Bizarre Attacks On Obama’s Response To Fort Hood Shootings

Bushreadingthepetgoat

Lacking much of substance to attack Obama on, opponents have been desperate to grab at anything. Several conservative sites have latched onto this criticism of Obama’s response to yesterday’s tragic shooting at Fort Hood. The article complains about not seeing “a  somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion.”

One conservative blog even writes, after a ridiculous claim that Obama hates the military and sides with a Jihadist: “That he would call yesterday’s horrific act of violence an ‘outburst of violence’ validates that he deserves no respect. It is times like this that I REALLY miss President Bush.”

Beyond the absurdity of the earlier charges and objection to Obama’s objection to an “outburst of violence,” it is rather inane to use this to bring back the memory of George Bush. As most will recall, upon being informed of  the the worst terrorist attack on this country, George Bush continued to read a about a pet goat. He was then virtually absent for a couple of days after a tragedy far more serious than the one yesterday.

Following is Barack Obama’s actual response to the shooting:

This morning, when the President gave his opening remarks at the Tribal Nations Conference, the day looked very different.  By 5:02 EST when he was scheduled to give closing remarks, it was clear that all Americans were rightly concerned with the tragedy in Texas, and the President took his time to give his thoughts and prayers:

Now, I have to say, though, that beyond that, I plan to make some broader remarks about the challenges that lay ahead for Native Americans, as well as collaboration with our administration, but as some of you might have heard, there has been a tragic shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas.  We don’t yet know all the details at this moment; we will share them as we get them.  What we do know is that a number of American soldiers have been killed, and even more have been wounded in a horrific outburst of violence.

My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen, and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood.  These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis.  It’s difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas.  It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.

I’ve spoken to Secretary Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and I will continue to receive a constant stream of updates as new information comes in.  We are working with the Pentagon, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, all to ensure that Fort Hood is secure, and we will continue to support the community with the full resources of the federal government.

In the meantime, I would ask all Americans to keep the men and women of Fort Hood in your thoughts and prayers.  We will make sure that we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident.  And I want all of you to know that as Commander-in-Chief, there’s no greater honor but also no greater responsibility for me than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for and that their safety and security when they are at home is provided for.

So we are going to stay on this.  But I hope in the meantime that all of you recognize the scope of this tragedy, and keep everybody in their thoughts and prayers.

It sure sounds like Obama changed his planned statements to provide “reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion” in response to the immediate situation. That is far more than what George Bush did after 9/11.

Update: Some conservatives are sure searching for a way to turn yesterday’s shooting at Fort Hood into yet another way to attack Barack Obama, failing to realize how disrespectful to the troops their sick attempts to play politics with this really are. Now even one of the Swift Boat Liars has gotten into the act. There’s yet another bizarre charge raised against Obama related to the shootings here.

Update II: Steve M. has more on the absurd attack from the right on Obama for calling the attack an “‘outburst of violence” while praising George Bush:

George W. Bush, responding to the conflict between Hamas and Israel last winter, in his weekly radio address, January 2, 2009 (emphasis added):

This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas — a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction.

These people will grasp at any straw, won’t they?

Hey, at least they aren’t still blaming Bill Clinton for everything.

Update III: Some conservatives have linked here with attacks claiming I brought up a comparison to George Bush. If they had the ability to actually comprehend this post they would see that the post was written in response to argument from the right that George Bush handled such situations better. Bush’s inability to respond meaningfully to 9/11 during the first forty-eight hours after 9/11 was far more significant. Obama’s response is nothing like Bush’s flippant comment to “now watch this drive” immediately after discussing terrorist killings:

This was a breaking news event on a day when Obama had a scheduled event. It made perfect sense for his staff to work to get the information on the shootings and write a statement to make at the conclusion of his scheduled appearance. Obama’s statement on the shootings should be judged by what he said about the shootings–not what he said in an unrelated scheduled event.

Obama did not make “shout-outs” during his actual statement on the shootings. Considering the nature of the breaking news there was nothing wrong adding a statement on at the time of his current engagement. If Reagan or Bush had done this conservatives would have said nothing.

Even if one really felt that it would have been significantly better if he had canceled his planned appearance at the last minute to make a statement solely on the shootings this is hardly a major point. Only those who already hate him, and his attempts to preserve our American values from the onslaught from the right wing, would use this as an excuse to show the degree of disrespect for the dead soldiers that we are now seeing from the right wing. This hardly justifies the claims from the right I cited that Obama hates the troops or sides with a Jihadist. This is purely a case of hating Obama and then working backwards from that point to make an attack which makes absolutely no sense to anyone outside of the right wing’s echo chamber.

Update IV: Video and transcript of Barack Obama’s statement at the Fort Hood memorial on November 10 are posted here.

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57 Comments

  1. 1
    Will says:

    I really am going to puke.  What will they stoop to next?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Where will they stoop to next? See the next post.

  3. 3
    kulturhack says:

    Right-Wing Bizzaro World: If something–anything–even tangentially involves Obama, he *must* be spectacularly wrong. http://bit.ly/2adM5k

  4. 4
    DonBoy says:

    We should call this “cargo cult criticism”.  They’ve seen people write stuff of the form “he said x, when he should have said y”, so they crank out stuff that looks like that but has absolutely no sense behind it.

  5. 5
    julie g says:

    You go on and on about how conservatives don’t have their facts straight, but it seems here that yours aren’t straight.  You claim that GWB “was virtually absent for a couple of days” following 9/11.  Just recently I heard a speech presented by Laura Bush about the days following 9/11.  She talked about how GWB spent hours and hours at ground zero talking with people, even when the secret service tried to pull him away because of the danger.  Seems like GWB provided many more “reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion” than you like to admit.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Julie,

    You should check your facts before claiming someone else doesn’t have their facts straight. George Bush was at Ground Zero on September 14–three days after the attack. My complaint is that he failed to show sufficient leadership on the first two days following the attack. I am also referring to his public statements–not to any comments in private.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    DonBoy,

    I see your analogy to cargo cult religions but I don’t think that it is a good idea to call this “cargo cult criticism”. Trust me, this will be way beyond most of the conservatives who think along these lines.

  8. 8
    Nick says:

    If julie g is an example of the caliber of conservative thought, then yes, you are correct that they will not understand how their thinking is similar to those in cargo cult religions.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    Nick,

    Actually Julie’s comment was by far the most sensible one received from conservatives. Even if in error, at least her response was directly related to the post. I can’t tell you how many right wing comments didn’t make it through moderation. Virtually all were full of insults. Many attacked me for bringing up Bush, oblivious to the fact that I’m responding to a conservative blog post for making the comparison to Bush. Several said that Bush could not say anything because he would scare the children. Apparently if one excuses themselves and leaves when speaking to children, even if the country is under attack, this will scar them for life and the person who does it will go straight to Hell. (Or maybe Hollywood, or some other liberal enclave which would be just as bad.) In addition, to avoid terrifying the children it is necessary to limit any responses for a couple of days and show virtually no leadership in a far more serious situation than yesterday’s shooting.

    Oh, yes, I don’t think anyone responded to the gist of this post on the absurdity of the attacks, such as that Obama’s response shows that he supports the terrorists and hates the military.

  10. 10
    Nick says:

    As a regular reader of your posts and comments, I thank you for not forcing me to wade through such incoherent comments.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    You are welcome 🙂 While readers have generally expressed the desire to avoid having irrational and irrelevant comments from right wingers clogging up the comment threads, I must admit I primarily leave them in moderation for my own selfish reasons. I can handle responding to the real comments in between seeing patients but there is no way I could respond to all the irrational comments from right wingers and still get any work done, but I wouldn’t want such attacks posted here without response. Besides, these are not people who are going to listen to reason and acknowledge that their arguments are making no sense.

  12. 12
    mary says:

    As I was waiting in real time for Obama’s first comments since the attack on Ft. Hood, I was pretty put off that, rather than address this immediately,  he chose to make his usual casual welcoming remarks, a shout out to someone I didn’t know, and then another few introductory remarks to the assembled folks.

    It wasn’t so much that Obama said anything untoward about the attack, it was his tone deaf timing.  I was anxious and upset, looking for his reassurance and concern…and it turned out to be about the third thing on his list.  He could have easily opened his talk with his reaction instead of rambling along.

    Yes, it felt callous and insensitive to me.  I was disappointed in him.   Perhaps, as CinC,  he should have held a separate press avail. 

  13. 13
    Nick says:

    Ron,
    Understand totally. Sometimes the best thing to do in response to insults (or illogical arguments) is to just ignore them. I especially see this in your situation. I can’t believe you manage to do as much as you do on the blog while getting all your other work done.

  14. 14
    molly bloom says:

    Tone deaf Mary? How about

    I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive.

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    Molly,

    Don’t confuse them with the facts. It is always difficult to know the best way to respond to a tragedy. It is always possible after the fact to think of even better ways it could have been done.

    Overall, Obama did a fine job. He might have done better. Previous presidents in similar situations might have responded better than they did. Other presidents (such as George Bush in your quote) have done a far worse job.

    What we are clearly seeing here is that conservatives start out hating Obama and work backwards from there. Out of their hatred for Obama they find only reasons to criticize his handling of the situation. If a Republican had responded similarly, they would be praising their words and defending them against any criticism. How long until someone defends Bush for the above line?

    These are not people who can look at the situation objectively. Everything is clouded by their biases.

  16. 16
    smartalek says:

    As with any good little authoritarian (and they are, every last one of them — especially the ones that claim to be “libertarians”), they take direction from their superiors.
    They remember well how, when Obama went to Germany during the campaign, the McCain spokespeople let it slip that they were ready for a critical attack on Obama whether he visited the troops there (exploiting and politicizing America’s best!), or didn’t (how dare he ignore those who are sacrificing for our safety and freedom!).
    Or, for another example, how the GWBush campaign was readying their pr offensive (in every sense) that, if Gore had won the electoral college vote, but not the popular vote, it would be a travesty to let the electoral vote decide the election, against the will of the people (though fully in accord with the Constitution that they claim to hold in such esteem and reverence).  As the actual situation was, of course, reversed, unsurprisingly, they made no such argument.
    Accordingly, the baby wingnuts follow the lead of their betters, much as little ducklings waddle after their mothers.  Of course, because they’re not terribly bright, they’re rather clumsy in the way they go about it.  But still entertaining, if not exactly adorable, to watch.

  17. 18
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    I heard one talk show guy that is right here in Texas go on and on about the 2 minute delay of President Obama, I did consider that a pretty unfair complaint.  Like Ron said: “He might have done better.” But to act like it was a huge insult to the military seemed rediculous to me.  @Ron: “….straight to Hell. (Or maybe Hollywood….”  that is possibly the funniest line to me that I recall you writing 🙂          I also now have a better understanding of your use of the moderation tool.  I’ve always felt that even if I fervently disagreed about something that I wasn’t saying things in an uncivil way to so frequently be put into moderation, but now that I see you just want to have a chance to answer my challenges as time permits, I won’t see it as such censure. 

  18. 19
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mike,

    First you don’t buy this totally senseless attack on Obama today and then you don’t want to act uncivil? Are  you sure you are a conservative.  🙂

    It seems that nine out of ten times comments from conservatives start out with some sort of insult. Don’t these people have any sense of how to behave in society? If I go into someone’s home, or visit their blog, I’m going to act civil. I sort of think that is just normal polite behavior. Maybe it is the same with liberals commenting on conservative blogs, but from my perspective it often seems that conservatives don’t know how to act other than as rude five year olds. The bulk of conservative comments wind up getting blacklisted after the first line or two–especially on days like today when I was getting tons of comments every hour while at the office and was intentionally quite quick on the delete button to keep up.

  19. 20
    Ron Chusid says:

    smartalek,

    “Of course, because they’re not terribly bright, they’re rather clumsy in the way they go about it.”

    That was sure apparent today. Their mind set on this is something along the lines of pretending they don’t realize (or perhaps they are too dumb to realize) that Obama added his comments at the conclusion of another event and they act as if his comments before discussing this are part of it.

    Don’t they realize that nobody other then other wingnuts think that this argument makes the slightest bit of sense? (Hell, even Mike, our resident conservative commenter above doesn’t buy it.)

    Even more amusing is the convoluted logic some have used as to why Obama should be judged at some higher standard but with something even more significant such as 9/11 Bush should get a pass for totally screwing up the response. Then there’s the ones with a short memory who don’t recall how badly Bush was shitting in his pants for the first 48 hours after 9/11.

  20. 21
    Terry Ott says:

    Mary says: …. “I was pretty put off that … he chose to make his usual casual welcoming remarks, a shout out to someone I didn’t know, and then another few introductory remarks … He could have easily opened his talk with his reaction instead of rambling …  it felt callous and insensitive ….  I was disappointed in him.”
    I’m feeling exactly the same way Mary is.  It’s circumstances like these that enable a leader to BE and to project what we hope for IN a leader.   In fact, it kind of provides a window into the makeup of a person. My goodness, I wish I had felt/seen more emotion, more humanity, more SOMETHING showing a personal connection to and a vivid awareness of how this affected people. What I saw was a politician, going through his lines and doing his schtick.
     

  21. 22
    Eclectic Radical says:

    ‘Maybe it is the same with liberals commenting on conservative blogs, but from my perspective it often seems that conservatives don’t know how to act other than as rude five year olds.’
     
    I think it’s related to the way people think and argue.
     
    As you’ve noted many times, Ron, most of us on the left tend to look at the facts and then make decisions based on our perception of those facts, for which we then argue. Our criticism tends to be in the same vein.
     
    I’m not saying we’re always right about the facts (I’ve made my share of mistakes) or that we all see the facts the same way, but most make an effort to see the facts. Conservative arguments are based on beliefs already possessed, to which the facts must conform. ‘Obama hates the military’ therefore his response to the shooting was ‘insulting to the military.’
     
    I used to comment on a conservative blog, and I always tried to argue the facts as I saw them. In contrast, conservative commenters behaved much the way they do in commenting on liberal blogs. In an argument about racism in the South, I was called ‘white trash’ and I was once attacked in a thread where I was actually in rare agreement with the post, because it is the kneejerk response to attack the ‘liberal’ in an argument.
     
    I would say that the absolute worst behavior I’ve seen from professed liberals is not on conservative blogs, but on big aggregate blogs like HuffingtonPost, DailyKos, etc. There places tend to attract the left-wing version of the conservative base… people who don’t like to do a lot of thinking and tend to react reflexively based on existing belief rather than consider the facts.
     

  22. 23
    inthewoods says:

    The saddest aspect of this whole thing – that we’re spending energy actually discussing the tone of the President’s reaction to a terrible event.  As I said to a conservative friend of mine who emailed me the story with glee, “Who cares? Isn’t there something (name any other story) that is more important than this?”
    That is the way the right wing machine works – someone writes an editoral, then it gets discussed in all the other right wing blogs, then it pops up on memeorandum, and then every other blog in the world discusses it.  I say just ignore these non-real issues.

  23. 24
    Ron Chusid says:

    Terry Ott,

    And if this had been Reagan or Bush all the conservatives  who judge everything based upon their feelings about the person as opposed to any sense of reality would be saying how great the statement was.

    Judging such a comment after an even such as this is somewhat subjective and there is no absolute criteria to judge it by. What is clear is the degree to which conservatives are willing to play politics with an event such as this which shows a shocking lack of respect for the victims.

  24. 25
    Ron Chusid says:

    inthewoods,

    Yes, it is ridiculous that the conservatives are able to hijack the national discussion (or at least discussion in the blogosphere) with such an idiotic argument. Unfortunately it is necessary to respond. Conservatives typically repeat the same lines.

    Months from now they will include a cheap shot about how Obama responded to the Fort Hood shootings to attack him (along with a list of other bogus attacks). While conservatives will repeat their lines regardless of the facts, there are also others who hear these claims and do think of attempting to fact check. Responding to their smears is of value. I bet that months down the road I will have hits on this post from people running a search for things such as “Obama response to Fort Hood.” Or “Does Fort Hood show that Obama hates the troops.” We don’t want all these Google searches leading to right wing blogs.

  25. 26
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eclectic,

    To some degree it is a function of the nature of what passes for conservative thought these days. The conservatives have driven away most of those who actually do think and look at facts. Those who are left have little more than insults and repeating arguments which make no sense or which lack a factual basis.

    The other aspect which I would normally include in such a discussion but didn’t get to in the above comment is fanaticism and extremism. Extremists of both the left and right often sound equally irrational. There are some far left sites which are no better than the conservative sites. (Before you object, that does not mean that all on the far left are fanactics.)

    There is also the echo chamber effect. At some places some types of conduct just become more prevalent–which is one reason why I police the conduct of the discussion to keep this site from sounding like the nutty sites which we know about on both the left and the right.

    Political campaigns also tend to affect behavior tremendously, but some groups are far worse than other. In 2007-8 this occurred with the Paul supporters from the right and with the PUMAs. Personally I think of the PUMAs as essentially right wingers in their thought process, but I also recognize that most on the right don’t want them either. The other big example was with some of the Dean supporters back in 2003-4. In this case their views were often far more centrist than extremist, but I think it was partially because the blogosphere was so new back then and there weren’t expectations to act in a civil manner.

    As long as I’m getting so much into moderation principles here, I’ll also add that one way to guarantee that comments will be deleted is to whine about whether a comment will be posted if it disagrees with me or freedom of speech. Disagreement alone is not reason for not posting a comment, but I own this blog and have the right to control the tone of discussion here as it reflects upon the overall blog. Freedom of speech has nothing to do with being able to post on anyone else’s blog.  Moderation decisions have to be made very quickly to keep from screwing up the work day. When people start whining about this, regardless of what ever else they said, my immediate response is generally to consider them a nut and get rid of them.

  26. 27
    Ernie Vogel says:

    #tcot » Bizarre Attacks On Obama's Response To Fort Hood Shootings … http://bit.ly/112feN

  27. 28
    Eclectic Radical says:

    The guy in question is… I don’t know the word, so I’ll just describe him: biracial homosexual pagan conservative whose personal blog blames the Evil Communist Conspiracy for everything he doesn’t like from health care reform to racism to Wicca. Communists are, of course, racist… which means liberals (who are members of the Communist Conspiracy) are also racist. All of us. If I thought he had a sense of humor, I’d think it was all artful satire.
     
    As for the comment about far left sites and fanaticism, I wasn’t going to object. There are people who I’m sure would call me a fanatic, though I don’t feel like one. I feel like a lot of what I talk about is common sense that people just don’t stop to think about. Sort of like George Carlin without a fully functional sense of humor.
     
    The Dean supporters tended to be awfully ‘fanatic’ in the main, less because of Dean’s extremism (as he is only marginally even liberal, though a bit left of Obama) than because a lot of them had embraced his candidacy with the devotion of cult members. A lot of them jumped on the Obama bandwagon too, but Dean tried to play all that energy up while Obama is more a ‘dial it down’ kind of guy.
     
    I don’t moderate my own blog, but that is because I am such a nobody (as such things go) that I can easily respond (quite literally) to every comment that ever goes up on my blog and remove every comment that violates my marginal content policy (which boils down to ‘no spam’ right now) without much real time and heavy lifting. I ever started to get some of the comment traffic that you or the Anonymous Liberal sometimes get, I might consider moderation.
     

  28. 29
    Ron Chusid says:

    The belief that there is any connection whatsoever between us and Communists is just one sign of how out of touch many conservatives are.

    “As for the comment about far left sites and fanaticism, I wasn’t going to object.”

    It wasn’t fanaticism but the use of extremism I was worried might raise some objections. I was referring to extremism related to fanaticism, as you seem to realize, but I didn’t want you to take it as referring to everyone further to the left such as yourself.

    There was definitely a cult aspect to the Dean campaign. As for whether they were liberal, one of the disputes I often had with them was over Medicare spending. Some took an amazingly hard line against Medicare (far more than anything Dean actually believed in) when I criticized Dean for his earlier support for Medicare cuts.

    The Dean campaign did  ultimately try to get their more obnoxious supporters to calm down, realizing it did not help their campaign when Dean supporters harassed blogs supporting other candidates.

    The nature of the Obama campaign probably also limited the cultish action at other blogs. While opponents overplayed the Messiah angle, there was a bit of that out there among Obama supporters. However someone with a cult-type support for Obama might behave differently based upon Obama’s own behavior towards those he disagrees with.

    Whether moderation is needed depends upon the size of the blog. Smaller blogs often don’t have the problem. Larger blogs can sometimes get away with minimizing moderation because they have enough regular commenters to drown out the idiots so that their comments don’t alter the nature of the blog.

    “I ever started to get some of the comment traffic that you or the Anonymous Liberal sometimes get, I might consider moderation.”

    Also keep in mind that you are seeing such blogs after moderation–not the idiocy which would take over the comments section if there was no moderation.

     

     

  29. 30
    Ron Chusid says:

    “I am such a nobody (as such things go) that I can easily respond (quite literally) to every comment that ever goes up on my blog…”

    The amount of comments is definitely an issue too, especially when I receive numerous comments which are repeating the same right wing talking points which have repeatedly been debunked in response to all the old posts. I can’t keep repeating the same arguments with every new wing nut who comes along, especially when they are over things which were discussed in past posts.

    I tend to be more lenient in terms of responding to ridiculous arguments on new posts, but in this case they are too ridiculous even by wing nut standards.

    It shouldn’t be so hard to understand that Obama had a scheduled engagement and then his staffers checked into a matter of breaking news and wrote a response to add on before he left. If they are so stupid as to not understand this and to include things from his planned public appearance as part of his response to Fort Hood they either do not have enough firing neurons or are totally lacking in integrity to be worth responding to. Understanding the difference between the scheduled event and the statement made about Fort Hood is really not all that difficult. This is not rocket science.

  30. 31
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Everything that I might argue with, that you just said, I pretty much agree with. Heh. The information about moderation and blogocracy in general I consider useful advice from someone with more experience than me and whose operation is something I admire.
     
    I have to concede your Medicare argument, regarding the Dean campaign. Dean did garner a tremendous amount of support from moderate Republicans who bolted the party during Bush’s first term and who were certainly to the right of Dems on issues like Medicare.  However, he also was the original runaway leader in left-wing support from anti-war liberals who were a noticeable presence on television and radio during the election. Perhaps we are remembering different supporters. I do know that a lot of the anti-war liberals were also ‘greens’ concerned so much with the environment and Dean’s properly ‘green’ stand on same that they were not terribly knowledgeable on issues like Medicare and would be more than willing to repeat campaign cant as legitimate. Certainly none of them were as knowledgeable on the subject as you.
     
    I consider myself a policy wonk of some note and would not pretend to know as much about Medicare as you. 😉
     

  31. 32
    Ron Chusid says:

    The war made it harder to stick a label on Dean. Prior to the war he was a fairly moderate Democrat. His opposition to the war led to him being labeled as further left by some. It comes down to our problems with labels. If you want to use the war as the key measure, then Dean might be called far left but personally I would look at his overall views at the time as opposed to one issue. In the case of Medicare he might be called conservative but, as I noted, I got into arguments with his supporters (who didn’t really understand the issue) who thought the way to defend Dean was to take an extremely conservative line against Dean. Getting back to the topic of behavior on blogs, if the Deaniacs were harassing other blogs over the war that would be one thing. In reality the people on blogs they were harassing were also against the war. (They might not have realized this, as when they distorted Kerry’s view, stressing his vote for war under certain conditions and ignoring all of Kerry’s statements that conditions justifying going to war did not exist.) When arguments turned to Medicare, they were definitely arguing from the right.

  32. 33
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Well, I have never forgiven the Deaniacs for bullying Carol Mosely Braun into dropping out of the race to endorse Dean ‘the inevitable winner’ in a race that turned out to still be completely wide open at the time she dropped out. This has greatly colored my view of Dean and his campaign across the board.
     
    And yes, I agree totally on the Kerry issue.
     

  33. 34
    Dr.Jerri Wilson says:

    It is very disappointing the way conservatives and liberals “go after each other” Lets just get on with the country’s  business!

  34. 35
    Bill Giltner says:

    » Bizarre Attacks On Obama’s Response To Fort Hood Shootings Liberal Values http://ff.im/-b7qC2

  35. 36
    Ron Chusid says:

    Jerri,

    That is the goal. For example today we are trying to get the House to pass health care reform. The conservatives are trying to block it. Another priority is doing something about climate change. Guess what, the conservatives are also trying to block that.

    Liberals are not “going after” conservatives. We are trying to get past all their distortions so the country can implement pragmatic solutions to our problems, and get on with the country’s business, without being stopped by conservative ideologues.

  36. 37
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I do ‘go after’ conservatives a little bit. To be fair.

  37. 38
    Ron Chusid says:

    Cut it out and get on with the country’s business  🙂

  38. 39
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Every time I try to actually do something about the country’s business, my Republican Senators write back condescendingly. I don’t think they care about my vote. 😉

  39. 40
    Lonni says:

    Being a drop-in here, I thought it prudent that I read the blog and comments before I voiced my thoughts as I am what some would consider a “right-wing” person….conservative to the core but, at least open to listening to the concerns and thoughts of others who believe differently then I do.
    The over-riding theme I have noticed in the responses to this blog are those of constant comparison.  The “if it had been(insert conservative president)then folks would be saying(insert derogatory comment)about them”.  I’m just wondering when the liberal left will let Obama stand or fall on his own merits, or lack thereof.
    Also, as a VietNam Veteran who is somewhat familiar with military subjects, the point here is that, as I watched Obama’s speech, littered with “shout-outs”, I saw a man who didn’t even break stride in campaigning with the folks in the audience and his, as an afterthought, response to the news of the horrendous shootings(act of terrorism)at Ft. Hood.  No matter how much you may agree with Obama’s policies, no one can put an emotional stamp on his response that just isn’t there.  If this were an isolated incident, it would be easier to let it go but there are others that preclude that possibility.  He shows anger and disgust when a black man is arrested by a white cop, thinking nothing of calling the actions of the cop “stupid” but his tone, demeanor and the expression on his face was the deadest I have ever seen in a standing President of the United States and that’s a shame.

  40. 41
    Ron Chusid says:

    Lonni,

    Comparisons such as you note are not, under most circumstances, the best way to argue. I am specifically responding to a post which believes that Bush handles such situations better than Obama, making such comparisons a major point of any discussion. Comparing reaction to Obama as opposed to reaction to a Republican president is appropriate here because this is all about attacks on Obama coming purely because the right wing hates Obama. You start with this hatred and work backwards. There is otherwise no logic to your argument.

    Obama’s statement about the shootings was made after a scheduled appearance. He did not make “shout-outs” during his actual statement on the shootings. Considering the nature of the breaking news there was nothing wrong adding a statement on at the time of his current engagement. If Reagan or Bush had done this conservatives would have said nothing. The use of such comparison here is meaningful as it is true.

    Even if one really felt that it would have been significantly better if he had canceled his planned appearance at the last minute to make a statement solely on the shootings this is hardly a major point. Only those who already hate him, and his attempts to preserve our American values from the onslaught from the right wing, would see this as an excuse to show the degree of disrespect for the dead soldiers that we are now seeing from the right wing over this. This hardly justifies the claims I cite that Obama hates the troops or sides with a Jihadist. This is also trivial to how badly Bush handled the 9/11 attack, or his flippant comment to “now watch this drive” immediately after discussing terrorist attacks.

    Keeping his cool has been a common trait of Obama’s. Again this would only be called a negative by those who hate Obama and work backwards from there in the evaluation of everything he says or does.

    Regarding the specific incident you cite, which tells far more about you than it does Obama, it is notable that Obama did admit he was wrong for commenting on the incident without having all the facts. How often did George Bush admit he was wrong or correct any of his many mistakes?

  41. 42
    Lonni says:

    Ron,
    Unfortunately, you proved my point as you consistently compared Obama’s behavior/actions with President Bush’s.  Instead of doing that, consider it as him standing alone in what he does or doesn’t do and take the “argument” from there.
    Your assumption that all “the right wing hates Obama” is a superflous over-simplification and a subjective generality.  I am “right-wing” and I do not hate Obama.  In fact, I come to websites that are predominately pro-Obama in order that there will be fairness in any thoughts I might have.  Personally, I have no emotional investment in Obama whatsoever.  I think those that do have a hard time in distinguishing the reality of his behavior from the reality oft-times do and approach all that he does/doesn’t do from an emotional bent.
    Your statement that my remarking on Obamas response regarding the white cop/black harvard prof “saying more about (me)then him” is proof in point.  The truth is, I would never have accused a cop of being “stupid” under any circumstances to begin with much less were I the President of the United States and without all the facts on the ground.  Rightly he apologized but, think seriously, would you have had a knee-jerk reaction like that?  And, if so, how much emotional investment do you have in the man instead of his policies?  To divert accusations back to me personally instead of responding solely to the discussion in a dispassionate but respectful manner would have been the wiser course.  Thank you for your response no matter the content, however.  I’m always willing to listen and learn.

     

  42. 43
    Ron Chusid says:

    “Unfortunately, you proved my point as you consistently compared Obama’s behavior/actions with President Bush’s.”

    What point? This is a post responding to a comparison between Bush and Obama. Therefore the post is going to compare the two. You made no point.

    “Instead of doing that, consider it as him standing alone in what he does or doesn’t do and take the “argument” from there.”

    You miss the topic of the post and what this is responding to. Looking at Obama’s actions there is really no meaningful argument. Comparisons also become significant here because this is a case where people are making senseless attacks on Obama due to their feelings about him which never would be made if not for such feelings, or if the same behavior came from a politician they supported.

    “Your assumption that all “the right wing hates Obama” is a superflous over-simplification and a subjective generality.”

    There is really no other explanation for the ridiculous attacks being made.

    “Rightly he apologized but, think seriously, would you have had a knee-jerk reaction like that?”

    Considering the amount of racism in this country, it is perfectly understandable that Obama would make such assumptions in light of such police actions against a black professor. Of course being president he also needs to be more careful than most in expressing such views as he learned from the episode.

    “To divert accusations back to me personally instead of responding solely to the discussion in a dispassionate but respectful manner would have been the wiser course.”

    Actually you proved my point in your response.

  43. 44
    William says:

    Don’t waste your time. If he still didn’t understand the post after the first explanation, explaining it again is not going to change anything. As you said, they hate Obama and work backwards to say he did something wrong. There is no other thought process going on. It is impossible for Obama to do anything right  in their minds. If he walked on water they’d attack him for not being able to swim.

  44. 45
    Eclectic Radical says:

    ‘Personally, I have no emotional investment in Obama whatsoever’ comes off to me, with my limited ability to psychoanalyze people over the internet (I am admitting that, yes, this is an ad hominem strawman), as strikingly similar to the cry of ‘I don’t care!’ from someone who has lost an argument and doesn’t want to admit they are angry and yet is obviously angry. It’s one of those things people say in arguments because they think it lends credence to their argument but, if it were true, they wouldn’t be making their argument in the first place.
     
    I think it would be terribly difficult to genuinely have no emotional investment in Obama at all. Even right-wingers like Bill O’Riley have acknowledged a weepy happiness that a black man was elected president of the United States and a pride in what that says about the US. And despite my personal disregard for Bill O’Riley, I believe he was sincere at the time. On the flipside, much of the criticism of Obama shows a very deep emotional investment in him of a very different sort.
     
    The trope about his absolute dependence on a teleprompter, for instance, shows an emotional investment of a very ugly and unpleasant flavor. It plays into specific stereotypes that would not be available for use if someone else were president.
     

  45. 46
    Ron Chusid says:

    Right, it is clear that this argument can only be based upon an emotional hatred of Obama (along with buying into the right wing talking points) when there is such an absence of substance to it.

    Besides, it is quite common in politics for many people to accept and even defend things coming from their side and attack the same behavior from the other. While there is a stronger emotional overtone to the hatred of Obama, I’ve seen the same phenomenon here when liberals have objected to some of my criticism of Democrats.

    From time to time there are also attacks on Republicans which pop up in the liberal blogs which I don’t bother with as they are trivial and I also think that those making the attacks are doing so based upon their overall feelings about the politician, not the specifics of the incident. (On some occasions, when the attacks were too off the wall, I’ve even defended the Republican or questioned the wisdom of bothering with meaningless attacks.)

  46. 47
    Ron Chusid says:

    The teleprompter attacks are also good examples of this both based upon how meaningless the attack is and due to its lack of accuracy. Obama has spoken many times without a teleprompter and has done an excellent job. Teleprompters are commonly used by all politicians and the use of a teleprompter says nothing about the knowledge of the politician about the issues or how sound their policies are. In this case it is the classic Rove tactic of attacking someone’s strengths. Since Obama is one of the better speakers they think they can negate this advantage with the teleprompter claims.

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