Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Canadian Looney

So the National Post's and the CBC's Rex Murphy thinks that American President Barack Obama has gotten a free ride, huh. Well I think that Mr. Murphy and me seem to live in alternate universes, me in the real one and Mr. Murphy in one constructed out of his own ideological assumptions.

I recall much media hand wringing over the supposed anti-American statements of Obama's Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright. I recall much discussion of whether a man who had such "little experience" should be president. He had, by the way, more experience than that attention seeking celebrity whore Sarah Palin and was more even keeled than the sometimes fruity McCain. I recall a backlash against Obama as Hillary seemed to be making a late charge to win the Democratic nomination for president. I recall all those reports on the network news about people who thought Obama was a Muslim (he, of course, isn't but the looney right crowd have never let facts get in the way of a good looney tune). I recall all of those nightly news reports about all those right wing loonies calling Obama and Democrats socialist commie nazis during the debate over Obama's (weak as water corporate) health care bill. I recall all of those news reports about all those right wing flat earth loonies who believed that Obama was not born in the good old USofA. And I recall all the unfair and unbalanced anti-coverage of Obama since before he became president on Roger Ailes' right wing propaganda cable machine, Fox News.

Whether there has been a bit of a honeymoon for Obama as there often is for American presidents in general I will leave to a future historian. The US press does, presumably because it wants to maintain access to the executive branch, seem to give presidents a pass at least while they are doing well in the opinion polls and in regard to foreign policy matters. Bush's claims about Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction", for instance, claims which, anyone who had studied the issue knew was fallacious (read the UN's UNSCOM reports online about Hussein's weapons capabilities), was not thoroughly investigated by the media (save for McClatchey and Moyers) because of the primitivist chest pounding patriotism mentality that mesmerised the American media for a period of time (not surprisingly ideologically driven emotion usually trumps intelligent analysis). And now that Obama's poll numbers are down note that the Solyndra "scandal" has reared its ugly head in the US press, well you get my drife.

Let's get real here, there are limits on what an American president can do economically and politically (particularly given that the Republicans have become a party of looney flat earth like-ers and they control the House). I say this as someone who didn't and would never vote for Obama and as someone, who while he would never have voted for Hillary, thinks she would, in retrospect (don't you just love Monday morning quarterbacking), have been a better choice for president than Obama. That said I still prefer him, weak as water though he is (thank you Mrs. Slocum) because he seems to cave into everything the Republicans want almost before negotiations begin, to the Apostolic Dominionist theocrats like Perry, Bachman, and Palin that populate the Republican Party.

And oh, by the way, it is clear from the empirical evidence that Obama is a moderate conservative friend of America's big business and big military-industrial complex interests. If that is what constitutes a nazi/liberal/socialist (all the inconsistent things the completely looney American right has called him) these days then we are indeed up the proverbial creek without a paddle and the looney right has indeed won the categorisation and demonisation wars.

Rex Murphy, The Media's Love Affair With a Disastrous President, 17 September 2011, National Post,

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