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2008’s Obama Derangement Syndrome Looks Ridiculous In Hindsight

One very significant part of the denial of reality that I wrote about earlier involves the extent to which conservatives view Barack Obama not just as a rival, not just as a President whose policies they disagree with, but as the epitome of evil. It started well before the President ever took office with Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and others on the right trying to paint him as some kind of radical leftist intent radically transforming American politics. It was, after all, Fox News Channel, and Hannity specifically, that spent hours upon hours in the month of April 2008 playing the Rev. Wright tapes over and over again. They were the same people who, along with Sarah Palin, kept arguing during the General Election four years ago that the GOP needed to emphasize Obama’s ties to Wright and Bill Ayers in order to win the election. And, of course, we’re all well aware of the delusions that have popped on the right since Obama actually assumed the Presidency.

Of all of these delusions, though, perhaps none is more bizarre than something that the group Focus On The Family wrote four years ago:

You’ve probably heard by now that if Obama wins a second term we will become a socialist nation, gun ownership will be made illegal, our country will be unrecognizable by the end of his term, and on and on. If you listen to leaders on the Right it sounds like this election is the most important election of all time and that all of America’s freedoms are staked Romney defeating Obama. There’s just one problem. I remember 2008.

In 2008 prominent Christian Right group Focus on the Family put out a sixteen page document called “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America.” The document was in the form of a letter, a (fictional) letter from a Christian in 2012 writing back from the future about all the changes that had happened since Obama took office.

(…)

The whole purpose of this letter … was to scare evangelicals out of voting for Obama at any cost. And today, they’re doing the same thing. If you vote for Obama, they say, every manner of horrible awful no good very bad thing will happen. Your freedoms will disappear. They will take your guns, they will ban homeschooling, they will send your grandma to death panels.

But this is getting old. See, leaders on the Right do this every election year. Every election is “the most important election of all time,” and every election year they warn that our freedoms as Americans are on the line. Every election year they predict catastrophe if they lose the election.

In order to get a better look at just how insane the Obama Derangement Syndrome in this letter is, let’s take a look at a few of the “predictions” that this letter makes:

(1) Boy Scouts: “The land of the free”? The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an organization. They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys. (This was to be expected with a change in the court, since the 2000 decision Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, which affirmed the right of the Boy Scouts as a private organization to dismiss a homosexual scoutmaster, was a 5-4 decision, with Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter and Breyer dissenting even then.)

This, of course, didn’t happen, and it’s largely based upon a horror story hypothetical in which Obama was somehow able to appoint four Supreme Court Justices inside of two years and thus create a Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage, abolished gun rights, restricted the rights of  churches and people of faith and, of course, destroyed the Boy Scouts of America. None of that happened, of course. Which means that the Boy Scouts remain free to discriminate against gays and atheists, or, as I suggested the other day, promote policies that encourage both members and Scoutmasters to lie.

(5) Public broadcasting: “The land of the free”? The Bible can no longer be freely preached over radio or television stations when the subject matter includes such “offensive” doctrines as criticizing homosexual behavior. The Supreme Court agreed that these could be kept off the air as prohibited “hate speech” that is likely to incite violence and discrimination. These policies followed broadcasting and print restrictions that were in place prior to 2008 in Canada and Sweden

Again, this never happened, but it also reveals something about people on the right. Over the past several years, the Supreme Court has issued a series of First Amendment cases dealing with highly controversial topics ranging from depictions of animal cruelty, to anti-gay protesters at military funerals, to people lying about having received military honors. In all of those cases, the Court has been unanimous or near unanimous in striking down restrictions on event the most offensive forms of speech, and the Court’s four liberal members have been right there with the conservatives on these issues. The idea that the Supreme Court would issue a ruling say that you can’t read the Bible over public airwaves, or that you can’t talk about religious positions on homosexuality, is so bizarrely paranoid that it reads more like the plot of a really bad Direct-To-DVD movie than a series political analysis.

Things get even more bizarre when you get to the foreign policy section of the letter:

(23) In early 2009, [Russia] followed the pattern they had begun in Georgia in 2008 and sent troops to occupy and re-take several Eastern European countries, starting with the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. President Obama appealed to the United Nations (UN), taking the same approach he had in his initial statements when Russia invaded Georgia in August 2008: “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war,” and “All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis,”

But Russia sits on the Security Council, and no U.N. action has yet been taken.

Then in the next three years, Russia occupied additional countries that had been previous Soviet satellite nations, including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, with no military response from the U.S. or the U.N. NATO heads of state have severely condemned Russia’s actions each time but they could never reach consensus on military action.

Yes, that’s right. These people actually thought that Russia, a nation whose military has been decimated since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which has nothing that would constitute a functioning Navy outside of the areas immediately adjacent to its territorial waters, and continues to deal with insurgent Muslims on its southern border would somehow find a way to reoccupy nearly all of the area formerly controlled by the Warsaw Pact. It’s of a piece, I suppose, with what seems like general conservative paranoia when it comes to Russia, which seems to be at the same level as it was when the Cold War was at its height.

There’s much more in the letter itself, which I’ve embedded below for your information and amusement, but it strikes me that this letter was a precursor to much of what we’ve seen unfold over the past four years. The letter itself was quite obviously meant as a fundraising/Get Out The Vote mechanism, but it displays a level of paranoia that has become part of everyday conversation among some elements on the right. It stands, in retrospect, as a precursor of the rhetoric we’ve heard from the Rush Limbaugh’s, Michele Bachmann’s, and Allen West’s of the world as well as the insanity behind Dinesh D’Souza and his silly movie.

Reading this letter four years after the fact, one is struck by several things. First, the far right’s paranoia about Obama is something that seems to have sprung up sui generis. There really wasn’t anything in the political or personal record of Barack Obama as we knew him in 2007-2008 to justify the fears that are expressed here. Yes he was a Democrat, but there was no credible evidence for the arguments that many on the right made that he was some kind of radical, which is largely why the majority of American voters who might otherwise be sympathetic to Republican arguments didn’t buy the argument. Second, this letter shows the deep level of cynicism involved in political fundraising and advocacy. This letter was obviously directed toward social conservatives who would be sympathetic to the message that Focus on the Family pushes, and the letter, in all of its utter insanity, was clearly meant to scare them to death with a bizarre and badly written future history of an America that clearly was never going to exist. We see this quite frequently from advocacy groups on both sides of the aisle, but I’ve got to say this is among the most egregious examples that I’ve ever seen.  Finally, the letter provides a brief, and somewhat terrifying, glimpse into the mind of the far right. The truth of the matter is that there are people out there who actually believe this stuff, just like they believe that D’Souza’s bizarre film is somehow grounded in reality.

As I’ve said before, the right’s blind hatred for Barack Obama blinds it to reality in much the same way that the left’s hatred for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush did during their times in office. This letter is just one example of how that hatred had taken root long before the President had even taken office. If these are the emotions that drive conservatives in this final month of the Presidential campaign, they will most likely see themselves sitting in front of a television watching President Obama take the Oath Of Office for the second time.

Here’s the letter:

Focus On The Family Propaganda: "Letter From Obama’s America 2012"

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    They still believe all of those things will come to pass, in the next four years. Most important election ever!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  2. An Interested Party says:

    They still believe all of those things will come to pass, in the next four years.

    Exactly…it isn’t like ODS just stopped in 2008…indeed, many of the conservative commenters who post on the threads here display it every day…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  3. Ed in NJ says:

    Sorry, but they can just change the dates, and most of the ODS-sufferers will carry on. You forgot to mention that the whole letter and its subsequent predictions are based on the unlikely event that 2 of the conservative justices retire from the Supreme Court. That’s an argument that can be made over and over again until Scalia, Thomas, and Alito retire.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. bk says:

    Don’t forget the white women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. cd6 says:

    The only thing conservatives did wrong was underestimate how devious Obama is.

    OBVIOUSLY Obamas goal is destruction of America and the constitution and soft rock. We THOUGHT he was going to do this as soon as he was president.

    But!

    NOBODY COULD HAVE FORSEEN that’s Obama’s plan was to operate as a centrist beltway moderate only to fool Americans into reelecting him

    And then, after reelection, in his second term, Obama REALLY will probably burn the capital building down and institute a 1000 socialist reign. Truly evil!!!

    This is the most important election in the history of all existance
    We can’t afford to have an insurance industry cover pre-existing conditions

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  6. michael reynolds says:

    First, the far right’s paranoia about Obama is something that seems to have sprung up sui generis. There really wasn’t anything in the political or personal record of Barack Obama as we knew him in 2007-2008 to justify the fears that are expressed here.

    Why do you think I’ve been saying from the start that this came from race? It has been obvious all along that this level of insane, over-the-top, hysterical reaction was not based in mere politics. On the one hand, a powerful black man, and on the other hand a bunch of old, rustic white people wetting themselves in sheer, fact-free, and instantaneous panic.

    Really not rocket science.

    But of course four years ago a number of people here poo-poohed me and told me I was nuts or over-reacting. Many of those people have since become convinced. And I want to say that I welcome my STEM friends to the world of human emotion.

    The moral here is: don’t automatically dismiss people in my line of work when we talk about motivation. Dismiss my math, dismiss my economic theories, dismiss my taste in whiskey (actually, don’t) but I do actually know one or two things about humans. Just saying.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  7. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Meh. Focus on the Family is a thumperbot cadre. It goes without saying that their fire and brimstone act is pure hyperbole. Besides, focusing on Focus on the Family is analogous to pointing towards the Sierra Club or at OWS as talismans for the left.

    I’ll say this for Obama. The man has done one thing not only well but better than that for which anyone could have hoped: he’s completely thrown the loopy left overboard when it comes to four key elements of the war on terror; namely, drone strikes, Gitmo, renditions, military tribunals. Those items by themselves have taken Obama out of the Carter bin and at least placed him in the Clinton bin.

    Elsewhere, however, and if we look towards Main Street, not at Park Avenue, it’s been an unmitigated disaster. Let’s put it this way: when you get to the point at which large segments of the chattering classes are happy about 15% U-6 unemployment, nonplussed about a 100-plus percent debt-to-GDP ratio, and at best apathetic about a diplomat being murdered and his corpse being dragged through the streets, you’ve not only slipped as a country, you’re circling the drain.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 28

  8. cd6 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    There you go again (OMG REAGAN QUOTE), playing the “racist” card like a typical LIBTARD

    When noted consitutional scholar Laura Ingraham writes a book called Obama Diaries that says MOOCHELLE OBAMA BE EATIN RIBS, that’s not racism, its a nuanced argument on public policy.

    EXCUUUUSE me if the MSM bubble can’t handle it

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: What “diplomat was murdered and his corpse dragged through the streets”? I think you’re making up things.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  10. john personna says:

    I realize that Chuck Norris is just an old actor at this point, and not part of the GOP hierarchy, but for sheer audacity of fear, it is hard to beat:

    Chuck Norris Warns of ‘1,000 Years of Darkness’ If Obama Re-Elected

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  11. @Tsar Nicholas:

    There is no evidence that Ambassador Stevens’s corpse was “dragged through the street”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  12. bk says:

    As I’ve said before, the right’s blind hatred for Barack Obama blinds it to reality in much the same way that the left’s hatred for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush did during their times in office.

    Sigh. “There you go again”. Please give an example of how the “left’s hatred for….Bush” blinded it to reality in any way comparable to what we have been seeing, on a daily basis, for the past four years. I’ll wait.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  13. PogueMahone says:

    Beginning in January of ’09, one of my dogs starting acting like a cat. He perches himself on the back of the couch, he grooms himself constantly, and his bark turned into more of a whimpering meow. Also, I’ve noticed him pointing to the east whenever he naps five times a day.

    Coincidence? I think not.

    Obama turned my dog into a Muslim, socialist cat!!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  14. @bk:

    I would think that is rather obvious, and I saw that as someone who was never a GWB fan. Moreover, I really don’t want to re-litigate 2001-2009. We’re in 2012, stay focused.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  15. bk says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    We’re in 2012, stay focused.

    That’s about as intellectually lazy a position as I have seen you take since I started reading this blog a few months ago (and believe me, there has been a lot of competition). If you don’t want to back up an assertion, THEN DON’T MAKE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  16. sam says:

    Hey, some guy who’s obviously from outa town with a name like Barack Hussein Obama — What’s not to be scared witless of (a redundancy, I know) and hate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  17. sam says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    There is no evidence that Ambassador Stevens’s corpse was “dragged through the street”

    In fact, wasn’t the reporting that his body was recovered from the building by Libyans taken to a hospital?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  18. swbarnes2 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I would think that is rather obvious,

    No, it’s not. Remember way, way, back, when you wrote a post about how liberals and conservatives use different facts? Well, if your fact is that liberals went crazy accusing Bush of leading the country to cannibalism, or whatever, the liberals don’t remember it that way.

    So why don’t you put your facts on the table, and we’ll see how they stack up against reality.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  19. An Interested Party says:

    Moreover, I really don’t want to re-litigate 2001-2009. We’re in 2012, stay focused.

    What a lovely piece of advice…except, of course, for the fact that we are currently living with the results of what happened between 2001-2009…so that period needs to be examined if we are to stay focused…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  20. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @bk: I seem to remember some talk at the time of the Bush 2004 run of using the “war on terror” to create a crisis that would permit the administration to suspend the constitution and cancel the election. Is that similar enough for you, or are those just the outliers?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  21. wr says:

    “As I’ve said before, the right’s blind hatred for Barack Obama blinds it to reality in much the same way that the left’s hatred for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush did during their times in office. ”

    Richard Nixon? Would that be the same Richard Nixon who had to resign from office before he could be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors? The same Richard Nixon who illegally bombed Cambodia and set into motion the events that allowed Pol Pot to take over? The same Richard Nixon who escalated and continued the war in Vietnam?

    Yes, he started the EPA — Bless him for that. But he was a war criminal who was forced from office for covering up criminal activities within his White House. You’re damn right the left hated Nixon, and they had damn good reason for it.

    I guess it’s true that both sides do it. The left hated the president who committed felonies in office, while the right hates the president who commits blackness in office. Yup, exactly the same thing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  22. steve s says:

    dm: liberals were just as bad about Bush.
    everyone: how in the world is that remotely true?
    dm: let’s not relitigate the past!

    false equivalence bullshit. One party is living in crazytown, and the other isn’t and be a man and admit it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  23. bk says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    I seem to remember some talk at the time of the Bush 2004 run of using the “war on terror” to create a crisis that would permit the administration to suspend the constitution and cancel the election. Is that similar enough for you, or are those just the outliers?

    The latter. If we are using 2004 as a metric, let me know when you can find quotes from Democratic members of Congress and/or campaign surrogates for Kerry who came even close to saying anything remotely as ignorant as what we have been seeing for the past four years. (Oh yeah, and I had also forgotten that some commenter on Daily Kos called Bush a “Nazi”, so both sides do it.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  24. bk says:

    @bk: Oh, and let’s see what the contenders for the Democratic nomination in 2004 had to say about Bush, and compare it to this year’s Republican clown car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  25. Buzz Buzz says:

    Common Dreams: The Unelected President How George W. Bush Stole the White House from America’s Voters

    It’s official. The Banana Republicans now occupy the White House.
    In direct–and predictable–contradiction to his campaign rhetoric of accommodation and compromise, George “Shrub” Bush begins his illegitimate regime like countless other coup figureheads–with cynicism and an iron hand. How firmly will the forces of democracy oppose him? Remember that Bush was allowed to take power precisely because the “New Democrats” lack the strength or character to stand up to the hard right. Predictably, their performance at the dawn of the Shrub years is already discouraging. Indeed, if the nation and its natural environment are to survive at all, clear and powerful resistance must come from where it always comes–the grassroots–but with far more conviction than we’ve seen in many a decade.
    The clearest sign of the Bush hard line comes with his chief law enforcement officer. Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft is a carbon copy of countless martial strongmen installed in Third World countries by the father of the new president and the national security apparatus Bush Sr. once ran. The former Missouri Senator (who was beaten for re-election by a dead man) is the creation of the corporations and fundamentalist church groups that paid for his losing campaign–and for that of his new boss.
    Ashcroft is pro-corporation (especially tobacco), pro-gun, pro-military, pro-death penalty, pro-welfare for religious schools, and an ardent fan of the Confederacy. He is anti-black, anti-choice, anti-feminist, anti-gay, anti-speech, anti-poor, anti-green and anti-labor.
    In short, he’s a poster child for the Bush junta, a humorless gray cabal of old economy types whose primary agenda will be to further the Reaganite redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich while raping the natural planet along the way. They’ll add billions in church and corporate welfare. In the name of “liberty,” they’ll erase as many individual rights and freedoms as their dominance of a bought Supreme Court can facilitate.

    Huffington Post: What Would You Do If Bush Declared Martial Law?

    Along with several other measures the Bush adminstration has proposed, the introduction of these changes amounts, not to an attack on the Congress and the balance of power, but to a particular and concerted attack on the citizens of the nation. Bush is laying the legal groundwork to repeal even the appearance of democracy.

    Were they planning to spring these things on us? One day, we were supposed to wake up, and martial law would be declared, and we were supposed to actually pay attention to it? Where are they keeping the troops who were going to patrol our neighborhoods? Who was it who was going to disarm the population? Who was their base going to be, when they sought public support for martial law? Who was going to round us up and where were they going to put us?

    Democratic Underground: In Heaven as it is on Earth? George W. Bush’s Troubling Theocracy

    No matter how you look at it, Bush’s theocratic ideology is elementary and parochial, his vision of the future is improvident and life-denying, and the immediate effects of his economic and environmental policies are anxiety-producing. Like a schoolyard bully hiding his insidious intentions behind a boyish grin, Bush wields his political, religious, and economic power like a billy-club to keep people in a state of constant fear. And worse, mass protests around the world against his policies and highly focused opinions of dissent seem to fall on deaf ears – regardless of how large they are (the protests, that is).

    In the midst of a degrading environment and billions of people around the globe struggling economically, Bush’s egocentric theology threatens the very existence of life on earth. An imminent plan to resuscitate nuclear power – an economic and environmental nightmare put to rest for very, very good reasons – is simply one example of this.

    Daily Kos: Bush’s America: The Whirlwind Is In The Thorn Tree

    This article is the documented story of how a political religious movement called Dominionism gained control of the Republican Party, then took over Congress, then took over the White House, and now is sealing the conversion of America to a theocracy by taking over the American Judiciary. It’s the story of why and how “the wrath of God Almighty” will be unleashed against the middle class, against the poor, and against the elderly and sick of this nation by George W. Bush and his army of Republican Dominionist “rulers.”

    Politico JournOLister Ben Smith: More than half of Democrats believed Bush knew

    “How likely is it that people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?” the poll asked.
    A full 22.6% of Democrats said it was “very likely.” Another 28.2% called it “somewhat likely.”
    That is: More than half of Democrats, according to a neutral survey, said they believed Bush was complicit in the 9/11 terror attacks.

    It’s not very convincing to claim that Common Dreams, Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, Huffington Post, and Politico are “outliers”. There’s a whole internet full of crazy lefty stuff like this, drones, but you choose to deny reality and argue that it doesn’t exist.

    Inside The Hive ™

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  26. bk says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    let me know when you can find quotes from Democratic members of Congress and/or campaign surrogates for Kerry who came even close to saying anything remotely as ignorant as what we have been seeing for the past four years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  27. bk says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Oh, and let’s see what the contenders for the Democratic nomination in 2004 had to say about Bush, and compare it to this year’s Republican clown car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  28. bk says:

    Does “Buzz Buzz” mean “false equivalence” in some language? Because that is what you posted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  29. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    For my part, I’m wondering if Tsar Nick knows every time he begins a reply with “meh”–which is frequent–we all know to expect him to minimize the consequential, emphasize the trivial, and make up everything else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  30. stonetools says:

    @steve s:

    Doug works ” both sides do it” into every post. He must dream “Both sides do it” !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  31. jan says:

    Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS) is no different than Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), where I think the phrase originated. People thrashed, bashed Bush, and are still blaming him for anything that can’t be proven, without a doubt, to not be his fault. It’s all a component of the Partisan Derangement Syndrome which has been increasing for years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14

  32. jan says:

    Also, despite the grief Obama is taking for being himself last Wednesday, I still think that he has the upper hand in winning this election. Just like Hugo Chavez was able to get the best of a very attractive opponent, Obama continues to have the MSM cheerleaders, and a huge amount of money at his disposal. September’s haul alone of over $180 million, has him almost at the billion dollar mark which he said he would do at the getgo of this campaign.

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  33. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @jan:

    no different than Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), where I think the phrase originated.

    Which is no different than Clinton Derangement Syndrome, the original derangement syndrome. Of course, BDS was a totally fictional construct of the Right in response to liberals saying things like “I dislike George Bush.”

    People thrashed, bashed Bush, and are still blaming him for anything that can’t be proven, without a doubt, to not be his fault.

    LOL. This coming from the camp that still brings up Jimmy Carter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  34. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @jan:

    September’s haul alone of over $180 million, has him almost at the billion dollar mark which he said he would do at the getgo of this campaign.

    Yeah, poor Mitt. He’s only raised $640 million so far. A pittance, really.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  35. bk says:

    @jan:

    Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS) is no different than Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), where I think the phrase originated. People thrashed, bashed Bush, and are still blaming him for anything that can’t be proven, without a doubt, to not be his fault. It’s all a component of the Partisan Derangement Syndrome which has been increasing for years.

    Most of the recent comments here have been of the “show me how criticism of Bush in blog posts even comes close to the crap that is being thrown around by Republican officials” variety. Is your comment just another one of your “blah blah blah I can’t hear you!” comments? Or have you just not read the comments to this post?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  36. Buzz Buzz says:

    What some of the contenders for the Democratic nomination in 2004 had to say about Bush…

    Howard Dean

    We have to level with the American people about what is at stake in 2004: nothing less than the restoration or destruction of our American tradition.

    This President has completely inverted the political vocabulary of our nation. He calls undermining our civil liberties “The Patriot Act;” destroying old growth “The Healthy Forest Act;” and polluting our air “The Clear Skies Act.” I am not going to let this President continue to deceive the American people. I have consistently demanded that this President give reasonable evidence that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States. He did not do so before the war with Iraq. I have continued to ask, in regards to weapons of mass destruction, what did the President know and when did he know it? His answer to such questions? Attacking those who question him as “revisionist historians,” when he’s the one who is revising history even as we live it.
    If we are going to defeat this President, his lies, and the more than $250 million he plans to raise for the 2004 election, we must all come together, today, to build the largest grassroots organization in the history of presidential politics. Self-government requires citizen participation. That is why I am seeking the MoveOn endorsement, and why I ask for your support in the MoveOn primary.

    Dick Gephardt

    The Bush-Cheney environmental policy is exactly what you would expect from two oil executives. They have refused to enforce the Clean Air Act for factories and plants churning our pollutants, and even sought to allow more arsenic in our drinking water.

    Dennis Kucinich

    One of our greatest Presidents taught us, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” As fear increases, it becomes an effective tool for the would-be empire-makers now running U.S. foreign policy. Using fear, they can intimidate opponents and restrict free speech.

    It is clear that the Administration led this nation to war (and manipulated the 2002 elections) on the basis of a pretext. I believe this deception exceeds the magnitude of Watergate, and if driven home by the Democratic nominee, could defeat Bush and usher in a Democratic tidal wave. Eventually, if we keep fighting for it, the truth will come out. I promise you that I will continue to speak truth to power, day after day. If we do not unmask the Iraq deception, they will do it again.

    Al Sharpton

    They seem to be a throw-back to the COINTELPRO days of J. Edgar Hoover, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Black Panthers – making legal today what was illegal then. These “Patriot Acts” appear to be using the legitimate fear of 9/11 to pass illegitimate legislation. This legislation is unpatriotic in the most patriotic sense.

    Bob Graham

    One of the centerpieces of my campaign for the presidency is holding President Bush responsible for keeping Americans in the dark throughout his administration. This White House has a Nixonian stench and I will force it to be accountable for its obsession with secrecy.
    As I have in recent days, I will continue to push my case to find out the truth on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I have taken the lead in criticizing President Bush for his failure to release to the public the report on the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. This report is critical for the American people to understand 9-11 happened and what we can do to prevent further terrorist attacks on our country. Instead of releasing this to the public, the administration has instead decided to engage in a cover-up of this information.

    I promise to hold George W. Bush responsible for putting corporate interests ahead of average Americans every single day he has occupied the White House. This is a White House of, by and for the elite in this country. This is a White House that has turned their back on average Americans.

    Carol Mosley Braun

    This administration has used 9/11 as a shield to impose an extreme right wing agenda on the American people.

    Will any candidate demand the truth and an end to this conspiracy of deceit?
    –John Kowalko, Machinist (June 12, 2003; Newark, De.)

    BRAUN: I have, and I will

    Conspiracy theory lunatics pandering to other conspiracy theory lunatics, in black and white. And this is just from one page on one site. There’s a whole internet full of this type of leftwing craziness.

    But I won’t waste my time highlighting even more examples, bk, because I suspect that even this documented reality is not strong enough to penetrate the bubble of denial you’ve built Inside The Hive ™

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  37. michael reynolds says:

    Bush Derangement Syndrome was quite real. But it came because of actions he had taken. That doesn’t excuse the craziness, but it is fundamentally different than Obama Derangement Syndrom which came because of the color of Mr. Obama’s skin.

    One was politics. One was race. One was a consequence of troubling actions. One was a consequence of a pre-existing evil.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  38. al-Ameda says:

    About half the Republican Party is comprised of morons who still believe that Obama has a plan to confiscate guns and impose Sharia Law. Electing Romney would constitute rewarding these morons for bad behavior and for wasting valuable oxygen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. jan says:

    @Eric the OTB Lurker:

    Yeah, poor Mitt. He’s only raised $640 million so far. A pittance, really.

    Obama has raised in the mid-$900 million, probably reaching a billion with his star-studded fundraisers in Los Angeles, tying up traffic, going on to SF after that. The man is raking in more than Romney, and burnng through it faster too in his drive to maximize his negative ad campaign. Most of his money is going to tear his opponent down, not to articulate his own policies or why they would be better for these times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  40. David M says:

    @jan:

    So Obama is running political ads during a political campaign? That is a shockingly unexpected development.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  41. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Buzz Buzz: What part of any or all of those statements isn’t true? You brought them up, so you must have proof that they are false.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  42. bk says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    This President has completely inverted the political vocabulary of our nation. He calls undermining our civil liberties “The Patriot Act;” destroying old growth “The Healthy Forest Act;” and polluting our air “The Clear Skies Act.”

    Well?

    The Bush-Cheney environmental policy is exactly what you would expect from two oil executives. They have refused to enforce the Clean Air Act for factories and plants churning our pollutants, and even sought to allow more arsenic in our drinking water

    Well?

    It is clear that the Administration led this nation to war …. on the basis of a pretext.

    Well?

    This is a White House of, by and for the elite in this country.

    Well?

    Other than some admitted overreaching by Kucinich (the portion of his quote that I omitted), please let us know how you think anything said above was wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  43. David M says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Unfortunately nothing you’ve listed there comes close to the nonsense in the original post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  44. bk says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Sorry – I took so long to put together my post that I didn’t see that you had already responded!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  45. bk says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Inside The Hive ™

    Are you “trademarking” that snappy phrase because it is so cool that it just demands to be ripped off, and you want to make sure that you are legally protected? I don’t happen to think that you have anything to worry about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  46. Facebones says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Bush Derangement Syndrome was quite real. But it came because of actions he had taken. That doesn’t excuse the craziness, but it is fundamentally different than Obama Derangement Syndrom which came because of the color of Mr. Obama’s skin.

    Exactly. I despised GWB because he lied us into a war that got 4000+ Americans and hundreds of thousands or Iraqis killed, destabilized the Middle East, let Osama bin Laden get away, and had anyone who disagreed with him demonized as a traitor. I didn’t think he was the anti-christ or “let” 9/11 happen. I just thought he was an incurious man and a disaster as President. If he had stayed owner of the Texas Rangers I think everyone would have been much happier.

    Obama tries to get people health care, and he’s history’s greatest monster? Please.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  47. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @bk: The Howard Dean is the one I find the most curious, since I don’t see a single thing in it that is objectively untrue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  48. Console says:

    Well, most of the patriot act was found unconstitutional, most of what Bush was doing with enemy combatants was also found unconstitutional. He was also elected during what was a constitutional crisis.

    At some point, those things are big deals.

    Just because the american people didn’t wake up out of their 9/11 shell shock until a bloody summer in Iraq and a bungled hurricane response doesn’t magically mean Bush critics were just making shit up for the 5 years prior.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  49. @Console:

    The PATRIOT Act was not found unconstitutional. And most of the Bush era detention policies were, unfortunately, upheld by the Courts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. Mikey says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    And most of the Bush era detention policies were, unfortunately, upheld by the Courts.

    And these have been implemented, and even expanded (see: indefinite detention of American citizens), by President Obama.

    The response from the American left to this has been, with a few exceptions, total silence. It’s the most egregious manifestation of the “it’s OK if OUR guy does it” principle I’ve ever seen.

    I did hear Code Pink is going to protest the drone strikes, or something. Better (four years) late than never, I suppose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  51. george says:

    There was goofy stuff about Bush (truthers for instance), and its odd how the peace marches stopped when Bush left office, though Obama has continued the policies and even gone further in a few (drone attacks) – for comparison, the anti-Vietnam war protests didn’t stop when Johnson was replaced by Nixon.

    But as others have pointed out, the difference is that the goofy stuff about Bush wasn’t primarily from representatives of the Democratic Party, while a lot of the goofy stuff about Obama (and Clinton before him) came from major figures in the Republican Party.

    So yeah, both sides have idiots on board. But in the GOP, those idiots eat at the captain’s table.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. bk says:

    @Mikey:

    The response from the American left to this has been, with a few exceptions, total silence.

    Not sure what you read, but there have been far more than a “few exceptions”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  53. Rick DeMent says:

    I remember exactly one Representative in congress speculating on the idea that GWB had something to do with the 9/11 attacks or at least had foreknowledge of it; Cynthia McKinney, from GA. She was roundly defeated in her next run for congress largely because she crossed the line for saying that.

    Contrast that to the standing members of congress who gave lip service or more to the wacky birther non-sense. Or standing members who have voiced the idea that Obama is coming for everyone’s guns when Obama has an objectively better record on gnu rights then Romney. Sorry no sale. The GOP caucus is so much more bat crap crazy then the democrats it’s not even close. Just the number who reject the science of evolution should give any thinking person pause to be within a mile of that party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  54. gVOR08 says:

    @wr:

    But he was a war criminal who was forced from office for covering up criminal activities within his White House. You’re damn right the left hated Nixon, and they had damn good reason for it.

    I rmember one of the network anchors, wish I could remember which, being asked in the 60s or 70s if maybe the press was biased against Nixon. He replied to the effect that they’d been reporting on Nixon for thirty years, closely following his actions and statements; and damn right they didn’t like him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. G.A. says:

    Sigh….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. Rafer Janders says:

    As I’ve said before, the right’s blind hatred for Barack Obama blinds it to reality in much the same way that the left’s hatred for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush did during their times in office.

    You know, Richard Nixon REALLY WAS a crook who orchestrated and covered-up illegal investigations and burglaries of his political opponents.

    Ronald Reagan REALLY DID sell weapons to our enemy Iran in order to fund secret and illegal arms sales to terrorists in Nicaragua, in violation of American law.

    George W. Bush REALLY DID blow off warnings about the September 11th attacks, invade Iraq with no provocation, gave up the hunt for bin Laden, stood by when New Orleans drowned, and order the torture of helpless prisoners.

    Barack Obama REALLY IS NOT a Kenyan communist intent on destroying America.

    See the difference? One side despises Nixon, Reagan and Bush for things they actually did. The other side despise Obama for things he never did and never will do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  57. Mikey says:

    @bk: When Bush was in office we had mass marches and rallies, people camping out at his Crawford ranch, and nearly eight years of calls for his impeachment and prosecution for war crimes.

    Obama has continued 99% of what Bush put in place, and made some of it worse (indefinite detention of Americans, due-process-free executions of Americans, dramatic increases in drone strikes).

    Who on the left has called for Obama’s impeachment for these things? Who has called for his prosecution?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  58. Console says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I shouldn’t have said “most.” I got a little mccardlesque with the facts.

    But there were parts of the patriot act challenged and subsequently changed (and somethings that never got the chance to be challenged because they were already changed during reauthorizations):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_Liberties_Union_v._Ashcroft_%282004%29

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. Buzz Buzz says:

    The view from Inside The Hive ™ :

    Focus On The Family = OFFICIAL SPEAKERS FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

    Howard Dean, Daily Kos, Dennis Kucinich, The Huffington Post, Dick Gephardt, Common Dreams, Al Sharpton, Democratic Underground, Carol Moseley Braun, Politico, Bob Graham = FRINGE GROUPS

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  60. Rick DeMent says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    But Bush did push for higher allowable levels of arsenic, the other stuff was true as well (kind of over the top campaign rhetoric, but nothing like wheat we head in the GOP primary). Barack Obama is not a Kenyan. I don’t know how to make it more clear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  61. Barry says:

    It says something that when the right says ‘both sides do it’, what they really mean is to publicly express opposition. Truth, falsehood – I don’t think that the right understands the differenc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  62. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Buzz Buzz: Nope, that isn’t even close to what people are saying on this thread. We’re saying that the quotes you’ve provided are people speaking the truth, so whatever “gotcha” moment you think you’re getting here isn’t even close to being one.

    It’s pretty pathetic when your fruitloop denialism is so severe that you have to try to misrepresent what happened on this very webpage. Hint: *Everyone* can just scroll up and see how batshit insane you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  63. Rob in CT says:

    There is a steady stream of agiprop flowing to the folks who lap this stuff up. Much of it is in the form of crazy emails. Some get it via bloggers. And of course our friends at Fox dabble in it too.

    And it constructs an alternate reality. The one where Obama is gonna take your guns away, gay marry your sons under sharia law and abort their children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0