The Republican War With Obama Becomes A War on America

Presidents Obama and Clinton

Paul Krugmann in his column of August 29, 2010 in the New York Times, addresses “Witch-Hunt Season,” a replay of “the last time a Democrat sat in the White House” and “faced a nonstop witch hunt by his political opponents.”

After eight years of one of the most – if not the most – corrupt administrations in US history, not to mention arguably the most incompetent – we are back to the witch-hunts. And it is not just President Obama himself who is the target of these attacks, but anyone he appoints or thinks to appoint – even those who already work for him or who support him.

The Republicans respond Immediately; the swift-boating gets under way, the smears, the innuendos and outright accusations of wrong-doing, including – disingenuously – racism.

Because as Glenn Beck established back in 2009, President Obama is a man with “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Things were bad enough for President Clinton; as Krugman reminds us, at one point the Republican-controlled Congress took “140 hours of sworn testimony over accusations that the White House had misused its Christmas card list.”

President Bush said the Constitution was just a “goddamned piece of paper” and used it to wipe his backside, but President Clinton got accused of misusing his Christmas card list. The Republican-controlled Congress never even breathed a whisper about investigating Bush; The Democrat-controlled Congress has refused to even examine the myriad abuses of the Bush administration.

An illegal war against an innocent nation, torture, rendition, attacks on civil rights and habeas corpus, but none of that matters – it’s the Christmas card list. Even oral sex in the Oval Office, while an insult to the dignity of the office, was not a violation of the Constitution, and did nothing to threaten our national security.

But President Obama is in a special place: he is black; our first African-American president. At first they attacked his Christianity for being of a racist variety, based on his pastor. When that became passé, they began to accuse him of not really being a Christian at all, but a Muslim.

Again, Krugman points to this, citing Rush Limbaugh: “Imam Hussein Obama,” is “probably the best anti-American president we’ve ever had.”

Imam Hussein Obama…If you don’t want to use his middle name against him, you can always use his first name.

Glenn Beck rose to the challenge, attacking, “Barack” back in February of this year:

“He chose to use his name Barack for a reason — to identify, not with America — you don’t take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical? Is — really?”

Two years before, on Glenn Beck’s program, Ann Coulter asked the following: “Is Obama a Manchurian candidate to normal Americans who love their country? … Or is he being the Manchurian candidate to the traitor wing of the Democratic Party?”

As Media Matters points out, Coulter “has previously referred to Obama as “B. Hussein Obama” in the past and called him “President Hussein.” She has also compared Obama to Adolf Hitler, calling Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father, a “dimestore Mein Kampf.

He has been called worse. He has been portrayed as having a watermelon patch around the White House.  Rush Limbaugh played “Barack the Magic Negro” on his show many times in 2007 and 2008 and it has since been used by other Republicans.

But we are assured there is no racism involved (Obama is the racist, after all). In fact, conservatives have turned things around and accused the left of being racist. On August 13 of this year, Rush Limbaugh, who just a month before (July 6, 2010) said Barack Obama is president only because he is black  – “[Obama] wouldn’t have been voted president if he weren’t black” – stated that “The Democrats are trying to keep black people out of politically powerful positions, it ain’t us.”

This is a poser. Is Rush trying to tell us that it was the Republicans who voted Barack Obama into office, and that Democrats voted against him? Was it attacks from the left and not the right that forced African-American Shirley Sherrod out of her job?

All this might be news to the black voters who voted Democrat in 2008 – fully 96% of them according to exit polls, or to the majority of black voters who are in fact Democrats – not Republicans. Of course, the conservatives forget they already accused THOSE black voters of being racist – voting for Barack Obama only because he was black, like them.

The barrage of attacks has been relentless. Pretending to be a government in exile, the Republicans have done more while hiding at FOX to paralyze the United States government than the Free French did while hiding in London to paralyze the Vichy government of France. Krugman touches on this point as well, saying that “What we learned from the Clinton years is that a significant number of Americans just don’t consider government by liberals — even very moderate liberals — legitimate.”

They’ve gotten to the point where they believe God himself wants them to have control of the US government. Bush believed it, Bachmann and Palin believe it, Angle believes it, and from his rhetoric in Washington this weekend, Beck believes it, even somehow seeing himself as the agent and catalyst God has chosen to implement this change.

How this explains the results of the 2008 election is anyone’s guess.

One of the many examples of these attacks against the government is the smear campaign turned against green jobs czar, Van Jones, who was hounded out of office for being a “radical/communist/black nationalist” who planned to take over the country. Another, more innocuous figure was Shirley Sherrod. As Media Matters tells it,

On August 4, Dr. Kevin Pezzi — a writer for Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com who Media Matters for America has noted for his absurdly self-aggrandizing claims, racist writings, and sexual inventions including “penile enlargement techniques,” released a two-part screed against former USDA appointee Shirley Sherrod, smearing her as a racist.

As it does so often the White House panicked and Shirley Sherrod was ordered to resign. Only afterward, when the left erupted in protest, did the White House stop to look at the facts.

It is hard to blame the Obama Administration for being oversensitive to this criticism, given the example provided by the fate of the Clinton Administration put under similar pressure.

But then in July 2010 no less a journalist than Sam Donaldson, of ABC News, urged President Obama to stand up to and take on Fox News. Donaldson said, “President Obama, don’t be afraid of them. Take them on, and let the people judge.”

It is clear that the Republicans are not going to cut the Obama administration any more slack than they cut the Clinton. They are going to accuse him no matter what he does, no matter which stance he takes, even if it contradicts previous spin.

Whether President Obama actively engages in a war of words with FOX or other Republican organizations, it is clear that he must thicken his skin and resolve to not buckle under pressure, and to look at the facts before taking any action. It is difficult to regain the momentum once you have surrendered it, and as anyone left of a very Centrist President Obama knows, he is at his best when he stands up to the bully-boy tactics.

So dig your heels in, Mr. President, because they are not going to stop pushing no matter what you do. Might as well prepare for the fight because, as Van Jones said, “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide” and unless you intend to spend your last two years in office on the run, that’s what you’re going to have to do.

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27 Replies to “The Republican War With Obama Becomes A War on America”

  1. Yes; it’s a relentless witch-hunt that always seems to have a goal, but the goal post will move when Obama moves to meet it. They don’t want to negotiate or get on same page; they want him out of office. They don’t want to debate ideas (they have none), they want to smear him. They don’t want to do anything but regain power no matter what. And they proved a long time ago that they are not above using racism to achieve this goal.

    You really knocked this one out of the park.

  2. I quite honestly do not think this is a battle that the president can win no matter how good of a president he is. I do not think he can go against the combined forces of the tea party radicals and Fox news, along with the radicals that are in Congress. He cannot fight everybody and he cannot convince people that he is not a Muslim. The forces against him are far too strong to change the minds of an apparently uneducated Republican congregation

    The God people that you mentioned, all are corrupt people. there is no doubt in my mind that there isn’t a front runner in the Republican Party right now for the present of office who will not be corrupt. Sarah Palin would probably be the most corrupt of all right along with Newt Gingrich. And the pain of it is,the republican people would go right along with it. It doesn’t matter how corrupt you are as long as God is in the White House setting in the chair of power.

    It is going to take someone from the current crop of Republican presidential candidates to gain office and to totally destroy the rights of citizens before at least a few of them wake up. But I don’t think that most Republicans will ever find out that their party uses God to get power

  3. Thank you, Sarah. I didn’t even mention the consequences of a GOP win at the midterms…there will be so many subpoenas issued for no reason at all – government will come to a standstill while the GOP witch-hunters go to work on innocent people.

  4. As the Egyptian monk said centuries ago, ‘There is no crime for those who have Christ.” That should be the official motto of the Religious Right. Should be tattooed on the foreheads of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Sharron Angle, and all the others who think in those terms.

  5. Yup; they have already promised endless “investigations” and waste of tax payer money and shutting down government so they can show boat for 2012. Good times.

  6. Just reposting – I’m hitting every site on the Web. (i know you know Patrick! :)

    From Patrick at PalinGates, which is out of Germany. These people know exactly what is happening here:

    I have witnessed in Germany in 1992/93 how a racist “mass rage” can spin out of control.

    This kind of mass rage can easily happen again in other places as well. All you need is an incident, a reason to ignite the flame. There seems to be already a broad base of people in the USA who are heavily prejudiced against Muslims, and we have seen the first “incidents” against Muslims. What would for example happen if a Muslim “hits back” and hurts a “white person?” Wouldn’t that give people a reason to “strike” against the Muslims?

    That’s why Glenn Beck’s and Sarah Palin’s game is so dangerous: If you whip up the masses, you might as well see some (unwanted?) results.

    http://palingates.blogspot.com/2010/08/exclusive-pictures-and-report-from.html

    Thanks for all you do!!

  7. Shiva,
    I can clearly recall what it was like to live under segregation in this country, and I can recall how my dad was always called “boy” by some whites who were younger than he was. It is still easy to encounter racism and racist attitudes in this country depending upon whom you encounter. I’ve always lived in GA, and my background is similar to that of Mrs. Sherrod’s, so we know that racism in America is not dead. We both educated ourselves and left the bitterness behind. Because of my parents, I’ve never wanted to retaliate against anyone because my ancestors were enslaved.

    Obama is POTUS, but he will never be able to speak his mind on any subject. If/when he does, he will be torn to shreds by the rw, and Cluster Fux will lead the charge. I recall how when he called the BPD stupid in the Dr. Gates case, the rw media contorted his words, called him a racist, and devoted weeks to making sure that everyone in the country had a chance to hear about it. There seems to be an attitude some people still have towards people of color, especially African American males. Some think that there is nothing that an AA male has to say that is worth listening to. Neal Boortz was on Cluster Fux this AM basically saying that nothing Obama will say about the war in Iraq tonight is worth listening to. They never said this about GWB.

    I saw my dad disrespected, ridiculed, and disparaged because of the color of his skin. The movers and shakers who are leading the charge against President Obama have money and the forces of the rw media to devote to trying to de-legitimize his presidency. A certain segment of our population will never think Obama or anything he does is good simply because they don’t have a high opinion of AA males. His presence in the WH is an affront to their sensibilities. They hate that he is intelligent, a devoted husband and father and is a hard worker because this goes against all of the stereotypes that have been created and disseminated about AA males. Many on the right are doing whatever is necessary to reinforce these stereotypes and use them against the president. Another part of their campaign is focused on convincing other Americans outside of their party that the president is a “thug,” a “Manchurian Candidate,” “hates white culture,” “wasn’t born in America,” etc. This is a very well-coordinated effort, and believe it or not, I expected it since I’ve seen it happen to AAs many times in the past. I taught high school for 33 years, but there was never an open house event in which I wouldn’t get some white parents questioning my teaching credentials. Never mind that I had graduated from the same college that many of my colleagues had graduated from. Never mind that I had passed the same tests they had passed to earn my teaching certificate. Never mind that 95% of my students passed the state-mandated test required to graduate every year. These parents never questioned my colleagues’ credentials, but they never failed to question mine. President Obama is in the same position that I was in before I retired.

  8. Thank you, C – you’ve nailed it. People ask, can it happen here? Well, it’s happening here. It can happen anywhere.

  9. Things have gotten so bad that on other forums I have been called a commie, a Muslim, a Marxist, and even a welfare queen by far right bloggers. Never mind that I come from a family that values learning. My father was a sportswriter for black-owned newspapers, while my mother worked at various places as an executive assistant, the last place being the Washington Post. The fact that I like and support Obama is blasphemy for the haters. Their hatred of Obama completely erodes any basis for even pretending to be objective about him. Apparently, his name, his race, and the fact that he spent about 4 of his formative years in Indonesia with his mother, stepfather, and his sister are more than enough to disqualify him as president. He has also been referred to in the above terms, and is given no credit for his beautiful family, his accomplishments as president, or his attempts to work across the political aisle. The hard right’s campaign to discredit him has been non-stop, and it is really disheartening to see how gullible people can be. These same people are the ones who consistently vote against their own interests, and it seems that nothing short of a major catastrophe will wake them up from their stupor. Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, and their ilk pose a much greater danger than the Muslims they are fomenting so much anger against, and I wonder where it wll end.

  10. It’s frightening, Anne. One author, Steve Bruce, “Fundamentalism (Key Concepts)” (2008) argues that religious fundamentalism is a response to rapid social change. I know that I have argued that it represents the forces of reaction, a reaction to loss of privilege. I believe this applies to white conservatives as well. Immigration erodes their position and this increased racism and hatred is the response.

    What is shocking to me is that so many people (including Pagans, who ought to know better, being a despised religious minority ourselves) are willing to jump on the hate the Muslim bandwagon. And the level of racism we are seeing is completely out of hand. Why aren’t more people outraged? I ask this constantly: where is the outrage?

    It’s a sad and frightening situation and all we can do is continue to speak out against it, to sign petitions, to write letters, to act in whatever capacity we can to get the message out that this is not us, this does not represent us, and that we won’t have it in our country.

  11. Hraf,
    I see granny grizzle as the “pied piper of hate” as she is the one during the campaign who started hersiren song of hate…every closet racism then came out to play! At every chance she shrieks” Do ya love your freedoms”? (Implying the freedoms have gone or are going somewhere else, as GlenDuhs Restoring Honor debacle)
    Sarah Palin is a domestic terrorist! She attacks the President at every turn. It is hate speech…why is she arrested? She is a corrupt grifter….Why are people listening to her?
    I had high hope for our country. Hope & Change. But the hope is gone, not b/c of what our President has or hasn’t done is b/c the country is moving backwards into hate and racism….thanks to the likes of Palin the teaparty and “god” and the “Change” is racism is out of the closet and in our face! Thanks Sarah Palin! I hope people will see what she is…the next Hitler,before its too late. :(

  12. Sorry for typos…this is a very upsetting subject…Why isn’t she arrested?
    Racist come out to play…

  13. Both Democrats and Republicans have abused the power of the elected offices for decades. For decades we Americans have put up with the crap they spew. As far as a “War on America” – both Democrats and Republicans have participated in the Failed War on Drugs which in reality is the War on America. All these politicians have preached “change” for decades now – let me clear that up for you – when they say change they mean change from one politicians way of stealing our money and our rights to the other politicians way of stealing them – either way it needs to stop!

    America is waking up to the fact that government officials have been stealing from the masses to enrich the few. We are now realizing that our dependency on fossil fuels and pharmaceutical drugs (pills that kill) have created a huge part of our deficit spending.

    Our mission at A420Nation.com is to unite our fellow citizens, grassroots efforts and orgainzations on a national level, to secure public policy consistent with our values of Hemp and Marijuana Legalization, Government Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Market Trade.

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  14. The sad thing is that these people ARE attacking him for living overseas as a child. I lived in Germany for many years as a youth. Does that automatically make me a “Nazi”? My brother’s kids lived in Japan for a while. Are they all ninjas looking to attack? Every military brat in the world would take serious offense to that kind of slur.

    The “birthers” are really sad (and stupid) in their allegations about Obama’s birthplace. Since he was born in the United States, his claim to the White House was stronger than that of McCain’s (who was born in Panama). The Senate even went out of their way to unofficially affirm his eligibility (via a bill sponsored by Obama and Hillary Clinton). They obviously didn’t see the need to do so in Obama’s case because they already had proof he was born in Hawaii.

    Never mind that U.S. Code TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER III > Part I > § 1401 already made BOTH of them “natural born” based on their parentage (this same law makes Brad and Angelina’s birth kids “natural born” U.S. citizens even though they were born out of country). The Constitutional clause was based on the British law that all children born to a British citizen would automatically also be citizens. In fact, Jefferson copied that clause from an existing British law.

    It was codified on March 26, 1790, when the first naturalization law of the First Congress declared, “The children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or outside the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural-born citizens of the United States.”

    So the nay-sayers need to shut up and take some refresher courses in history.

  15. I can attest to having witnessed this in the south. People who have never lived anywhere other than big cities can’t imagine what it’s like in some areas, and this isn’t a slam against the south. It’s just a fact. I’ve lived all over this country , coast to coast, and in between ….

    and the south has a form of racism that is only noticeable to those who have lived with it.

    It is everything the GOP is doing to Obama. Arrogant dismissal, calling him “boy”, looking through him, and their obvious discomfort with taking orders from a black man.

    Liberals who have never left the larger cities in the coasts used to fight with me about this and tell me it wasn’t racism. I still have friends from the midwest who didn’t see it for what it was for a while. But to those of us who were ever steeped in it, we know.

    And I say this as a white woman who witnessed it from the other side. It is glaring, stunning, and deeply wounding to see.

    I imagine Obama himself might have been rather shocked about it all, because he spent so much time in areas where this kind of racism does not exist (other forms do). But he is a strong, capable man and even though it sucks, he is going to deal with this and keep on doing his job.

    His presidency is opening doors for others but also slowly unveiling the hidden prejudices which still exist in this country. That isn’t the job he signed up for, but it’s an additional task he has at hand.

    We can all speak out against this kind of hate. We must. Sometimes it breaks my heart watching all of this, as I can see his idealism slowly being drained — but I know he wouldn’t be where he is today if he couldn’t handle it. And in my humble opinion, the most important thing is for his legacy to be for the legislation he passes and the courage and dedication he is showing under great stress. His legacy should not be that he was a target of the Right Wing hate machine. He is too good for that.

  16. http://www.indiana.edu/~kdhist/H105-documents-web/week08/naturalization1790.html

    His mother was a citizen, his father had a green card and met residency requirements—even in the 1790s, he would be considered “natural born”.

    This bit intrigues me: “And be it further enacted, that the children of persons duly naturalized, dwelling within the United States, and being under the age of twenty-one years, at the time of such naturalization, and the children of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident of the United States”.

    The “father” reference goes back to the old days when women had no legal standing, but the point is–once the parents are naturalized, the kids are automatically citizens NO MATTER WHAT. In fact, the original rules for citizenship only required living in the U.S. for 2-5 years, keeping a good moral character and swearing a loyalty oath. In the 1800s, during the Industrial Revolution, when immigrants got off the boat and passed the health inspections, they just had to pay a fee and raise their hand for the loyalty oath.

    Now, depending on where you come from, you might wait decades for your paperwork because our Euro-centric immigration rules allocate more immigration visas to people applying from smaller EU countries than to those applicants in our own hemisphere.

  17. It truly is sad that America has allowed such radical conservatives i.e. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, John Boehner and the like to grasp hold into America’s political section. They should instead work as actors or comedians because I am sometimes inclined to laugh or cry when these clowns even open their mouths. But it makes me wonder to as why they are allowed to do so? Perhaps it may be our fault as well, us liberals. If we wish for these outrageous outbursts to stop then perhaps we must put a stop to them ourselves? Clever and intelligent they are, that is why we must outsmart them; flank them and expose their weak points for the whole nation to see. If we are to see ‘change’ then we should first start as a people. United. Educated. Strong. Devoted. That is why I want to make a ‘change’. I want to put a stop to this circus that envelops the country I love. I may only be 16 and a senior in high school. I may live on a military base in a foreign country. I KNOW where my heart stands. America. I believe in my country and we all should. That’s what makes us unique. I want to make a change and I will first start with my school. I want America to be great again. I want to be free. God bless America. And it doesn’t have to only be the christian god ;). America, the boiling pot of the world. :)

  18. Great comment, patriot2daXtreme!

    Your active involvement in your school and country is invaluable for America’s future. Many 16 year olds don’t pay much attention to political concerns. Keep up the great work!

  19. Hmm~ If one checks back through Amerikan (the k used intentially considering the current ‘political’ climate ~ ) history,,,

    and how the ORIGINAL INHABITANTS/FIRST NATIONS PEOPLES of this country were and have been treated by white european “illegal immigrants” ,, and the several thousand year history of warfare and atrocity committed in ‘their’ home countries.. ((even tho there is great evidence of the same happening all over the world within all races and all cultures,,,
    there seems to be an extra level of vehemence & vitriol in the
    ‘condemnations’ from the political “wrong” (& they are Oh So Wrong ~~~))) in current politics…

    Yes, I am “disapointed” in President Obama’s “performance ~~
    BUT I take what everyone -above- has said into account ~ and agree…IF left alone to do his job,,,I’m “convinced” he would be one of America’s best Presidents…Unfortunately,,, I don’t think for one minute he will be allowed to do this,,,because of the “Self-Serving Obstructionists” on the WRONG ~~~

  20. I was with you right up until you quoted Bush as saying the constitution was “just a goddamned piece of paper.” This has been refuted, and there has been NO hard evidence he ever said it. That the supposed quote is from Capitol Hill Blue should be enough to make anyone question it veracity. It’s unfortunate, really, that you did this because everything else you said probably had great merit and is most truthful. But this, this refuted quote you used, when there are literally hundreds of other examples and truthful quotes you could have used, puts your entire article in the “not to be taken seriously” pile.

    Thanks a lot.

  21. “That’s why Glenn Beck’s and Sarah Palin’s game is so dangerous: If you whip up the masses, you might as well see some (unwanted?) results.”

    this is where we differ, I think they want the results that they get. Anytime you can get others to act irrationally you can point at them and say see I told you so.
    In my opinion all this hatred towards Muslims is being aroused simply to force Muslims to do something wrong so they can be pointed at as the religion of violence. And I think people like Newt Gingrich and Glenn Beck know that absolutely well. And I think the Koch brothers know it as well. Whip up the people, find someone to point your finger at to take attention away from the fact that your dirty

  22. you are right, and to put this into context everyone should be made to live in a small town or village in the south. Boy would you get your eyes opened

  23. What concerns me is that our party seems tone-deaf, save a few aggressive congressmen, to go after these people. There is a difference in sinking to their level, and having the balls and backbone to standup, defend yourself and fight fire with fire. I’m so tired of the bullying people on the right getting away with this mess, and the high-road getting taken on the left, resulting in the public believing the bullies are winning again, and maybe even beginning to support the bullying. I supported this president because I believed, among other things, that he wouldn’t allow them to smack him around so much, and dang if he hasn’t allowed it a lot more than he should. He needs a press secretary with some balls, along with the rest of his staff. We need two terms to fix the last two terms and the rate its going this is going to be tough to pull off.

  24. An excellent, devastatingly accurate article save for one quibble; I would NOT, under any circumstances, describe Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as an “innocent nation”…
    Other than that, I could not agree with you more.

  25. Yeah, I should clarify: I was speaking in terms of innocent of the 9/11 attack, and innocent of anything Bush accused him of, including the WMDs. Nice guy? Not hardly. But there are lots of rulers in the world who are like Saddam and we don’t invade them.

    In fact, Bush was guilty of what Saddam was guilty of. We fought him originally because he invaded a sovereign nation: Kuwait. Then we invaded a sovereign nation: Iraq. About as much justification in both cases as Hitler’s invasion of Poland.

  26. I think President Obama has shown quite a sense of humor (not necessarily a “ha-ha” sense of humor) with the “birthers” and other idiots who claim that, for whatever bogus reason, he is not a legitimate president. I like it when he told Brian Williams that he couldn’t spend all of his time with his birth certificate plastered to his forehead. Meanwhile, the Republicans (mainly the ultra-conservatives) are content to use advertising gimmicks (“The Contract with America” in 1994, the “Tea Party” movement this year) to be outright obstructionists.

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