Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why the Hate?

I have to admit that I've been more than a little puzzled by the political discourse regarding Obama.  Yes, I know political discourse is always marked by exaggeration and hyperbole, but the stuff around Obama has just seemed over the top.  There still are accusations that he is not an American, born in the USA.  There are still prominent folk who claim he is really a Muslim.  There is the constant buzz that he is a Socialist.  Others say that he is the biggest threat to US security in the history of the nation.   Simply put, none of the above is remotely true.  Love him or not, he was born in Hawaii, is not a Muslim, is not a Socialist by any reasonable definition, and is clearly not the greatest threat to US security ever.

Many, especially in the African American community, have blamed the over the top hatred on race.  Many on the right protest that they are not racist and his race has nothing to do with their disdain of Obama.  Now, I know many folk far right of center who would never vote for Obama who are not racist and for whom race does not have any relevance.  Still, I cannot help but think that the depth of invective against him is out of proportion to his policies.  Indeed, most of his policies are literally continuations of those begun under the Bush administration.  If that isn't about race, then what in the world is it?

And then today I saw a photo of a bumper sticker... it had the Obama logo with a circle and a line through it with the tag line - "Don't Re-Nig 2012."  At first I wondered whether it was something made up by an Obama supporter to inflame the base so I googled it.  I found a vendor selling the stickers along with other far right slogans.  If that's not about race, then I have no idea what is.


Michael Mahoney said...

The President may be many things, and not many of them are good, but clearly the most viscous attacks on him are from people who cannot wrap their heads around a higher order of thinking than race, religion or birthplace.

The birther thing was a non-starter and rightfully so. While it was sketchy at the beginning, it was fully explained. Let's move on.

Who cares what religion he is? Why can't a muslim be president. And, he is clearly not a muslim. If I were judgemental, I would say he doesn't seem like much of a Christian, but that's between him and God, isn't it? I found it disingenuous when he left his congregation of twenty years because it was politically expedient. But then, he's a politician.

And the race thing is just stupid. Again, who cares. He didn't even get support from black voters in 2008.

I oppose Barack Obama on a lot of things - he's lived up to very few of his promises, and has gone back on many more of them. He's done a poor job in foreign relations, and the middle east is spinning out of control. The economy is a mess, which he largely inherited,yes, but I know few people who are not worse off financially than they were four years ago. And don't get me started on Obamacare.

I'd prefer to keep the debate on issues. But then, I guess it's the same old "Bush is a dumb redneck" thing in reverse.

roy said...

I agree Michael on keeping things on the issues. And you know, Obama was not my first choice and I'm not a fan. I won't disagree with almost any of your comments re: Obama even if I would tweak a few (for example, I know few people who are truly better off financially since Reagan not just since Obama came into office, and I would say that the problems with Obamacare were that it didn't go nearly far enough - promises not kept)

Still, it is not the "same old 'Bush is a dumb redneck thing' only in reverse" for a whole bunch of reasons. I don't recall any "liberal" talkers calling for his death or saying his wife looked like a ho, any "Christian" leaders praying against him (even for his death), or Democratic congress people saying that their primary objective was his failure, damn the country. Nor did the Dems filibuster virtually every appointment he tried to make. And then there is the basic truth of the comments. While I certainly don't think Bush was stupid, I would guess he was among the least intelligent presidents ever if not the least and clearly he got everywhere he got solely because of his family connections. And perhaps most important of all, race is a bigger issue than calling Bush a redneck.

Michael Mahoney said...

You're right, of course. My point was people grasping at straws to be able to point there finger at something that is neither substantive or even true.

I'd dispute the Bush intelligence thing on a couple of levels. He scored very well on his SATs, which while are not a real predictor of general intelligence, have a tremendous correlation to IQ scores. Second, he has an MBA from Harvard, and I don't care who your daddy is, that says something.

Additionally, general intelligence is a poor predictor of a good presidency. The general consensus of presidents in the last 50 years of the 20 century is that the three "most intelligent" were Nixon, Carter and Clinton... not exactly role models for effective presidents. On the other hand, Truman and Reagan had relatively poor educations, and Kennedy was toward the lower end of the presidential IQ spectrum.

"...nor did the Dems filibuster virtually every appointment he tried to make."

Really? Ten filibusters in the 108th Congress alone. And that doesn't include nominees whose appointments were stalled in committee until they expired. All in all, Bush had 39 nominees blocked by Senate Democrats, verses something like 7 blocked by the GOP for Obama.

And I think we can both agree those "Christians" aren't anything of the sort.