Leahy Wants A “Truth And Reconciliation” Commission
….to investigate Bush. Irony. Thy name is Democrat.
Back in the old days, President George W. Bush woke up early, put on a suit with jacket, got his briefings, had his meetings, made tough decisions–many of which ticked off the left and the press, exercised, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for snacks and went to bed at a reasonable time. He would meet privately with soldier’s families, write them letters, agonize with their loss and express gratitude for sacrifice. He would stumble with his words and not let the discontent of those with less information at their disposal to sway him from decisions that he thought best for the country. He made a lot of people angry–both friend and foe alike. He disappointed people. Still, he was a grown-up. Adult.
I don’t know if Barack Obama will be an adult at the helm or not. It’s too soon to tell. But this much is already clear: there has been a lot of drama surrounding President Obama’s “associations” and “friends” and now staff and even, himself. So much so that had President Bush had the same sort of drama, I think that his head would already be on a pike. For example:
Obama buddy and spurned Kennedy, Caroline:
New York magazine on Paterson: “His style of governance, a dizzy mix of ingratiation and trickeration, has turned what could have been a moment of triumph — a powerful new ally in the Senate, a relationship with President Obama — into a slapstick fiasco, a fitting sequel to the way Paterson got the job in the first place.”
Why would President Obama think it is a good idea to get into a fight with Rush Limbaugh? First, Rush is a talk show host. Can you imagine GW calling out Keith Olbermann? Keith Olbermann is beneath President Bush and beneath being addressed. It would make Bush look small to even acknowledge Olbermann’s loony ravings. Ostensibly, President Barack Obama view Rush Limabaugh’s views as “loony ravings”, no? And yet, it seems not. He takes Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh’s ideas personally. Is it ego? Is it that he simply cannot imagine that any thinking person wouldn’t agree with his magnificence? Or does he believe they touch the truth and it’s uncomfortable? Either way, he gives them power by acknowledging them. Robert Stacy McCain says:
In other words, by picking this fight, Obama is getting himself into a quagmire, giving publicity to the one person who knows best how to turn that publicity into an issue-focused argument highlighting the flaws of Obama’s economic plan which, as Rush says, “anyone with a brain knows” won’t work.
Maybe President Obama’s churlish outburst, “I won” was a reinforcing statement. Evidently he needs to remind himself that he’s actually the President.
When you’re President, your advisers and associations and how you manage power matter. When you’re President, the press’s job isn’t to be your cheering section, it’s to ask questions and keep you honest (well, a few aren’t anyway). When you’re President, people will oppose you for policy reasons (shocking, in this case, but true). The force of even President Obama’s wonderful personalityishness does not equate into pink marshmallows being pooped out of unicorn butts into your Starbuck’s hot chocolate, as someone noted on Twitter.
So far, there has been a fair amount of Obama Drama. It’s not surprising, really. He has surrounded himself with the same old Democratic operatives who created a fair amount of drama the last time they skulked the hallowed halls. But more than his staff, it is Him.
Barack Obama won the Presidency not on the strength of his policies but the force of his personality. He created a cult of personality and has many devoted followers.
He managed to seem to be on all sides of an issue, so much so that super conservative evangelical friends of mine believed that Barack Obama was against abortion when every single decision he made in his past indicated exactly his current actions. Can you imagine? What a come down for all the people on all sides when they realize he was willing to say anything and allow misconceptions to stand to become President. So now, he is bound to disappoint–if only because a President has to be a grown up and choose and live with the choices.
NeoNeocon talks extensively about how the hatred for Bush comes from the same place that the loving adoration comes for Obama. She says (please read the whole piece, it is excellent):
In Tina Brown’s essay on Obama, she uses a word that struck me initially as very odd. I have highlighted it in bold in the following excerpt:
This was 9/11 in reverse. The last time I turned round and saw so many people behind me, it was that terrible day in New York when the twin towers burned and we poured out of our offices downtown and swarmed up Fifth Avenue. Then the faces were distraught. Now they were joyful. Then America had been assaulted by terror. Now it had been renewed by hope.
Ms. Brown is making the observation that the demeanor and emotional tenor of the two crowds are in contrast. Well, of course; why even bother to mention that? One was a group of people witness to a terrifying surprise attack in which thousands died; the other is watching a planned celebratory and ceremonial event.
If Brown had written “This was very different from 9/11″—indisputably true, but so what?—that statement would not have caught my attention. But the “reverse?” Did the three thousand dead spring to life? Did the planes fly out of the buildings, miraculously made whole, fires quenched? Have we returned to the innocent unawareness of 9/10?
For Brown, that return is a consummation devoutly to be wished. But Brown herself is not all that important, despite her status as a former star in the world of print journalism. The significance of her piece is that she has succinctly expressed what is behind much of the love for Obama: the depth of the need to undo 9/11 and its consequences, and to counter eight long years under the yoke of the dread and hated Bush.
Precisely. President Bush was boring old dad, the grown up. Barack Obama was new and young and fresh and different and didn’t give us bad news or tell us things we didn’t want to hear. He gives good face. He speaks smooth words. Obama is framed as being the dramatic lover. He is such a lovely rebellion–his middle name is even Hussein! How much fun is that to stick in the eye of stodgy old, boring, mean President Bush?
Time will tell if Barack Obama will end up being the President of the Left’s adolescent dreams. He will have to make decisions, after all. But don’t underestimate the desire of people to see what they want to see.
Today, the Anchoress has a must-read piece of the decisions President Barack Obama is making and what those decisions mean. That’s assuming anyone is paying attention and/or cares. Sometimes people just want a little drama to distract them from the reality of life. So far, President Obama is giving people exactly what they want.
More on engaging Rush Limbaugh and the debacle of Republican leadership from The Radioequalizer:
After a rough start for the Obamists this week, the last thing they want is a viable, effective opposition movement. Rush, Sean and others provide hope that America can be saved from this budding dictator and his cultist followers.
But as the new regime oversteps its bounds, it is far more likely to elevate talk hosts to heights they’ve never before seen, proving Obama is truly a rank amateur.
Ann Althouse also notes Obama’s call-out calling it an “alpha” moment. Perhaps Rush thinks so too, judging by his response:
IN THE COMMENTS: Jason says:
The moment I heard Obama said those things about Limbaugh I went out and subscribed to Limbaugh’s 24/7 service (giving him money). And sometimes Limbaugh makes me angry, but now that the government is against him he has to be cool. Like cigarettes or machine guns or heck, even drugs.
AND: Limbaugh responds in writing, kind of screwing up the suspense…
[Obama] is hoping that these Republicans will also publicly denounce me and thus marginalize me…. To make the argument about me instead of his plan makes sense from his perspective. Obama’s plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR’s New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts….
Here is Rule 13 of Alinksy’s Rules for Radicals:
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Oh, there will be fireworks, Monday, to be sure. But I think Robert Stacy McCain’s point still stands. It is a mistake to attempt to distract this way. The “war” will draw attention TO the very issue Obama is trying to obfuscate.
Yes, Obama calling out Rush is a mistake. It was just one of many misplays in his first week in office.
I know Glenn Reynolds already linked this, but for the two of you who don’t read his site, I thought I’d embed this video because you have to watch it:
Don’t you just feel better now, with President Barack Obama speaking it instead of President Bush?
A@@hole jerk vindictive bastard guy who will never be trusted again. By anyone. Ever.
Enter C. Brian Smith.
Mr. Smith was a guest at a gracious host’s home. He ate their food. He watched movies with them. He enjoyed their hospitality.
The host, like everyone else in the world, had unique quirks. And when Mr. Smith went home, he’d catalog these quirks. Someday, he thought to himself, I can get personal gain by exploiting this rare relationship.
Scorn and derision should be heaped on people like C. Brian Smith. He is not the first man in history to exploit hospitality for political or personal gain. He reminds me of the Scottish Campbell clan who are still reviled for their despicable behavior. What did they do? The Campbell clan enjoyed the hospitality of political rivals the MacDonalds. After taking their food and drink and beds, they murdered the MacDonalds while they slept. They burned down their homes leaving over 40 women and children to die, freezing to death. Only two men survived.
Now, C. Brian Smith, did not murder his host literally, but the intent and the motive come from the same place. After soaking in what he perceives is a political enemy’s good will, he is doing what he can to destroy him.
A person cannot do this sort of thing without dehumanizing the person he’s destroying. He has to distance himself from a person and view the experience as a scientific experiment. It’s one thing for a journalist to pick apart a person since it’s his job to reveal the character of the subject. It’s quite another for someone who calls himself a friend to do that.
It doesn’t matter who C. Brian Smith gave this bad treatment to–it’s his character that should be on trial not his “subject’s”. He is nothing more than a malicious gossip and talebearer.
Powerful people who try to maintain some sort of normalcy through friendships, routines and family rituals make themselves vulnerable. It’s a wonder they trust anyone at all.
Just to be clear, I would view someone who comes out of the next president’s administration and revealed uncharitable life details with the same sort of contempt. The C. Brian Smiths and Scott What’s-His-Name, oh yeah, McClellens of the world better enjoy their fleeting notoriety. No one will trust them again. And no one should.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
What do you do with murderous and suicidal terrorists intent on killing prison guards or killing themselves? What do you do with a bunch of crazies who wish to spread a virulent ideology to any discontent who will listen? What do you do with dangerous people possessing dangerous secrets where the secrets, if leaked in a court battle, would endanger those in the court, the local populace, and the world at large? What do you do enemies who would provide a target-rich environment for those who would “save” them from prison? How do you keep those around these targets safe?
Why didn’t Barack Obama consider these questions while proclaiming that he would close the Guantanamo Bay detention center during his campaigning? Here’s Mr. Obama’s opinion now:
Mr. Obama has repeatedly said he wants to close the camp. But in an interview on Sunday on ABC, he indicated that the process could take time, saying, “It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize.” Closing it within the first 100 days of his administration, he said, would be “a challenge.”
I think these prisoners present a problem more difficult than Mr. Obama realized. Imagine that.
So why is the Left so set on having the dangers that these terrorists possess sitting on American soil when the dangers in question are not American citizens? No one else wants them, really. From the same New York Times article:
Aside from analyzing intelligence and legal filings on each of the remaining detainees, diplomats and legal experts have said the new administration will need to begin an extensive new international effort to resettle as many as 150 or more of the remaining men. Portugal and other European countries have recently broken a long diplomatic standoff, saying they would work with the new administration and might accept some detainees who cannot be sent to their home countries because of concerns about their potential treatment.
So some European countries might accept these powder kegs. Seems they don’t want the innocent lambs among their prison population and population in general, either. They want to snipe at President Bush for vague human rights concerns but they don’t want to expose their own populations to the risk these guys present. How very typically hypocritical.
The left, encapsulated by the ACLU’s Anthony Romero said,“Just like we need specifics on an economic recovery package,” Mr. Romero said, “we need specifics on a ‘justice recovery package.’ ”
Justice, ‘eh? Would it be just to put innocent Americans at risk so that the ACLU feels good about American law being used to try foreign nationals? Would it be just to have American taxpayers pay for extra guards (rather than soldiers equipped for the job) who would be at risk of being attacked daily while simultaneously trying to keep the same detainees alive (most prisoners in the American system want to live while the Muslim terrorists would love nothing more than to be a martyr)? Would it be just for military secrets to come out in open court tipping off the enemy who we’re still at war with?
I don’t think the Left wants justice. I think they want America to be hamstrung in a war they don’t believe exists. They want to pretend the problem is a criminal one–a circumscribed lesion not a systemic infection that requires more careful treatment.
That Barack Obama is just now seeing the implications is both discouraging and heartening. Will he put America at risk to appease a deluded portion of the electorate? Will he find some other solution? Time will tell. But this issue is one that people with intellectual honesty wrestle with. It’s easy to be a legalistic simpleton when you’re the President of the ACLU. The President of the United States of America needs to be concerned with real justice for the American people. Justice, in this case, means seeing reality: America has vicious enemies intent on doing harm and they need to be contained and stopped without endangering Americans.
Cross-posted at RightWingNews
Radical Islamic Networks flourishing in America notes Infidels Are Cool.