Thursday, July 7, 2016

Paul, Paul, Why Persecutest Thou Me?

I think I've written about this before, but, well, we're in another campaign season and the same old apologetic slogans keep being deployed.

Someone linked to Rolling Stone's 2014 celebration of President Obama, I suppose because we're not getting enough propaganda and must recycle the old stuff; also because you can never adore the Leader too much.  It doesn't hurt that the author of the piece, Paul Krugman, had formerly been blind but now he sees.  This kind of ranking game is a waste of time in any field, but it probably does less harm in sports than in politics, and even in politics memories are short, so who will bother to remember Krugman's panegyric of Obama after next January 20?

Anyway, an acquaintance of mine commented on the article, recalling Obama's many crimes (which no doubt Krugman would consider among his successes): "Me, I curse the war criminal, that what passes for his soul burns forever in the fires of the missiles he causes to rain down on innocents. I curse him to silent pain and darkness until the end of time and space. So be it."  He's a neo-Wiccan, I believe, hence the style of his rhetoric.)

The person who'd linked to the article replied predictably.
Then you better curse pretty much every president we have ever had. We have been pretty constant with the wars, illegal actions, genocide, and more in this country. I think the office of presidency has always had blood on it's hands. And let's not forget the war criminals of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Haliburton and all.
My acquaintance replied equably, "I do. Obama is nothing unique or special in this respect."

Now, it seems to me that the Democrats have mostly forgotten "the war criminals of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Halliburton and all," just as this person has conveniently forgotten Obama's and Clinton's crimes. A well-controlled memory is so important in today's world!

What interests me here is that this defense of  Obama (and Clinton) is just as applicable to any Republican president or candidate, and indeed to any tyrant anywhere in the world.  Bush's wars were among his gravest offenses in the minds of liberal Democrats in 2008, but once they became Obama's wars they ceased to be of any concern; the same goes for just about everything Democrats had pretended to condemn in Bush's record: his economic policies, his assault on civil liberties, his hostility to "entitlements," you name it.  Obamamania has always been at war with Bushistan.

Does this apply to Trump?  Of course it does, as it did to McCain in 2008 and Romney and 2012.  The perfect is the enemy of the good, and if you demand a perfect candidate you won't be able to vote for anybody.   Probably you don't want anybody to vote, they should just stay at home on election day and hand the victory to Clinton.  Clinton is terrible, so we've just got to hold our noses and vote for Trump.  He may not be perfect but he's practically perfect, he's almost a progressive who'll fight the elites and the special interests on behalf of ordinary Americans!  (Yes, Trump's partisans do say this sort of thing.)  Besides, Trump has to say these kinds of things in order to get elected -- once he's in office he'll show his real self, and meanwhile he offers "a reasonable measure of hope."  (And change, don't forget change.)  Trump's playing eleven-dimensional chess with the libtards!  And with the rich elites that have driven our country into the ground!  And with ... you, O Trump fan.

When Donald Trump used a teleprompter recently, I tweaked my Right Wing Acquaintance Number 3, since "teleprompter" was one of her totem words to throw at Obama.  She has always declined to answer when I asked her how she felt about George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan using the things, but this time she said that it was okay, because he wasn't going to rely on the teleprompter.  As far as I know, Obama doesn't rely on the teleprompter either.  There are many times when he has to extemporize, as when he's fielding questions at press conferences.  Besides, Bush and Reagan relied on the machine at least as much as Obama does.  RWA3's response shows again that partisans care about isn't principle but persons: what matters isn't what is said or done, but who's doing it.  If my guy does it, it's a glorious example of America's greatness; if your guy does it, it's because he and his supporters hate America and the Constitution.  Which is why elections change nothing much except the names of the perpetrators.  Obamamania has always been at war with Trumposlovakia.