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Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

Conspiracy of Silence

Probably the biggest way the establishment and its lapdog media aid the President and reveal their intrinsic biases is by their silence.  We have an ongoing war of indeterminate success in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Gone are the protests, editorials, mock graveyards, and Michael Moore propaganda films of only four years ago.  Gone is the concern for Guantanamo Bay, rendition of suspects, or the “imperial presidency.”  Gone is most of the mainstream media’s handwringing over deficits; Bush’s “wars of choice” still get most of the blame, even though Obama projects annual deficits 3-4X larger than Bush’s from 2001-2007 (2008 was the stimulus year, and it got to be over $1T that year.)

The most negative aspect of a Democrat in the White House is the way that the media gives him a pass, redefines the issues, and holds him to a lower standard than a Republican.  It is good for a Republican or any President to be accountable for his mistakes.  Bush was rightly held to account for the lackluster results in Iraq, the massive chaos following Katrina, and the huge corporate giveaways in his prescription drug plan.  But Obama should be held to a high standard too.  He’s not, whether on his healthcare being instantaneously over budget or the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.  He is being give the affirmative action treatment he has received his whole life, the kind where results, rigor, and responsibility are never taught or reinforced.  Moreover, native Republican patriotism (and at times mindless militarism) leaves him completely free to prosecute the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan indefinitely regardless of their results, or rather, lack of results.

While there are some good aspects to the opposition being made up in this case of patriotic adults, it is bad if he is given a complete pass, as young lives and much American treasure as well as our national security are all on the line.  And, for obvious reasons, his repeated screw-ups and inability to do anything to help the economy are becoming the elephant in the room that even his lapdog media cannot ignore.  There comes a point where Obama’s and his supporters’ blaming of Bush and the Republicans (who lost their congressional majority in 2006) looks stupid and unbelievable, even to them.  There seems already a shift in his more marginal supporters, who are put off by his ideological fervor and revelations of instinctual leftism, i.e., his criticism of Officer Crowley or bowing to non-white foreign leaders.  My optimism on a mainstream and partial media revolt is probably over-optimistic.  Unbelievable lies on race, immigration, sex differences, and crime have proceeded apace for 40 years,  even as they have become more and more ridiculous and disproven.  Whether there is significant backlash under Obama remains to be seen.  But for now, he is being given a great deal of leeway, and he is accomplishing a great deal of permanent change both to the citizens’ relationship to the federal government and the American government’s relationship to its international friends and competitors.   And these changes are mostly very bad ones.

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Notice how much more coherent, articulate, and balanced his rhetoric is compared to our current crop of “conservatives.” In particular, notice that he recognizes our country’s earlier failings without rejecting these failings as something that wipe away all moral legitimacy to our past, as Bush and Rice have done repeatedly, comparing the savage atrocities of Iraq’s savage insurgents with the brave soldiers on both sides of America’s War for Independence and Civil War. Finally, he is far more steeped in the traditions of Western Civilization, quoting Tocqueville, C.S. Lewis, Whittaker Chambers,  Isaiah, Tom Paine, and Jesus Himself.

How far the quality of our political life has declined in my own lifetime.  Transcript here.

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