March 21, 2009


When I was in grad school, I volunteered as a scorekeeper for the school's wheelchair basketball team. One of the players was my classmate and friend, and he took me to a practice one day, got me a chair, and taught me the basics.

Wheelchair basketball is really hard.

You try dribbling a ball while pushing a wheelchair with both hands. And while other wheelchairs are crashing into you trying to steal the ball. And then shoot a basket from a seated position, with just your arm strength.

I thought about that when I heard Obama belittled the Special Olympics. Sporting events for people with disabilities is no joke. They are not "sports for people who are bad at sports." Guard Wife is right that disabled bowlers would score way higher than Obama did.

The best quote on this issue came from The Anchoress: "And now, I guess I understand what all the folks on the left used to feel when they claimed the president 'embarrassed' them."

Posted by Sarah at March 21, 2009 09:10 AM | TrackBack

When you showed me Guard Wife's post yesterday, I was appalled. I finally forced myself to watch the clip just now.

Cartman and Obama falsely assume that someone incapable of X is also incapable of Y. I may be capable of X, but that doesn't mean those who aren't can't blow me away at Y.

I always assumed that wheelchair basketball was hard. I knew you had been a scorekeeper but it never occurred to me to ask you about it. The sport turns out to be even more difficult than I imagined!

I wonder what people involved in the Special Olympics think of Obama's comment. Some of them must have voted for Obama. Did he embarrass them?

I don't ever feel Obama embarrasses me. What he does reflects on him, not on me or anything I believe in. He and I have almost nothing in common.

Posted by: Amritas at March 21, 2009 11:22 AM

What Obama said was classless, but why in the heck was he even *on* Leno in he first place?!?! He blithely spends his great-grandchildren's future with his spending bills, and then goes on late night ... so many ways that is wrong.

Amritas - I agree with you in part, as I didn't vote for him and don't take personal ownership of his words. But I am embarassed, for our country, and for the way we are all perceived as Americans.

Posted by: Barb at March 21, 2009 12:19 PM

Aside from the Special Olympics virtues, the problem with what President Obama said is that he said it. Period.

Sure, lots of people say stuff like that. I've been guilty of using the word "retarded" as a pejorative myself.

But I'm not the POTUS. We each have different limitations on our freedoms depending on our stations in life. The POTUS - the leader of the free world - must make his mouth behave better than the rest of us. He should not be using words like retarded or Special Olympics as pejoratives. It still disgusts me to hear Nixon's private WH conversations because he was such a nasty talker. Those are also his constituents.

A leader LEADS. By example as well as deed. This was one crappy example to give, particularly coming from someone who's always on us about being more sensitive to others. How's that working out with Iran there, Sir? (sorry - I digress)

The President does not have the same freedoms the rest of us do (see also - soldiers and freedoms enjoyed), and that's just the way it is. That makes rudeness and crassness in speech that much more revolting when it comes from them.

Posted by: airforcewife at March 21, 2009 01:28 PM