Thanks, Obama!

Yesterday, I got another one of those emails explaining why President Obama has been the worst President in all of human history.

For people who have managed to retain a sense of humor during the seven-plus years of the Obama Administration, there has been plenty of similar material to keep them chuckling. (Now, granted, my own reaction to some of the crazy has been to beat my head against the nearest wall, but people more stable than I am just laugh a lot. And have fewer headaches….)

I do like the Facebook entries making fun of this tsunami of blame: “On this date in [whatever year], the Titanic sank [Or the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Or insert your preferred historical calamity here]. People died. Thanks, Obama.”

The Rightwing crazies have blamed everything from Kim Kardashian to El Nino on our first black President. ( I’m sure the fact that he is the first black President is entirely co-incidental. Also, if you are interested, I have some swampland in Florida for sale….)

At the bottom of all of the Obama blaming is an irony that has evidently escaped most of our President’s determined critics: on the one hand, we are constantly harangued from the Right with accusations about Obama’s deficiencies: what he doesn’t understand, hasn’t accomplished, doesn’t have sufficient experience to appreciate….in other words, we are constantly told how utterly feckless he is.

At the very same time, we are treated to constant admonitions about this President’s absolutely amazing prowess: he has singlehandedly lost wars, destroyed economies, created racial tensions in hitherto loving and peaceful neighborhoods, interfered with your gallstones….I mean, you name it, this dude’s super-powers are up to the task.

I thought about this disconnect (okay, haters gotta hate) when I read about an O’Reilly accusation over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars:

Did you know that it’s Obama’s fault that people use hard drugs? I didn’t either. And do you know why it’s his fault? Because he apparently knows what words mean.

Here’s the quote from O’Reilly in support of this….um ….interesting thesis..

President Obama’s leading the way on this, classifying drug dealing, hard drug dealing, as a, quote, “nonviolent crime.” That sends a signal to the country that, you know what, it may be illegal to sell drugs, but it’s not all that bad. And the left is generally supporting the madness.

As Ed Brayton notes, classifying a transaction as “non-violent” (assuming no violence occurred) is generally seen as–what’s that called?– using words to convey information.

 If I sell you a bag of dope and you pay for it and we both drive away without any physical confrontation, then that transaction was — by definition — non-violent. Still illegal. Still might be very bad for the person who takes the drugs, depending on the drug. But it isn’t violent. Thus ends our lesson in using a dictionary.

What Ed has obviously missed is the central lesson of the past seven years: everything bad is Obama’s fault.

Come to think of it, just where were the Obamas when Prince died…??

33 thoughts on “Thanks, Obama!

  1. Speaking of headaches from banging your head on the wall…I hope you’re feeling better and almost back to your ‘normal’ schedule. Thanks for keeping up on the blog.

    Happy Birthday JoAnn 🙂

  2. O’Reilly stems from the Josef Goebbels School of Information Management. Unfortunately, when we lost the FCC rule that required equal time for rebuttal, the Fairness Doctrine, we ushered in an era of blatant misrepresentation of fact relieved of requiring the balance of alternative voice on the same airwaves in the same time slots. That was Reagan’s doing. When was the last time you heard Rush discuss anything with anyone? Given that most radio stations were and are owned by Republicans they turned the change in law into a cudgel to beat debate to death. Crying fire in a crowded auditorium has become the norm here.

  3. And while they’re complaining about Obama, they’ve done little more than sit on their hands and draw a paycheck.

  4. The right can’t be for sentencing reform, that would mean their buddies that run the for profit prisons could lose $.

  5. AgingLGrl; thank you so much for the birthday wish.

    Sheila; about your reference to Obama and the Prince death connection, I fully expected a racist outburst because he expressed sympathy and sent condolences to that young man’s family, friends and fans. Maybe I missed the racist accusations by scrolling past an obvious headline.

    I am still trying to understand how he caused the 9/11 attack; at least that accusation didn’t stick around long. I will miss the beautiful Obama family in our White House no matter who is elected; I will not use the phrase “who has replaced them” because they cannot be replaced. Their strength, dignity, daily fortitude facing racism in addition to the always present presidential dangers, class and true Americanism in their obvious love of this country and all of its people.

  6. I don’t think Obama will be the greatest President in history, but he has been considerably better than those in several decades, both D and R. He sure had little to work with. I do wish he had been more forceful on many issues.

  7. We need to simplify more. It’s quite simple. President Obama has been attacked from day one by the likes of Bill O’Reilly and his fellow media gang members. The easiest way to understand what has happened to Obama is to imagine him as a Jew in Nazi Germany. Can you imagine what would have happened to a Jewish President in Nazi Germany after 1934? I can. President Obama is lucky he is still alive.

    Back in 2005, I flew to New York to meet with Rudy Gray the playwright responsible for “Conversations with a Kleagle.” It was an award-winning “off broadway play” based on a true segment in the life of Walter White who as I remember was the FIRST President of the NAACP.

    After hearing about the play, I wanted to hear the complete dialogue. I had a hunch the play contained what I was looking for—an understanding of the mutation of the new strain of the “Hitler virus.” So I flew to New York and met with Rudy.

    In the play, the Kleagle, who was leading a group of his Klan buddies, turns to Walter White, an extremely light skinned, undercover reporter from an African-American newspaper, and said the “magic words”——-the real problem in America is “those Nigger loving Jews.”

    The deep anti-Semitism within the Theocratic/Far Right movement which had been shielded for many years by the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) rapidly mutated into a virulent racism after Barak Obama was elected. He was caught off guard. Much of the anti-Semitic rhetoric and especially political posters in Nazi Germany depicted Jews as Blacks. The only difference now is our Black President is treated like a Jew.

    As I have said many times, all of this mess is right out of the Nazi Playbook. No italics needed. Trump doesn’t need the Playbook. He has it down pat. He has been studying it for many years.

  8. In Dana Milbank’s hilarious and disturbing Washington Post opinion piece on this topic in 2013 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-embracing-misinformation-on-obama/2013/08/27/bb73493a-0f4f-11e3-bdf6-e4fc677d94a1_story.html), he quotes Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, who refers to the phenomenon as “Obama derangement syndrome.” Milbank says “Obama has driven a large number of Republican voters — Jensen puts it at 15 to 20 percent of the overall electorate — right off their rockers.”

  9. Sheila, thank you so much for this funny post. I needed a good chuckle to start my day.

    Happy 79th Birthday JoAnn

  10. Considering the near total obstruction of the right-wing Congress President Obama should be canonized as a near saintly figure for getting anything accomplished . Despite all he accomplished a lot. Thank you Saint Barack.

  11. Stuart,

    Good idea. I’ll second the nomination for Saint Barack.

    President Obama kept our country from falling apart UP UNTIL NOW. The WORLD had high hopes for us when he was elected. Remember the Nobel Peace Prize. As a country, we sure have been a terrible disappointment.

  12. Those who listen faithfully to Bill and Rush, and the rest of the right wing media will never take a moment to contemplate whether what they have heard makes sense. They never listen to outside voices, but they quickly move to inform everyone of the new truth they have just heard.

    Interestingly, if you ask them if racism might be playing a part in the anti-Obama rhetoric, they are appalled that you might even suggest that.

  13. Stuart, I agree with you.

    I hope future history book writers will tell the real truth, rather than the false stories that some want people to believe.

  14. Nobel Peace Prize? Such awards only feed the fires of the Obama haters. I have had a picture of the president and his wife in my front room for years, and a few months ago I had a guy of Mexican descent look at my TV. He saw the picture, obviously, and there was a certain softening of his attitude thereafter. He was probably a Democrat but a victim of the stereotype that, like virtually all of the others, I was just another old while guy who voted Republican. Little could he have known that I was a lifetime liberal and veteran sign-holder and marcher in the Occupy Movement in a 2-1 Republican county here in Florida.
    As to Obama, it’s hard to be a man remembered for important initiatives (e.g., ACA) when you have a Congress that has vowed to oppose every initiative you propose, but, considering such mindless opposition, he has done a good job, and parenthetically, I hope Hillary appoints him to the Supreme Court after we wait out Mitch McConnell’s edict and have a Democratic Senate to affirm his appointment. He has said he wants to stay in town when his term is up so the kids don’t have to change schools, so presumably he is available for service. One of his Harvard Law’s professors said he was “the smartest students he ever had,” so what’s not to like? Hillary will have a Democratic Senate and a jobless ex-president, so she should offer him the job. Precedent? Republican William Howard Taft was appointed Chief Justice after serving as president. Further bonus? Obama is relatively young by court standards and could reasonably be expected to serve for many years.

  15. Just a couple of points: 1) According to mitochondrial DNA, all of us evolved from a place in East Africa, thus, ultimately, each of us is African-American—I say that not to diminish the suffering from hatred that has been unleashed over the course of the last couple of hundred years, but to point out we are all people; and 2) The “war on drugs,” in various forms, has been waged since Prohibition of Alcohol ended and revenue agents, who needed jobs, were employed by the newly-formed Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous, and that “war” has caused far more harm than the use of drugs.

  16. One biblical writer (Barclay) says a million sheep were sold during Passover season one year. Some people paraded their own sheep form hundreds of miles away so they could save money. The temple owned sheep were highly inflated. The land upon which the sheep were raised (near Bethlehem) were owned by the Temple system. The High Priest to led the temple system made sure these things went according to hoyle. The animals in the temple itself were also sold at an inflated price, like shopping in a resort hotel. To blame the Jews for the death of Jesus is like blaming Me Lei on every American soldier. It was the big pockets. O’Really could not say that because the big pockets are his sponsors. They don’t want to kill Jesus, though. They want to claim as their own. They want to own most everything. Obama could have used his 8 years to advantage every deal he could. But he is too much like Jimmy Carter. With his personality and ability to work with others, I think that is god.

  17. Even if the drug transaction itself is “nonviolent” the effects of addiction to crack, coke, heroin, or meth is hardly nonviolent. There is also the violence that brought the drugs to the street too. There are turf wars throughout whole process from growing the plants to cooking up the chemicals.

    Treatment for addicts is necessary, but tied into it must be an economy that makes it clear you have opportunities to better yourself.

  18. Jim,

    “They don’t want to kill Jesus, though. They want to claim (him) as their own.”

    They’ve more than claimed Jesus as their own. They’ve made him their TITULAR LEADER until they could find the right human?? to lead. They might have just found him.

    tit-u-lar, adj. 1. of a title 2. having a title 3. in name only [a titular sovereign]

    Just wait until the Republican Party re-organizes for Trump. His main partner isn’t going to be his vice-president running mate, It’s going to be the titular leader, JESUS. And some additional help from the KKK and the likes to ensure “law and order.”

    en-sure (en shoor’, in-) vt. -sured’, -sur’ing 1. to make sure 2. to protect
    ~Webster’s New World Dictionary and Thesaurus

  19. There’s nothing new about the above scenario. That’s exactly how Jacksonville was taken under control in 1991 The leaders of the movement used the National Association of White People to control the opposition which evaporated immediately and hasn’t been heard from since.

  20. Jim Sack, that’s not what the Equal Time Rule did. That rule specified that U.S. radio and television broadcast stations must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates who request it. It didn’t mandate equal time on both sides of an issue. You’re thinking of the Fairness Doctrine which was eliminated in 1987 because the broadcasting options had grown much more diverse. Nonetheless, do you really want our government involved in regulating political debate? I sure don’t.

  21. Paul; that Equal Time Rule also doesn’t apply to sitting candidates who perform their duties and get free publicity. That isn’t considered to be “campaigning”; of course many of them wait till election time to perform their duties, consequently getting much more air and print publicity than opponents. I don’t believe we are supposed to have figured that out and, yes, both sides take that advantage.

  22. President Obama has delightful manners; however, just for today, I wish the President would take advantage of an absolutely priceless Cruz gaffe made in an Indiana campaign speech. Seems that Mr Cruz lacks a cursory familiarity of basic basketball terms as per his mentioning the basketball ‘ring’, ya know, the basketball ‘hoop’. We can only wish that the President would invite Cruz to shoot some ‘rings’ with the guys.

    Happy Birthday, JoAnn!

  23. Where was Dick Cheney when Antonin Scalia died, doing exactly the same thing that other guy Cheney shot was doing: Dove hunting in Texas luxury!

  24. This the different Stuart, but I’m sure glad we’re on the same page. I’m Stuart S.

    The phenomenon of Obama’s increasing popularity probably stems as a reaction, in part, from people who are horrified at what might take his place. This is one very classy guy, smart and careful, who does not demagogue his way through issues. I think he will be greatly appreciated in coming years. I’d love to see him on SCOTUS.

  25. Someday, perhaps, someone will come up with something of substance against either Obama or Hillary.

    Until that time historians will consider both the results and context of their political contributions objectively.

    As that happens over the next few decades my expectation is that President Obama will rise steadily up to Lincoln levels of regard.

    Hillary? Of course yet to be determined. I will say that while Kerry has been a more effective SecState, Hillary performed better than most of her predecessors in that job. For what that’s worth.

    Assuming that she will be a two term President, she will lead our government through some turbulent times as we learn what “sustainability” really means as we experience what happens when the universe steps all over our egos both collective and individual.

    To say that the game will change is a gross understatement.

    I personally am very optimistic about the eventual outcome, I wish that I could be here for it, but I’m sure that the learning opportunity facing us will be very painful as most really memorable lessons are.

    Most everything that advertising has taught us will be refuted, not in the sense of new opinions but in the sense of gravity reminding us when we fall of who’s large and in charge. Like Sheila’s recent reminder.

    We’re screwing with reality and that’s a game that cannot be won. We never have yet been able to break reality’s laws and, I confidently predict, never will.

    The issues that have resounded throughout this campaign are truly trivial compared to the reality that we face, the political promises laughable compared to what must be done.

    Are we yet smart enough to survive the predicament that we put ourselves in?

    That will be the test.

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