Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Quick One

This fits nicely with last night's post, I think.

Another Facebook friend, this one a feminist, presumably lesbian, with left politics, posted this link today, with her own comment:
The Republican Party is comparing President Obama to a man accused of manslaughter.

Reince Priebus, chair of the RNC, actually went on national TV and equated President Obama to the captain of the Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, who is charged with manslaughter for killing 33 people. Priebus said, "In a few months, this is all going to be ancient history and we're going to talk about our own little Capt. Schettino, which is President Obama...."

This is not only an insult to the President, but it's incredibly insensitive to the victims of the disaster and to the people who are still missing loved ones. Demand that Priebus and ALL OTHER Republicans apologize to all victims and thier families for his/their misguided and hurtful rhetoric...
I commented, "That's ridiculous! President Obama has committed murder (of hundreds of civilians, including some American citizens), not manslaughter. The Republicans are totally out of touch with reality."

I could aim for balance by pointing out that George W. Bush -- who destroyed the US economy and then bailed, leaving the women and children behind to fend for themselves, makes a better match with Captain Francesco Schettino -- but you know, I'm getting tired of doing that. I'm tired of Democrats who blithely attack the Republicans in areas where they and their God-King are every bit as culpable, with no evident awareness of the fact. Besides, as a crummy political hack once remarked, we have only one president at a time, and it's the one we have now who deserves the scrutiny.

Which is why Joan Walsh's latest post at Salon.com, "Demonizing the decent guy who is president", sticks in my craw so much. (What, no capital P? This is an insult to the office!) She wrote:
I don’t agree with every move the president has made. But I think the more Republicans try to demonize him, the more most American voters will see the difference between the GOP caricature and the man they’ve come to know. I get more pro-Obama with each vicious anti-Obama attack. I’m sure the rest of his base does, too. That’s why Axelrod’s photo tweet, in its own way, became a small version of the Romney/Seamus story. Has there ever been a more decent, upstanding, all-American president, with his dog and his family and his Apollo Theatre song solos, treated more shamefully by his opponents? I’d be more horrified by the abuse if I wasn’t sure it was backfiring.
That first sentence is understatement, even for Walsh; she's been more critical of Obama than that in the past. I can almost agree with "I get more pro-Obama with each vicious anti-Obama attack," though not really: I don't even become less anti-Obama. I hope I am as critical of false attacks on Obama as I am of false defenses of the man by his devotees. It's possible to be hostile to both parties, after all. And I suspect that Walsh is right about the attacks backfiring; we saw that before with Bill Clinton.

But it doesn't make me any more sympathetic to Obama. The heat he's taking from the Republicans is excessive, but not much more so than their abuse of Clinton, and he did after all work very hard to get into the kitchen. It's even possible that there has never "been a more decent, upstanding, all-American president, with his dog and his family and his Apollo Theatre song solos," just because the bar is so low. What about Richard Nixon, who also had his dog and his family and appeared on Laugh-in? But we're talking about a President who joked about killing people with predator drones, who despite his recent shameless lies has killed many innocent people with missiles and predator drones, who has claimed and exercised the power to kill American citizens without due process, who has complacently covered up the abuse of Bradley Manning, and is now gearing up for a war of aggression against yet another Middle Eastern country. To pass over all this with "I don't agree with every move the president has made" is to display a truly warped sense of priorities.