In two different interviews that aired today, Bill Cosby called out Obama haters, their motivations, and labeled their behavior as un-American.
Here’s the video:
Transcript from CNN:
CROWLEY: I wanted to talk to you a little bit about politics before we talk about this amazing theater.
You know that there has been some disappointment in the African- American community, some disappointment in the lesbian-gay community, some disappointment for those sort of on the lower end of the economic ladder, that the president hasn’t done enough, that he got into office and went too middle of the road. Do you find anything that he has done that disappoints you?
COSBY: I’m disappointed that people who don’t look at the woes and the trouble given to this man, people blatantly speaking out against his color, wasting time, starting up new stories about whether or not he was born here, saying things that they can’t prove.
And this man — I feel sometimes — not all the time — that it’s like watching — his job is — people want to make it as difficult as the one that Sisyphus had.
And then when you see that he made promises and said things, the people who were supposed to be working with him didn’t. The people who are supposed to be working — even for another party — didn’t care about the American people. They wanted to get him.
When people make statements like, “I hope he fails,” you can’t color that any other way except the way it’s said. And yes, OK, gays, lesbians, blacks, illegal aliens — pardon me — people like that are right. It didn’t happen. But look at why it didn’t happen. It’s a man trying to go about doing his job, and a ton of other people voting against him and regardless of what he says.
CROWLEY: Isn’t that kind of, though, the definition of politics and how —
COSBY: No, no —
CROWLEY: — Washington doesn’t always work with the parties?
COSBY: No, this was worse. This was worse. And everybody knows it was worse. And I think that this second term is one where we are really going to see a man who gets it, knows it. And it’s going to be better, period.
CROWLEY: So you’re confident there will be a second term?
COSBY: I am more than confident because he knows now who to say no to. He knows now who to say, I don’t care what you say, this is going to happen. And I believe he is for the people.
In a segment filmed for NBC’s Meet The Press, Cosby’s remarks were even stronger.
When David Gregory asked Mr. Cosby about President Obama he said, “I see Obama as Sisyphus in the first four years, and nobody would speak about the size of the rock, or the elevation of the hill. All you hear people talk about is what he didn’t do. To come from what he has asked to take over and do in the time, to behave as an American, to put up with those, who were, in my estimation, acting very un-American to get rid of those people, it took longer than patience should allow, but he tried to bring us together, even to argue with radio hosts and people who have nothing to do with anything. It’s important that this man has had to fight a similar battle of a black person in America. Hundreds of thousands and millions of people still behind him, but people who are very quietly acting like they have no idea what he inherited. It’s as if he had the surplus, when he moved into office, and this is — this is sad. And it’s sad about them. Because they know that they have misbehaved. They know they’ve taken America and slowed down the progress, and there are statements that are very clear in saying as much. I don’t want this man to succeed. Well, why, said the brown fly?”
Bill Cosby was stating nothing more than millions and millions of Americans believe. His sentiments aren’t limited to African-Americans. Polling has shown a definite trend that the majority of Americans believe that Republicans are intentionally trying to tank the economy in order to defeat President Obama.
The feeling that Mr. Cosby echoed that the Republican hatred of Obama is worse than it has been between previous presidents and the opposition party is given credence by the examples that he used. Never have we had a president’s very legitimacy questioned. There has been no other president that has had to deal with claims that he wasn’t born in this country. No other president has had to deal with the persistent and never ending attempts to delegitimize him. Yet, Barack Obama keeps working hard and trying to do what’s right for his country every day.
The Republican behavior has gone beyond political opposition. They have used a personal political hatred as fuel for the destruction of the legislative branch. Our system of governance is as strong as ever, but too many of the elected representatives in the system are overtly sabotaging its function. Notice that Bill Cosby didn’t refer to the Obama haters as un-American. He labeled their behavior un-American. There is a difference. Many of these people love their country, but have decided to put partisan politics ahead of the nation.
Obama’s language of compromise, which drove the left insane, was done for a reason. By offering to work with Republicans, he was able to separate himself from the partisan muck that has mired Congress. The American people like compromise, and they are now rewarding President Obama in the polling for his previous efforts.
Mr. Cosby is right. A second term Obama won’t be the same as the first four years. In part because like any new president Barack Obama has learned from his first term mistakes, but also due to the fact that Republicans will have nothing to gain from obstruction. Their stated goal has always been to make Obama fail so that they can beat him in 2012. A victory by Obama will only stoke the flames of hate on the right to new highs, but the political dynamic that began to change in 2011 should continue to evolve after the election.
Bill Cosby understands now what historians will appreciate later. President Obama has had to overcome unprecedented challenges during his presidency. He is the Jackie Robinson of politics. He has broken through the color line to the White House, and those who have tried to stop him through racism and hate have created a shameful black mark on our nation’s history.
The whole 30 minute Bill Cosby interview is definitely worth the watch. Check it out, if you have time.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association