I have to mention something that probably won’t make me very popular here on my own site – but it is what it is.
I got after Joe over the past few weeks, not because I disagree or dislike him, but because I watch him produce outstanding and powerful logic and post very well-reasoned positions…and then, at least for me, they get destroyed by things like the “Obama can never be a natural born citizen!” argument. While things like this may well be the letter of the law, they certainly haven’t been expressed in the spirit of the law since the Constitution was ratified in 1789 and now they are a quixotic distraction.
He’s not the only one who does it. It is what I have termed the “One True Patriot” syndrome. I’ve had it – still do – it is just a mild form of megalomania while waving Old Glory – and it allows our opponents to dismiss the larger, more important parts of our positions by generalizing them to claim that the sum total are “fringe” or “extreme”.
I feel the same way about “outrage” over Obama’s vacations, his golf outings, Bo’s travel arrangements, Michelle’s $500 sneakers and the lavish parties. Of course, I post them – duh – they get hits but I’m sorry; I think that too much time is wasted on these things when these are but symptoms of the larger issue.
Greg Gutfeld of Fox’s The Five and Red Eye did it on The Five and again when he hosted O’Reilly’s show a few days ago:
Greg Gutfeld, guest-hosting for Bill O’Reilly, found it a waste of time for conservatives to complain about President Obama golfing and going on vacation, as it distracts from issues and real scandals conservatives should actually be outraged about. Erick Erickson suggested Obama’s leisure activities plays into the overall idea of a Washington that’s “out of touch,” but agreed with Gutfeld that conservatives being “shrill” about these things is what tunes out the rest of the country from more legitimate issues.
Gutfeld allowed it’s okay to talk about these things once in a while, but when news outlets like Fox keep relying on the same footage of Obama golfing to bash him, it keeps them from talking about serious, albeit “more boring” stories. Erickson added it even makes conservatives out to be “angry and bitter.”
Gutfeld surmised Obama must love the distractions, while Erickson pointed out that the media uses this as an excuse to ignore Obama bashing in general. Gutfeld closed by reminding viewers that despite constant attacks from the left, George W. Bush won re-election, and Obama did the same in 2012, so conservatives need to pick and choose their battles.
I also laughed my ass off back in May when Gutfeld was quoted as calling the media “Obama’s scandal condom”…and he is spot on with that assessment.
But I disagree with Erikson about it displaying that Washington is “out of touch”.
I think Washington is “out of touch” but in the individual case of the Obamas, it is more of an indictment of the character of our President and First Lady than just an “insulated inside the Beltway” phenomenon. What kind of person give speeches about the economy where he states that he “won’t rest until everybody that wants a job has one” and “jobs are my number one priority” and then golfs 133 times in 4 years? What kind of person claims to have reduced government when they have set record levels of public debt? What kind of person goes on a series of expensive vacations, paid for by the taxpayers, when there are record numbers of people on food stamps and disability and workforce participation is at a 30 year low?
What kind of people will defend him by claiming that “other presidents have done it”?
It is the kind of people who are not willing to look at events in context and assess the character of a man, simply because he has value to them because he advances their beliefs.
That’s a little like saying that Hitler was a good leader because he made the government efficient and made the trains run on time…while ignoring that he exterminated 6 million Jews and threw Europe into ruin…
It’s certainly not like both sides of the political spectrum don’t have examples – but from experience, my opinion is that this is far more prevalent on the left than on the right.
For example, to make a similar claim about Obama, one would have to exhibit what Ace at AOSHQ calls Strategic Ignorance in this post about Our Own Texas Abortion Darling, Wendy Davis:
Wendy Davis told John McCormack that she didn’t know what happened in the Gosnell case, using the ploy of Strategic Ignorance to avoid his next question (What do you think we should do to avoid future Gosnells?).
She claimed she had no idea of what happened in Gosnell’s clinic, despite launching a filiibuster against a law directly inspired by Gosnell, then added all she did know about Gosnell was that he operated a regulated ambulatory surgical center.
Which is a strange thing to have as the One Thing you know about Gosnell. It would be as if a friend just said something about John Wayne Gacy’s clown paintings, then you say, “Yeah, I guess we can see the hints that he was a serial killer of young runaway boys,” and then he goes, “Whazthatnow? Serial killer? You mean John Wayne Gacy, celebrated painter of clowns, killed someone? You’re saying that the Thomas Kincaid of red floppy shoes is some kind of serial killer? Wow. Mind. Blown. Whoa. I totally did not see that one coming.”
… As a member of the thuggish left she is more or less required to lie with every utterance.
The left calls this “having a fighting spirit.”
How can liberals cry “racism” when a clerk questions a sloppily dressed, no makeup Oprah Winfrey when the act she calls “racist” is the attempted purchase of a $38,000 purse? Didn’t see that reported, did you? That kind of ruins the whole racism angle, doesn’t it? Could the clerk not have been discriminating against people of lesser means? All The Oprah had to do was to whip out her black American Express and the discrimination would have ended.
Maybe this is another example of Strategic Ignorance.
This isn’t about what prior presidents have or have not done. It is about the character of a man, the current office holder, who looks at the state of our Union, assesses the propriety of such a thing and yet chooses to do something that most Americans would not.
If your neighbor’s house just burned to the ground, would you hold a pool party the next day? If your friend’s child just died, would you invite them to your child’s birthday party?
That is what ties this to Benghazi, the IRS, the NSA, Fast and Furious and the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. In all of these, there was a choice to be made and Obama’s weakness of character succumbed to political goals.
How can a liberal crow about the vacations of the 1% when Obama is enjoying a 1% vacation – except on the public credit card?
If the left can avoid the discussion of character by pointing a finger at an imprisoned filmmaker, at “low level employees in Cincinnati”, at Edward Snowden, at George W. Bush and at voter ID laws, they can avoid the conclusion that this man is not ethically fit to be President…and maybe avoid introspection of their own true motivations.
That is the discussion that we should be having.