It seems no matter what this president does, no one will take him seriously. He is not treated like a “real” president but is more tolerated on the basis of a legal technicality. I am honestly surprised they open the door for him. The president is doing important work, vital to the nation. But it's not sexy. It is, after a fashion, presidential grunt work. These tasks don’t get America up off the sofa cheering the president’s name, but it makes the country better and stronger. It helps the nation heal. But this path also runs the very real risk of a single-term presidency and that someone will come along after him, when the economic recovery hits its stride and global tensions cool, and take credit for it.
It is politically risky for a president to maintain a low profile.
However, given America's tarnished global reputation, most especially in the Mideast, it was certainly wise to avoid bellicose statements and sabre rattling until the president managed another minor miracle: getting the Arab League on board. The Arab League, a regional organization of Arab states in Northeast Africa and Southwest Asia, is made up of twenty-two member states and four observes, including Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Iraq. Forging a coalition between the Arab League and western allies in the U.N. and, even more amazing, somehow convincing Russia and China to not veto the resolution, could not possibly be an accident of faith but is, without a doubt, the diligent work of a brilliant world leader who kept himself off the headlines for the sake of getting something done. It is neither an accident nor some random choice that America did not fire first in Libya.
Of course, the chorus of whiners from the conservative right, the same geniuses who applauded former President Bush's tragic Iraq misadventure, lined up to take pot shots at the sitting president during a time of war—something these very men an women openly decried when it was their guy in the Oval. Mealy-mouthed South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham described the president as "leading from the backseat," while homophonic ultra right-wing former Pennsylvania Congressman Rick Santorum accused Obama of being a "follower," following France's lead on the U.N. resolution establishing a no-fly zone over most of Libya. The Republican party never, ever, misses a chance to exploit the public's gullibility, painting Obama as some kind of also-ran go-along. Do you really believe France's president would press forward with so aggressive a military plan without speaking first with the president of the United States? Do you really believe President Obama had no conversations with other world leaders, including leaders of the Arab League? Graham knows, absolutely, this president wasn't sunning himself on the East Lawn while nations made war plans. He knows, without shadow of a doubt, that President Obama was certainly in the mix and likely orchestrated the whole thing. By suggesting the president is simply "a follower," Graham is, in fact, lying. Lying through his teeth in an effort to smear Obama while our young men and women are in harm's way. It is the worst kind of sniveling pettiness, to politicize absolutely everything and to knowingly and capriciously mislead the American people just to gain political yardage.
It comes as no surprise that this president is ruthlessly and scabrously criticized for everything he does. Before the Libya order, he was being criticized as weak, Republicans demanding a Libya no-fly. Now that he's gone in, these same guys are calling him reckless, naive, a go-along. Their tune changes so much you'd think they were a jukebox. The airwaves are full of dire predictions of America being drawn into a prolonged malaise in a middle eastern nation. These are the same guys who voted to authorize and vigorously defended Mr. Bush's prolonged malaise in a middle eastern nation. In the end, it doesn't matter. Go in, stay out, wake up in the morning and yawn—these guys will find fault with whatever this president does. They hate him. It's personal. At no time and under absolutely no circumstances will these hateful men and women stand behind their president. This past weekend, with American lives on the line flying combat sorties over Libya, they should have kept their mouths shut. They would have done that for any other president—even presidents they disliked like Bill Clinton. But their bottom line is simple and obvious, and they prove me right each and every time they belly up to a microphone: Barack Hussein Obama Is A Black Man And We Hate Him.
It seems no matter what this president does, no one will take him seriously.
He is not treated like a “real” president but is more tolerated
on the basis of a legal technicality—that he was elected
to the office. I am honestly surprised they open the door for him. I
pray for him, for his family, every day. I am simply terrified
for him, for the nut jobs who wish to do the president harm and
for the state of mind of those who are supposed to protect him.
It’s not about politics or about ideology: these people hate
him. It’s personal. And they hate him all the more because their
hatred of the president unmasks the moral decay within
themselves. This leaves these reactionary conservatives with no
choice but to discover some actual reason for hating the
president or, failing that, to admit to themselves that they
are, in fact, racists. They hate the president because he’s
black but, more so, they hate the fact the president is accusing
them of racism—which he is not doing. But this is the dynamic of
race hatred: whites feeling accused of something, that they
can’t simply disagree with this president without being called
racist. Which misses the point that nobody’s calling anybody a
racist because they disagree with the president. But we should
and must call unbridled and irrational hatred what it is. Conservative activists running around with racist
slogans on placards, bringing guns to political rallies, using
violent rhetoric and embracing this Muslim Mau Mau antichrist
extremism need to be called out. These people hate Obama because
Obama’s very existence forces them to confront what they are.
Whites in this country have been getting a free pass on racism
for a long time now, many if not most believing the nation is in
fact now post-racial. The relentless pursuit of Obama’s
demise—political or otherwise—demonstrates how far we in fact
have to go.
The ridiculous, non-stop assault on his citizenship, on his religious beliefs, is all intended to distract from the reality of falling unemployment rates, strengthening economic climate, and phasing in of health care to the underserved. Nobody wants to talk about the pullout from Iraq or the ratification of the START treaty, which reduced American and Russian nuclear arsenals by half—half. Nobody wants to talk about how Obama, virtually overnight, repositioned America globally, all but instantly repairing terrible rifts between the U.S. and Western allies, Latin America and even Islamic countries. Everybody wants a photo op with this guy. Evil dictators (including Moammar Khadaffi and Hugo Chávez, who gave the president an autographed copy of his memoir in an effort to snap a photo with hum) break into a broad smile and try to invent reasons to appear in the same frame with Obama, a hero worship that bristles with opportunities to make the planet a safer place. In terms of world peace, the president is in a historic bubble of opportunism, and his domestic policies are slowly beginning to gather momentum and show results. So what do conservatives want to talk about? The Mau Mau revolution of 1952. Obama wasn’t even born until 1961, never lived in Kenya, attended no Madrassas, and hadn’t lived with his dad since he was two years old. Even assuming Obama’s father, a lapsed, non-practicing Muslim, talked into his toddler’s ear non-stop for the first two years of his life, it is unlikely the president’s worldview was shaped in any way by Muslim anti-colonial sentiments. It is ludicrous, and provably false propaganda.
But it works. Conservatives—most especially white conservatives—cling to this nonsense even though they know it to be false. They give the president absolutely no credit for anything whatsoever. The French firing first should be all that’s talked about this weekend, but the Obama smear campaign will continue to roll and conservative whites and other people who hate Obama and are in desperate search for a reason why, will continue to ignore this historic play on the president’s part and continue to portray him as ineffective and racist. The first thing racists do, when their racism is pointed out, is call you a racist. You have to be the racist because they could not possibly be the racist. Racists will always cling to even the most obvious and ridiculous rationale for their behavior. Obama is from the moon. Obama is a space alien. Obama is the antichrist (that’s a real one). Note to the Left Behind Book of Revelation wingnut crowd: the antichrist will come from the east. You can’t run around claiming Obama is Kenyan (West Africa) and call him the antichrist. You have to choose.