knowing he would not hurt another residident in the home, I say bull. The cops have very good ways of inding out who legally resides at an address , even if they didn’t they could have held in the care and checked out the home.

  19. omapian says:

    Like most of the people commenting on this subject, I was not at the scene and have to rely upon others for details. I can only analyze the facts offered by the media.
    Initially the President acknowledged he did not have all the facts and then declared the police acted ‘stupidly.’
    When the President collected additional details, some of which (i.e. the 911 tapes) were not made public, he stated there was some ‘overreaction’ on the part of both sides and wished he (POTUS) had calibrated his words differently. With the advantage of hindsight, and perhaps a thorough ‘Joe the plumber’ type background check regarding the sergeant, the President had an opportunity to set the record straight. He invited the sergeant to the WH for a beer!
    I would imagine that if there were any racial remarks (other than those by Prof. Gates), the President would not be inviting a racist cop to have a beer. In fact, if the sergeant had in any manner, shape, or form, violated any of the professor’s rights, the cop would have been arrested and the Cambridge Police Department would have a federal monitor assigned. I think it is safe to conclude the police officer did not do anything wrong. But since the President declined to make such a positive statement in support of the law enforcement officer, he allows others to continue to defame all police officers as racists.
    When all this finally falls by the wayside, all police officers will remain under a cloud of suspicion of racism while the professor will be funded to produce a documentary for PBS to study race relations. I would not be surprised if Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, etcetera, are featured while public servants who risk their lives on a daily basis are ignored.

  20. WRoth says:

    Racial remarks are not the only indicator that race may have played a factor. It is not necessary that it was even a conscious process on the part of the police officer. If a White Harvard professor had been in the same situation, just by mention of his status, even an outburst on his part would have been overlooked. Professor Gates may have said anything. He was in a crazy making situation, should he have tried to maintain his cool. Yes, should he have been arrested because he didn’t, absolutely not!

  21. Severian says:

    Oh I think race definitely was a factor, Gates is a racist, and demonstrated that with his little tirade. Instead of behaving calmly and and rationally, he went open loop and lost control of himself.

    Oh yeah, a crazy situation that made him act that way, why is it that you idiots always try and blame someone else for your own lack of manners, self control, and common sense? As I mentioned elsewhere in a comment, I’ve had the exact same precipitating experience as Gates (more than once), police coming to my house after a burglar alarm being set off accidentally and asking me for my ID and a reason for the problem. Somehow, I managed to not shriek racism or police brutality, impugn the police, the officer, and his Momma/family genealogy, and avoided getting myself arrested.

    A cop showing up after such a report, either automated from the alarm or from a witness calling it in, is doing his/her job when asking for an explanation and ID. If he didn’t, and Gates came home to a stripped house, then it’d be “well, whitey won’t protect a black man’s house!”

    When you’re a racist, you see race in every response no matter what. The cop would be damned if he did, damned if he didn’t.

    The charges should never have been dropped, a judge and jury is the right place to straighten this out, not drop the charges because the perp is politically connected.

  22. omapian says:

    It is easy to hypothesize that a white person in the same situation would not have been arrested. It would be just as easy to hypothesize that the outburst by the professor could have encourage bystanders to throw rocks at the police. But without being at the incident, either claim should be dismissed as the personal bias of the commentator.
    In NYC a vehicle accident took the life of a 7 year old. Bystanders incited a crowd and an unstable man stabbed a totally unrelated student. This produced four days of riots back in 1991.
    If there is as much latent hostility as the POTUS suggests, then inciting a crowd of casual bystanders with unsubstantiated allegations of unfair treatment should be cause for concern. At some point, any person who yells “fire” in a crowded theater should be taken into custody before panic ensues. Race should not be an excuse for irrational behavior.

  23. Carlos says:

    Yes, WRoth, I know it’s in the Constitution somewhere that the President of the United States is to inject his racist assumptive wisdom into local politics wherever the charge of “racism” raises its ugly head, especially without having any of the facts and without conversing with any of the actors involved. I just can’t seem to find it, but I know it’s there.

    As far as the rest of your “intellectual” screed goes, it makes no more sense than your postulation that the Prez should not be criticized for commenting on something he had prejudged and pretty much knew nothing about except that a white man had arrested a black man who happened to be an acquaintance.

  24. Carlos from NC says:

    First off, BOTH the officer and Gates were wrong. Cooler heads should’ve prevailed. You should NOT be arrested on your OWN property or property that you are directly in control of for raising your voice. If a neighbor had come out and complained about the noise level, then the officer would have had grounds. This was clearly an abuse of power and NOT racism in my Black opinion.

    Gates knee jerk response is typical of most Black men because WE DO get stopped no matter how much we DON’T fit the description and that’s the truth. He should’ve remained calmed and made polite inquiries and then he would’ve gotten to the bottom of it. It’s that simple.

  25. forest hunter says:

    Could someone refresh my memory as to what ACTUAL disaster was about to take/took place in some foreign country (less than a month ago it seems)and teh Nubian voted present, by saying/doing nothing?

    As expected, the apologists for the Marxist are either silent or makin’ shit up again……

  26. Dr BLT says:

    This is interesting from both a sociological and psychological perspective. This song that is generating so much buzz and airplay was written a couple of weeks ago by yours truly and may provide some answers:

    White Lies about White Guys
    Dr BLT and Rockwell
    words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2009

    It’s been released on the CD, From Buck Owens Blvd. to Merle Haggard Drive:
    http://www.drblt.net (hit music link to find CD)

    Bruce L. Thiessen, Ph.D., aka Dr BLT

  27. WRoth says:


    Obama was asked a question? He gave an answer. I don’t think he was wrong. He could have chosen his words better. Yes! An incident happened at his alma-mater to one of his friends. If he had avoided the question he would have been accused of PC side-stepping, Obama is not afraid. That’s why he is where he is. Only whites can be racist, because they are still the power broker in the country others can only be prejudiced. This fact was well demonstrated by this incident.