Monday, November 24, 2014

Obama derangement syndrome

I've got some friends on the right who are really going to miss Barack Obama.

Without him, they'll have nothing to talk about.

Granted that the GOP found the last two-term Democratic president so illegitimate they thought they could impeach him for nothing, but not even Sick Willie roused Republican ire the way Obama does.

He's simultaneously a foreigner, a Nazi, a socialist, a tyrant, a traitor, a coddler of welfare cheats,  Muslim, the Anti-Christ  and a disrespecter of the flag. And it doesn't matter how many times any of these things are disproved, they never go away.

(By the way, if he's a socialist, Obama is the worst socialist ever. In his term, the stock market and corporate profits have skyrocketed, the  unemployment rate has fallen without increasing wages for working people, we bailed out the Wall Street companies that engineered the Great Recession, without imposing any new laws that would keep them from toppling the economy again and the disparity in wealth between the 1% and the rest of us has increased. Worst. Socialist. Ever. Maybe he should ask some tips from Sen. Bernie Sanders or the Nordic countries on how to do socialism right.)

It's Obama derangement syndrome.

It can make even the most sensible Republican, break out in spittle-flying, Tea- Party- worthy craziness.

Now, look, there's no question that  Bush Derangement Syndrome was a real thing too.

I know Democrats who believe George W. Bush was behind 9/11 and who think he invaded Iraq, for the oil.

(That's nuts, not even a member of the Bush family could invade a country for oil and see gas prices domestically climb close to $4. Wanting the country's oil would be a more sensible reason to invade Iraq than any the W Administration ever put forward. In fact, I suspect there's  pretty simple reason-- Saddam Hussein tried to have W's father - the sensible President Bush - assassinated. Regime change in Iraq was the subject of  a meeting on the first day of W's term of office, long before 9/11. Hey, I'm a vengeful guy myself, I can respect that.)

But no matter  how bad criticism of GWB got, it was never as ugly as what Obama has faced. I don't remember Democrats throwing the word "traitor"  around. There were a few undeserved Nazi references, but Obama has faced more. And there certainly wasn't the amount of racism that's been thrown around. I'm not saying anyone who criticizes Obama is racist. There are still real policy differences between the left and the right, and it's fair game to comment on them. However, Obama's presidency has apparently given free reign for down-low racists to emerge from underneath their rocks and engage in the kind of hate speech that most of us though died out in the 1960s.

And sensible Republicans and Conservatives should be -- but have not been so far -- the first people to step up and denounce that rhetoric. Just as many of us - and I include myself in this - feel that moderate Muslims  have a duty to step  up and denounce the actions that Jihadist Muslims commit in the name of their religion -- conservatives have the the duty to step up and denounce hate speech camouflaging itself with their ideology.

And they should relax and breathe. Liberal lived through Bush II, Conservatives will live through Obama's terms.

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